Chronological Bible Reading – January 30 – “Risk is Right”

Today’s Reading: Genesis 45-46:12

The secret is out.  Joseph has revealed his true identity to his brothers as well as his desire to provide for them and their father.  he sends his brothers back to his father with the good news that the son he believed to be dead was, in fact, alive.  Joseph’s instructions are to bring everyone to Egypt where they can be cared for.  They pack up everything and begin their journey to Egypt.  However, when they make it to Beersheba, a town along the way to Egypt, they stop.  In a moment of what must have been apprehension, God appears to Jacob in a dream and says,

I am God, the God of your father.  Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes. – Genesis 46:3-4 (ESV)

This promise relieves all fear and Jacob moves to Egypt.  The rest of the story will play out in the coming chapters, however the point to capture today is the source of Jacob’s comfort and confidence.  God promised to go with him.

I am reminded this morning of the reality of God’s presence in my own life.  As a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, I have the promise of God’s Word that helps me see that God is always with me.  When I walk in His ways, I know there is nothing to fear.  His plans are better than anything I can create for myself.  Wherever I go, whatever I face, I can know without doubt or wavering that the God of all creation is with me and loves me.  May this create a confidence and trust in me that leads to God’s greater work in and through me, my family, and my ministry.

I remember hearing the phrase, “risk is right” used in connection to a philosophy for life.  The point is to drive you to live a life of risk understanding that great risk can possibly equal great reward.  In relationship, in business, and life in general, many adopt this philosophy.  However, based upon the overarching promise of God’s presence and sovereign work in the life of a person who trusts in Him, it appears that risk no longer exists.  There is no risk in following the directives given by our sovereign and loving God, for He is with us. So, in the eyes of the world, following God is a huge risk, but in light of truth, indeed, “risk is right.”

Rest in Jesus

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 25 – A Total Transformation

Today’s Reading: Genesis 31-32

Throughout Jacob’s life he has sought to manipulate and deceive his way into getting what he wants.  From the birthright to his father’s blessing, to the acquiring of large flocks, to the stealing away in the middle of the night with his entire family and possessions, Jacob has had his hands in every situation. But in Genesis 32:24-32 Jacob meets God and is transformed in more ways than name. Continue reading

Chronological Bible Reading – January 24 – What Determines Your Present?

Today’s Reading: Genesis 25-30, 36 and 1 Chronicles 1:32-54

In Genesis 25 we see two nations born of the same womb.  Esau, the first-born twin, would be the beginning of the Edomites.  Jacob, born second, would be the one through whom Israel comes.  Knowing what God has declared about these brothers makes the story of their lives read like a daytime soap opera.  It is full of deceit, lies, and betrayal.  But through it all, God’s purposes are fulfilled.

There is a great teaching point found in Genesis 25:29-34.  Esau sells his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob, for a bowl of stew.  Though this seems like the stupidest exchange ever, we can learn something from this account.  Esau gives up his entire future to feed the present desires of his flesh.

Esau has a dismissive attitude toward his birthright.  So dismissive that he sells it for soup.  He does not grasp the significance of the future promise that has been made by God through the line of his grandfather Abraham.  Esau was the natural heir through which this promise would come, but it was not God’s plan. Esau’s present circumstance of hunger caused him to forsake his future as heir of promise.  This brings us to the reality that there are three ways we can approach our present circumstances.

Your Past Determines Your Present

For many, their past determines their present.  People find themselves bound by past mistakes, failures, or pains.  They cannot embrace the forgiveness, grace, and healing that God offers through Jesus Christ.

Your Present Determines Your Present

For others, their present determines their present.  They live for the moment alone.  They are consumed with pride, lust, and selfish gain.  their mindset is “feed me!” There is no consideration for how present decisions may affect the future.  Esau is a prime example of this mindset.

Your Future Determines Your Present

Instead of these first two approaches to our present circumstances, we should allow our future to determine our present.  this is the mindset of the Christ follower.  Our future holds an inheritance of being a joint heir with Jesus where we will receive heaven and the presence of our King.  Paul understood this reality in the face of a very difficult present when he declared,

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, – 2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV)

When people look at your life, what do they see determining your present?  Do they look at you and say, “all they’re living for is this earth” or do your priorities, and the way you live your life, lead them to say, “that person is living for heaven?”

Rest in Jesus,

Andy