Glory Giving

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Today's reading: Genesis 40:1-23

One of the things I love about Joseph is his diligence in highlighting and giving God the glory whenever he's brought into the spotlight because of the things he's able to do. Joseph was a slave in a foreign country with its own religion and gods. Yet each time he was given the opportunity, he intentionally and specifically highlighted his God.

It certainly would have been easier, and much safer, for Joseph to have simply interpreted the dreams of the baker, butcher, and Pharaoh without talking about God. The opportunity to promote himself was undoubtedly present, but Joseph kept his eyes on God and didn't entertain the temptation. He honored God by giving Him all the glory and, in so doing, was a witness to those around him.

How often do you think about the fact that God is the author and giver of every single one of your abilities and talents? Do you publically recognize Him for them? Why is this important? What's one example where you've given God the glory for something you were able to do in the past month? Tami

Doing What's Right

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Today's reading: Genesis 39:1–40:9

While Joseph was in Potiphar's house, he did what he knew was right—from taking care of Potiphar's possessions and business affairs to refusing the invitation of an affair from Potiphar's wife. Yet even though he acted rightly, Joseph gets the raw end of the deal and finds himself unjustly thrown into prison. Now with most people, you might expect to see a bad attitude once they land in prison. But not with Joseph. Instead, he continues to trust God and do what he knows is right.

The first few verses of Genesis 40 reveal that Joseph had gotten the attention of the captain of the guard (in a good way) and was assigned to help with Pharaoh's chief cupbearer and baker after they were put under house arrest. As we've seen before, Joseph embraces his assignment (working heartily for the Lord). When he notices that the two men seem unsettled, he immediately asks them what's wrong and then offers to interpret their dreams after verbally recognizing God as the author of their visions.

How does Joseph's example of choosing to do right, regardless of his circumstances, encourage you today? What helps you stay the course and continue doing right things, especially in difficult situations? Tami

Handling Temptation

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Today's reading: Genesis 39:1-23; 1 Corinthians 10:13

After working diligently and being elevated to the highest position in Potiphar's house, Joseph finds himself in a difficult and awkward situation with Potiphar's wife, who has taken note of his "handsome. . . form and appearance" (vs. 6). Potiphar's wife was apparently accustomed to getting what she wanted, as evidenced by her extremely bold and relentless pursuit of Joseph.

Joseph's response is nothing short of impressive. After Mrs. Potiphar's initial advance, Joseph immediately rebuffs her proposition, telling her that he cannot sin against God (notice that he puts God first) or her husband. Joseph's words go unheeded and the advances continue—daily. Potiphar's wife then ups her pursuit to a physical level, and at this point, Joseph chooses to remove himself from the situation rather than give in to temptation.

Facing temptation (whatever that temptation may be) is part of everyday life. That being the case, Joseph's example is one we'd all do well to follow. Here are some of things that stood out to me about handling temptation from this account.

  • Joseph didn't entertain the invitation to sin—at all. Instead, he immediately rejected the offer. (I believe this is key. When we dwell on something that is tempting to us, it's much more difficult to resist.)
  • Joseph went beyond just saying "no" to voice the reasons for his refusal to Potiphar's wife in an effort to stop further advances. The verbalizing of his decision also served to strengthen his resolve.
  • Joseph made up his mind that he was not going to sin and stood his ground.
  • When Potiphar's wife intensified her advances, Joseph intensified his response by physically leaving the premises.

Despite being removed from his position and put in prison, doing what he knew was right was the best decision. Yes, it came with hardship, but God was with Joseph and used his time in prison to move him another step closer to his ultimate destination as second in command to Pharaoh.

What did you learn about managing temptation through Joseph's example? Is there a particular temptation you're facing today that you need to reject, or a situation from which you need to remove yourself? How does praying and reading scripture help you resist temptations? Tami

Difficult Petitions

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Today's reading: Psalm 74:1-23

When we're in the middle of a difficult situation, our prayers to God can take on a whiny tone in pretty short order (and yes, I am speaking from experience). So I was thankful for Asaph's example in Psalm 74. As he petitions God for help, he unquestionably lets God know how bad the situation is, yet he doesn't approach God with a complaining attitude or convey his request with a whiny tone. Instead, Asaph's approach is one of reverence toward God. He recognizes God for who He is and His power and authority over all. Asaph approaches God respectfully, tells Him all that is going on, and humbly asks for His help. He then concludes his prayer with an expectant call for God to take action in defense of His sovereign plan.

How do you approach God when you pray? Is it your practice to recognize God's greatness and praise Him for what He has done as part of your prayers—even when you're hurting? What's one thing that stood out to you from Asaph's prayer, and why? Tami

Until

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Today's reading: Psalm 73:1-28

If you asked me to describe Psalm 73 in a word or two, what comes to my mind is "grounding" because of how candid Asaph is as he writes about his very human thoughts and emotions. Right from the start, I'm drawn in because Asaph describes a familiar scenario.

We've all been there from time to time. We look around and people are doing wrong things, yet they're prospering financially and socially. As a result, sometimes our minds begin to question our right choices for living—UNTIL we give some intentional thought to the situation and draw on what we know is true from God's Word. When we do this, we're shifting our thinking from short-term, earthly matters to a long-term, eternal, and proper perspective. That's what we see with Asaph in verses 16-17 when he writes, "But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end." And only a few verses later, we see that change of perspective after Asaph has had some refocusing time with God.

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (vs. 25-26).

How did Asaph's candid words impact you today? What helps you stay focused on God and His truth in a world that isn't always fair and doesn't always live by God's standards? Tami

About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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