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I hope you enjoyed this study as much as I did this week. With the world being as crazy as it is right now, it’s important to remember that reactions come with a choice. Satan will do all he can to destroy us and bring us down, but he doesn’t have the power to make choices for us. He can’t steal our joy, rob us of peace, or destroy our faith unless we allow it. And so I encourage you to stand strong in these trying times. Look for the joy in the simplicity of everyday life. Enjoy the moment you’re in and trust God to align things tomorrow. Wash your hands, stay safe, live in peace.
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Week 1 – Concluding Thoughts on Genesis Chapter 37
As I was studying this chapter I began to notice that there’s a lot of focus out there on what Jacob did wrong. He openly favored Joseph, which festered jealousy among the brothers. That’s a given—the Bible clearly tells us that.
Jacob wasn’t perfect by any means. He had his flaws just like you and I do. What stood out to me however wasn’t so much his actions, but the negative reaction his sons had. I think there’s an important lesson to be learned here. Not only in response to this chapter but the story of Joseph in its entirety.
There’s a popular mindset out there that has us thinking our reactions to circumstances around us are a matter of cause and effect, and so we blame others for the way that we act, the depressive slump that we’re in, or the bitterness in our heart.
“You made me feel small.”
“You made me so angry I couldn’t sleep.”
“You made me cry.”
“You made me jealous.”
“You made me feel ugly.”
“You made me…”
“You made me…”
“You made me…”
And then there’s the popular saying, “The Devil made me do it.” Really? Does the devil make any of us do anything? Or could it be that the choices we make, the steps that we take, and the arguments we choose to believe through our temptation result in our sin? Satan will certainly tempt us, but he can never take away our God-given ability to choose what is right.
James 1:15 says, “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.” To ‘Conceive’ means to form, as in forming an idea or developing thoughts within your mind. This development might take place over a week, or it might take a few seconds, but it’s essentially our thought process that determines the actions we take. It’s our thought process that robs us of joy, our thought process that makes us anxious, our thought process that brings us down, and our thought process that gives birth to sin.
And so, in this chapter we see the brothers thinking about the choices they had and weighing their options. They’re discussing it among themselves and entertaining the idea of killing Joseph.
Paul writes, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Do you see what Paul’s doing there? He’s demolishing arguments, he’s taking thoughts captive, he’s bringing them into obedience. We must be willing to stop sin before it takes root.
Reuben doesn’t agree with their plan, but instead of standing up for his brother, and instead of turning his back on sin, he offers an alternative solution: let’s throw him into a pit. You see, he wasn’t diving into a lake of sin, he was dipping his toe into the shallow end. That shallow water quickly consumed him as he was drawn away by the force of its tide, while his brother was taken to Egypt.
And so, we must be cautious when we’re facing temptation, and ready to defend our faith at all times. We must make every effort to remain spotless, and do all that we can to stand guard, lest we be drawn away into sin. We can’t stand up to sin if we’re entertaining the slightest temptation. Remember, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9) A little sin goes a long way to destroying one’s life.
I’ve created some 8.5 x 11 high res images for you with some of the thoughts and verses from this study. I’ll have two of them for you each week, making a collection of 12 of them in total. Please click the images or the links below to view and print your copies.
About the Author
Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.
She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.
It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. Reshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.
Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife