DIG for Tuesday the 27th of January…..Joseph, an amazing type or shadow of Jesus…..Genesis 42 v 8 and John 1 v 5

I’ve been preparing a sermon today, the last in my series about what we can learn from the life of Joseph.

I’ve written recently about how Joseph is a type or shadow of Jesus, but the passages I studied today really highlighted this for me.

Joseph brought truth and revelation and he was rejected for this; the same was true for Jesus.

Joseph was despised and people wanted to kill him; the same was true for Jesus.

Joseph came in front of his family and they did not know him; the same was true for Jesus if we talk of mankind as His family.

Joseph wept for his fellow man; so did Jesus.

Joseph provided provision to his family without taking payment; the same is true for Jesus toward us.

Joseph forgave unconditionally those who hurt, despised and rejected him; the same is true for Jesus.

Joseph saved his family and his nation; the same is true for Jesus when we think about ourselves.

We can read about Joseph and learn so much about Jesus, and the same is true of all of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament is not just a history book; it is full of types, shadows, pictures and references about Jesus.

Maybe it is time you had a fresh look at the Old Testament.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the example of Joseph, thank you that through him we can learn about Jesus”.

Genesis 42 v 8…..And Joseph knew his brethren but they knew him not

John 1 v 5…..And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not

DIG for Monday the 26th of January…..if He has asked you to go, He will provide…..1 Kings 17 v 3 and 4

“You go before me, You’re there beside me

And if I wander love will find me.

Goodness and mercy will always follow,

You go before me, my Guardian”

This is the chorus of “Guardian” by Ben Cantelon, and this song is very special to me at the moment.

It speaks of a faithful God, who is always with us, who will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13 v 5).

Indeed, it speaks of a God who goes before us having prepared a way through a plan and purpose for our lives (Jeremiah 1 v 5 and Isaiah 49 v 1).

It speaks of a God who wants the best for us, looking out for us, giving us only good things (James 1 v 17).

It speaks of a God who provides for us, who wants us to live in health and prosperity (3 John v 2 and John 10 v 10).

It speaks of a God who provides, if He tells you to do something and you obey, He will provide all that you need!

God told Elijah to go to the brook, where the birds would provide food for him (1 Kings 17 v 3 and 4).

Elijah obeyed and he was provided for supernaturally.

If God has asked you to do something for him He will provide for you, He will give you what you need, in fact he will prosper you so that you can give to others.

The Lord is good, good, good!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are so good to me, thank you for all that you have done and are doing for me”.

1 Kings 17 v 3 and 4…..Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shall drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there

DIG for Sunday the 25th of January…..Jesus is for you, He is for everyone…..John 3 v 1 and John 4 v 7

It is quite sad to see when someone excludes himself (or herself) from the love of Jesus.

It may be because of feelings on unworthiness (thinking Jesus would not want to relate to them) or because of pride (thinking that they do not need Jesus).

Jesus wants to have a relationship with everyone; He came to earth to bring reconciliation and forgiveness so that every man could have the possibility of salvation (2 Peter 3 v 9).

There is no one too high or too low (in the eyes of the world) for Jesus.

In John 3 and 4 we see Jesus in relationship with two very different people.We see Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman.

He was in the highest strata of Jewish society, a Pharisee and a ruler (John 3 v 1).

She was in the lowest level of society in that cultural context; she was a woman, a Samaritan and a fornicator, indeed everything was going against her, yet Jesus came looking for her (John 4 v 4).

Jesus spoke the words of eternal life and truth to both people, and throughout His ministry we would see Him doing the same to many others.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that after His first miracle and His ministry started Jesus first encounters Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman.

This is a picture that everyone, no matter where in society, is welcome in His Kingdom.

Never think of yourself as being too high in society or too low for a relationship with Jesus; He loves us all no matter what social circumstances we are in.

Do not exclude yourself from the love of Jesus, and in the same manner do not exclude anyone else.

Never judge anyone else according to the ways of the world; rich men and poor men need Jesus, the powerful and the powerless need Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus came for every man, and thank you that you came for me”.

John 3 v 1…..There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews

John 4 v 7……There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink

DIG for Saturday the 24th of January……wow; people actually do get offended at God…..Matthew 11 v 6

In a message I was listening to yesterday the pastor was talking about people (believers and non-believers) being offended at God or by God.

Initially I thought, “No!” but as I meditated about it this is actually the case.

Believers get offended at God as they do not understand the true nature of God.

They do not know that God is a truly good God and has only their best interests at heart (James 1 v 17 and 3 John v 2).

Because they do not understand this truth they can believe that God has made them ill or taken one of their family away from them through illness; and they get offended.

Non-believers also do not understand this truth about God and then get offended by God allegedly causing poverty and famine.

Poverty and famine are cause primarily by greed from those in the developed nations and corruption in the under-developed countries; God has nothing to do with it.

However, they “see” God doing this and get offended, which is actually nonsense seeing as they don’t believe in Him!

Yes, people get offended at and by God, even Christians; indeed Jesus was said to be a stumbling stone and a rock of offence (1 Peter 2 v 8).

People get offended as they do not understand the true nature of God; that He is only good and only wants the best for us.

God does not put illness upon us; this is caused by either a fallen world, the enemy or our own irresponsibility.

God has done nothing for anyone to be offended at; He only deserves love and praise.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you only want the best for us, you want us to live in health and prosperity”.

Matthew 11 v 6….And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me

DIG for Friday the 23rd of January…..don’t give up, things in the Kingdom take time…..Mark 4 v 28

Many people get “fast tracked” in secular employment, in the army and police for example.

Fast tracking does not happen in the Kingdom.

When we read the Word we always see people having a time of preparation before they enter ministry.

This happened with Moses and Paul for example and even with Jesus.

Things in the Kingdom take time.

The writer of Mark says the Kingdom of God is like a seed planted in the ground (Mark 4 v 26).

A seed takes time to grow, it does not sprout and grow immediately.

It is planted and then takes time, somewhat like a time of preparation.

A lot is happening inside a seed before it grows, it is changing and getting ready to send out roots and shoots.

Anything we do in the Kingdom is like a seed, it needs time of preparation; in a real sense it is like a time of putting down roots.

Don’t fret if your ministry is not taking off yet; if you have had a word from God about the ministry you are still in a time of preparation.

Use the time to study, pray and meditate, put down more roots.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have plan and purpose for my life and thank you for this time of preparation”.

Mark 4 v 28…..For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear

DIG for Thursday the 22nd of January…..have less cares about others being offended…..Psalm 119 v 165

We often hear in church about not taking offence and not being offended.

It is also important to hear however that we should also have less concerns about offending other people.

I’m not telling you to go out to offend with intent, however we must never cease from speaking the truth because it may offend people.

The truth about Jesus will offend people, He is said to be a stumbling block.

However we should speak the truth about the Lord even if it offends because it is also the truth that saves!

“I better not say that in case it offends someone” is a phrase I often hear.

That is ok if what you are about to say is deliberately offensive, but it is not ok if it is a truth about Jesus or the Kingdom.

Life and death are in the power of the tongue and we can use our words to speak out truth, it is not your fault if this brings offence.

speak this out today….”Thank you Lord for the truth about Jesus and thank you for the opportunities to speak this out”.

Psalm 119 v 165…..Great peace have they which love the law: and nothing shall offend them

DIG for Wed the 21st of January…..not left or right, but straight ahead…..Joshua 1 v 7

Joshua was a man on a mission, a mission from God.

He had been given instructions on what to do and how to claim the Promised Land for the people.

God then gave him some very specific instructions about how to achieve this.

He was told to be strong and courageous, and he was told this on a number of occasions (Joshua 1 v 6 to 9).

He was also told not to deviate from these instructions or from the Word of God; he was told not to look to the right or the left (Joshua 1 v 7).

This meant to stay focussed and not to get distracted.

The same is true for us today.

Each one of us (even though we may not have heard it yet) has a plan and purpose from God.

We need to be strong and courageous in this plan and we need to stay focussed.

If God has spoken to us and we know what He wants we need to keep looking to that and looking to His Word in order to see it come to pass.

We must not let our focus be taken away (to right or left) from the plan and purpose of God; if we do we could miss what God has planned for us.

Moses and Elijah both “missed” their exact plan from God as they took their focus away and actually disobeyed Him.

We need to be sure the same does not happen to us!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have a plan and purpose for my life. Help me stay focussed on you and focussed on your Word”.

Joshua 1 v 7…..Only be strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest

DIG for Tuesday the 20th of January…… He came to destroy religion, not start a new one (part 2)…..John 2 v 15

Yesterday I wrote about Jesus coming to destroy religion instead of starting a new one.

We saw this through him turning water into wine in the jars that the Jews used for religious ritualistic cleansing.

Today we look at another picture of Jesus doing the same again.

In the temple the Jews had to sacrifice various animals in order to cover their sin so that they could come into relationship with God.

To do this they had to purchase doves, oxen and other animals.

Without the animals they could not carry out their religious duties, their sacrifices.

By driving out the animals and the folk that sold them the people could not carry out their religious duties, they could not partake in religion.

Jesus was saying, “You do not need these animals” or “You do not need your religion”.

A new way had come for people to come to God, or rather in reality a new way had come for God to come to His people.

Religion is man trying to come to God, Christianity is God come to man.

Jesus came to bring forgiveness and reconciliation through His finished work, sacrifices and religion are not required any more.

Of course we do not have sacrifices today, but many in the church still have religion (man made traditions and practices trying to move towards God).

Religion should be dead; dead as Jesus is alive and well and all that is required.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that I now live under the freedom of relationship and not the bondage of religion”.

John 2 v 15…..And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables

DIG for Monday the 19th of January…….He came to destroy religion, not start a new one…..John 2 v 6 and 7

In the second chapter of John we see Jesus performing His first recorded miracle, turning water into wine. We also see Him “cleansing” the temple.

Both of these accounts are pictures showing us that Jesus came to destroy religion (man made traditions and rules designed to try and move man towards God).

Most people have the wrong idea about Jesus, thinking instead that He came to start a new religion.

Jesus and His coming were not about religion but about relationship.

His first miracle took place at a wedding, a wonderful example of relationship.

He used the stone jars that were used to hold water for the ritualistic cleansing of the Jews, for part of their required religious observance.

By using them to hold wine He actually desecrated them, making them useless again for their religious practices.

He was telling a story here, showing the people (and us) that religious practices would no longer be required.

There would be no more need for cleansing and religion, He was all they would need.

Faith in Jesus would provide all the cleansing that was required and religion was not required any more.

The jars would not be required once Jesus had performed his once for all work (Hebrews 10), indeed religion would not be required.

True Christianity, following and trusting in Jesus and His finished work, is all about relationship and should have nothing to do with religion.

Desecrating the required equipment at the ultimate example of relationship (wine in the stone jars at a wedding) is a clear picture that Jesus came to end religion and start relationship.

What a wonderful picture of the new covenant, the covenant that we now live under.

The ruler of the feast commented that the second wine, the wine that Jesus brought into being, was much better than the first.

We are blessed to live under the better second covenant where relationship with God is the key, and not religion and religious performance.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that I now live under the freedom of relationship and not the bondage of religion”.

John 2 v 6 and 7…..And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim