Read 1 Corinthians 4:11-16
“And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it” (v. 12).
At the local grocery store one day a pastor was noticed by a man who had just entered. Very loudly, the man addressed the pastor telling a story, equating preachers with Adolf Hitler's fanaticism. The pastor listened politely and went on his way. Later, this man apologized to the pastor saying that he had not meant to intimate that all pastors were like Hitler. The pastor responded graciously but the libelous words still hurt. Another time a pastor was accosted by an alcoholic who proceeded to rail and rant against one of his church members for half an hour. The pastor attempted to listen politely, while holding the accusations in suspension of belief, seeking some way to minister to the hurting man. It hurts when the world shouts accusations and works to harm God's people, even though we may be able to dismiss the accusations as false. What really hurts is when God's people turn on us, accusing us of evil motives. Yet we are called to bless even when we are reviled. (David Woods)
Is there someone who has spoken evil of you recently for whom God would have you say a prayer of blessing?
This devotional is the Wednesday, April 19, 2017 entry of Opening the Word.
Read Genesis 41:53-42:7
“And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands“ (v. 57).
The greatest leader in the greatest country did not have the power to foresee or wisdom to respond to the challenges his dreams foretold. One greater than Pharaoh had foreseen the coming events and had the man of His choice in place.
Joseph had already endured an emotional famine. In prison, he had demonstrated the ability to interpret dreams accurately and give counsel based on the interpretation. He also possessed leadership and managerial skills developed in spite of his circumstances. Now God was going to use Joseph to guide Egypt and Joseph’s own family through the severe famine.
The dreams of Joseph’s youth were coming true! Others had mocked his dreams, yet those dreams had brought him to the place and time where God intended to use him. What if Joseph had become discouraged and quit believing in the dreams God had given him? What if Joseph had looked at the circumstances of his life and decided God did not care and was not able to fulfill the dreams He had given?
What famine or difficult circumstance have you experienced? Allow God to use that experience to bless someone in need today! (LAD)
Thro’ days of toil when heart doth fail . . .
When dangers fierce your path assail . . .
No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you.
— Civilla D. Martin
“God not only knows where He is taking you, but He also knows how to get you there!” (Roy Lessin).
This devotional is the Monday, January 11, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.