There, There

Spiritually, we don’t mature unless God brings us “there,” to those places of pressure and pain.  We may well ask, “Why?”, and this is the question most on our lips during such seasons.  It is tempting to think we can grow without going “there,” to assure ourselves that suffering isn’t a necessary part of spiritual…

There

After Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, he asked them to bring his father, Jacob, and the rest of their family to Egypt. Jacob was stunned and didn’t believe his sons at first.  But when he at last accepted their report, he couldn’t wait to see Joseph (Gen. 45:26-28). His first night on the…

Seeding and Seeing

I assure you : Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop (John 12:24). The other night, I was reading John 12:24 to my son. I was struck by the context. A few verses earlier, some Greeks come to Jesus’s…

Process

“God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.  Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Gen. 45:7-8). Joseph said the above words after revealing his identity to his brothers.  It is striking that he absolves…

No Harm?

Psalm 91 talks about living under God’s protection.  It details various dangers the believer will be kept from.  In sum, “Because you have made the LORD—my refuge, the Most High—your dwelling place, no harm will come to you” (Psalm 91:9-10). Similar sentiments are expressed in other verses.  Some take these verses at face value: if…

The Stranger Inside

Because there was famine in Canaan, Jacob sent 10 of his sons to Egypt, where he heard there was grain for sale (Gen. 42:2-3).  When Jacob’s sons came before Joseph, he recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him (Gen. 42:7-8). We have seen how Joseph’s life foreshadows Christ’s death and resurrection.  Joseph’s brothers hated him…

Despising the Lamb

The following article appeared in our local paper last weekend. It is adapted from my booklet, Despising the Lamb: Contempt for Christ in First Samuel. *** Hophni and Phineas were priests in Old Testament times (1 Sam. 1:3). The Bible says Hophni and Phineas were wicked men (1 Sam. 2:12). Why? When someone brought a…

Fair and Balanced

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). I don’t know how many times the chill of impossibility has traveled up my spine as I’ve read this verse.  PERFECT.  BE PERFECT.  No way, Jose.  (Or in this case, Haysoos).   While I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this verse with…

Life out of Death

Joseph embodies the key reality of spirituality: life out of death.  God is a God of life out of death.  This is His way.  Everything He does or creates expresses it.  If we would truly know the Lord, our experience will be marked by life out of death. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit…

Not My Own

I have been meditating lately on verses that say I am not my own; I belong to Jesus, body and soul.  One example is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20–“You are not your own, for you were bought at a price.” This particular verse addresses sexuality. Christians do not have the right use their bodies in any way…