"Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive" (Col 3:13)
A funny thing happened and has never stopped since. There was once a man called Joseph who walked out of a prison. But you know what; though free he kept himself locked up in a prison!
Joseph had been sold by his brothers into slavery after an attempted murder on his life (Gen 37). That brutal experience had left him so bruised that even when God restored him to a position of power the pain of betrayal still ached him. After being thrown in jail on false charges, he was plucked from Prison and made Prime minister of Egypt (Genesis 41). However, though he had now access to all means and was in a position of power a certain matter still left him sleepless. How could his very brothers cause him all the suffering he had experienced.
So, one day, look; there before him are his once captors near starvation and begging for food. All the pain he had let up. He put them through a ringer by locking up Simeon until they returned with Benjamin, the youngest left behind.
Finally, overcome with grief at the mention of his father, Joseph surrendered all and forgave his brothers. "Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him" (Gen 45:14-15). In a sense it is when he finally forgave them that he started living as a free. Before that he was a man in a prison of bitterness
But could there be a past hurt you are carrying too! Perhaps like Joseph you too God long delivered you yet you insist to carry that burden! Only by fully forgiving will you not only walk out of a prison but leave it behind and experience total healing and freedom!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I surrender to you any weight I might be carrying for true freedom that you offer through faith in Jesus, this I pray in Jesus' name.
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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” – ( Joshua 1:9).
Moses has been described by some as the reluctant leader. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and he was given the task to finally lead the Israelis out of bondage in Egypt, he protested. “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” ( Exodus 3: 11). Knowing how the script played out we can be kind to him and say that his reluctance was based on a premonition how difficult the job that awaited him would turn out.
Once he set out, as a leader, it was constantly dragging a restless people, quick to find him at fault, and frustrate his job. When once he delayed up on the mountain, while seeking the face of God, the crowd was quick to throw him out. “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him” ( Exodus 32:1).
Aware of the challenges he faced, when the time came for Moses to pass on the baton to his successor, Joshua, he knew that that most important gift he could pass on to him was encouragement. “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” ( Exodus 31:7-8).
It has been said that it is lonely being at the top. When God gives us leaders, let us never hesitate to remember them in our prayers, especially where theirs is a special job of leading a restless people on to higher knowledge and experience of God.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I remember all the leaders you have chosen to lead your people to a deeper knowledge of you, that you refresh them with your abundant Holy spirit to be encouraged and remain steadfast, this I pray in Jesus’ name!