Stay Soft...

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The Shocking Message

Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008. They were written by a Godly lady for other ladies young and old so that their walk with the Lord may be strengthened.

Used with permission from New Beginnings Baptist Church.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.

Clearing Your Conscience

This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

How do you typically respond when someone who has hurt or disappointed you realizes they treated you wrongfully? Does relief flood your soul to know they've finally repented? Are you eager to restore fellowship upon their confession? Let's see how Joseph responds upon hearing his brothers admit their guilt…

Genesis 42: 23-25
And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes. Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them.

From the beginning of their unrealized reunion, Joseph had dealt with his brothers through an interpreter; therefore his brothers had no idea that any discussion they held in his presence was fully understood by Joseph. This divinely inspired disguise had its designed result, for we learned in our previous study that his brothers confessed their guilt after all those years of dishonesty! In that very moving moment, the Bible says Joseph turned himself from them and wept…

John 11:35
Jesus wept.

Scripture says there was also a time when Jesus actually broke into tears as well, for He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. However, by this brief verse we are reminded of the humanity of Christ and His love and concern for mankind. Does your love and concern for the hearts of others cause you to weep, dear lady? Many folks shed tears at simple tales of distress, but are hardened to real woe - such as a lost soul on their way to hell! True love brings suffering…

Job 30:25
Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?

Stop and consider the emotions Joseph must have been experiencing at the moment his brethren admitted their sin. Think back on the anguish they caused their younger brother's soul, and how they would neither hear nor help Joseph as they threw him in that pit. All those memories must have come flooding back to Joseph, all the days of hurt and disappointment he endured, all those hateful comments and nasty looks he received when he was living among them, yet he stayed tender… Imagine all those nights after they betrayed him that Joseph undoubtedly prayed for them, still longing to unite with them despite the unjust treatment he received at their hands. And now they've admitted their guilt and Joseph heard their admission with his very own ears! How it must have greatly encouraged his heart, amen? Joseph was getting closer than ever before to total reconciliation with his family because of God's softening process…

Job 23:16
For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:

Ladies, have you ever stopped to consider that our desire to finally admit and forsake our sins must greatly bless the tender, holy heart of our heavenly Father? You see, we've treated our Lord much the same way that Joseph's brothers callously treated Joseph! Our heavenly Father has been nothing but good to us and we have been selfish in return. With the influence of the Holy Spirit upon our souls, God has drawn us to His bosom…

Jeremiah 31:3
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Similarly, Joseph did not recompense evil for evil upon the heads of his brethren. Though he was firm and even bound Simeon as hostage before them, the Bible says he gave orders to fill their sacks with corn, restored their money, and even provided the nine with food for their journey home! Like Christ, Joseph loved his family members with an everlasting love that finally broke down their pride and opened their hearts… Can you endure the same for the sake of others? Ladies, let me encourage you to stay soft in the face of meanness. It is a good step toward restoring relationships and raising a soul to spiritual life! When the stones are taken out of our hearts - when prejudices, offences, bitterness, etc. are removed and got over, then a way is made for the Word of God to enter the hearts of others and set them free…

Ezekiel 36:26
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Only the Lord can change hearts that are frozen to good and thaw them out, causing them to pump with passion and new affections! Only He can repair families and give each member hearts that feel love to God and one another… Certainly all believers have been blessed in the same manner by our God, amen ladies? As was Joseph's testimony, the Lord grants us a large measure of provisions without price… God graciously bestows upon us all we need to thrive physically and spiritually in this life, yet we tend to squander those blessings. No doubt during their travels those nine brothers rehearsed time and time again how they would tell their father Jacob what happened to them when they arrived home! What about OUR journey home?? What will you say one day when you come face to face with your heavenly Father to explain the choices you have made in your life? May we all learn to be ready to extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us by staying soft. It's the one thing you can do in order to enjoy your family more!

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

Past Weekly Devotions

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