Sunday, March 31, 2013

Revenge or Reconciliation?

Joseph's brothers hated him for his high and lofty dreams about them becoming his servants. They hated him because their dad loved him the most. They wanted him dead, but they sold him into slavery and lied to their dad with his  robe of many colors bloodied with the slaughter of a goat. They wanted to harm Joseph, but God had another plan. Joseph became the servant of Potifer, then the governor of the land, second in command to the king.

During a great famine Joseph's brothers came for grain to feed their families. They bowed before Joseph (fulfillment of a dream). When Joseph recognized his brothers, he had the opportunity to carry out revenge, but he chose to forgive.

God sent the law through Moses to teach people how to live with love for each other. They learned how to keep records of their good deeds and became prideful. God loved the world so much He send His Son Jesus to show us how to live, even to the point of taking our place on the cross for our sin, so we would experience forgiveness.

Forgiveness is vital in relationships with people and with God. Since God forgave us, we ought also to forgive one another for wrongs done against us.

Think About It
Have you hurt someone with lies or taken something that wasn't yours? Has someone lied about you? Has anyone robbed you of something special? Like Joseph, you have a choice to get even or to forgive. What will you do?

Pray About It
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for Joseph's story. Teach me how to live more like You. Show me your ways even when I want to choose my ways. Amen.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Don't Hurt the Ones You Love

Why do people lie? We asked that question in Sunday school and received several answers. Here are the top three:

To get away with something we know is not right.

To cover up something we did wrong.

To get someone's approval.

Although deception and lies are the devil's tools, many stories in the Bible are about people who are not honest. Jacob deceived his father by taking Esau's birthright, and his sons fell into the same sin. They lied to him about Joseph. When Jacob showed more love to him by making a colorful coat for him, their jealousy got the best of them.

Joseph's brothers thought if they got rid of him, their father's love would fall on them. Wrong! They sold him into slavery. Then they had to kill a goat and dip the beautiful coat in the goat's blood. When the sons showed the coat to Jacob, they expected to receive his affection. But their plan backfired on them. The thought of Joseph's loss broke Jacob's heart, and in his grief, he withdrew from his family. He could not be consoled. Read the story in Genesis 37:12-36.

Think About It
Sometimes we might want something so much we lie to get it, but our dishonesty hurts the ones we love. It hurts God, and it hurts us. The next time you want something so much you have to lie, think about who it will hurt. It always hurts someone, most likely those you love.

Pray About It
Father God, please forgive me for my dishonesty. I want to tell the truth because I love you and others. Help me do what's right by being honest. Amen.