Wednesday

God Uses Bad People

Joseph, Genesis 37-50, Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28
The Bible is better than any "reality show."

For example, the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50).

Think about the wonderful way God used bad people in Joseph's life. 

God saw something unique in Joseph's faith, and He planned to develop, test, and refine it. 

He looked ahead in history, saw Joseph's brothers planning to kill him and also saw Reuben planning to save him. But God didn't want Joseph saved. 

So God planted a thought in one of the murderous brother's minds: Instead of killing him, Judah suggested they sell him to slave traders. 

God used Judah's evil intent to get Joseph to Egypt where he could fulfill God's Ephesians 2:10 purposes (Genesis 37:12-29; Genesis 50:20).

God used bad people to change the course of Joseph's life and also the course of history.

Now let's apply this to our lives.

Do you think people who deceive, oppress, hate, slander, curse, defame, mislead, accuse, wound, etc. have won?

Think again.

If you're seeking God, He has a plan (Romans 8:28).

Tuesday

Even the Smell of Coffee

smelling coffee releases antioxidants, smelling coffee good for us, proverbs 4:23
Do you like the aroma of freshly brewed coffee? Some experts believe the pleasure of smelling coffee may release powerful antioxidants in our body to protect nerve cells from stress-related damage even if we don't drink it! (Source)

God created us multifaceted, and we are sensitive to things even when we aren't conscious of their influence—like the smell of coffee! 

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (NLT)

Television, movies, books and music are powerful influences. When they have violent or immoral themes, they affect our attitudes and emotions. These “strong smells” alter our "spiritual chemistry.” Only as we smell the good things of God can we guard our hearts. 

Are there things that badly influence your life? Ask God to take away your desire for these "aromas."
© copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011 


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Monday

Power Lines

Ephesians 3:20, Depending on Jesus
"Boom!" 

I jumped up and looked out the window at the pouring rain. 

Had lightening struck our house? 

No, but it hit a power line and knocked out our electricity. 

I began thinking of the upcoming challenges: 

  • No air conditioning to cool the stagnant Florida heat. 
  • No lights. 
  • No appliances for a warm meal. 
  • No water (we have a well with an electric pump). 
I could have hugged the men from Duke Energy who came within the hour to repair the damage. 

If only I realized I need Christ's power even more than I need electricity. 

His power (Ephesians 3:20):
And the best part is that God's power lines don't go down unless we disconnect ourselves from prayer, God's Word, and fellowship (Philippians 2:12-13). 

Would you like to do a short Bible study on this devotion? Check out today's Bite Size Bible Study.


Friday

Open Wide Your Mouth

Psalm 81:10, God wants to give us more than we ask
Usually we do not ask too much of God, we ask too little.

"For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things." Psalm 81:10

God reminds us that He miraculously delivered His people from Egypt. So we, like baby birds, can open our mouths and God will fill them.

God doesn't promise to fulfill selfish desires (James 4:3), but we can have confidence "that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15

Let's ask God to use us for His purposes in greater ways, to give us a deeper love for Him and His people, to strengthen our faith and guide our lives. 

Open wide your mouth and He will fill it with good things.
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All Scripture references NIV unless otherwise noted.