THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS
An American was visiting in a foreign country.
He was representing a large textile company at a lunceon.
During his presentation, he told a rather long joke.
The translator made a statement in the foreign language that was quite short, and everyone laughed very heartily.
Later the representative said to the translator, "That was wonderful the way the people appreciated my joke. I don't understand how you could shorten it so easily in your language."
The interpreter said, "Oh...that. I just told them 'man with big checkbook tell funny story, do what you think is appropriate.'"
(For the full effect of this devotion, one might also read Genesis 44 & 45)
1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.
25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,
26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.
27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:
28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.
Joseph did what was appropriate.
He revealed himself to his brothers because now they were ready to accept his every word and willing to do whatever he said.
Isn't that the way it is with Jesus?
He cannot fully reveal His wonderful salvation to us until conviction drives us to repentance.
We cannot understand Him being SAVIOR until we are ready to surrender to Him as LORD!
- When Joseph first revealed his dream of being "lord" over them, they were so angry they sold him into slavery.
- When they first saw Joseph again, they didn't even know who he was.
They surely felt guilty about having sold him, but were not yet ready to be obedient to him.
- Now, however, they were trapped in inescapable turmoil.
There was no way out except to surrender in obedience.
Salvation is presented through many different people throughout the Bible.
From Adam to Jesus each main character represents the love, mercy and grace of God leading to salvation.
But the thematical manner is always the same because God never changes.
And I've been preaching this for over 25 years now.
WITHOUT SURRENDER TO JESUS AS LORD THERE CAN BE NO SALVATION!
God is not going to rope, tie, gag and drag anyone to heaven!
We must come as willing subjects to the Master of Eternity.
We cannot get to heaven unless we're willing to FOLLOW Jesus.
Only HE knows the WAY!
Friends, when we are sharing the gospel of salvation with others, let us joyfully proclaim HEIRSHIP!
For it is only by the grace of God that we can be given this wonderful joy.
It is indeed a miracle that God would die on a cross to pay for our sins and grant us the privilege of being eternally with Him in heaven.
He came to the cross to DIE in order that He might become what we NEEDED.
But let us also be sure to proclaim His LORDSHIP!
We must meet Him "At The Cross," and die to self in order to become what He WANTS!
And, dear Christian friends, let us remember to live each day as Jesus, our example, lived.
"Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42)
The way of living WITH Christ, is in surrender TO Christ.
That's the appropriate life of the Christian.