Lent Day 12

First Signs

Why do you keep looking at one another? There is grain in Egypt; go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live…  Genesis 42:1-17  You wait as long as you can but inevitably you have to make that trip to the food cupboard because there is little food in the house. If it was just you, perhaps you could bear it and make something from the few staples you have left, but there are other mouths to feed who fall under your responsibility. I’ve managed a food cupboard or two and it’s not easy. Most of the people who show up at the doors aren’t there because the food is free, but rather because they need it or someone they know needs it but are unable (or unwilling) to make the trip. It’s a humbling experience to say the least. For me the Joseph story is one of the most powerful – using humility to glorify God’s forgiveness in each of our lives. Joseph remembers his dreams and no doubt he remembers how his brothers treated him. His faith however, was not in his brothers, whose power years ago was simply in numbers. He also remembers his faith is in God, now recognizing the full manifestation of his dreams during his youth. As Joseph’s brothers humbly stand before him, the only thing that stands between him and God’s authority in his life is his own arrogance. Arrogance caused him to be enslaved. Obedience to God’s will brought him out. He would not make the same mistake twice. We have been given that same authority to forgive. How will we use it today?

Discerning The Spirits

If you are the Son of God, command this stone; If you worship me it will be all yours; “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here… Luke 4:1-13  How many times have we heard the expression “If your friend jumped off of a bridge, would you jump too?” In most cases the answer would be “no”. Of course literally we wouldn’t do it. However figuratively, we’ve probably done it many times. The key to not jumping off that “bridge” is not because of the action itself, but rather the thoughts that precede the action. The enemy of what is good and right is not really interested in what we do. The enemy is more interested in what we think and believe ourselves to be. Satan approached Jesus when he was hungry and believed him to be “vulnerable”. So too, he approaches us in the same way. Our reality is that knowingly or unknowingly, in our humanness, sometimes we choose to “jump off the bridge”. The good news is that our God always loves. Our God always cares. Our God always forgives. We must always remember what Christ remembered in times of vulnerability; who we are (identity), to whom we belong (inheritance), and why we are called in spiritual relationship with Him (mission).