God created sex. He designed our sexuality to delight and bring pleasure to one another within the marriage relationship. But, sadly, as our culture knows all too well, “sex sells” and it has been twisted and used throughout the ages to manipulate and entice and for many other evil purposes, including revenge, to gain power, and for financial or political gain. Continue reading →
Joseph had been betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. He was far from home and from the eyes of anyone who knew him. But God was with him and allowed him to be promoted to steward in the house of his master, a man named Potipher. That must have been heady stuff for a young man. But Joseph was not only wise in conducting his master’s business, he was also handsome. And his master’s wife had taken notice. He would soon be faced with one of the greatest temptations. With Potipher gone on business and the house empty, Potipher’s wife made an all-out attempt to seduce him.
Remember, Joseph was a man in his prime, single, abandoned by his family, alone. Who would know? Why not do what everyone else did?
How many of us have been faced with those kinds of private temptations? Given the attention of a powerful person? Told we can have what our heart or our flesh craves? Do we give in? Continue reading →
Can God redeem your past? What things in your family or your past do you wish weren’t part of your personal history? Can God really use it for good? Does it disqualify you from serving God or ever being used in a meaningful way? Check out today’s reading in Genesis, especially the story of Judah and Tamar.
Our New Testament reading talks about the heart. What kind of heart do you have? Is it hard, stony, full of thorns, or is it good ground? Continue reading →
For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.
The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?” (Genesis 3.1).
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18.25).
And this week: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39.9).
This week hit close to home. I’ll explain in a minute.
First let me talk a little about the question itself. You probably remember the setting. Joseph had been sold by his jealous brothers into slavery. He wound up in Egypt in the home of a man named Potiphar.
2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the Lordwas with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority …
Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.
7 And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
Joseph was faced with the age-old temptation.
His master was gone. Who would know?
But Joseph understood that sin was not just sin against another person, but more importantly, against God Himself. So he ran.
Joseph’s stand for righteousness cost him. Once she was rebuffed, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of rape and Joseph was thrown into prison.
Many years before, Joseph had a dream of his brothers and parents bowing down to him. Now sitting in that prison, his dream must have seemed nearly hopeless.
In this great chapter Hawkins talks about the three obstacles Joseph had to overcome to reach his dream – the same three obstacles many of us must overcome before we’ll reach our dreams:
So why was this chapter so personal? Because I have been struggling with some discouragement, and even some doubt, about my own dream. Just this morning, before I read this week’s chapter, I was pouring my heart out to God.
Then God did a couple of things for me. First, I had a schedule change and was free during our early morning service, so I decided to attend our women’s Sunday school class. Our Women’s Ministry Director was teaching on goal setting. The first thing she said was, “Do you have a dream?” She went on to make some great points, most of which I had heard before, but I heard them today with that clarity only the Lord can give.
When I got home and sat down to read this chapter, those “obstacles” jumped off the page at me, especially, discouragement and doubt. As I read the rest of the chapter, I could feel the Lord continue to minister to me and refresh my dream.
If you have a dream and you’re getting weary of waiting or just feeling discouraged for some reason, I want to encourage you to read the rest of the chapter for yourself.
You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.
Next week’s question is, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3.11).
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