Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 – Day 21. Jan. 21 – God’s Mysterious Providence

Study from Genesis 48 – 50; Passage for Reflection: Genesis 50: 20 … NIV You [Joseph’s brothers] intended it to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

My Journal for Today: As Dr. Smith, the Author of my daily devotional book, points out, today’s passage, which took place late in Joseph’s life, illustrates one of the great theological conundrums, that being … God, in His sovereignty can exercise His will and His plan for mankind in the face of man’s very fallible and sometimes evil doings. It’s the age old question, “How is it that God can work His divine will through the actions of fallible human beings whose last thought would be that they are God’s agents for good?” And hence we read Joseph’s pronouncement to his brothers above, the brothers fearing, after the death of Jacob (i.e., Israel) that Joseph, who had all the power in Egypt, might turn on them for their past hateful and evil deeds. But we read that Joseph had truly forgiven them; and we know from the “rest of the story” in God’s word that God did in fact use these brothers to father the nations who would be known as God’s people, Israel.

And Dr. Smith personalizes this theological conundrum about God’s sovereignty and man’s free will by asking this question: “Is it possible that God might intend, even after I am gone, to save lives through something an unworthy soul like me has done during my lifetime?” And I hope you take the time, as I have this morning, to ponder and meditate upon the answer to that question.

For 22 years of my life, I lived a God-hating, double lifestyle, involving malignant patterns of habitual sexual sin; and twelve of those years involved a life of infidelity to my wife where I was certainly not the father to two growing girls which I should have been. But God, in His mercy and grace, saw fit to break me to the core, allowing me to humbly confess my evil deeds, receiving His salvation, and then being raised from the pits of despair to walk with my Lord in freedom and victory, even to become a Minister of His Gospel. Nobody could be a walking poster-boy for today’s passage any more than yours truly, as well as the truth of 2nd Cor. 5: 17, where Paul wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”

For those reading with me here, I don’t know where you’ve been in your life or what you’ve done which you might regret; perhaps nothing. But if you’re like me; and you have some pretty serious sins from your past which haunt your memories, be assured that the truths from today’s highlight passage as well as the Apostle Paul’s declaration above in 2nd Cor. 5: 17, are either true or they are not. If you can’t have faith in their truth, perhaps you haven’t given your life to the Lordship of Christ. And if that’s the case, now is the time for you to repent of your sin past and accept Christ’s atoning act on the cross, which has given you pardon from your sin, … if, and only if, … you but have faith that He died for your sin and has designs on transforming your future for His will and purpose.

If you are in Christ, then let go of Satan’s lies that you are still condemned by your past and that your future cannot be useful for God. … LIES, LIES, LIES!!! … “There is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8: 1); and “… if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness [1st John 1: 9].” … TRUE, TRUE, TRUE!!! …

However, if you cannot believe those truths and set aside the lies, Satan is going to have you in the grip of his deception and you will be rendered null and void for God’s purposes. On the other hand, if you do believe the truth of God’s word which I’ve quoted here today and you rebuke Satan’s lies, no matter how bad your past has been, God can use you for His glorious future; and you can take that one to the eternal bank of truth.

Now, let’s go live in the truth!!!

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I live to be an instrument of your truth, combating the lies of Your enemies for the rest of my life. Amen

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