Bible in 365 Days – Day 16

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 42-44
  • Genesis 45:1-15

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 45:3-4 NLT

“I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt.

 

THE REACTION

Genesis 4:3-7 NLT

But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors.So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

 

Observation (s):

  1. All that Joseph went through was a part of God’s plan to ensure His people and others were provided for and kept safe during the famine. Millions of lives were dependent on Joseph’s future coming to fruition and Joseph believing in God’s promises about his future.

    But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.

    AND

    God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

     

Application:

God has a plan! There is a reason why, you, a Christian and follower of Christ, are going through these trials. Once God has proclaimed your future, believe that your fiery paths are leading you straight to that future. Joseph was sold into slavery and thrown into prison because God knew of the future famine and wanted to ensure His people and others were provided for. The fruition of Joseph’s future saved millions!

Not only this, learn to listen, understand and believe the messages and assurances that God sends to you about your future. If God says it, you best believe it will be so! Remember that hundreds of years before Joseph’s birth, God told Abraham that his descendants would end up in Egypt! Now consider Joseph’s dreams from his younger years. God provided Joseph with visions of His future years before it came into being. I now realise that Joseph taught us an important strategy:

  1. Believe – Keep God’s promises at the forefront of our minds always
  2. Endure – Use God’s promises as a means of encouragement and comfort during your trials.
  3. Proclaim – Acknowledge God’s plan and foresight during and at the end of your journey.

God’s promises are sure! God has a plan! Believe. Endure. Proclaim.

XOXO,
Chañel

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Bible in 365 Days – Day 15

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 40
  • Genesis 35:28-29
  • Genesis 41

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 40:5 NLT

While they were in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning.

Genesis 41:15 NLT

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.”

 

THE REACTION

Genesis 40:8 NLT

And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.”

“Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”

Genesis 41:16 NLT

“It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”

 

Observation (s):

  1. Joseph was humble before the chief baker, chief cup-bearer and Pharaoh. The tone of his response before these two audiences did not differ or waver. He dealt equally with all men.

    “Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”

    “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”

  2. Joseph immediately dissuaded men from believing that he could interpret dreams by his power. He readily and firstly attributed that power to God, making it clear who was in responsible for any results that should come forth. From there, we went on to offer his help. By doing so, he made himself readily available to be used by God.

    Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”

    “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”

Application:

“Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Can you imagine if Joseph had puffed himself up before Pharaoh and his subjects? I surmised his story would have ended quite differently. We are called to treat all men equally. This is a tall order but it is vital.

Joseph’s willingness to acknowledge God and His authority and power in the midst of his moment is quite commendable. I imagined that had I been in a similar situation, called before a king and his court, I might have been tempted to focus on me and my gift and forget to mention God, totally. Like Joseph, keep God at the forefront. Putting God at the forefront of our lives means that we are available to Him. The advantage of our availability is that God is more than willing and able to use us to accomplish great wonders!

We all know how Joseph’s story ends. He became the second highest-ranking official in all of Egypt. His circumstances changed because he provided God with an open, humble and willing vessel!

 

XOXO,
Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 14

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 37-38
  • I Chronicles 2:3-6
  • I Chronicles 2:8
  • Genesis 39

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 39:20 NLT

So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.

 

THE REACTION

Genesis 39:21-23 NLT

But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Even when Joseph was put in prison, God did not forget him. God’s love is unfailing even as your situation gets darker. Joseph went from being a slave to being a slave and a prisoner, yet God did not forget him.

    But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.

  2. God’s favour made Joseph the favourite wherever he went. He was the favourite of his father. He was the favourite of Potiphar. He became the favourite of the prison warden.

    And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.

  3. With favour comes responsibility. As Joseph found favour in the eyes of his keepers, his responsibilities and successes increased while his keepers’ worries decreased. He was charged with leading others and ensuring everything in the prison was as it should be. He gained more responsibilities because the men with whom he had found favour trusted him to execute.

    Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison.The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.

     

Application:

I used to wonder why I was always being singled out to lead. For three consecutive years at church, I was the Assistant Youth Secretary, Sunday School Teacher, Praise and Worship Leader and teacher at the Evening School. I could not hide or run from it! At times, I felt so overwhelmed and would often wonder why I was continually singled out to do more. Now I understand! Favour is a sign of trust. Favour comes with more responsibilities and opportunities to decrease the worries and burdens of our keepers and increase our successes. Like Joseph, God’s favour on our life primes us to find favour in the eyes of others and make us primes candidate for successful leadership.

We should also be heartened by the fact that God will continue to be with us no matter what we are experiencing or the paths we have to tread. Even in the darkest situation, God is with us and will demonstrate His favour in the same manner in which He was with Joseph, the slave, and Joseph, the prisoner.

 

XOXO,
Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 13

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 36:1-19
  • I Chronicles 1:35-37
  • Genesis 36:20-30
  • I Chronicles 1:38-42
  • Genesis 36:31-43
  • I Chronicles 1:43-54
  • I Chronicles 2:1-2

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 36:6-7 NLT

Esau took his wives, his children, and his entire household, along with his livestock and cattle—all the wealth he had acquired in the land of Canaan—and moved away from his brother, Jacob. There was not enough land to support them both because of all the livestock and possessions they had acquired.

 

THE REACTION

Genesis 36:8 NLT

So Esau (also known as Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Esau independently and proactively made the decision to settle away from his brother, Jacob. The premise given was due to the lack of enough land to supply all their combined resources. From the days of Noah when God told man to scatter and populate the earth, this is the first instance described in the Bible in which man (with numerous resources) immediately recognizes the dangers of not scattering and doesn’t wait for its impacts to strike for him to take action.

    Esau took his wives, his children, and his entire household, along with his livestock and cattle—all the wealth he had acquired in the land of Canaan—and moved away from his brother, Jacob.There was not enough land to support them both because of all the livestock and possessions they had acquired.

     

Application:

God knows best! It took man hundreds of years to be proactive about a topic that God raised and issued directives about from Day 1. Coming up to the point of Esau, we saw many instances where man ignored that directive and ended up with unanticipated and un-welcomed trouble.

The lyrics from one of my favourite songs goes like this:

“There are things about tomorrow
That I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.”

It’s amazing to know that God holds tomorrow! Wouldn’t it be equally amazing if we let God hold our hands and direct and protect us from all the dangers He sees in our tomorrows? Can you imagine how much pain, anguish and missteps He would save us from if we just let Him hold our hands? Can you imagine how many joys and blessings He would guide us to?

 

XOXO,
Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 12

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 32-34
  • Genesis 35:1-27

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 35:1 NLT

Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.”

 

THE REACTION

Genesis 35:2-7 NLT

So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”

So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem. As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family.

Eventually, Jacob and his household arrived at Luz (also called Bethel) in Canaan. Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “God of Bethel”), because God had appeared to him there when he was fleeing from his brother, Esau.

 

Observation (s):

  1. When God told Jacob (now Israel) to pack up his belongings and family and move to a new place, Jacob did not hesitate. God directed and Jacob followed His instructions precisely. Without objections He led his family to an unknown place and journey because God instructed him to.

    Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there.

    AND

    We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress.”

  2. Jacob and his family prepared before heading to Bethel, House of God to build an altar to God. They got rid of any pagan gods they worshipped, purified themselves (I would like to imagine physically and spiritually) and put on clean clothes. They made themselves the offering.

    So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress.

  3. As Jacob’s family set out on their God-given mission, the Lord protected them from harm. He ensured that they arrived at their destination safely.

    As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s familyEventually, Jacob and his household arrived at Luz (also called Bethel) in Canaan.

     

Application:

I envy Jacob. He makes it look so easy! He heard God’s voice so clearly and followed God’s directions to the letter. I am still learning to not only hear God’s voice clearly but also follow the directions that He has given without hesitation. It is hard to follow directions without questions when the directions lead you into the unknown that we fear and cannot predict. Jacob’s unwavering faith in God is a lesson to us all. After all, like Jacob, haven’t we already proven God?  Hasn’t He “been with [us] wherever [we] have gone?” Doesn’t He always protect us and ensure we arrive at our destinations safely?

Today was also a reminder of how we should prepare ourselves when going to the House of God. It is not just about the type of sacrifice that we offer but also how we present it and ourselves. We cannot appear before God in any wayward manner or form. We have to purify ourselves both physically and spiritually. Only them will we be able to build an altar and make a sacrifice that God deems acceptable.

XOXO,
Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 11

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 30:25-43
  • Genesis 31

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 30:25-26 NLT

Soon after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Please release me so I can go home to my own country. Let me take my wives and children, for I have earned them by serving you, and let me be on my way. You certainly know how hard I have worked for you.”

 

THE REACTION

Genesis 30:27-30 NLT

“Please listen to me,” Laban replied. “I have become wealthy, for the Lord has blessed me because of you. Tell me how much I owe you. Whatever it is, I’ll pay it.”

Jacob replied, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you, and how your flocks and herds have grown under my care. You had little indeed before I came, but your wealth has increased enormously. The Lord has blessed you through everything I’ve done. But now, what about me? When can I start providing for my own family?”

 

Observation (s):

  1. Jacob was committed to the task he had undertaken. His efforts were blessed by God. Through his efforts and God’s blessings on Jacob’s life, Laban became a wealthy man.

    Jacob replied, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you, and how your flocks and herds have grown under my care. You had little indeed before I came, but your wealth has increased enormously. The Lord has blessed you through everything I’ve done.

  2. Laban acknowledges that his wealth has increased because of Jacob and God’s blessing on Jacob’s life. He knows that God blessed him because of Jacob’s commitment to God.

    “Please listen to me,” Laban replied. “I have become wealthy, for the Lord has blessed me because of you.

     

Application:

It is quite lovely the way God works. Imagine through His guidance and blessing on Jacob’s life, favour filtered down to Laban who became wealthy. While the Bible speaks of physical wealthiness, I cannot help feeling that it also meant spiritual and intangible wealth. It is heartening to know that when I follow God, the fruits of my labour not only multiplies but also become blessings not just for me but the persons around me. Just imagine it! You are blessed because of someone else’s connection to God! Similarly, others are blessed because of your connection to God!

But wait! This is the interesting bit! Through this, God receives the glory because the people who are blessed acknowledges that their blessing is not through anything special they have done. Rather, it is God blessing them through you. They acknowledge you and your relationship/connection to God! They acknowledge God! I don’t know about you but that’s definitely a deal I can live with. I will definitely work with God to be in more positions for God to use as a blessing to others. I want to make others rich.

 

XOXO,
Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 10

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 28:6-22
  • Genesis 29
  • Genesis 30:1-24

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 29:16-18, 22-23, 25-28, 30 NLT

Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.
So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her.
But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
“It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. “But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.” So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too.
So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.

THE REACTION

Genesis 29:31-35 NLT

When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”

She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.”
Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.

Observation (s):

  1. Rachel was the love of Jacob’s life. Leah was considered the consolation prize. Leah was the daughter her father had to marry off first through deception. She was the means-to-an-end, the bride and wife her husband did not want and cast aside after a week of marriage to marry his first choice.

    But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied.
    A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah.

  2. At the birth of her first three sons, Leah’s focus was on gaining the love of her husband and nuetralizing the results of how her husband’s rejection made her feel. She went through the difficulty of birth, hoping the fruit she bore would change her husband’s feelings towards her.

    So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.” Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”

  3. Leah did not praise God for her blessings until her fourth child, Judah. This is when she shifted her focus from how she is feeling and pleasing her husband to thanking God. Her husband did not love her but she had children and God who did.

    Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.

Application:

I can relate to Leah. Not because I have a husband who doesn’t love me but because I have family and friends who don’t. It’s hurtful when you are rejected. It’s all-consuming when your focus is on gaining acceptance. Like Leah, I’ve gone through a lot of pain and sorrow to bear victories that I thought would please and make loved ones love and accept me. It is painful when your loved ones only perceive you in a way that doesn’t change no matter what you do. Leah’s first four sons were Jacob’s first four children but Jacob still could not love her or appreciate the tribulation that she went through to bear him these blessings.

In the midst of all that trying, I oftentimes forget to see and acknowledge the blessings that my victories represent. Consequently, I forgot God! I forgot to give Him praise. If only we would be wiser like Leah. Don’t wait until the fourth blessing to praise God. It is time that we stop focusing on achieving victories to gain worldly love and acceptance. Instead, let us gain victories and praise God!

XOXO,
Chañel