Posted by: Larry Hoekman | December 1, 2017

Learning From Others — Forgotten?

Day 2918: May the Lord grant you a December filled with family, friends, and increased faith!

Scripture:  Pharaoh restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.  Genesis 40:21-23 

Thoughts/questions: Joseph had interpreted a dream for Pharaoh’s chief baker (bad news) and for his cupbearer (good news). Having a dream interpreted and then regaining your lost position while a peer was killed is probably NOT an ordinary occurrence. Yet the cupbearer actually forgot about a key player in this scenario – hard to believe. (He did remember later when Pharaoh had a dream, and he then helped Joseph!)

So whom have we forgotten? Because you’re reading this, you haven’t forgotten God at the moment, but too often we temporarily ‘forget Him’ even though He has done so much for us! How about friends and family? Is there someone, maybe even quite awhile ago, who has impacted your life greatly, but you’ve kind of forgotten them?

Maybe now is a good time to consider those you need to make contact with and tell them how much they mean to you! Let’s learn from this cupbearer and never forget those God has placed in our path!

Suggested Prayer: Sovereign God, remind me of those whom I need to contact and may my forgetting of you always be for only a short time . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 30, 2017

Learning From Others — It’s Not Always Easy!

Day 2917: Say goodbye to November!

Scripture:  And after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused and said, “My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.  Sections of Genesis 39:7-10

Thoughts/questions: Many of us know the account of Joseph’s temptation to sleep with his boss’s wife. She came on to him daily and given the position of her husband, she probably was quite beautiful as well.

Instead of getting him to lie with her, she lied about him and trouble ensued. So the lesson here is not a simple, ‘do the right thing and good things happen’ as Joseph ended up in jail! But there are 2 things we can learn from Joseph in this instance. The first is that doing the right thing WILL eventually result in reaping good from sowing good, as ultimately Joseph was delivered from prison and became the number two man in the entire country!

Secondly, daily beckoning from beautiful people is our problem too. Whether male or female, beautiful bodies of either sex are seeking our attention and are only a click away. Statistics regarding pornography tell us that there are not too many Josephs out there. Females are better Josephs than males, but pornographic numbers are staggering for both sexes. We all must be like Joseph! No, pornography isn’t adultery or fornication, but it is definitely missing God’s mark for each of us! Like Joseph, resist the temptation and do the right thing!

Suggested Prayer: Father God, help me to be pure . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 29, 2017

Personal Sharing — Too Late???

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 28, 2017

Learning From Others — Troublesome . . .

Day 2915: Some things in the Bible are troublesome, and the status of the tribe of Judah and the account in Genesis 38 certainly are!

Scripture:  Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!” As Tamar was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.” Judah recognized them (as his own items) and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not sleep with her again. Genesis 38:24b-26

Thoughts/questions: There is a worship song which includes a reference to Jesus as the ‘Lion of Judah’ referring to the Israeli tribe of Judah in today’s verses. It sounds good when we sing it, but then Genesis 38 tells about a Judah who wasn’t very reputable.

Tamar changed her look and pretended to be a prostitute knowing Judah, her father-in-law, would be walking by. Sure enough, not recognizing her, he paid for her services and had to leave various item for collateral. She then got pregnant and when Judah heard she was PG, today’s verses state what happened.

He went from wanting her burnt to death to stating how ‘righteous’ she was. I am hoping this was a TURNING point in his life and that he changed his behavior from that day forward. However, if he did not and knowing Jesus came from his lineage, it definitely demonstrates God’s willingness to forgive anyone at ANY stage in their lives!

Lessons: Our God is a forgiving God!!! And sin is sin and our sin is no worse than Judah’s! We both share the need to be forgiven!

Suggested Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience and forgiveness towards me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 27, 2017

Christmas — People Not Position!

Day 2914: May your holiday season days be filled with His joy!

Scripture:  I should have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had!  Being in very nature God, Jesus did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped. Instead, He made Himself nothing, took on the very nature of a servant, and appeared in human form.  Philippians 2:5-7

Thoughts/questions: For the next month, I’ll be interspersing a few Christmas devotionals! Today’s is a response to the message at church yesterday. I’ve always understood today’s verses from a heavenly vantage point, not how it also impacted Jesus on earth!

By making Himself nothing . . . in human form, Jesus displayed His priorities! When He lived, Herod was king and Herod was well aware of the fact that his claim to the Jewish throne was minimal. Hence if the Messiah came with a far greater claim than he had, his role as king could quickly end.

Jesus KNEW the position He qualified for! Not only was he King of kings, He also was directly from the line of David – the kingly line. HOWEVER, to Jesus, people were far more important than any position He could have on earth. He sought to serve people, not to be served by them even though He qualified to be their earthly king!

How about us? Do we seek position over people? Whether that be a title at work or even a position within the family, which is more important – the people in our lives or ??? We may or may not even have the ‘right’ to our position as much as Jesus did, but we ARE to follow Jesus and prioritize people over any earthly attainment! Let’s make sure we do just that!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for showing me humility and the importance of serving others . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 25, 2017

Learning From Others — False Messages?

Day 2913:  Yes, Christmas is a mere month away! Jesus is the reason for the season!

Scripture:  And Jacob identified the bloody robe and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” So Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, “Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him. Genesis 37:34,35

Thoughts/questions: Jacob’s sackcloth, extended mourning, and tears were not based on the truth. He thought the bad news was true. His sources were reliable. The evidence appeared overwhelming. But it was all a false message.

Had Jacob’s eyes been on eternity; had he believed his son’s dreams; had he been secure that God was in control; or had someone had the integrity to see their Dad in such pain and then tell the truth – his grief would have been eliminated or minimized!

What about us? Have relationships sent a false message of hopelessness? Have events sent a false message and caused us to grieve and experience despair? Has our past sent a false message causing us to lose hope?

We know the end of Joseph’s story, but we DON’T know the end of ours. Our evidence also may appear overwhelming, BUT there is HOPE!!! God’s plan for everyone’s good was realized in Jacob’s situation. May that be true of our lives as well, as we TRUST in Him completely!

Suggested Prayer: Lord God, when things look bleak in my life, help me to trust that You will deal with me like You did with Jacob . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 24, 2017

Learning From Others — It’s a Dream Not a Plan!

Day 2912: Another Friday for TGIF – Thank God I’m Forgiven!!!

Scripture: Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had.” Genesis 37:5,6

Thoughts/questions: There are quite a few famous dreams and two of those include Joseph’s dreams and the dream of Martin Luther King. Although King’s dream wasn’t a night time dream, both men’s dreams guided their lives and both dreams were met with opposition.

For both, the dream created their life plan; rather than their plan becoming some sort of dream.  We tend to plan and make carefully thought out decisions which most would agree with. But remember, King stated, “I have a dream!” not ‘I have a plan!’

What’s your dream? If you don’t have one, is it because it was once there but faded into oblivion or maybe you think your dream would be ridiculed like the dreams of Joseph and King? There are times we need to dream more and plan less.

God puts dreams into our lives for a reason! Don’t minimize them. Your personal dreams are part of why God has you here! Dream big! Live large! God has big plans for you!

Suggested Prayer: Almighty God, let my dreams be Your dreams for me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 23, 2017

Personal Sharing — Consistent Thankfulness!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 22, 2017

Personal Sharing — Thankful for What???

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | November 21, 2017

Personal Sharing — Hypocrisy Or ?

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