January 19, 2018

Written by Larry Stockstill

Everyone goes through a process of proving and testing. Jesus taught that the seed falls on various types of ground, each type representing the human heart (Matthew 13). Each of us will be tested to see how well we battle the areas of unbelief, discouragement, and distraction.

The birds mentioned in Matthew 13:4 are the demonic thieves who lie to us about the promises of God, tricking us into unbelief. The rocky soil (vv. 20-21) represents the onslaught of discouraging problems and persecutions that come our way. The thorny ground (v. 22) refers to the continual distractions of riches, pleasure, and worldly things.

Joseph passed each test in his thirteen years of Egyptian captivity. Throughout those years, he never allowed himself to doubt or to become negative about God's promise that he would one day be a ruler. He also never grew discouraged, though his way grew more difficult. Finally, he never compromised with sin, even when Potiphar's wife offered him everything in exchange for his purity.

Decide today to reject unbelief, to fight discouragement, and to refuse the distractions of the world. As you pass God's tests in each of these areas, He will take you from the pit to the prison to the palace!

Scriptures

Genesis 39:1-41:16


Chapter 39

1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there.
2 The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master.
3 His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.
4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.
5 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.
6 So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.
7 And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.”
8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge.
9 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 can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.
11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house,
12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.
13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house,
14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.
15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.”
16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home,
17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me.
18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”
19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled.
20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.
21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it.
23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.

Chapter 40

1 Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt.
2 And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,
3 and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.
4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody.
5 And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation.
6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled.
7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why are your faces downcast today?”
8 They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”
9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me,
10 and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes.
11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”
12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days.
13 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer.
14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house.
15 For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head,
17 and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.”
18 And Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days.
19 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you.”
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.
22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.
23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Chapter 41

1 After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile,
2 and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass.
3 And behold, seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile.
4 And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke.
5 And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. And behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk.
6 And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind.
7 And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.
8 So in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my offenses today.
10 When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard,
11 we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation.
12 A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream.
13 And as he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh.
15 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.”
16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”

Matthew 12:46-13:23

46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!
50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Chapter 13

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach.
3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,
6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.
7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.
15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower:
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy,
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Psalm 17:1-15


Chapter 17

1 Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
2 From your presence let my vindication come! Let your eyes behold the right!
3 You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
4 With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5 My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
6 I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
9 from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.
10 They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11 They have now surrounded our steps; they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
12 He is like a lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking in ambush.
13 Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
14 from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants.
15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

Proverbs 3:33-35

33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.
35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.



Source for scripture texts: www.digitalbibleplatform.com
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