Is there anyone you would give the key to your heart? Is there anyone you would give the key to your life? Is there anyone who you would allow access to everything about you? Is there anyone you would allow to have authority over your life? Who has your key?
But what about the key? Who has earn the key? Who deserves the key? Who has the key?
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. –from Revelation 1:18
Jesus is the answer to all the questions. He earned it when He came to this world to provide a way for us to have life and life to the full.He came to this world to save it! He is knocking on the door to your heart, hoping you will let him in. Will you just give Him the key? Will you give him access to everything that is you? Will you give Him authority over all that you think, say, and do? Will you allow Him to be Lord of your life?
Even though He has authority, He has give us freewill to choose whom we will serve! We get to choose if we will serve God or something else! We get to choose if we will give God the key to our life or live lives apart from God’s love and God’s blessings! We get to choose if we will walk in alignment to His ways and His will because we give Him the key that means we submit to His authority!
Ever heard of people joining forces? Ever heard of people being yoked? Ever heard of people entering into a covenant? To realize the benefits if we do this with Jesus?
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. –from Matthew 16:19
Will you live on this earth as Jesus’ hands extended? Will you live on this earth as Jesus’ arms embracing? Will you live on this earth as Jesus with skin on to the people around you so that they can see and feel hope and love? Why not join forces with God by receiving Jesus and then living life with the power, the authority, access, and the privilege Jesus has given you?
What will you do with the key?
Devotional, Psalm 14, Matthew 16:1-20, Genesis 45, Genesis 46, Genesis 47:1-12
Now that you know that you have the keys, how will you live?
Today’s devotional gives us the following points…
1. Enjoy access to God
2. Receive the keys by faith
3. Unlock doors and see lives changed
Enjoy access to God … Psalm 14:1-7
Will you be someone who will seek God? Will you be one of the few God finds who is seeking Him and His ways rather than chasing after the wind and their own ways? Will you be one who is turning back to God and pursuing Him rather than turning away from God and running away? Will join forces with God and live out the benefits of having access to Him?
The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. –Psalm 14:2
But there is nobody on earth who is righteous enough on their own.In our own power we are hopeless for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!
3All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. 4Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord. 5But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. 6You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. –from Psalm 14
But there is a way to have access…it’s Jesus! When we have received Jesus into our hearts and given Him the keys to our lives, He gives us the keys to the kingdom allowing us access to God!
Take a look around at the world we live in today and compare the similarity with the past. David spoke in this psalm of how things were back then…have things changed much? Do you see any similarities? Let’s consider the verses above and how David says that “all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” and then even calls out in verse 1 how people are denying the existence of God..
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good. –Psalm 14:1
David also speak to how people aren’t helping the poor when he calls out and says “You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.” So will you take hold of David’s psalm today? Will you ask Jesus into your heart giving Him the key so that he has access and authority over you life and then start to live life where you seek God and justice for the poor? Will you join with David can call out to God…
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! –Psalm 14:7
Praying that Jesus will be made known throughout the world! Praying that God will use you to help share the good news with the world around you? Praying that God will give you eyes to see the need, ears to understand the need, and courage to do something about it!
Tell the world about forgiveness today! Don’t be bitter and let it eat you up, forgive! Allow Jesus to be the key that opens the door to real life!
So now that you have asked Jesus into your life, will you receive what He has for you?
Receive the keys by faith … Matthew 16:1-20
Do you acknowledge who Jesus is? Do you understand who Jesus is? Not only in this section where we speak about receiving the keys by faith, but even in our Psalm for today, we see God is looking for someone who “understands“. It may not be easy and we even see how the disciples needed help too and it is shared with us too in order to help us understand…
8Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. –from Matthew 16
Some of us take more than once to get it. Some need more than just a story or a parable to get it. Some of us take getting an explanation to grasp it. But when we do…watch out! When we are prepared to speak of the source of the hope that is within us, we are different! In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. We need to be able to share it in a way that others are able to receive it!
We see when Peter gets who Jesus is…
13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. –from Matthew 16
Peter not only had received wisdom from God into who Jesus is, Jesus spoke life and transformation into Peter’s life! Jesus gave Him a calling! Jesus changed him from a reed to a rock! Jesus now had a rock to build His church and the gates of hell will not overcome it! Peter’s rock like faith was going to be how the church would move forward! Remember what happened on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit showed up and how Peter responded? He spoke with boldness and 3000 people were saved (Acts 2:41)! How about when the centurion sent for Peter and Jesus through a vision told him to not call unclean what God has called clean. Responding to the call from the centurion in obedience opened the door for those of us who aren’t Jewish to be able to have salvation too (Acts 10).
Remember when Jesus sent the disciples out 2 by 2 and the miracles that took place? Remember when Jesus gave the keys to all the disciples when He said…
Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. –Matthew 18:8
As the church, Jesus has given us great power and great responsibility! When you hear the statement “with great power comes great responsibility” what do you think of? Spiderman? What uncle Ben said to Peter Parker? The reality is this is a biblical principle. Consider what Jesus tells the disciples:
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
We now have the privilege and the responsibility to spread the Good News of Jesus! Let’s allow our faith in Jesus to be our strength! It is our shield against the attacks of the devil! When we resist him, he will flee! So let’s take the keys Jesus has given us and storm the gates of hell and save the people on the other side who need to know and have an encounter with Jesus! Jesus is the key to real freedom! Jesus is the key to forgiveness! Let’s share the good news! Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities of this dark world! So put on the full armor of God!
Today’s devotional closes this section with the following commentary…
Jesus says, in effect, that the powers of hell will ‘not overcome’ the person who has faith in him (v.18). Rather, the church, armed with the keys of the kingdom, can storm the gates of hell and set the prisoners free.
The ‘gates of Hades’ will not hold out against the church. Gates are defensive, not offensive, it is the church that is on the offensive and you can be assured of victory against the defenses of the enemy.
You can have the amazing privilege of seeing people set free through the preaching of the good news of the kingdom. You can have the joy of seeing people set free from drug addiction, alcoholism, crime and every other bondage. You can approach challenges with confidence, fearing no evil, knowing that you share in a remarkable spiritual authority.
So let’s be people who are ambassadors of peace! Let’s be people who take the keys to free the captives and set them free with the hope and power of Jesus! Let’s go beyond our comfort zone in order to share the good news of Jesus with the world around us! If not you then who? If not now then when? If not here then where? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!
Unlock doors and see lives changed … Genesis 45:1-47:12
Imagine being Jacob and his family and the grief they went through. Imagine the depth of that valley they had to walk through. Imagine the transformation when they realize what had happened to Joseph. Imagine the transformation when that door was unlocked and how their lives were changed.
Are you willing to be yourself in front of others? Are you willing to share yourself with others? Are you able to express and share your emotions with others? Imagine being asked to go before a crowd of coworkers to share a testimony from your life. What story would you tell? What hope could you share? What truth can you give them to take home? How can and will you make a difference?
Will you share the power of forgiveness with them like we see Joseph with his brothers?
It’s ok to share your emotions! Joseph did! Jesus did! So will you share yours with the people around you so that they know you are real and sincere with them?
Joseph Makes Himself Known
1Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
12“You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
14Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
16When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’
19“You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. 20Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’ ”
21So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes. 23And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”
25So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
Jacob Goes to Egypt
1So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
3“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”
5Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. 6So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. 7Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.
8These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt:
Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.
9The sons of Reuben:
Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi.
10The sons of Simeon:
Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
11The sons of Levi:
Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
12The sons of Judah:
Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan).
The sons of Perez:
Hezron and Hamul.
13The sons of Issachar:
Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron.
14The sons of Zebulun:
Sered, Elon and Jahleel.
15These were the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram,besides his daughter Dinah. These sons and daughters of his were thirty-three in all.
16The sons of Gad:
Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.
17The sons of Asher:
Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah.
Their sister was Serah.
The sons of Beriah:
Heber and Malkiel.
18These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.
19The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel:
Joseph and Benjamin. 20In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
21The sons of Benjamin:
Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.
22These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob—fourteen in all.
23The son of Dan:
24The sons of Naphtali:
Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem.
25These were the sons born to Jacob by Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel—seven in all.
26All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives—numbered sixty-six persons. 27With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.
28Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen, 29Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.
30Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”
31Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”
–from Genesis 46
1Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” 2He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh. 3Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” 4They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.” 5Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.” 7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?” 9And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence. 11So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.
–from Genesis 47
Don’t worry about it, give it up to God! And ask Him for wisdom on how to use the keys He has given you through Jesus!
Let’s close today’s blog by reflecting on how today’s devotional close…
As I look back on my life I realise how many times I have worried unnecessarily. If only I had trusted God completely I would have saved myself so much turmoil. Think of how much Jacob must have suffered over Joseph when actually God had it all totally under control.
Jesus said he came to fulfil the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17–20). The story of Joseph is a good example of this: Jesus fulfilled what was foreshadowed by Joseph. Joseph’s suffering was part of God’s plan to save his people. In saving his people, God made Joseph a lord and ruler over all Egypt (Genesis 45:8–9).
One of the keys of the kingdom is to understand that Jesus is the Saviour of the world – to see that behind the cross was the hand of God saving lives through the suffering of Jesus ‘by a great deliverance’ (v.7). Now God has made Jesus not just ‘lord of all Egypt’ but Lord of all creation.
The hero of flight 1549 saved the lives of 155 people and was given the keys of New York. Joseph saved the lives of the people of God and was made lord of all Egypt. Jesus saved the world and is given the keys of the kingdom, which he hands on to his church. What an amazing privilege you have.