Archive for November, 2011

Don’t Misuse God’s Name

The third commandment of God’s Big Ten is, “Do not misuse God’s name. Yet, I hear people say, “Oh my god!” even though they are not thinking about God at all. The TV show OMG uses the acronym that means the same. Other times people say “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” when they are not praying to or talking about our Lord. Such careless use of God’s name grieves Him. It is down right disrespectful to our God.

God loves us and calls us by our names. He wouldn’t think of calling us by any other name. If he did, we probably wouldn’t answer. Have you heard Him call your name? I have and it makes me feel loved. It makes me feel special. We should respond to God’s call by returning the favor–by saying His name with reverence.

If people must curse, why can’t they use their own names? I think God would prefer if we said, “Bob Jones!” or any other name besides His in curses. Let’s keep God’s name holy.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, help us to use your name with love and care. We pray for the people who think nothing of using your name so carelessly. Teach them your ways, Oh Lord. Show them your paths.” Amen.

Joseph Forgave His Brothers

When Joseph saw his brothers, he accused them of being spies.

“Oh, no sir,” they said. “We are the sons of one man, Jacob.”

“Is this all of you or are there more brothers?”

“We have a younger brother and another one died.”

When Joseph accused them of being spies again, they said to each other, “It’s because of what we did to Joseph.” Imagine what Joseph thought when he overheard them. He gave them grain and put their money back into their pouches.

“You must bring your younger brother next time, or I’ll not give you more grain,” Joseph told them.

“We could not do that to our father,” they said. But Joseph insisted and he kept Simeon in jail to be sure they would return. When they did, they brought Benjamin, their younger brother. It was hard for Joseph not to reveal to them who he was. His servants filled their sacks with grain again and returned their money into their pouches. In Benjamin’s sack he put his own silver cup.

Joseph’s servant caught up to his brothers after they traveled a day or so. “Why have you exchanged evil for good?” they asked.

“We have done no evil!” they exclaimed.

“The governor’s silver cup is gone and you took it.”

“Oh no! We would not do such a thing!” cried the brothers. “Look in all our bags. If you find it, the owner of the bag will be your servant.”

The governor’s servant looked until he found the cup in Benjamin’s bag. The brothers couldn’t believe their eyes.

“Take me instead,” said Judah. “I’ll serve the governor, but don’t take Benjamin.” All the brothers had to go back to Egypt and they all bowed down to Joseph, breaking his heart. He had to leave the room to cry by himself. “Prepare dinner for my guests,” he told his servants. Then he returned to his brothers and confessed he was Joseph their brother whom they sold into slavery. Filled with fear, they were speechless until he wrapped his arms around each of them and kissed them.

“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “You meant to harm me but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many, as He is now doing.” (Genesis 50:20).

Then Joseph ate with his brothers and caught up on old times. He told them to go home and bring his father and all his relatives, seventy-five in all, back to Egypt. And that reunion was sweeter than the first.

Joseph could have taken revenge on his brothers, but he forgave them. Many bad things happened to Joseph but God used them all to train him and make him wise for the position of Governor of Egypt.

Sometimes we may not understand why we have to experience tough times, but we can trust God as Joseph did, and choose to do what is right.

APPLICATION

Joseph’s brothers were afraid when he invited them to eat at his table. They were afraid when he barked at them for being spies. They were afraid when his cup was found in Benjamin’s bag. Have you been afraid? Remember what Joseph said to his brothers. “Don’t be afraid.You meant to harm me but God intended it for good, the saving of many as He is now doing.” Remember that God loves you and He is always with you. Remember that “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, we praise you for your faithfulness, even when we are not faithful. Thank you for your love and blessing on us. Help us to trust You and not be afraid. Amen.