January 18 – Scripture of the Day

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There is much in our lives that we cannot control. In fact, when we are willing to admit it to ourselves, there is far more we can’t control that we can control.

For many of us, that is difficult to deal with. By nature, we want to be in control of our lives and circumstances.

But that is often not the case.

Well known author and pastor Charles Swindoll is quoted as saying “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.”

I think he’s right.

And our scripture today speaks to these types of circumstances in our lives.

Genesis 50:19-21 reads: 19 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.

At this point in Genesis, Joseph’s father Jacob has died, and Joseph’s brothers are afraid that Joseph will now seek revenge upon them for selling him into slavery.

But Joseph reassures them, and tells them while they intended their actions for harm, God used it for good.

God works in our lives today in these same ways.

How often does something happen to us that at the time seems very difficult? Yet looking back on it, we are able to see how God used it to bless us, or prepare us for a future circumstance.

God is a master at taking the bad things in our lives and using them for good.

Because we live in a fallen world that is rife with sin, bad things happen in our lives. Sometimes these bad things are a result of our poor decisions, but sometimes they happen because of circumstances beyond our control.

It won’t always be that way.

But for now, even in the midst of this broken world, God still uses all circumstances to bring about His will and His glory.

God uses the challenges in our lives to mold us, grow us, mature us, and make us better.

No matter the circumstance, God can and does use our lives for good.

Thanks be to God for that!

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Today’s reading: Genesis 47:28-50:26
Tomorrow’s reading: Job 1:1-4:21

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Most Popular Kindle Bible Passage

stress-philip-4-6-7-_640pixabayIf you ask me, Kindle books are one of the best parts of iPads, tablets, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I prefer a real book in my hands, but its hard to deny the convenience of electronic books.

Not surprisingly, Amazon doesn’t release much of the data they collect on Kindle books, like purchase, shares, highlights, etc.

However, a recent article in the Atlantic provided a little data about the most highlighted passages of a few books including Pride and Prejudice, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter —  and of most interest to me — the Bible.

The best selling Kindle bible is the NIV translation.  Aand the most highlighted verse?

Drumroll please…..

It’s Philippians 4:6-7.

The NIV translation reads:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Another really, really good translation of this passage IMHO is the Message:  

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving.  Let us replace our fret, replace our worry… with Thanksgiving.  And true thanksgiving comes as a result of faith.  Faith in something bigger than ourselves.

Article link:  The Most Popular Passages in Books, According to Kindle Data
Scripture link:  Philippians 4:6-7
Photo credit:  Pixabay.com