Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 23 - Unexpected Blessing

Today's Reading:
Genesis 48:1-49:33
Luke 11:14-36
Psalm 18:1-6
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Genesis 48:13-14
13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel's left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel's right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

Jacob who was younger than his brother, Esau, had schemed and tricked his father, Isaac, into blessing him. Through his long and dramatic life he learned that blessing was something that came from God. When all was said and done, blessing was something only God could give, not the automatic right of birth order, and not the laying on of hands by a father or grandfather.

So when Joseph brought his sons, Ephraim and Mannaseh to Jacob for a blessing, Jacob crossed his arms and placed his right hand (the hand representing greater blessing) on the younger, and his left (the hand indicating lesser blessing) on the first-born. Jacob seems to be giving testimony the truth he had found so difficult to learn. God's blessing is not just for the first, the best, the strongest, or the greatest. God's blessing reaches to the lowest, and God is able to bless and use anyone.

Response and Action:
I will seek God with all my heart because I believe he is able to bless and sustain me. I am not too low or weak for God to use and bless. No matter where I stand in terms of the world's opinion, God is able to bless and provide for me.

Instead of scraping and scratching for status and success from a human and worldly point of view, I will commit my effort and energy toward knowing and honoring God. I will give myself fully to following Christ and trusting him to bless and guide my life. I will also endeavor to see others through the eyes of Jesus. I will not look at others from a worldly point of view, but rather look to bless and serve the lowly, humble, and weak people around me.

O God, help me to trust your promise that the first shall be last. Help me to humble myself before you, believing that you will lift me up in the right ways at the right time. Help me to delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Help me to be a blessing to my family, friends, and neighbors. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

Wrestling with God: Loving the God We Don't Understand
by James Emery White

No comments: