Genesis 50:19-20 "God Meant it for Good." on this week's Word of Grace Devotional with Pastor Joe Marquez.
The Word of Grace devotion for the Week of January 25, 2016
God Meant It For Good
Genesis 50:19-20, “But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?20As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Beloved, has anything ever happened to you that left you bewildered? Certainly it has; those types of things have occurred to all of us. We wonder why and question the Lord wanting an answer.
Joseph was in this type of situation. Having been sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph would have had his moments of doubt and despair as he lay in a dungeon away from his family. But God was constantly reminding Joseph that He had a bigger plan! He always does for His ways are higher than our ways! His plan is always bigger than our plan!
As we learn from the Book of Genesis, the Lord was going to use Joseph to help save a nation(s) and a people for Himself, namely the Israelites. Joseph would go from prison to prince, as he would become second in command in all Egypt
Beloved, sometimes the Lord will allow tragedy, heartache and suffering in our lives, not because He meant it to harm us but for our good and the good of many others. The temporary suffering of our spirit and flesh will one day pale in comparison to the work the Lord does in our hearts and the hearts and lives of many others.
Take courage and know that the Lord is working not only for your benefit but the benefit of many others. Seek Him while He may be found and draw your strength from the Living Word each day. Rest in Him and one day you also may be able to say as Joseph said inGenesis 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Beloved, remember, God has a bigger plan!
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
In His Strong Love,
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of January 18, 2016
Saved To Serve
Mark 10:45- “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Beloved, Jesus first came as a servant. Scripture says He, “Came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus is our example of how we should live our lives as believers.
Thus, yesterday we held a ministry fair at church. This fair included information concerning the various ministries at the church and opportunity on how each church member could become involved in one or more of the various ministries.
Beloved, we live in an era where the average church attendee is a consumer rather than a servant. The average church suffers from the 20/80 problem, where 20% of the people do 80% of the work while most of the rest do nothing. The ministry fair was held so that those who are on the bench would consider getting on the playing field.
Beloved, as believers, each of us as been given one or more spiritual gifts. The mention of these gifts can be found in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4. It is in these scriptures where you can find out what your gift(s) may be and how to best utilize those gifts for the glory of God.
Getting involved in ministry not only helps a person to get to know others in the congregation better but also helps that person to grow as a believer. Beloved, we have been saved to serve as Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
So, let’s get involved and allow the Lord to use us for His glory! John 9:4 says, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.”
Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed day! I love you and I will be praying for you!
In Jesus Love,
Matthew 8:18-22 "The Cost of Discipleship." on this week's Word of Grace Devotional with Pastor Joe Marquez.
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of January 11, 2016
The Cost of Discipleship
Matthew 8:18-22, "When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.19Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” 21Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 22But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.” NLT
Beloved, while the gift of salvation is a free gift, there is a cost to follow Jesus. True enough, becoming like Jesus is no joke. It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who wrote a book entitled, “The Cost of Discipleship” who spoke about this cost. Dietrich wrote about cheap grace and costly grace.
According to Bonhoeffer, "cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline and communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ."
Cheap grace, Bonhoeffer says, is to hear the gospel preached as follows: "Of course you have sinned, but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness." The main defect of such a proclamation is that it contains no demand for discipleship. In contrast to cheap grace, "costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Jesus said it this way, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Jesus also said, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”
Beloved, following Jesus is no joke. It sometimes requires going places that may be uncomfortable and leaving things behind. Have you counted the cost to follow Jesus? If you have, you have found that whatever you leave behind, Christ makes up for as Matthew 19:29 says, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”
Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of January 4, 2016
A New Hope
Matthew 4:14-17, “This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah: 15“In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, 16the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” 17From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
Beloved, with a New Year comes a new hope, a new hope for change. The above passage is quoted fromIsaiah 9 in the Book of Matthew and speaks of the coming of Jesus bringing hope to a land that “sat in darkness.” This New Year also gives us hope for those of us who may have areas of our lives that have sat in darkness.
For our family and friends who have not received the Lord, Jesus is a “great light” that has shined in the hearts of people searching for an answer. The necessary response is to, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” This response will lead to a new relationship with the Lord and they will never be the same! May our prayer this year be that many will come to know Jesus!
For us, the believer, there may be areas of our lives that have, “sat in darkness.” Our devotional time with the Lord, our prayer life, our ministry to His people, and even our relationship with others may have taken a back seat to our personal selfish agendas. May this New Year bring a renewed sense of purpose and hope as we allow the Lord to work in us through His Word and then to work through us through His Power.
Beloved, I pray that this year may be the best year of your life! Be intention and focus on cultivating your relationship with the Lord through a daily reading of His Word, a time of prayer and fellowship with the saints!
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!