“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!
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 restores them and may this be my favour, too, this I pray in Jesus' 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.