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Welcome Little Children

13Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; 14but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” 15And he laid his hands on them and went on his way. (Matthew 19:13-15, NRSV)

I always think about this passage when I hear that the kids are too loud in the sanctuary, or did you see what those kids were doing during worship?

I understand that we want to worship and we sometimes have issues hearing as we age, but if the children are not in worship, then how will they learn to worship?

And sometimes people worship differently than we do, and that doesn’t make them wrong and us right, it just means that we are different, and that is how God made us.

So be like Jesus and let the little children come and bless them, and I bet they will, in turn, bless you!

 

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Bless the Lord!


19The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
20Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, obedient to his spoken word.
21Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will.
22Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
(Psalm 103:19-22, NRSV)

We have every reason in the world to bless the Lord for everything God has done for us.

So let your soul sing and give glory to the king.

Bless the Lord!

 

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Bless the Lord, O My Soul

1Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
3who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
(Psalm 103:1-5, NRSV)

I always sing this psalm because it is a wonderful camp song.

But it is also a great reminder that we are loved by the creator of the universe.

So Bless the Lord! And let all that is in you bless His holy name!

 

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Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream

Joseph Interprets Pharoah’s dream Genesis 41:14-37

Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile; and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. Then seven other cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly ones in all the land of Egypt. The thin and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows, but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke. I fell asleep a second time and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and good, growing on one stalk, and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouting after them; and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who could explain it to me.” Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine. It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land. The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, for it will be very grievous. And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years. Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone else like this—one in whom is the spirit of God?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; he arrayed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command; and they cried out in front of him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. Moreover Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Thus Joseph gained authority over the land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:14-45, NRSV)

Here again is God working in and through Joseph to help and bless those around him. Joseph was thrown in a pit, and sold by his family. He was sold to Potiphar and then thrown into prison when he was falsely accused and spent many years there. There though God continued to work through him and blessed him and those around him,

God helped Joseph. God will help you.

Follow after Christ and the path that is being given to you. And through that God will bless you and bless those around you through you.

 

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Joseph’s Hope

Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him; he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the food that he ate. Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her. One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house, she caught hold of his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, she called out to the members of her household and said to them, “See, my husband has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice; and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.” Then she kept his garment by her until his master came home, and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me; but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.” When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, “This is the way your servant treated me,” he became enraged. And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s care all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper. (Genesis 39:1-23, NRSV)

Wow. Who knew this story was in the Bible?

And why is it in the Bible?

To show that some people lie or throw a fit when they don’t get their way? Because that is what Potiphar’s wife does here. Now don’t hear that as the woman is always wrong. In this story that is how it is. She lied because she was trying to be with Joseph and he denied her that because Joseph knew that that was not honorable, and he followed after God. And God blessed the work of Joseph’s hands because Joseph was faithful. But not only was Joseph faithful, but God was also faithful and took care of Joseph.

God was with Joseph when he was thrown in the pit, when his brothers sold him, and when Potiphar’s wife had him thrown into jail. God was with Joseph and the works of his hands prospered because God was with him and blessed him to be a blessing for those who thought they were using him.

Do you walk with God so that He might bless the world through you?

 

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God Calls Abram

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb. (Genesis 12:1-9, NRSV)

What made Abram so special that he got singled out for this blessing?

He did not do anything yet that would make him any more worthy of finding favor with the Lord. He was the son of Terah, son of Nahor, who continues back to Shem son of Noah. But he was no different than anyone else.

But Abram almost sacrificed his only son for God. Yes, you are correct, but that was long after this. At this point, Abram had done nothing to win the favor of God and that is really what is upsetting to most of us, but should be the thing that really gives us hope.

You see we get upset because others seem to get the good stuff from God. They are nothing special, why I can herd goats better than Abram, why did he get God’s blessing? Because God wanted to give him a blessing.

You see it is not because Abram had done something special or was living the way that everyone expected him to. Abram was chosen by God because he was God’s creation and he was enough just as he was.

And if you read the reading again and look for why Abram was blessed you will see that he was blessed to be a blessing. You see each and every one of us is good enough just as we are and were made this way to be a blessing to others.

So to quote the great theologian Jon Bon Jovi in his song Welcome to Wherever You Are “When you wanna give up, and your hearts about to break remember that you’re perfect, God makes no mistakes.”

 

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The Use of Wealth

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17, NRSV)

Don’t set your hopes in your riches. But remember it is all a blessing from God.

Put your trust in God alone and use the blessings you have received to help spread the love of God!

 

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