Daily Scripture

From Handbook to Scripture

READING: GENESIS 43

Jacob resisted sending his sons back to Egypt even though he knew that Simeon had been detained there. He tried to avert action because he did not want to lose Benjamin, but the severity of the famine forced his hand. At this point, Judah assured him that he would be responsible for Benjamin’s welfare.

Once again Joseph’s brothers prostrated themselves before him in fulfillment of the dreams he had been given. It was an emotional moment for Joseph to see his full brother Benjamin, and he sought to control himself during the serving of the meal.

Lord, I see how Your purposeful hand intervenes in human affairs and how Your plans are not thwarted by our disobedience and manipulation. Grant that I may rest in Your care and entrust my affairs to You in all things.

Meditation passage: verse 14

Daily Prayer

From Handbook to Prayer

ADORATION

You, the Lord, alone have declared
What is to come from the distant past.
There is no God apart from You,
A righteous God and a Savior;
There is none besides You.
You are God, and there is no other.
(Isaiah 45:21–22)

You are my hope, O Lord God;
You are my trust from my youth.
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise You more and more.
(Psalm 71:5, 14)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

CONFESSION

You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
Evil cannot dwell with You.
(Psalm 5:4)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Daily Encouragement

From Handbook to God’s Promises

PROMISES OF GOD’S LIVING WORD

The Fullness of God
(Colossians 2:9–10)

When he wrote his letter to the church at Colossae in Asia Minor, the apostle Paul was addressing a destructive Judeo-Gnostic heresy that was infiltrating and weakening the church. Although he doesn’t define the heresy in his letter, we can discern from his emphases the errors that he was correcting. And one of the points where the Colossian Christians had fallen into error was over the basic tenet of Christianity: who Jesus Christ is. The truth that Paul declares becomes a promise for every believer: Jesus Christ is the embodiment and fullness of Deity.

Apparently, religious leaders in Paul’s day were teaching that Christ was not God. These teachers held Jesus in high regard (as did the Gnostics, and as do the Muslims and even many pseudo-Christian cults of our day) without confessing Him as God in the flesh.

Have you heard that point of view today? Perhaps you have been well into a conversation with a person whom you assumed to be a Christian when you discovered that he or she ranks Jesus with Paul and the other great “leaders” of Christianity, or even with Buddha or Mohammed or the “founders” of other faiths. Does this really matter? According to Paul, it most definitely does. For if Jesus Christ is not truly the Word, then He cannot speak for God. His words to us are no more important than the words of any other religious leader. And if this is true, then the second part of Paul’s statement becomes even less meaningful.

But Paul not only assures his readers that “in [Christ] all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9); he also promises that those who believe have been given spiritual “fullness” in Christ. By believing that Jesus Christ is God, we possess a knowledge that surpasses any other religious teaching or personality, because Jesus is above every other power and authority (including, by implication, the Gnostic teachers).

If Christ’s Word in us is not the Word of God, then we have received only the word of a wise man, not the Word of God. Have you received Christ? Have you believed His Word? Then you have believed and received the very life of God Himself, for Jesus Christ is God.

God’s Promise:
Receiving Jesus Christ is receiving God Himself.

Weekly Verse

From Memory Verse Guide
Level 2 > Loving God Completely

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37–40)