Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - God’s Jubilee

Read: Job 40-42
I have to say that God sounds a lot like Elihu or vice versa. God uses the strength of Leviathan to show Job his power to compare it to Job’s frailty. Job repented of thinking he was innocent or worthy of God’s answer. Then God rebuked Eliphaz for all the friends and told him that they had not spoken right about Job. He defended Job’s words and told them to take a sacrifice to Job and offer it so that Job could pray for them. This must have been humbling to them. After Job prayed for his friends, God turned everything around for Job and gave him twice what he had lost. He got the same number of sons but also three beautiful daughters who got the same inheritance their brothers got. He lived to see four generations and died having lived a full life. This was jubilee for Job and this is what it looks like. What a story!
Jubilee happens every 50 years and is the time when inheritances go back to their original owner. You can read about it in Leviticus 25. This year is a jubilee year so everything we have lost is suppose to come back to us this year. We can expect great blessings in our finances and lives. This is the year of restoration. Many will be restored to God and to their families and friends. Lost relationships will be restored; inheritances restored. It is going to be a great year!
Lord, thank you for your seasons. We rejoice in the Jubilee of the Lord!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - God Answers

Read: Job 39-40:5
How would you like God to ask you questions about creation? I can’t imagine how humiliated and humbled Job must have felt. God gives us insights into nature that are mind-blowing. I love the way God gives life to his creation. He puts child-proof gates so the sea can’t escape its shore. He gives light and darkness a home. He stores up snow and hail as weapons for war and times of trouble. He lays out a path for the lightning to strike. Nothing is random with God. He births the dew and the frost in the morning and fathers the rain. He leads the stars across the sky like a mother bear leading her cubs. In the KJV in verse 32 it gives the name Mazzaroth which means the Zodiak. We always have a negative connotation of the Zodiak thinking it is New Age but it is Bible. To plan your future by it is New Age but it is Bible. God has laws for the universe because it is alive. He has different laws for us.
God calls the clouds: water jars and tilts them when the earth needs the water. God stalks the prey for the lion to eat. This gives a whole new meaning to the words of Paul to the Romans. He was explaining to them about God in Acts 17:28 and he said, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being…for we are his offspring.” Just like God stalks through the lion, he moves through us.
God takes Job to his heavenly zoo showing him the majesty of his creatures which all have specific lessons to teach us. Then the Lord asked Job if he still wanted to argue with him. Job put his hand over his mouth and said, No.
I know that there are times when we need to contend with God. Job got an encounter with the Lord he would have never gotten had he not contended with him. Jacob would never have gotten his name changed to Israel if he had not wrestled with God. The lady with the issue of blood would have remained unclean if she had not have reached out and touched the most clean vessel on earth. There are times to contend with God and he will answer. God answered Job and showed him awesome secrets of the universe that we now have. So, it is necessary to stand for what we believe and wait for God to answer.
Lord, help us to know when to contend with you and when to let go.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - God Does Have the Answer When We Don’t

Read: Job 35-39
Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good it is! Elihu should have read this before he spoke. He spoke some truth but he was out of season for Job. Elihu explained that man’s sin did not hurt God but it affected only people and the same goes for being righteous. But I have to disagree. Our sin does hurt God and his plan because God chooses to use men to work through. But, what we do doesn’t stop God’s plan because he will use someone else so in that sense, Elihu is right. Elihu also said that when the oppressed cry out that God doesn’t answer because of their pride. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says that “if” you humble yourself and cry out to God he will hear you.
Elihu was right to defend God and say that God is concerned about man and he will respond to sinners with anger. That is what judgment is all about. Elihu had some good things to say about God’s justice and care. God doesn’t take his eyes off the innocent. They will be exalted forever.
He comforted Job with this statement: “God is leading you away from danger, Job, to a place free from distress. He is setting your table with the best food.”
Job’s “friends” spent their hours trying to figure out why this happened to Job so he could fix it. All their conversation could have been constructive if they had not directed it at Job. They could have praised God together instead of using God to discipline Job.
We just came out of one of the most stressful weeks I have had in years. My youngest son finally got a job and we were moving him to a new town. The apartment we were suppose to be moving right into couldn’t get back his credit check so we wandered around like Joseph and Mary looking for a place to stay. We had to get a hotel with the hope of getting in first thing the next morning. That day came and went and the hotel had no rooms for the next night so we had to drive 30 miles to the next town to get a hotel. Did I mention we had a U-haul full of their belongings and two small children? Another day of looking and finally my son said, “we can’t find anything worth living in our price range so we’ll just have to go higher.” We did and found the most wonderful townhouse on the golf course. It is the nicest place they have ever had with neighbors that have done everything to help them fit in. God went way beyond our expectation and came through when we were at our wits end. On that last day, I had lost all hope and wondered where God was and what he was up to when I just felt the urge to start singing praises to him. He is worthy of praise no matter what we are going through. Within the hour, we had found our place. I’m not saying I had anything to do with it but singing helped me from leaping into the pool of despair. I kept thinking about Job and others that I know that are going through much harder things. God does care and he does have the answer.
Lord, thank you for all the times we are faithless and that you are faithful. Thank you that you don’t hold it against us but you love us unconditionally.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Elihu Strikes

Read: Job 32-34
Elihu was a much younger man who had been listening to the words of these men trying to learn from them. He had gotten more stirred up the more he listened. He was so mad at Job’s friends because they couldn’t convince Job of his sin, so he spewed out his opinion. He berated the other three by saying they weren’t wise just because they were old. He claimed that he was worthy to answer because the spirit of God in him was busting to get out. He berated Job for thinking God was picking a fight with him and that he was innocent. He went on to say that God had spoken to him but he refused to hear him, so God sent him dreams. He must not be paying attention to them.
Then Elihu went on to say that Job was full of arrogance and pride and that was why God was punishing Job. It sounds to me that Elihu was looking at himself in a mirror. He said that God has watched everything Job has done and has decided to judge and this is his judgment. He accused Job of rejecting God and talking wickedly. He concluded that Job deserved maximum penalty for his rebellion and disrespect for God.
Amazing to me….Elihu doesn’t get condemned by God in the end of the chapter.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - The Storms of Life

Read: Job 30-31
Job looked at what his life was at the present and was in anguish. He was a joke to people who used to look up to him and honor him. Now he lived in depression and hopelessness. He was in the middle of a storm and the storm was winning. He remembered how he wept for the poor and needy and looked for ways to help them. He made a decision not to look lustfully upon a woman. As he examined his past life he concluded these things: He has never been unfair with his servants and his business affairs. He has been kind to the orphan and never put his trust in money. He has never been happy when calamity hit his enemies. He has not tried to hide his sins or been afraid of the crowd and what they thought of his walk with God.
Job was a model for us to live by and that is why God chose him. We can look at the way Job lived his life and use him as our example. We don’t know why we face such opposition and trials except that trials make us strong and help us see how temporal and unimportant riches and popularity is. Our first love has got to be Jesus for us to be able to weather the storms up ahead and the ones we are in. God is the storm maker and the storm breaker. We can trust that he commands the winds to blow where ever he wants them to.
Lord help us to ride the waves of your storms with grace and trust.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - Father Knows Best

Read Job 26-29
Bildad gives his two cents about the power of God. He wonders how a mortal could be innocent before God when men are just maggots in comparison to God.
Job asks his friends whose spirit is speaking through them then gives us a awesome picture of God’s power through nature. He vows to never speak evil and to never agree with their assessment of his status and that his conscience is clear.
Job gives his definition of the wicked. He describes this man much like his friends do only he doesn’t put himself in that category. Then his asks the question of the day: where can wisdom be found? Definitely not in material or natural things. Wisdom is illusive and beyond cost. It is hidden from our natural eyes; those who have died have heard of the place and God for sure knows where it is found. To man, God says that wisdom is to fear Him. Understanding is gotten by departing from evil.
In Chapter 29, Job reminisces about how life used to be for him. He once walked with God’s favor, and had the respect of the young and the old. He once reached out to the poor and helped them, comforted the ones that mourned, walked clothed in righteousness. He was an adversary to the wicked and rescued those oppressed. His council was sought after and people listened to his every word.
How hard of a fall that had to have been for Job but he and heaven saw what Job was made out of. He never cursed God but took what he was given with grace. It was not that Job never complained because he did, he just never gave up on God and his trust in him. I pray that I would be so faithful.
Lord, help us to be faithful to your Word when it looks so contrary. Faith is the evidence of things not seen so help us to stand strong when we don’t see the desired result. Truly, you know best.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mon.’s Devo -God’s Refining Fire

Read: Job 22-25
Eliphaz accuses Job of thinking he is so pious and sinless when he is really full of sin. He gives Job a list of things he probably did, like oppressing a lender, refusing to help the poor, or sending away a needy widow. Eliphaz says that Job thinks God is so high in the heavens he doesn’t see or care about what happens down here on earth. His advise to Job is to submit to God and then God will turn things around for him. He tells him to give up his lust for money and pray for mercy.
Job responds that he would love to talk to God and present his case. He would love to hear God’s response because he would listen to him. But he knows that God has mapped out his path and he trusts in God’s wisdom for his life even if he doesn’t understand it. He does wonder why God doesn’t punish the wicked instead of him. He comes to the conclusion that God sees everything and will judge according to His plan and purpose.
We, like Job have lots of questions of why things happen the way they do. Why did Christians lose when the stock market fell in 08? Why do our cars break down or disaster strike? God has one plan and that is to conform us into the image of his Son so that we can be a helpmeet suitable for him. Everything we go through is to test us and refine us like gold. Gold has to go through the fire and so do we.
Lord, help us to trust you when we walk through the fire and not to waver or give up. The end will be glorious!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - The Accuser of the Brethren

Read: Job 19-21
Job gives us a good idea of the thought of the Old Testament and life with out grace and the cross. Job saw into a day when his redeemer would stand upon the earth. Job stood alone but maintained his faith in God.
He wished that his words were written down in pencil and ink and would be read for ever. Little did Job know that his words were written down and read for generations. Job believed in the resurrection and that one day he world stand before God.
Zophar gives his description of a wicked man. Each of Job’s friends think that life gives you what you deserve. If you are good then you will be blessed with great riches and prosperity and health. If you are wicked then your fate will be like Job’s. They have no other answer than it is Job’s fault and God is punishing him for his sin. They are acting like the accuser of the brethren. They don’t understand that trials come to make us strong and they are a God-appointed test given because God wants us to grow in knowledge and spiritual maturity.
Job has his rebuttal and he tells them when he is finished they can “mock on”. KJV Lol. Job tries to show them that their doctrine is wrong. They can look at the wicked and see many that prosper and have healthy families. Even if they say that God will punish the next generation for their sin, he should punish the ones who sin. But, Job concludes, who can tell God how he should raise his children? The poor and the rich are the same in death. Both will be buried and eaten by the worms. Job concludes that all their explanations are lies.
Lord, help us not to be found accusing the brethren. It is not our business what others are doing or how you are disciplining them. Help us to love and forgive and leave the disciplining to you.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Grace Vs. Law

Read: Job 15-18
Eliphaz attacks Job accusing him of being a know-it-all. He mocks him asking him if he has heard the secrets of God and is keeping all of it to himself. He wonders how a mortal man such as Job can claim to be clean before a holy God. This is the argument of grace and law. By the law, Eliphaz is right but Job is seeing into the concept of grace way before his time.
Job calls them miserable comforters and wonders where they got all their material. If he was in their place, he would encourage them and help them bear their grief. He maintains his thought that God has turned him over to this trial.
Bidad speaks up and defends himself and his friends. He wonders how long Job is going to hold to his doctrine and not listen to their wisdom. Bildad gives a description of the wicked man hoping Job will see himself. He thinks that what Job is experiencing is his own fault. He concludes that this man does not know God.
It is a dangerous thing to judge another’s salvation no matter what their life looks like. Job’s life looked like he was living under a curse, but he wasn’t. God has given us the spirit of discernment to know the difference between good and evil and the devil and God. If Job’s friends had possessed this gift they would have kept their mouth’s shut. That is always what we should do when we don’t know the answer. Speculating is not God. God is exact and perfect. Sometimes his purposes are hidden from us but they will be revealed if we ask and wait. Sometimes it takes years to see the “whys” of what happened. But, we can trust in a loving, and perfect God.
Lord, thank you for your perfect ways. Grant us discernment and put a watch over our mouths that we only speak your words.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Job’s Defense

Read: Job 12-14
Job defends his opinion and proves that he has a vast understanding of God’s ways. He says some statements that are worth contemplating. One is in 12:10 and 16. God’s hand is on every living soul and the deceived and the deceiver are his. I have to remind myself this when I think that God is on my side against one of his children. We are all his and he cares for all of us. Job truly saw how God was over all the earth and everything is under his approval and command.
Job called his “friends” forgers of lies and physicians of no value. He told them they would be wise to just stop talking. They were not giving the wisdom of God. (I think I would have left if I had been one of those friends, but they didn’t.)
We need to have the tenacity of Job when we are dealing with the devil. He can accuse us all he wants, but the truth is Jesus has made us righteous and has erased all our sin and shame. We can talk like Job did and God will stand behind us like he did for Job in the end. Job’s friends brought condemnation and reproof when they should have brought love and hope.
Lord, Your power is sovereign over all the earth. Thank you for your great grace.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

Read: Job 8-11
Bildad has his say. His name means “confusing love” and he is from Shuah which means “the pit”. He says that God does not twist what it right so Job’s children must have sinned and they got what they deserved. That sounds like confused love from the pit to me. He does give him hope for the future if he will humble himself before God and ask for his favor once again.
Job answers that he knows what Bildad is saying in principle but sometimes principle is not what is happening. He claims that no one is innocent compared to God; he is sovereign. We have all sinned so who can stand before Him? Job holds to the fact that God has done this to him and not his sin. He concludes that God destroys both the blameless and the wicked. Job sees God as merciless and himself as unclean so he doesn’t see the use of trying to plead his cause. What Job needs, he concludes, is a mediator. The mediator would bring us to God and bridge the gap. He would bring mercy and relief. He would take the fear of approaching God away. Jesus is our mediator who fulfilled everything Job prayed.
While Job expresses his hopelessness, Zophar has been preparing his rebuttal. He accuses Job of talking the talk but he is wondering if he walked the walk. He claims that Job has his head in the clouds and that he deserves even worse than what he is getting. Now, that’s what I call encouragement! He calls Job to repent and turn from his sins.
I can’t help but think of the scripture that says the way you judge others is the way you will be judged (Matt. 7:2). Job’s friends are in for some tough judgment.
Lord, help us not to be like Job’s friends who exalt knowledge over mercy and wisdom. Help us to be listeners of the Holy Spirit and wait for his words before we speak. Thank you that we have a mediator, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who bridge the gap between us and a holy God.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Job Needs a Friend

Read Job 5-7
Eliphaz continues his response to Job. He implies that Job must be foolish because it is the fool who is successful for a moment then loses everything in sudden disaster. It is the fools whose children are defenseless and possessions unguarded. Then he tells him to consider it joy that he is being corrected by God. (He sounds like James.) He goes on to say that when you sin, God will discipline you so Job should repent and let God finish his work. Eliphaz’s statements were true, just not true about Job.
Job counters his speech standing on the truth that God struck him down, not his sin. Job realizes that his friends are afraid because they don’t have an answer. Maybe they are afraid that since it happened to Job, who was believed to be so upright, it could happen to them. If they can somehow make it Job’s fault then they will be safe. If it is the sovereignty of God, then they could experience the same fate.
Job just wants to express his anguish. He begs his friends to just leave him alone. He does not want their opinions about why, he just needed their company and understanding.
Job is a good reminder to me that I don’t always have the answer and that is okay. Sometimes people just need a hug and the assurance that you will always love them and be there when they need you. We don’t always know what God is up to and why he answers quickly or answers slowly. His ways are so much higher than our ways and his thoughts than our thoughts.
Lord, help us to rest in your loving arms and help others climb into your lap of love. Help us to bring comfort to the hurting and be a true friend.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Sons of God

Read: Job 1-4
I refer back to this first chapter in Job so many times. It is a mystery to me. Job, whose name means “hated; persecuted” lived in the land of Uz which means “counsel”. Job was loved, respected and blessed until God offered him in a heavenly contest he was totally unaware of. That was part of the test. Job passed it with flying colors in spite of his wife and friends and common sense. Faith defies everything that is natural.
God had a meeting with his hosts of heaven that he called his sons. The word used for son is “ben” which is the same Hebrew word used for Job’s natural sons. I always think of God having only one son, Jesus, but he had many. Jesus was the only “begotten” son who was exalted to sit on God’s right hand. “Sons of God” can be both angelic or demonic (Gen. 6). In Job, Satan comes with the sons of God. I believe he was a son like Cain, Absalom and Esau who rebelled and wanted the place of honor that was not appointed to be theirs. This story also shows us that Satan had access to the throne of God but is under God’s authority and restraint. God took down his hedge of protection from Job and gave Satan the power to vex Job but not kill him. Satan is merciless and took everything Job had except his wife and three hopeless friends. They were part of his strategy.
Job’s friends sat with him for a week and didn’t say a thing. They should have remained silent. Job was the first to break the silence. He cursed the day he was born. He informs us that the dead are in prison, resting together. He talks about death having light and life and gladness. Interesting insight.
Eliphaz is the oldest and the first to speak. He has been rehearsing his opinion for a week and is ready to fire his arsenal. He agrees with the general thought of the day: if you do good, then you will be blessed; if you don’t then evil and calamity will come to you. Since Job has had unprecedented calamity, he concludes that it must be his pride. He claims to have had a vision where God asked him, “Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? He is referring to Job in a passive way.
Lord, help us to see the subtle tricks of the enemy. Give us discernment to know your voice. Thank you that we are one of your sons.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - The Cross

Read: Gen. 47:28-Gen. 50
I love the blessing of Jacob on his grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh as the birthright, should have gotten the greater blessing and Jacob’s right hand but Jacob purposely crossed his arms to give Ephraim the greatest blessing and his right hand. When Jacob did this he made the sign of the cross with this arms. Manasseh’s name means “causing to forget” and Ephraim’s name means “double fruitfulness”. What he was saying was that the cross will make your fruit and your blessing so great that it will cause you to forget the trials of your life before Him. Fruit cannot be measured by monetary means, fruit is godly character that is developed over your years of walking with Him.
After blessing Joseph’s children, Jacob called in all of his sons and gave them a specific blessing. Joseph got the blessing of the remnant - the one that was “separate from his brethren”. He is to be a fruitful bough by a well whose branches run over the wall. That is a person whose love and kindness is fueled by the Holy Spirit and whose influence reaches past the church into the world. The archers are the enemies’ darts that vex us but our hands are strengthened by the Lord. We are blessed in the spirit and in the deep hidden things of God. Our children both spiritual and natural are blessed. We walk in all the blessings of God.
You see the love the Egyptians had for Joseph when you see how they responded to the death of his father. They mourned 70 days then traveled all the way to the land of Canaan to be buried with Abraham and the other patriarchs. It was important to be buried with your family because that would be where they would await Jesus’ release. They called the underground kingdom Hades or sh’owl. The definition is “the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates”. It is also called the grave, hell or the pit. Joseph made arrangements to have his bones carried there when they returned to live there. Joshua would be the one who would carry his bones into the Promised Land.
Lord, thank you that the cross did away with death and the grave. Your salvation causes us to forget our past and live in Your future glory.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - God’s Safe Haven

Read: Gen. 45:16-47:27
I can’t imagine what went through the minds of Joseph’s brothers when he revealed his true identity to them. Shock, quickly turning to guilt over what they had done, quickly turning to fear of what he might do to them. Joseph had now been the ruler for nine years so he had won the love and respect of all the officers and the whole kingdom. God placed him over all Egypt so that he could protect a small Jewish family of 70. God is always looking for the remnant. He will do anything that needs to be done to protect her. God had prepared the best land of Egypt for his little bride. It would be protected from the false gods of Egypt. She would be fed bread in a time where there was very little bread and she would prosper when everyone else was having to sell all they had to live. Their safe haven was called Goshen which means “drawing near”. That is what we do in our secret place - we draw near to God. It is usually trials and tribulations that make this place so sacred.
This is a picture of the end times. Jesus said it this way, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Jesus went ahead of us into death and into glory to prepare a place for us. We can live in that glory here on earth if we learn to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth.
I wrote on January first that this was to be a landmark year and things would happen that we would mark on our calendar. Ours happened on January 8th. My youngest son, Daniel, had been out of work for two and a half years. He had tried selling insurance and some other non-profitable things and I would fall on my face and plead with God for relief and help. It finally came. He got the job that is not just a job; it is his calling. He will be coaching and teaching at a little one-A school in New Roads, Louisiana. He and his wife need a “new road” to travel on. It will be their Goshen. We couldn’t be more thankful and excited for them. The money is not much, but it is enough and it is never about the money. It is about the calling and the purpose of God. It was the same for Joseph. He learned like Paul to be exalted and to be abased and the only thing that was important was God’s plan.
Lord, your ways and your timing is all for the highest purpose. Thank you for keeping us in your divine plan.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sat.’s Devo- Trusting God Through the Unknowns

Read: Gen. 42-45:15
The famine caused Jacob to send his sons to Egypt where Joseph saw them for the first time after all he had gone through. Joseph was in a good place now and had no animosity but he needed to see if they had changed. He put them through a series of tests and in a small way they were able to experience what he had gone through for years - fellowship in his sufferings. Like Joseph, they were accused of a crime they didn’t commit. They were not spies and Joseph was innocent in the affair with Potipher’s wife. They were put in prison for only 3 days where Joseph probably spent over 3 years in prisons. Simeon had to learn his lesson a little longer.
Years of watching their father mourn for Joseph had changed the hearts of his sons. Instead of being jealous of Benjamin, Judah is willing to lay down his life for him. Jacob had to learn to let go of all his children and give them to God.
When Joseph saw his brothers he had them escorted into he palace where a feast awaited them and they were to be reconciled with Simeon. They were terrified because they thought they are about to be made slaves. I can’t help but relate this to our Christian lives. God has prepared this wonderful life for us and we are terrified of the unknown.
The first thing the sons did was to start confessing their sins. The manager of the kingdom (which is a type of the Holy Spirit) told them not to worry, it had nothing to do with money or their sins - it had to do with the goodness and the kindness of their saviour, Joseph, who is the type of Jesus.
There are so many times in this story where the sons are totally baffled at the situation, not knowing that it is all going to turn out for their absolute best. How true this is in our lives.
Their reaction to seeing Joseph and hearing his heart has to be the same reaction that a Jew has when he realizes that Jesus is the Messiah. Hopefully, it will be on this side of eternity.
Lord, thank you for this reminder that with you, it is always a happy ending. You are working all things for our good.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - The Perfect Timing of the Lord

Read: Gen. 40-41
Joseph was in prison in Egypt. The Pharaoh must have heard a rumor that someone was going to try to poison him and narrowed it down to his cup bearer and his baker. They were the ones that would be able to make that happen so they were both thrown in prison while the threat was being investigated. They were put under Joseph’s charge by God’s design.
They both had disturbing dreams on the same night and Joseph was the only one who had the spirit of God and would be able to interpret them right. He did. Their dreams revealed who was innocent and who was not. They are pictures of judgment. Both are rewarded for their service to the king. One is condemned and the other is exalted. This all happened on the king’s birthday. Judgement day will happen on the Day of Atonement which is the birthday of the world.
Joseph was forgotten about for another two years. (God does not mind having us wait.) Then at the right time, Pharaoh had a dream and the cup-bearer remembered Joseph. He was brought out of prison, he interpreted the dream and was exalted to second in command to the Pharaoh. For two thousand years after Jesus death, he remains in heaven. He will come back to earth and every knee will bow to Jesus. He is coming back soon.
Joseph was given a Gentile bride and had offspring from her. Jesus is coming for a bride from every tribe, tongue and nation. Joseph’s two sons names mean: “causing to forget” and “fruitful”. Jesus will cause us to forget all our suffering and bless us with fruitfulness.
The story of Joseph reminds me that our suffering may seem to last forever but sometimes we are just being reserved for the right time when he can use our specific gifts and flavor. He will not forget us. We will reap our harvest if we faint not! (Galatians 6:9)
Lord, help us to serve you with expectation and joy. Our time is in your hands.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - The Bigger Picture

Read: Gen. 37-39; 1 Chon. 2:3-8
Today we begin reading about Joseph’s life. It is one of my favorite stories. Joseph’s life is a type of Christ. Joseph had signs that he would one day rule the nations. Jesus had signs and prophesies to tell him the same. Joseph was hated by his own brothers and Jesus was hated by his brothers, the Jews. Joseph was misunderstood and refused to sin against his master. Jesus was sinless and chose to follow God’s plan. Joseph in the pit was a picture of Jesus’s death on the cross. Joseph was taken to a distant land to prepare salvation for his family. Jesus has gone to a distant land and he is preparing a place for us.
In the middle of the story of Joseph we have the story of Tamar. Tamar means “a palm tree”. A palm tree is a flexible tree that can weather huge wind storms because it can bend almost to the ground and then pop back up. It’s fruit is safe at the top of the tree. Tamar was like that. Her first husband was so wicked, the Lord slew him; her second husband refused to get her pregnant and Shelah, the man that was to be her third husband was kept from her. They thought she was the curse. She wasn’t. She had to use trickery to get her inheritance that was due her. She had two sons by Judah whose names meant “breaking out” and “scarlet; brightness”. So what is this story doing in the Bible? Jesus came from this line. Shelah went on to have two sons, but God chose Tamar’s line to bring Jesus into the world. It seems like the ones who have to fight the most for their inheritance are the ones that God uses the most. This life is a struggle, but we are part of the eternal book of God that many after us will read and be grateful of our sacrifice.
Lord, help us to see the bigger picture and not be discouraged in our setbacks and struggles.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Our Legacy

Read: Gen. 36; 1 Chron. 1:35-34-2:2
True to prophecy, Esau and Jacob were both blessed with children and wealth. Esau stood for the unholy line and Jacob the righteous line. You might recognize some of the names of Esau’s line like Amalek. Amal means perverse. His descendants, the Amalekites were the people who met Moses and the children of Israel when they were escaping Egypt. They fought a battle and Aaron and Hur held the hands of Moses up so they could win the victory. God later told Saul to kill all of them and not let one live. Saul disobeyed and let the king live (1 Samuel 15) which made the Lord angry and he cut off his kingdom.
Another name you might recognize is Timna which was Amalek’s mother and Lotan’s sister. A town was named after her which means “thou will behold”. This would be the place in Genesis 38 where Tamar chose to deceive Judah into having a child to carry on her husband’s name. It would also be the place Samson saw a woman who caught his eye and he wanted. Interestingly, Joshua asked for this land when they were dividing the land and built a city there. When he died, he was buried here (Joshua 19:49-50).
All of Ishamael’s sons were called dukes where all of Israel’s sons were called sons and leaders.
What we bring to life on this earth is our legacy and our inheritance. How we live our lives affects these people in a powerful way. We can open doors of sin that they will have to carry or deal with or we can open doors of heaven that they can walk in and have access to. What we do does matter. We might not be significant to the masses but we can establish a foundation that others behind us can stand on and be significant to the masses. No matter what we become on earth, what we become in heaven is so much more important. They are watching and evaluating how we live. Hebrews 12:1.
Lord, let us live our lives in a way that we point our families and others to You.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Big Picture

Read: Gen. 32-35
The Bible is the history of the world; it is God’s history of his people. God throws out bread crumbs to give us hints about what he is talking about below the surface. Today we have a big crumb. The meeting of Esau and Jacob was a clash of kingdoms which is why Jacob took it so seriously and Esau was his usual nonchalant self. Jacob had to win the battle the day before the event because that is the way it is in the kingdom. We fight our fears before the event then we face it totally worn out and depleted and God goes before us and makes our way smooth. That is what he did for Jacob. Once they met and Esau wasn’t mad at him, Esau tried repeatedly to help Jacob or lead him and he refused. Esau turned and went back home and Jacob traveled to Succoth which means booths. Succoth will be the place Moses will spend the first night after leaving Egypt during the Exodus. Booths are what are to be set up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast represents our ever abiding place in the Lord and also our Kingdom rest in the end of time. The next place Jacob came to was Shalem which is a city in Shechem. It was the early name of Jerusalem. The Holy Jerusalem is our goal.
So, we can go back and see that Jacob’s struggle with the angel was a picture of Yom Kippor or Jacob’s Trouble. Yom Kippor is the ten days between Feast of Trumpets, when Jesus comes for his bride, and Feast of Tabernacles, when God sets up his Kingdom. This will be the Great Tribulation. We are in birth pains which its purpose is to bring in the harvest. The time of Great Tribulation will be the same. The Jews believe that the gates of heaven are opened at the Feast of Trumpets and closed at the Feast of Tabernacles. The time in between is for those who haven’t decided whether they are going to enter in to make that decision.
The story about Dinah reminds me of the story of Samson. God didn’t want Jacob to make a treaty with the people of Shechem so drastic things had to happen. It doesn’t seem fair to Dinah to be the sacrifice but I don’t claim to know the mysterious ways of God. He works through people who are many times hard to get to. Simeon and Levi were saving their dad from making a treaty with the enemy and were also bringing justice for their sister’s abuse.
God called Jacob back to his roots when he told him to go to Beth-el and live there. This is where Jacob had his salvation experience and he needed a little reminder. He cleaned up the idolatry in his household and God changed his name to Israel which means “he will rule as God.” What a picture of the new kingdom. All sin will be done away with and we will rule with Christ! It is hard for us to grasp but we are to rule as God on the earth. He gave it to us to steward and take dominion.
Rachel died bringing forth Benjamin. She was buried in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. When Benjamin was brought forth it was the birth of the Church.
Lord, you really do put eternity in the mind of every person (Ecc. 3:11). Remind us of the big picture when we become too bogged down with the little one.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - We Become What We Behold

Read: Gen. 30:25-31
After the birth of Joseph, Jacob was ready to go back to his people. In the timeline of what period each son represents, Joseph represents the time of Christ. Everything about his life represents Jesus. This is the greatest event for the Jews and they need to be in their land. All Jacob asked for was his wives, children and the speckled and spotted, and the brown sheep and goats. Laban agreed and went himself and divided Jacob’s cattle from his and sent them to a different field. Then Jacob did an amazing thing. He placed reeds that looked speckled and spotted in the feeding trough and where the strong ones mated so they would produce what they looked at. This is such an important concept. You become what you behold. If we spend our meal times reading the Word and fellowshipping with the Lord and others that are like minded or in witnessing to those who aren’t, then we will become godly. If we spend our time reading the latest People magazine or gossiping about others, we will become like the people we talk about. It is a godly principle. If we eat junk we will be unhealthy and the same goes with our spiritual life. We have to be eating, thinking, talking about Jesus. That is the way to prosper.
Laban changed Jacob’s wages when he saw he was losing his own cattle to Jacob. It was finally time for Jacob to leave and the only way he felt he could accomplish that without a war would be to flee. His wives agreed so he packed his belongings and left. We see what kind of man he was when we hear what his own daughters said about him. Their inheritance status had been spent on Laban’s lust so they had nothing to lose. The sad part was that Rachel wanted her father’s images. It ended up costing her her life, I believe.
Lord, help us to see that all we have is the result of Your blessing on our lives. Our wealth is not in gold or silver but in You and our family. Give us the desire to behold You more.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sat.’s Devo. It is All About Making the Right Choices

Read Gen. 25:27-34 - Gen 28:5
The Bible says that Esau was hated of God because he despised his birthright. Jacob was loved of God because he passionately pursued the birthright. Jacob’s name means “heel-catcher” which was something prophesied in the Garden that Jesus would do to the devil. Esau was wicked and stood for the unrighteous line - those not chosen. He gave up the eternal (his birthright) for the temporal (bowl of soup). Jacob was chosen. I don’t even try to understand this, I just have to believe it by faith.
I do reflect on Esau’s decision to sell his birthright for a pot of soup and it seems so trivial of Esau. But then, I wonder how many times we trade a deep treasure of God for something as trivial as a growling stomach. How many times have I chosen to turn on the TV instead of listening for the voice of God? It cost Esau so much…. I wonder what it is costing me.
It is easy to watch someone’s life from the bleachers and see things clearly. Did Isaac not know the stories of how Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister and how it went? He somehow couldn’t carry on the lesson to his life. He repeated the sins of his father.
When God says he is going to bless you, he means it. Isaac harvested one hundred times what he planted! That is phenomenal! He became so rich he intimidated the king who told him to leave. Then he comes to him and makes a covenant with him to secure his people so Isaac will never turn on them. Isaac consents and they stop fighting over wells. This is a picture of the harvest at the end. The harvest will be so plentiful it will intimidate the ungodly rulers of the earth.
Esau might have despised his birthright but he wanted the blessing. He might not have wanted the responsibility of the first born but he wanted all the freebies. Rebekah made sure Jacob got it all then she helped him escape. She was playing the role of the Holy Spirit in this story. I would have to believe Rebekah and Jacob were very close so this had to be hard on both of them.
Lord, help us to choose You over all else. We want to be a part of the harvest.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Choose the Best

Read Gen. 25:1-4; 1 Chron. 1:32-33; Gen 25:5-6; 1 Chron. 1:28-31, 34; Gen 25:19-26; Gen 25:7-11
Today we have the genealogies of Abraham’s two sons Ishmael and Isaac. Both had descendants that had 12 sons that became princes or tribal leaders. Ishmael moved east but Isaac settled near Beer-lahai-roi where God spoke to Hagar. As you know, I put a lot of weight in the meaning of names. I studied the names of the sons of Jacob and found that their names and their descendants describe the whole history of time. Benjamin is the picture of the Gentile nation. So, I would have to believe Ishmael’s sons described the history of the people not of the covenant. I haven’t studied it enough to prove it, but that is my theory.
Isaac had two sons Esau and Jacob. They were twins with Esau being the first to exit the womb and Jacob holding on to his heel. There was a struggle in Rebekah’s womb so I’m guessing they were fighting over which would be the first born. I’m going to theorize again and say that I bet Jacob was suppose to be first and Esau beat him because Jacob spent his life trying to get that position back.
Abraham died at the age of 175 having lived a satisfying life and was buried with Sarah.
Lord, may Abraham’s epitaph be ours. May we live a life that is satisfying to You.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Wells, Caves, Fields and Sacrifices

Read: Gen. 21:8-24
Every detail of the Bible is significant. Today we read about several wells of water. Hagar and Ishmael’s life was spared at a well of water. Abraham went to Abimelech to restore a well that was their’s. He sealed his ownership with seven lambs. Abraham’s servant met Isaac’s wife by a well. These were all wells with water in them. Not all the wells were filled with water. There were many dry wells. We are wells, and the water that is suppose to be springing up in us is the Holy Spirit. It brings life, restores our possessions and brings us to our bridegroom.
I was reminded that Laban was Rebekah’s brother. He will have a daughter, Rachael that will marry Rebekah’s son, Jacob in a few chapters.
We also read about a cave that Abraham bought to bury Sarah. A cave is the picture of something hidden. In death we are hidden from people on the earth but we are totally alive. He also bought the field. God bought the field when he sent Jesus to die for the world. The field is humanity that is lost. That is where Jesus told us to go out and reap in the field. It is white and ready to be harvested.
In the middle of the caves, wells and fields we have the clear picture of the crucifixion. Abraham is told to sacrifice his only son, the promise. He obeys, God produces the ram and Isaac goes free. God produced a perfect ram for us, Jesus and we like Isaac can go free.
Lord, thank you for all the pictures in your Word of great eternal truths.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - God’s Timing is Always Perfect!

Read: Gen 18-21:7
I wonder what Eliezer thought about Abram having sons and taking his inheritance? Eliezer’s name means “God is help”. He is such a great picture of the Helper, the Holy Spirit. He didn’t seem to be jealous that he didn’t receive the inheritance. He was the same Eliezer that Abraham sent to find a wife for Isaac. He prayed that God would send him to the right woman. He honored his master and his master’s son like family. That is just what the Holy Spirit does in the trinity. He honors the Father and the Son and does whatever they need done.
In the covenant that God made with Abraham he used every type of sacrifice that the Old Testament uses to represent Jesus. The priest offered the heifer and the poorest offered the pigeon. God gave Abram the future of his descendants for the next 400 years.
It seems like one of our greatest struggles in walking with God is waiting for his timing. Sarah couldn’t wait so she produced Ishmael through Hagar. I wonder how many “Ishmael’s” I have produced in my haste to perform God’s Word. Patience is a hard lesson to learn, and learn, and learn.
No matter how they dishonored God and got ahead of his timing, God still chose to use Abram and appeared to him again and this time upped the ante. Instead of making him a father of a nation he covenanted to make him the father of many nations. He also gave him a name-change to Abraham. So, now every time anyone said his name they were confirming with their mouths Abraham’s destiny. God also gave him a visible sign of circumcision. On that very day, Abraham circumcised his whole household.
Sarai got a new name also: Sarah. Her name now means “princess” because she was royalty. She would also have a son. God closed the womb of Abimelech’s family to protect Sarah from becoming another of his wives when Abraham wouldn’t protect her. The funny thing is, Abraham left 1,000 pieces of silver richer.
Finally, God visited Sarah and she had her son when Abraham was 100 years old.
Lord, with you nothing is impossible!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - God Never Forgets His Promises

Read: Gen. 15-17
God promised to bless Abram’s seed as the number of the stars of heaven. He was told to take a heifer, a goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon for a sacrifice to seal the covenant. All these animals would be animals used in the sacrifices of the tabernacle and the temple. God laid out the next 400 years and then some for him. He told him who would be their enemies and the happy ending.
Sarai got tired of waiting on the Lord and gave Hagar to Abraham. She became pregnant which made Sarai hate Hagar and treat her so badly she fled. God found Hagar by a fountain. A fountain is a picture of living water bubbling up like the Holy Spirit did on Pentecost. God spoke to her from this fountain and told her to return and submit to Sarai. He also told Hagar what kind of man Ishmael would be. He would be wild and mean with many enemies. Ishmael means “God will hear”. Hagar rejoiced because God saw her in her affliction. The well of living water was called Beer-lahai-roi which means “well of the living One”. It was between Kadesh and Bered. Which interprets “it was between heaven and hell.”
God met with Abram again and changed his name to Abraham which means he is not just a father of one nation but many. Then he told him that the covenant he was making with Abraham would come from Sarai. Sarai got a name change to Sarah which means “princess” or “mother of nations”. Her son’s name would be Isaac which means “laughter” but in the sense of a mockery. He was a mockery to unbelief. God’s will would be done in spite of age, or what seemed to be bad timing. God’s timing is alway the right timing. God gave Abraham the commandment to circumcise every male in his household. This is the sign of salvation- the blood.
Lord, help our unbelief when we think it is too late and You have forgotten us. Help us to remember Abraham.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - From Babel to Melchizedek

Read: Gen. 11-14
The men of Babel wanted to build a tower and a city that would be the tallest tower and the best city ever. They wanted it to reach to heaven. They were wanting to make a man-made way to heaven which only Jesus can provide. So God came down and showed them the meaning of Babel. He confused their languages and they could no longer work together as one. They eventually left their project and moved away. Filling the earth was God’s plan from the beginning.
God called Abram to leave his home land to go to a place he had never been. He took his nephew, Lot and his wife Sarai. God is not against family being together but he is about us seeing the world as the family of God and being obedient to the call he gives us.
Abram pleased God by obeying but failed in trusting God about Sarai. He tried to protect himself by making her tell everyone she was his sister. It wasn’t a total lie because they had the same father.
When Lot’s herdsmen and Abram’s herdsmen couldn’t get along, Abram gave Lot his choice of the land. Lot chose the land that was watered like Eden but wicked as hell. After Lot left, God gave Abram all the land, even Lot’s and told him that his seed would cover the earth like dust.
Abram when to Hebron which he would later buy as the family burial ground for his family.
Chapter 14 seems like a chapter out of place. There was a huge clash of demonic kingdoms and because Lot was living in one of the kingdoms, Abram had to get involved. Lot and his city was taken captive so Abram and his men went and retrieved him, his people and their goods. They also left with great spoil which Abram gave a tithe to to Melchizedek.
Lord, give us patience to wait on You and Your best.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Noah

Read: Gen 7-10; 1 Chron. 1:17-23
Noah was born around 1,000 years after Adam. The earth was destroyed because of the event that happened in Genesis 6:1-8. The demons seized and carried away the beautiful virgins on the earth and had offspring with them. These offspring were half demonic/ half human and had supernatural powers with only evil in their hearts. God found Noah whose bloodline had not been tainted and chose him to bring deliverance through. Matt. 24:34 and Luke 17:26-27 say that Jesus will return in a time like Noah’s. Men will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. We will see this happen again before Jesus returns.
It took Noah over one hundred years to build the ark because of the long-suffering of the Lord (1 Peter 3:20). Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5) and saw no conversions except his own family. Noah was a picture of the church that goes through the tribulation floating safely on the surface. Noah’s name means “rest”. He is the rest Hebrews promises that we can abide in. The ark landed on Ararat which means “the curse reversed”. He walked out of the ark, made a sacrifice of the animals God told him to bring 7 of, then began to repopulate the earth. But things were different. Man was still born in sin and bent on rebellion. Ham dishonored Noah and his son, Canaan was cursed. Think about that! Our actions effect our next generations.
I love genealogies so let’s look at Ham’s. His son was Cush which means “black: terror”. Cush’s son was Nimrod which means “we will rebel”. He was the greatest hunter in the world and built the kingdom of Babel or Babylon which means “confusion”. The people join together to build the tower of Babel. They were trying to open a portal to heaven and enter in without going through the “door” of Jesus. They would have succeeded had not God stopped them. God has power over the demonic realm and it is subject to his command.
Lord, it is comforting to know that nothing goes unnoticed by You in the earth. You watch over Your word to perform it and nothing You say in your Word will return void but it will accomplish what it is set out to do.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - A Bride

Read: Gen. 3-5; 1 Chron. 1:1-4; Gen. 6:
Did you think about my question yesterday? I asked that same question a while ago and decided that I didn’t know the answer but was sure that God would have established the answer in the beginning, so I went back to Genesis and pondered creation. Since I understand how God teaches in stories and types and shadows I saw that the first Adam was a shadow of Jesus (Romans 5:14). Adam looked around earth and realized that there was no bride for him just as Jesus must have looked around heaven and saw no suitable bride. God put Adam asleep and produced Eve from his side. Jesus was nailed to the cross and when that spear pierced his side, the body of Christ poured forth of water and blood (spirit and life). The Bible starts with Adam finding his wife and ends with Jesus finding his. Jesus first miracle was at a wedding where he took 6 (number of man) earthen vessels and turned their water to wine. Jesus came to take man and change his spirit to eternal life. So I believe that God created the world to find a suitable bride for his son and we have the opportunity to become that bride.
Jesus has always had power over sin and the devil which is why when Eve ate the apple it only affected her, but when Adam chose to eat the apple it was Jesus choosing to go to the cross and die for his bride.
Today we read about Eve’s offspring. She had two sons, one she talks about as being from the Lord - Cain and the other just being his brother, Abel. I believe they were twins but this one thing I do know to be true - one stood for evil and the other stood for good. In the Old Testament stories were to teach us Biblical truths. One of them is that the first born stands for our first nature. We are born into sin as Cain. The second born stands for our rebirth in the spirit. Abel was a type of Jesus in that he offered the acceptable sacrifice that spoke from the ground even after he died. Cain was a type of Satan who tried to kill Abel like he did Jesus.
I used to think that early man was like the cave men who had to learn how to make the wheel but these early men were using almost 100% of their brain so they were making organs and flutes and forging metal and making who-knows-what. It all changed after the flood.
Notice also that Seth was made in the image of Adam. His name means “substituted”. He was substituted for Abel. We are the substitute for Jesus. We are walking, talking, loving, giving in his name for his glory to carry on his name. His son was Enos which means “mortal man”.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Fri.'s Devo - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! "Mark This Year"

If you have followed me for a while, you know that every year I ask God for a word for that year. You can go back and read what I said about last year. It proved so right in my life. My word for this year is “mark”. This year I’m going to use the New Living Translation and as I was reading through today’s reading that word leapt off the page. “And evening passed and morning came, marking the ____ day.” I don’t know about you, but this year was to be the year of “turn around” for the body of Christ. It was a long year of waiting for God to do what He promised He would do. It was a year of growing in patience and faith. I feel like next year is going to be a year we are going to mark in our mental calendar as a year we come out of the night into the day. People are going to see their destiny unfold and things that have been hidden in God’s will are going to be manifested on the earth. Faith is going to be made sight. People that have walked in darkness are going to come into the light and those God has marked as His are going to come into the kingdom.
In Genesis 1:14, God said, “let there be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.” We are going to see more signs and prophesies fulfilled that will mark the season we are in. We are definitely in the last day…but the last day will last one thousand years so let’s live like we are going to be here for a long time keeping our eyes toward heaven. I also believe that the book of Mark is going to be highlighted this year.
Thank you for all of you who are joining me in another year through the Word. I’m going to be using the One Year Chronological Bible NLT. I would suggest buying one because the passages switch around so much it would make it much easier to just be able to read it from a book. I look forward to seeing what the Holy Spirit has to teach us. Feel free to comment.
Thurs.’s Devo - Creation
Read: Gen. 1:1-3:24
A book could be written about what we just read so I will try to highlight what stood out to me. The first thing God did was to turn the light on in a place where darkness had ruled. Then he separated the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth. Waters represent spirit and the separation was the skies. The earth has three levels the seas (below the earth), the earth, and the skies. The seas represent the demonic kingdom under the earth. Revelation 21:1 says that when God creates the new heaven and new earth the seas will be no more. God will one day do away with that demonic kingdom. The next kingdom is the earthly kingdom which is where we walk and live. It is the place where seeds are planted and grow into plants and trees. We are to rule the other two kingdoms from the earth. It is the place of life and salvation. The skies are a picture of the heavenly kingdom where God determines when things will happen. God rules from here like the sun that is always present even though we can’t always see it. That is where the moon reigns which is a picture of the church. It is always there but we only see it when it reflects the sun. The church is only evident on the earth when we reflect God’s glory. The stars are the saints that shine when they reflect the glory of God.
Notice, when it talks about the seeds and the fish they can only produce after their kind. If we are chosen we will always be chosen. We which are good should produce good and those that are evil will only produce evil.
The days correspond with their millennium. We are in the 6th day, the 6,000th years so we can look at day six and see what it says about our millennium. On the 6th day, man was made in God’s image and was given dominion over everything God had made: the fish in the sea (every demon), the birds in the sky (every angel), and all the animals that scurry along the ground. Animals are living attributes of good and evil. For example, you can see love personified in a family golden retriever and you can see fierce hatred in a rabid wild dog. We are to reign over all of these things. This is what our generation is what we have to learn to do.
I’ve run out of time and we didn’t even get to Adam and Eve so I have a question for you to ponder…Why did God create the earth?
Lord, thank you for a new year to walk closer to you and your purpose.