Monday: Genesis 42
Tuesday: Mark 14
Wednesday: Psalm 9
Thursday: Romans 13
Friday: Genesis 42, Mark 14, Psalm 9, Romans 13
Monday, Genesis 42
Joseph’s mercy toward his brothers is just a small glimpse of God’s mercy toward us. We are like these brothers who hated, mocked, and ultimately betrayed their brother, and yet Joseph’s love for them is so evident as he repeatedly turns to weep. And as the story continues, I notice something about these brothers – they seem to be softening, changing.
Those who once sold their younger brother into slavery now promise to protect Benjamin, even pledging their own lives. They are humbled. In their humility, their hearts are softened, they are given compassion for those other than themselves.
This is what the mercy of our Father in Jesus should do to our own hearts. We who once betrayed and belittled now sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our neighbor. We who once were arrogant are now humbled before the cross. We who once thought only of ourselves are not filled with compassion. Because we have received His love and mercy, we now extend love and mercy to those around us.
In what ways has the mercy of God softened you?
How can you extend His love and mercy toward someone in your life today?
Tuesday, Mark 14
I pray not one of us would be able to read this passage without complete and total awe of the Savior who gave His life for us, who took the punishment we deserved, who allowed His body to be broken and His blood to be spilled so that we could have a relationship with the Father.
Our only response to this extravagant love must be like Mary of Bethany’s, to give Him everything we have, our lives as an offering laid at His feet.
Spend some time today in awe of the Savior and His finished work on the cross. He did it for you.
No matter your circumstance or current hardship, what Jesus did for us on the cross should cause us to trust Him now.
What can you trust Him with today?
Wednesday, Psalm 9
We rest secure in God’s righteous rule, in His kindness and mercy. Let all who love Him sing His praises!
“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” – Psalm 9:10
Commit this verse to memory this week. He is our stronghold and worthy of our praise!
Who can you tell today of the wonderful work of Christ?
Thursday, Romans 13
We can walk in the kind of love Paul describes because we have the kind of hope he describes in verse 11 – salvation is near. Our God is coming back to right and restore all things! This compels us to love our neighbors and even our enemies, to pray for those who hurt us, to honor our governing bodies and authorities. We put on Christ, we put off all else. It is a high calling, but we rest in the great assurance that because of His work on the cross we will one day live with Him forever!
Can you pray today for someone who is hard to love?
Can you pray today for someone in authority, even if you don’t personally agree with them?
Owe no one anything except love. Joseph’s brothers might have deserved imprisonment or death. We, in our sin, certainly deserve death. But our God gives mercy.
Once we have fully accepted this, we can live in extravagant love of our neighbor, showing the mercy of Christ to those we encounter in our days. We must love each other with a love so otherworldly that people take notice. We must forgive each other the way Joseph forgave brothers who caused him a whole lifetime of misery. We must reach out our hands and break bread even with those who are different from us.
Let us remain watchful and not asleep to what the Lord is doing around us. Let us affirm and never deny that we are people who have known the Lord, and it is our desire to share His love and mercy. Let us, like the woman who anointed Him, pour out all we have for Jesus. He alone is worthy.
God shows us a better way.
He gives Joseph the strength to endure much hardship and never turn away from the One true God. He gives him the grace to extend forgiveness to his brothers, and we watch as their hearts begin to soften. He gives Mary the trust she needs to pour her entire life savings out before her Savior.
Paul encourages us to embrace a love that can only come from Christ – a love that honors others above self and fulfils the law.
And as the very ultimate example, Jesus, denies His own desire – that the cup would pass from Him – and submits in joyful obedience to the Father, to save us.
I pray that we might walk in this kind of love today!