bluebird8-housecr-600Genesis 41-42

Promotion time, at last. It has now been 13 years since Joseph was thrown into the pit by his brothers and sold into slavery. Over that period Joseph has been falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife so that he was thrown into prison. Then, after having properly interpreted the dreams of the baker and the butler, he had been betrayed. The butler forgot to tell Pharoah about him, and he remained in prison.

But suddenly, God…does His thing! As we read through the Bible , we will see again and again how God can turn impossible situations around in a moment of time. This is what He does for Joseph.

As Pharoah needs to have his dream interpreted, the butler suddenly remembers Joseph. You can see how God’s plan has been working all along. Pharoah is so impressed with Joseph’s dream-interpreting ability, he is sure that God is with him. He makes Joseph in charge of all of Egypt.

Suddenly Joseph receives his reward for his faithfulness. Suddenly his dream is being fulfilled. Suddenly we can see how all that preparation time was worth it. Joseph is not only free, he is promoted to the highest place in the land – next to Pharoah. He is even given a wife along with the honor. Wow!!

So God’s plan continues as the brothers approach Joseph for grain. Recognizing them, Joseph tests them and begins to work a plan. He wants to see his father and he also wants to bring his entire family to Egypt. So his strategy begins.

What can we learn from Joseph? We may have dreams from God which are not yet fulfilled. Yet if we remain faithful, we too will see them come to pass.

Count on God’s hand being with us in the meantime. There may be training or there may be a necessary waiting period to bring others into alignment.

Stay faithful, trusting God, and His hand will work on your behalf also.

Matthew 13: 1-30

I love the parables of Jesus, don’t you? They are like word pictures, which give His teaching so much more meaning. You know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, these parables paint pictures in  our minds, so that we can understand so much more.

The interesting thing is that the Holy Spirit is the one who explains the pictures to us. If someone is not being led by God, as the Pharisees weren’t,  they cannot understand what He is saying.

He is introducing the concept of God’s Word and it’s significance. Just as we discussed in Joseph’s story, God’s Word comes to us as a promise. As we read the Bible, we see many different promises He makes to those who are His.

The way we receive that Word and the way we treat it will determine the outcome in our lives. If our hearts are as hard as rock, the Word will not profit us at all. If we receive it, we still have to tend it and honor it above everything else, or we will not see the desired outcome.

So what are the circumstances which threaten the Word’s producing? First, affliction and persecution because of the Word. There are those who will mock you for believing the Bible. They may even twist the truth and falsely accuse you of being mean and intolerant. Or they may accuse you of being foolish to believe the Bible. So only those who will endure that and continue on in faith will see the Word produce.

But if you make it through the persecution stage, there are still more obstacles. The former come from others. These obstacles come from yourself and your ability to focus.

When worldly desires come to you, do you cave in? When distractions of the cares of the world come, do you give up? What about striving for achievement? Does that drive cause you to lose your focus and forget about God?

All of these obstacles are tempting in every life. But as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we stay on track.

Then our hearts are like the good soil. We don’t let the Word of God get stolen from us and we don’t cast it away. We hold it fast in an honest and good heart and we reap the harvest of that Word in our lives.

Blessings to you today. Hang onto that Word!

Suellen Estes