The last request Joseph made of his brothers was to take his bones to the land God promised to Abraham in Genesis 15:7-18. Hebrews 11:22 tells us this was an act of faith. Even though Joseph had lived like a king in Egypt, his heart, his emotional attachment, was not there. His loyalty was to the land of the promise.
Sometimes I wonder how he maintained that allegiance while living like a king in Egypt. I have not lived like a king, but I have lived a plush life. I know this is not my home, the promised land, but I do have an attachment to this life. So how do I keep my heart, my emotional attachment to my real home as Joseph did?
Father, thank You for giving me glimpses of Your glory here on earth. Thank You for putting eternity in my soul. Please Holy Spirit, continually stir in me a passion for the city whose designer and builder is God. I want to live by faith.
Can you imagine the provocation John the Baptist created when he began to preach? Look at his statement to those who went to see him in verses 7-9. A prophet of God had not spoken to Israel in 400 years. Then John bursts on the scene. It is important to remember how he was originally announced.
His father Zechariah, fulfilling his role as a priest, was chosen "by lot" (Proverbs 16:33) to burn incense, which symbolized the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8), in the temple. The multitude of people who were praying and waiting for him to come out of the holy place began to wonder what was taking so long. When he finally came out the crowd knew something unusual had happened to him. Don't you just know the word of this event spread not only through the community of priests but also through the nation? Nine months later his old, previously barren wife had a son. Can you imagine the speculation that occurred about this boy named John? When Zechariah got his voice back, how much do you think he spoke of what happened in the temple that day? Don't you know there was a great expectation as John began his ministry?
Father, thank You for all the evidence of Your activity in the world. There may be periods of silence but when You act it is not in a dark corner. The second coming of Your Son will be known to the whole world. Please use me as You prepare for that day.
" I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all."
What kind of friend am I?
When Job's three friends first come to see him, they intended to sympathize and comfort him (Job 2:11). Now Job's assessment of their help is "miserable comforters are you all." Instead of comforting Job, they had multiplied his anguish with their accusations.
Am I a comforting friend?
Isn't it interesting that the word Jesus uses in John 14:16 naming the Holy Spirit is translated Helper, Advocate, Comforter, Friend, and Counselor. Since as a believer, I have received the Holy Spirit to be with me forever, I should understand and display God's mercy, grace and compassion.
Am I a Spirit-filled friend?
Holy Spirit, thank You for the comfort You bring me. Thank You for fulfilling all the roles Your name implies. Please make me the kind of friend You are.