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JESUS TAKES CARE OF US

 



JESUS TAKES CARE OF US

LOVE WON

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers

could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his

brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your

brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with

yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”

GENESIS 45:3–5 NKJV

As the sons of Jacob stood before Joseph, they were the picture of pity. Accused of stealing the silver cup. Tongue-tied goatherders before a superpower sovereign. Nothing to offer but prayers, nothing to request but help. Judah told the prince their story. How their father was frail and old. How one son had perished and how also losing Benjamin would surely kill their father. Judah even offered to stay in Benjamin’s place if that was what it would take to save his family. They were face-first on the floor, hoping for mercy, but they received much more.

 

Joseph told the officials to clear out, his translators to leave the room. “Then Joseph could not restrain himself” (Genesis 45:1 NKJV). He buried his face in his hands and began to heave with emotion. He didn’t weep gently or whimper softly. He wailed. The cries echoed in the palace hallways, cathartic moans of a man in a moment of deep healing. Twenty-two years of tears and trickery had come to an end. Anger and love had dueled it out. Love had won.

 

He broke the news: “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” (v. 3). Eleven throats gulped, and twenty-two eyes widened to the size of saucers. The brothers, still in a deep genuflect, dared not move. They ventured glances at one another and mouthed the name: Joseph? Their last memory of their younger brother was of a pale-faced, frightened lad being carted off to Egypt. They had counted their coins and washed their hands of the boy. He was a teenager then. He is a prince now? They lifted their heads ever so slightly.

 

Joseph lowered his hands. His makeup was tear smeared and chin still quivered. His voice shook as he spoke: “Please come near to me.”

 

They rose to their feet. Slowly. Cautiously. “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt” (v. 4).

Joseph told them not to fear. “God sent me here. God did this. God is protecting you” (v. 7). In today’s language,

“There’s more to our story than meets the eye.”

 

The brothers were still not sure who this man was. This man who wept for them, called for them . . . and then cared for them.

“Fetch your family,” he instructed, “and come to Egypt.”

 

He promised to provide for them and sealed the promise with even more tears. He stood from his chair and threw his arms around his baby brother. “He fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept . . . he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him” (vv. 14–15).

 

Hostility and anger melted onto the marble floor.

 

At about this point the brothers began to realize they were out of danger. The famine still raged. The fields still begged. Circumstances were still hostile. But they were finally safe. They would make it through this. Because they were good men? No, because they were family. The prince was their brother.

 

Oh, for such a gift. We know the feel of a famine. Like the brothers of Joseph, we’ve found ourselves in dry seasons. Resources gone. Supplies depleted. Energy expired. We’ve stood where the brothers stood.

 

We’ve done what the brothers did. We’ve hurt the people we love. Sold them into slavery? Maybe not. But lose our temper? Misplaced our priorities? You bet. Like the shepherds of Beersheba, we’ve sought help from the Prince, our Prince. We’ve offered our prayers and pleaded our cases. We’ve wondered if he would have a place for the likes of us. What the brothers found in Joseph’s court we find in Jesus Christ. The Prince is our brother.

 

We cannot always see what God is doing, but can’t we assume he is up to something good?




In Her Own Words:

MILLICENT’S STORY


Iwas twenty-three when I received my first teaching job. I was also newly heartbroken. There had been no official engagement, no marriage, no children, no white picket fence. I had lived by the Golden Rule. I had been a good girl, but someone else would live the fairy tale ending. Not me.

 

During my first week of lunch duty, I arrived on the playground early, eager to stay busy watching the kids. I always wanted to stay busy! Yet on this playground I would become friends with the man who would save my heart and, in turn, my soul. Dee Lucado was my lunch-duty partner. We were as different as two people could be, but our heartache was the same, and we recognized it in each other immediately. Dee was separated from his wife at the time and, like me, was struggling to find his way. We became instant friends. (If you’ve ever found yourself newly alone, you know the one thing you don’t want to feel is lonely.)

 

Dee and I attended every high school football game, basketball game, school play—anything to occupy time and not go home to what we knew would be an empty home, no phone calls, no one waiting.

 

One weekend Dee planned a Spurs game for a group of teachers. Having never attended a professional basketball game, I volunteered to pick him up so I wouldn’t have to drive, park, and walk in alone. I entered Dee’s living room, empty except for stacks of books against every wall. He came out of the back room carrying a box. “My brother writes books, and I have some for you. They’re signed too. I think they might help you. Help your heart heal.” I politely took them and put them in my trunk. I had read self-help books, and they had only made me feel weaker. Dee and I never mentioned the books again. At the end of the year, he reconciled with his wife and moved. His heartache was over.

 

That summer, the one I was supposed to marry was marrying another, and my heart couldn’t handle being in the same country, so I decided to escape to Mexico. I escaped with one of the books Dee had given me—In the Eye of the Storm. As I read, I cried, I laughed, I began to heal. Though I felt lonely . . . I wasn’t alone. Though I felt broken . . . I wasn’t alone. Though I felt lost . . . I wasn’t alone. I had forgotten there was Someone I was supposed to love more, believe in more, trust in more. I had forgotten there was Someone who would never leave me, never abandon me. I had forgotten about the pure unconditional love our Lord gives us. Thank you, Dee, for showing me the way to your brother, Max. Thank you, Max, for showing me the way back to the Lord.

 

From your Bible, create a list of the deep qualities of God and press them into your heart. My list reads like this: 1. God is still sovereign. He still knows my name.

(Daniel 12:1)

2. Angels still respond to his call. (Psalm 91:11

NKJV)

3. The hearts of rulers still bend at his bidding.(Psalm 138:4 NKJV) 4. The death of Jesus still saves souls. (2 Corinthians 3:5–6)

5.The Spirit of God still indwells saints. (Acts2:38)

6.Heaven is still only heartbeats away. (Matthew 4:17)

7.The grave is still temporary housing. (John5:28–29 MSG)

8.God is still faithful. He is not caught off guard. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9 NIV) 9 . He uses everything for his glory and my ultimate good. (Romans 8:28) 10.

9. 

10.      He uses tragedy to accomplish his will, and his will is right, holy, and perfect. (2 Corinthians 4:8–10 NKJV) 11. Sorrow may come with the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Lamentations 3:22– 2 3 NIV) 12. God bears fruit in the midst of affliction. (2 Corinthians 1:5–7 NIV)



TO BELIEVE

IS THE

HIGHEST THING

GOD IS IN THIS CRISIS

I

n the days leading up to the war with Germany, the British government commissioned a series of posters. The idea was

to capture encouraging slogans on paper and distribute them about the country. Capital letters in a distinct typeface were used, and a simple two-color format was selected. The only graphic was the crown of King George VI.

 

The first poster was distributed in September of 1939:

YOUR COURAGE YOUR CHEERFULNESS

YOUR RESOLUTION WILL BRING US VICTORY

Soon thereafter a second poster was produced:

FREEDOM IS IN PERIL

DEFEND IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT

These two posters appeared up and down the British countryside. On railroad platforms and in pubs, stores, and restaurants. They were everywhere. A third poster was created yet never distributed. More than 2.5 million copies were printed yet never seen until sixty years later when a bookstore owner in Northeast England discovered one in a box of old books he had purchased at an auction. It read: KEEP CALM

AND CARRY ON

The poster bore the same crown and style of the first two posters. It was never released to the public, however, but was held in reserve for an extreme crisis, such as invasion by Germany. The bookstore owner framed it and hung it on the wall. It became so popular that the bookstore began producing identical images of the original design on coffee mugs, postcards, and posters. Everyone, it seems, appreciated the reminder from another generation to keep calm and carry on.

 

 

You can do the same. You can’t control the weather. You aren’t in charge of the economy. You can’t undo the tsunami or unwreck the car, but you can map out a strategy. Remember, God is in this crisis. Ask him to give you an index card-sized plan, two or three steps you can take today.

 

God gives hope because he gives us

himself. He wants us to know we are never alone.

 


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