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January 17 - Evening

" 'I cannot do it,' Joseph replied to Pharaoh, 'but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.' "
- Genesis 41:16

I Cannot Do It, but God Will

Joseph has already correctly, and apparently effortlessly, interpreted dreams with success.  And, since Joseph’s life is being guided by a set of dreams, he must have had experience interpreting dreams before he came into Egypt. In prison Joseph was confident enough to interpret the dreams of two members of Pharaoh’s staff- the baker and the cupbearer. Now, he stands before Pharaoh with a chance to showcase his ability, to seek promotion, and to receive riches and honor.
But, instead of using his gift as a tool for self-promotion and worldly gain, Joseph makes his opening statement to Pharaoh by saying, “I cannot do it…” Joseph then directs Pharaoh to the source of all answers including the interpretation of dreams by saying, “…but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
Pharaoh’s salvation is in God, not Joseph. There will be no advantage for Joseph to oversell himself and end up back in prison like the baker because he was caught trying to deceive or impress Pharaoh. Joseph wants Pharaoh to know what Joseph can and can’t do, but more importantly, Joseph wants to give God the glory his majesty deserves.
Notice Joseph is not reading dreams through a fabricated system of symbols or pre-established meaning for images seen in dreams. He does not refer to his self-published reference book called, “Joseph’s Guide to Dream Interpretation.” Joseph is counting on God revealing the meaning of the dream. Joseph is not trusting his ability or counting on a system of interpretation based on symbolism frequently seen in night visions. Joseph has faith in God and is counting on the Lord revealing the Truth.
Euphemos (Gr) - Good Report (Eng) - euphemos is a Greek word that only appears once in the Greek New Testament. Euphemos is used by Paul in Philippians 4:8 where he writes:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable (euphemos) — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Euphemos is a compound word made of eu, "good," "well," and pheme, "rumor," "fame." Eu and pheme together then mean "good-rumor" or "good-fame." Euphemos is translated in the NIV as "admirable" and in the NAS as "good repute."
Do I give God room to be God?
Do I try to be God in my life? in the life of others? in my world?
I will do what I can do and I will be the person God wants me to be, but
I will not try to do what only God can do and I will not claim to have the ability to do what God does.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Fruitfulness in your personal ministry


Cultural Values
Unreached in Africa: Interior and coastal people of West Africa

A octagonal baptismal from the 500's AD for the church that Justinian built. This originally sat over a cistern closer to the altar, but the crusaders remodeled this church around 1000 AD which included moving this baptismal and painting fresco images on Constantine pillars from 326 AD
A map detailing the rebellion of the five kings and the attack of the four kings from the East.

Someone to Quote

"To wrestle continuously with ‘unanswerable questions’ about the economy of God is to falsely assume that God intended for us to know all things or is obligated to tell us.”
– Charles F. Stanley

Something to Ponder

In the 1100-1200's church buildings had alms chests with a slot in the lid.
In the 1300's alms dishes appeared.
In the 1600's, after the Reformation, alms basins started to be passed around by the deacons for the first time.
The position and responsibility of the ushers originated with Queen Elizabeth I's re-organizing of the church service for the Church of England. Ushers were responsible for making sure certain people sat where they were supposed to, recording names of people who took communion, and collecting the offering.

Here’s a Fact

Most ancient civilizations have a Flood story in their traditions that is very similar, or at least has elements similar to, Noah's account in Genesis 6-9. See over two-hundred-thirty footnoted accounts of an ancient worldwide flood here.
Here is a quote not from Genesis but from an Assyrian tablet (XI) discovered in Assurbanipal's library in 1860 in Nineveh from around 600 BC (See artifact in British Museum HERE):
“The seventh day when it came, I brought out a dove, I let it loose: Off went the dove but then it returned, There was no place to land, so back it came to me… I brought out a raven, I let it loose Off went the raven, it saw the waters receding Finding food, bowing and bobbing, it did not come back to me” (Source:  I. Wilson’s  "Before the Flood" seen here.) (More information Here.)


"A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son, and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers."
- Proverbs 17:2

Coach’s Corner

Comparing yourself to others is unfair and unproductive. Admiring someone and learning from others is an entirely different thing.

Job 10
New International Version (NIV)
“I loathe my very life;     therefore I will give free rein to my complaint     and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.

I say to God: Do not declare me guilty,     but tell me what charges you have against me.

Does it please you to oppress me,     to spurn the work of your hands,     while you smile on the plans of the wicked?

Do you have eyes of flesh?     Do you see as a mortal sees?

Are your days like those of a mortal     or your years like those of a strong man,

that you must search out my faults     and probe after my sin—

though you know that I am not guilty     and that no one can rescue me from your hand?

“Your hands shaped me and made me.     Will you now turn and destroy me?

Remember that you molded me like clay.     Will you now turn me to dust again?
Did you not pour me out like milk     and curdle me like cheese,
clothe me with skin and flesh     and knit me together with bones and sinews?
You gave me life and showed me kindness,     and in your providence watched over my spirit.
“But this is what you concealed in your heart,     and I know that this was in your mind:
If I sinned, you would be watching me     and would not let my offense go unpunished.
If I am guilty—woe to me!     Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame     and drowned in my affliction.
If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion     and again display your awesome power against me.
You bring new witnesses against me     and increase your anger toward me;     your forces come against me wave upon wave.
“Why then did you bring me out of the womb?     I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
If only I had never come into being,     or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
Are not my few days almost over?     Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy
before I go to the place of no return,     to the land of gloom and utter darkness,
to the land of deepest night,     of utter darkness and disorder,     where even the light is like darkness.”
Genesis 18
New International Version (NIV)
The Three Visitors
18 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

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