January 5 , 2020
Theme: Like Joseph,we must forgive.
When we end up in an unexpected place because of someone else’s actions we can become angry and resentful. Joseph ended up in an unexpected place, actually more than one. First sold into slavery by his brothers. Second in prison after having been wrongly accused by the Potiphar’s wife.
When we end up in unexpected places because of someone’s else’s action we must be willing to forgive. Withholding forgiveness is more dangerous to us than the other person. It will cause our anger and resentment to consume us. Anger and resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die. It has been said, “Anger is the acid than can harm the vessel in which it is stored even more than the person on whom it is poured.”
Forgiveness is about freeing ourselves from the bondage of anger and resentment so we can live our life with joy and a future.
Scripture: Genesis 45: 1-5
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it,and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
January 12 , 2020
Theme: Like David, we must take advantage of opportunities.
When life ends up in an unexpected place we must take advantage of the opportunities which are there. Young David thought he was just taking food to his older brothers who were soldiers on the battle front. Israel was in a forty-day standoff with the Philistines because no one would fight Goliath.
David had protected his sheep from wild beast with his sling and a stone. He thought he could defeat Goliath. An opportunity presented itself and David stepped into it. He gained the respect of the King and army and sit himself on the path to becoming king.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 17: 48-50
When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David’s hand.
January 19 , 2020
Theme: We need a Nathan.
Sometimes we end up in unexpected places because of poor decisions on our part. David found himself in an unexpected place after several poor decisions regarding Bathsheba. When we make or are about to make bad decisions, we need a Nathan. We need friend who won’t wag their finger in our face in judgement. We need a friend who doesn’t enjoy telling us we have messed up, but can still look us in the eye and speak truth to us.
Scripture: 2 Samuel 12:1-8
And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more.
January 26 , 2020
Theme: Like Paul, we must change.
Paul ended up in an unexpected place, flat of his back in the middle of the road hearing the voice of God. He never expected to hear Christ calling him to be a follow. Paul had invested his life in stopping The Way by persecuting Christians and now he was called to be one. Sometimes when we end up in an unexpected place we have to change.
Unexpected places causes us to change our attitude, our worldview, and often our commitment to Christ.
Scripture: Acts 9:1-19
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.