“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” – (2 Corinthians 5:18 ).
In every human relation there often comes moments of friction which leaves hurt feelings. This can be found in any family. In some cases the family animosity can grow so wide to a point of separation. Members cease talking to each other for years.
If there was a family where relations were hurt few rival that of Joseph. As a young man Joseph was sacrificed by his brothers and sold into slavery. “So when the Ishmaelites who were Midianites traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for 20 pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt” (Gen 37:28).
Joseph would hold on to that hurt feeling. The moment of apparent revenge came when his brothers turned up in his court as Prime Minister of Egypt seeking relief from a long famine. At that point of power Joseph was in position to cause harm and avenge all the suffering they had caused. Instead Joseph chose to reconcile. “Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” so they came near. “Now do not be upset and do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to preserve life” (Gen 45:4-5).
Joseph's ability to get over the hurt and look at the hand of God that had delivered him instead of focusing on the pain his brothers had caused him, should inspire us when faced with such situation where forgiveness and reconciliation does not come easy. There is no way one can compare any situation but this could serve as a reference that forgiveness by the one offended and reconciliation is possible.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God Father of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, where I have been hurt and my relationships strained I surrender all to you who reconciled my sinful nature to you that with your power and grace you may bring reconciliation, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.