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January 29 - Evening

"The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!  There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." - Exodus 16:3

The Pain of Potential is Better

The people’s opinion of Moses and the Lord was determined by their situation. In victory and deliverance the people would dance and sing praises. In times of need or stress the same people would complain and threaten the very ones they praised.
The memory of the former slaves has already started to repaint the oppression and the abuse of the Egyptian culture as the good ole days of “pots of meat” and “all the food” we could eat. In fact, they consider (wrongly so) that the fate of the dead Egyptians is better than their starvation in the desert with the Lord and Moses.
The Israelites are focused on their immediate situation. The resounding sounds of the promises given to Abraham are drowned out by the Israelite’s cry for food. The thing that is missing in the Israelite’s point of view is perspective. Israel’s situation is one of great potential. The Israelites have inherited tremendous promises and the Lord has intervened in history to move them into a position in God’s plan to continue preparing this young nation for the possession of those promises.
Approaching the situation from this perspective changes everything. The Israelites are suffering because they are being prepared. The Egyptians feel no hunger because they are dead. Feeling hunger in the midst of God’s powerful plan and potential is always better than feeling nothing.
Krateo (Gr) – “to take hold of” (Eng) - krateo is Greek word that means “to have power,” “to get possession of,” “to be master of,” “to obtain,” “to take hold of,” “to seize,” “to keep carefully and faithfully,” “to restrain.” Krateo is what Herod did to John the Baptists when he was put in prison (Matthew 14:3). Jesus said the shepherd is willing to krateo the sheep that has fallen into a pit in order to lift it out, even, on the Sabbath ( Matt.12:11). In Revelation 2:1 Jesus krateo the seven stars in his right hand and the church is told in Revelation 2:24-25 to krateo the Word of Truth that they have been given and not to seek the “mysteries” and “deep doctrines”:
“to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, I will not impose any other burden on you,  except to hold on to what you have until I come.”
Do I rejoice when I suffer the pains of growth and training?
I will maintain a perspective that allows me to see the promises of God and the potential he has given to me in his plan.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Wisdom and insight


Affirmative Action
Information technology revolution:educated work-force, rapid spread of information, democratic ideas and awareness of Jesus Christ

Pavement stones running along the west wall of the temple mount show the result of being crushed by stones that fell from the temple mount above during the Roman destruction of the city and the temple in 70 AD. (click on image for larger size)
A map showing the route of Paul's prison ship in 59 AD when Paul was transported from Caesarea to Rome. (click on image for larger size)

Someone to Quote

"The church needs to be as clear in identifying the means of spiritual growth as they are in proclaiming the means of salvation." - Galyn Wiemers

Something to Ponder

When the German princes accepted Lutheranism in place of Catholicism, they established local churches according to territory. Every person within a German prince’s territory was part of the church; the children were baptized as members and given compulsory education in Luther's catechisms.

Here’s a Fact

John the Baptist seems to have been a prophet who God called out from among the Essenes, a religious sect in opposition to the Pharisees, Saducees and the morality of the Jewish priesthood.
The Essenes were in the wilderness in Qumran (location of the Dead Sea Scrolls) just a 2-4 miles away from where John the Baptist preached and baptized. The Essenes practice extensive ritual washings, or baptisms, and the Essenes sited Isaiah 40:3, "A voice of one calling: 'In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.' "
John is known for is baptism and using Isaiah 40:3 as his text verse. (More here and here and here.)


"When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan." - Proverbs 29:2

Coach’s Corner

You must keep going. You must try. If you do not, you cannot. 

Matthew 14:3
New International Version (NIV)
Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,
Matthew 12:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?
Revelation 2:1
New International Version (NIV)
To the Church in Ephesus
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.
Revelation 2:22-27
New International Version (NIV)
22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, 25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.’
26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father.
Genesis 40
New International Version (NIV)
The Cupbearer and the Baker
40 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time,
each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”
“We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”
Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”
12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”
16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”
20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.
23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
Genesis 50
New International Version (NIV)
50 Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him. Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him, taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s court, “If I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, ‘My father made me swear an oath and said, “I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.’”
Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”
So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials accompanied him—the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt— besides all the members of Joseph’s household and his brothers and those belonging to his father’s household. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company.
10 When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning.” That is why that place near the Jordan is called Abel Mizraim.
12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them: 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 14 After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father.
Joseph Reassures His Brothers
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
The Death of Joseph
22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.
24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

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