Thursday, October 18, 2018

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A few thoughts from today's Bible reading

Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. In the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, he laid up in the same. Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number. To Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house." The name of the second, he called Ephraim: "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction." The seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, came to an end. The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do." The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Joseph opened all the store-houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt. All countries came into Egypt, to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth. (Genesis 41:46-57)

It's amazing how things can change for the good in a person's life so fast. Joseph would have said, "It's the Lord's doing and it's marvelous in our eyes."
13 years after he had left home and having gone through persecution by his own brothers, God had elevated him to a high position in a foreign land. He had spent 2 years in prison and at the end of it, he was honored by Pharaoh, king of Egypt, because he had interpreted Pharaoh's dreams. He was put in charge of a land that he was a foreigner in; he must never have prayed for that position but that was God's plan for him. It was God's reward for all the tribulations he had gone through. What's more, God gave him a family, and when 2 sons were born to him, he named the firstborn Manasseh which meant "God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house" and the second one he named Ephraim which meant "God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
We have hope because as believers in Jesus Christ, we serve the same unchanging God. He is in charge of our lives, restoring us and blessing us with wonderful blessings.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A few thoughts from today’s Bible Reading

Matthew 25:13-30 (WEB) 

Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
'For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them.
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
In the same way, he also who got the two gained another two.
But he who received the one went away and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
'Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reconciled accounts with them.
He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.”
'His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
'He also who got the two talents came and said, “Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents besides them.”
'His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
'He also who had received the one talent came and said, “Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter.
I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.”
'But his lord answered him, “You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and gather where I didn't scatter.
You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest.
Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.
For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away.
Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

God has entrusted much in the hands of his children (believers in Jesus Christ), whether it be talents or gifts or even finances. A time will come when he asks us to give an account of what we have done with the same; whether we have been diligent enough to use whatever he has given us graciously for the building of God’s kingdom here on earth or whether we have been slothful, accusing God to be unjust. The diligent and faithful will be rewarded bountifully but the slothful will be disgraced. The unprofitable servant is one who is unfaithful to his master. This day, we need to ask ourselves of where we stand in regards to faithfulness to God with whatever gifts, talents and finances that God has entrusted us with. Are we profitable or unprofitable servants?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ministry Challenges-1

Psalms 89:50-51 (WEB)  Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the mighty peoples, With which your enemies have mocked, Yahweh, with which they have mocked the footsteps of your anointed one.

Ethan the Ezrahite sings of how God's anointed king David bore in his heart the taunts of mighty people. They mocked him every step of the way. In many Psalms, David himself cries out in anguish because of the taunts of his enemies. Yet we see him repeatedly strengthening himself in God Almighty.

Christian ministry is tough. It's not a cakewalk. It's not for the faint-hearted. As Paul the Apostle writes...
Ephesians 6:13 (WEB)  Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.
One must continually lean on the Lord and move in his strength to overcome frustrations and to avoid burn out.

Praise God that he doesn't let his anointed ones fall to the traps of the enemy and even if they fall, he restores them.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 (WEB)  But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you, and guard you from the evil one.

Dr. Johnson Cherian

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