Joseph’s heart

Genesis 39:1-41:16; Psalm 17; Proverbs 3:33-35; Matthew 12:46-13:23


When Potiphar’s wife repeatedly seeks Joseph out to sleep with him, the Bible records how he avoided her, then finally runs away from her presence. He explains why he won’t commit adultery, out of respect for Potiphar, his master who honored him by placing Joseph in charge over his entire estate. Joseph also adds that he will not sin against God this way.

Instead of being rewarded for his integrity, Joseph is falsely accused and put in prison. Even this injustice does not cause him to turn away from God (Remember how his brothers faked his murder and sold him as a slave?). The Scriptures show how the Lord God was with him still. He never left Joseph alone in his trials.


Joseph chooses reliance on God through all the ways he is mistreated by others. Psalm 17 written by King David hundreds of years later, could have been echoed by Joseph too in his situation. Wherever he served, the Lord blessed Joseph by setting him apart so that his authorities took notice.

Joseph demonstrates wisdom in interpreting dreams from the cupbearer, baker, and Pharaoh. He plainly tells these men that God is the interpreter of dreams, not him. Joseph is humble. He sees himself as a vessel to be used by God however the Lord sees fit. This is a heart God honors. This is what grace overflowing looks like. Joseph’s life is an example of growing deeper into the good soil as a faithful servant.

One who trusts God even when the circumstances are bleak.

One who relies on God’s perfect justice, in His infinite wisdom, according to His Divine Plan.

This is a heart that reflects Christ.


Grace upon grace,


Wrestling with God

Genesis 31:17-32:32; Psalm 13

“Blessed in the man who does not fall away on account of me.” -Matthew 11:6


Jacob wrestles with the angel of the Lord. His life choices are questionable at times. But here’s the good news: God still uses imperfect people to glorify Himself and He blesses them. The Lord intervenes to protect Jacob and his family from Laban, then Jacob pleads for God to intervene in his encounter with Esau. He has not fallen away from the God of his fathers but actively seeks an audience with the Lord in prayer. Jacob acknowledges God by honoring His presence and holiness (Genesis 32:30).


God invites us to come to Him and cry out like David in Psalm 13, “How long, O Lord?” We wrestle with our fears, sorrows, sinful habits, and situations beyond our control. Through these valleys our Father blesses us with His Presence in the form of Scripture, prayer, the Holy Spirit and our family in Christ. He equips us so we can go to Him honestly with our struggles, while professing belief in His Sovereign Goodness with the next breath. We can say “this is hard, but I trust you anyway”.

God teaches us in our weakness demonstrating His power, goodness and faithfulness. He will use your circumstances to encourage and refine your spirit. Wait on Him, lean on His strength for today.

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

Grace upon grace,



Knowing God

Read Genesis 11:1-13:4; Psalm 5; Proverbs 1:24-28; Matthew 5:1-26


In the Genesis account, mankind continues to flourish in population but their lifespan becomes shorter after the Flood. Under one language the people work together, to build a tower attempting to reach the heavens. In man’s hubris we seek to be equal with God. The Lord then scatters the people by confusing their speech and then scatters them over the face of the earth.

God later calls Abram into a relationship with Him. Abraham responds by obediently following God, not to be like God, such as the people at Babel. His life after this encounter is never the same. Abraham still sins in his lifetime out of fear and passivity, not trusting the Lord in those times, yet He obeyed with great faith and was considered “a friend of God”. The Lord mercifully and wonderfully works through His flawed creation!

Jesus’ sermon in Matthew 5 directs us in how we relate to others and to God. The people at the tower of Babel failed to see how people can honor the Lord when working together to glorify Him. So God frustrated their plans. Abraham demonstrates how we properly relate to our Creator through his faithful obedience and humility.

Our call today is to seek the Lord while He may be found. We can follow Him and into eternity but this opportunity to know God will not always be available. Either our lives will end or Christ will come.

God makes Himself known to those who desire to follow Him like Abraham. Do I know God this way? As a friend? What would others say of your life at the end? Do you live a life of faith like Abraham? Do you know God? Jesus Christ has made this relationship possible bridging the gap between our sin and God’s righteousness. Hallelujah, what a Savior!


Grace upon grace,


Operation Redemption

Read Genesis 8:1-10:32; Psalm 4; Proverbs 1:20-23; Matthew 4:12-25


In the Genesis section Scripture shows the flourishing of mankind on the earth. Our struggle in a fallen world and natural inclination for wickedness are noted. Psalms 4 and the Proverbs portion go on to describe how men love delusions, distractions, and false gods, rejecting the wisdom God offers, which is Himself. The world rejects Christ.

And then in Matthew 4 we see the plan of redemption put into motion, with “feet on the ground”. Jesus incarnate begins His earthly ministry and changes the course of history for mankind. He brings light to a dark, spiritually desolate world.

Over time and many generations later, we defer back to our flesh, forgetting God or what He has done. Our hearts are calloused, our ears deaf and our eyes blind to the truth of the Gospel. Jesus came to break free the captive from sin and death. He offers eternal life in Him and with Him. He only calls us to follow Him.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…”  (Isaiah 61:1-2; fulfilled in Luke 4:16-21)

“Let the light of Your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy…” (Psalm 4:6-7)


Grace upon grace,



The Cursed Serpent

Read: Genesis 3:1-4:26; Psalm 2; Matthew 3:1-6

Christ became sin for us, becoming a curse, bearing God’s wrath so that believers will never have to. Jesus has made us free (2 Corinthians 5:21).

It’s interesting that Satan is identified as a serpent in Genesis 3, to tempt the first man and woman to sin. Later on in the book of Numbers, Moses obeys the Lord’s command to construct a bronze serpent for God to heal the Israelites bitten by venomous snakes. They had complained against God’s provision and Moses’ leadership. Realizing their sin, the people repented. When they looked at the bronze snake set up on a pole, the people who were bitten lived. (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-15).

From the Fall the serpent foreshadows Jesus becoming sin for us and His sacrificial death on a cross. We see directly after the Fall how sin corrupted mankind. But God in His mercy sends Jesus to redeem His people from eternal death and give us life in Him! The serpent symbolizes our curse, but God uses this very image as a means to save us through Jesus taking on our sin. He is lifted up on a cross, like Moses placed the bronze snake on a pole. Anyone who looks to Christ will be saved from death and the serpent of Satan will not have victory over you.

Jesus crushed the head of the serpent overcoming death and sin, restoring His Beloved (Genesis 3:15). Those in Christ Jesus are called to continue this mission of mortifying the flesh, crushing the will of Satan as we engage in spiritual battle every day (Romans 16:20). This is the power of Christ at work in us. Satan does not have the final victory. The war does not belong to Him. God has already won. Praise be to God!

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”  1 Peter 2:24


Grace upon grace,