"The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone" ( Psalm 118:22)
The Gospel of Jesus is about lives once shunned but accepted. When the parents of baby Moses along with his sister Miriam placed him in a papyrus basket which set sail to nowhere only for Pharaoh's daughter to pick him up it was all about a God who picks up the abandoned. The once rejected Moses would grow up to become the savior of a nation ( Exodus 2:1-8).
Moses's story of abandonment was in the same pattern as was of Joseph. After an attempted murder on his life Joseph was abandoned to slave traders and later sold to the house of Potiphar ( Genesis 39). Falsely accused and abandoned to the dungeon God picked up Joseph to crown him as premier of ancient Egypt. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck" ( Genesis 41:41-2). A life once discarded now having a final say in the affairs of then the greatest nation on earth.
When Jesus was born and Herod sought to kill all baby boys afraid of a prophecy that one would grow up to become King of the Jews, he had to be ferried away into exile to Egypt (Mathew 2:13). From that inauspicious beginning of abandonment he would return to start his ministry of salvation.
No one determines the circumstances of his birth and upbringing. There are countless lives which at birth are rejected. There are many children who grow up in unloving environments characterized with rejection. And in life many adults are thrown out into the streets, like Joseph was. Fortunately, and what a blessing to know, there is a God out there in the business of picking up lives once abandoned and turning them around!
Today, yours could be such a life. You might have been rejected at birth by your very family members. In life you might have found yourself thrown out by your very own. Do not be discouraged. Out there is a God who sees all and is about to pick you up and restore you to your very right place as He did and has never ceased to do for all who belong to him!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you are the God who picks and turns around lives once abandoned and so I pray that anyone who feels rejected may come to you for restoration, this I pray in Jesus' name!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!