Do you realize what you learn? Do you realize what got removed? Do you realize what it taught you? Do yo realize what how it has prepared you? Do you realize how the gifts you were given can be used? Do you realize that training you were given was for something greater? Do you realize how that adversity wasn’t to harm you nor to set you back, it was to prepare you for what was yet to come? Do you realize how it slowed you down just enough to walk right into God’s perfect position and position timing? And do you realize how God can use adversity for greater things?
You have to check this out! Check out how the adversity Joseph went through prepared him to be a humble servant in such a high level role that he was called into…
Exalted by Pharaoh
1Now at the end of two whole years, Pharaoh was dreaming. Behold, there he was standing by the Nile.
2Then behold, there were seven cows, good-looking and beefy, and they grazed in the reeds.
3Then behold, there were seven other cows coming up after them from the Nile, ugly and emaciated, and they stood beside the cows at the edge of the Nile.
4Then the ugly emaciated cows ate the seven good-looking beefy cows—and Pharaoh woke up.
5Then he slept and dreamed a second time: behold, there were seven ears of corn coming up on one stalk, plump and good.
6Then behold, there were seven ears of corn, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouting up after them.
7Then the seven thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven plump and full ears of corn. Then Pharaoh woke up—it was a dream.
8But in the morning he was disturbed in his spirit. So he sent and called for the fortune-telling priests of Egypt and all its wise men and Pharaoh told them his dream. But no one could interpret them for Pharaoh.
9Then the chief of the cupbearers spoke with Pharaoh saying, “I am reminded of my sins today.
10Pharaoh had been angry with his servants and put me in the custody of the house of the commander of the bodyguards—me and the chief of the bakers.
11Then we each dreamed a dream on the same night, he and I, we both dreamed, yet each dream had its own interpretation.
12Now there with us was a Hebrew youth—a slave belonging to the commander of the bodyguards. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams for us, each man’s dream he interpreted.
13Then it came about, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. Me he restored to my position, but him he hung.
14Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph. So they quickly fetched him from the pit. He shaved, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh.
15Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I dreamed a dream and there’s no one to interpret it. I heard about you— it’s said that you can listen to a dream to interpret it.”
16Then Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, “It’s not within me. God will answer with shalom for Pharaoh.”
17So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream, there I was, standing by the bank of the Nile.
18And to my surprise, out of the Nile seven cows were coming up, beefy and good-looking, and they grazed in the reeds.
19Then all of a sudden, there were seven other cows coming up after them, feeble, very ugly and emaciated. I’ve never seen the likes of these in the whole land of Egypt for ugliness.
20Then the emaciated and ugly cows ate the first seven beefy cows.
21When they were devoured, one couldn’t tell that they had been devoured. Their appearance was as ugly as it was at first. Then I woke up.
22Then I saw in my dream, there were seven ears of corn coming up on one stalk, plump and good.
23Then suddenly, there were seven ears of corn, dried up, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouting up after them.
24Then the thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven good ears of corn. So I told the fortune-telling priests, but no one could provide me with an explanation.”
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dream is one. God has told Pharaoh what He is about to do.
26The seven good cows: they are seven years. Also the seven ears of corn: they’re seven years. It is one dream.
27The seven emaciated and ugly cows coming up after them: they’re seven years. Also the seven empty ears of corn scorched by the east wind: there will be seven years of famine.
28It is the word that I have already said to Pharaoh: what God is about to do, he has shown to Pharaoh.
29Seven years of abundance are about to come in the whole land of Egypt.
30Then seven years of famine will come up after them and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten and the famine will consume the land.
31So the abundance in the land will be unknown because of the famine that follows, for it will be a very oppressive famine.
32“Now as for repeating Pharaoh’s dream twice: it’s because the matter has been settled by God and God will quickly make it happen.
33So now, let Pharaoh select a man discerning and wise and set him in authority over the land of Egypt.
34Let Pharaoh act by appointing administrators over the land and take a fifth portion from the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.
35Then let them gather all the food from these good years that are coming, and let them store up grain under Pharaoh’s hand as food for the cities, so they may preserve it.
36Let the food be held in reserve for the land for the seven years of famine that is coming upon the land of Egypt. Then the land will not be annihilated by the famine.”
37Now the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh as well as all his servants.
38Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can a man like this be found, one in whom is God’s Spirit?”
39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.
40You! You will be over my house, and all my people will pay homage to you . Only in relation to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I appoint you over the whole land of Egypt.”
42Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, clothed him with fine linen garments, and put a chain of gold around his neck.
43Then he had him ride in the chariot as second-in-command, the one that belonged to him, and they called out before him, “Kneel down!” So he appointed him over the whole land of Egypt.
44Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one will lift up his hand or his foot in the whole land of Egypt.”
45Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Then Joseph went out, in charge of the land of Egypt.
46Now Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving as representative of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and passed throughout the whole land of Egypt.
47During the seven years of abundance, the land produced in heaps.
48So he gathered all the food in the land of Egypt during the seven years, and put food in the cities; the food from the city fields surrounding the cities he put in each city.
49So Joseph stored up grain like the sand of the sea, vast amounts, until he stopped keeping record because it was beyond counting.
50Two sons also had been born to Joseph before the year of famine came, born to him by Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
51Joseph named his first-born Manasseh, “because God has caused me to forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.”
52And the second he named Ephraim, “because God has made me fruitful in the land of my oppression.”
53Then the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end,
54and the seven years of famine started to come—just as Joseph had said. So there was famine in all the lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was bread.
55When the whole land of Egypt suffered famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, and Pharaoh said to all of Egypt, “Go to Joseph. Do whatever he tells you.”
56The famine was over all the entire land, so Joseph opened up all that was among them and sold grain to Egypt. Then the famine became severe in the land of Egypt.
57Yet the whole world came to Egypt to buy grain—to Joseph—because the famine was severe in the whole world.
–from Genesis 41
He didn’t forget you! He never left you! He will never abandon you! He will work all things together for good! He knows what is going to happen before it does! He knows how you can make a difference in that situation! He knows your potential! He knows your gifts and talents! And He wants you to be able to step up and step into the great and mighty plans He has for your life! So don’t give up! Don’t give in! And don’t think that you have it all figured out, because you may just surprised to find out the bigger picture that it all plays a part into. (Want to see what that can look like, fell free to read ahead in the next chapter and see what happens to Jesus and how his family is restored.)
Have you received the Holy Spirit? Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Like in the upper room type of experience? Did you want to? Do you want to? The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for everyone who believes! Some may think it isn’t for everyone, but that may just be a confusion with the gifts of the Spirit which are given based on the needs of the situation. Let’s see what happens when Paul finds some disciples who hadn’t received the baptism of the Holy Spirit yet. (If you are willing and desire it, ask for it.) Realize not everyone will be ready to hear the truth! Realize not everyone will be of a mindset to receive the truth! Realize God will direct you and guide you, protect you and instruct you and so you just need to listen and be obedient! If he says go then go! If he says stay then stay! If he says move then move! Let’s follow after Him and His ways!
1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul traveled through the upper region and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples
2and said to them, “Did you receive the Ruach ha-Kodesh when you believed?” They replied to him, “No, we’ve never even heard that there is a Ruach ha-Kodesh.
3He said, “Into what were you immersed?” They said, “Into John’s immersion.”
4Paul said, “John immersed with an immersion of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the One coming after him—that is, in Yeshua.”
5When they heard this, they were immersed in the name of the Lord Yeshua.
6And when Paul laid hands upon them, the Ruach ha-Kodesh came upon them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.
7In all, there were about twelve men.
God’s Power Displayed in Ephesus
8Paul went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, debating and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
9But when they were hardening and refusing to believe, speaking evil of the Way before the whole group, he withdrew from them, taking the disciples with him, debating daily in the hall of Tyrannus.
10This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord—Jewish as well as Greek people.
11God was doing extraordinary miracles by Paul’s hands,
12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that touched his skin were brought to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
13But some traveling Jewish exorcists also tried to invoke the name of the Lord Yeshua, saying, “I charge you by the Yeshua whom Paul preaches.”
14Seven sons of a Jewish ruling kohen named Sceva were doing this.
15But the evil spirit answered them, “I know Yeshua and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
16Then the man with the evil spirit sprang at them, subduing and overpowering all of them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jewish and Greek people. Fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Yeshua was being magnified.
18Many also of those who had believed came confessing and recounting their practices.
19And many of those who practiced magic arts brought their books together in a heap, burning them before everyone. They totaled the value of the books and found it to be about fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20So the word of the Lord was growing in power and prevailing.
Idol-Makers Start a Riot
21Now after these things were accomplished, Paul resolved in the Ruach to go to Jerusalem after passing through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”
22So after sending two who were assisting him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
23Around that time, there arose no small uproar concerning the Way.
24For a man named Demetrius—a silversmith, a maker of silver shrines of Artemis—was providing no small amount of business to the craftsmen.
25He gathered these together, along with those of related occupations, and he said, “Men, you know that our wealth is from this business.
26You see and hear that not only in Ephesus but also throughout all Asia, Paul has persuaded and perverted a considerable crowd, saying that handmade gods are not gods at all.
27Not only is there a danger that this trade of ours might come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis might be considered as nothing. She whom all Asia and the world worships might even be thrown down from her majesty.”
28When they heard, they were filled with fury and began shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
29The city was filled with confusion. They rushed into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were travel companions of Paul.
30Paul was wishing to enter among the crowd, but the disciples would not let him.
31Some of the chiefs of Asia, being his friends, sent to him and begged him not to surrender himself in the theater.
32Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion. Most did not know why they had come together.
33Some of the crowd solicited Alexander, whom the Jewish people put forward. Alexander motioned with his hand. He wished to offer a defense to the crowd.
34But recognizing that he was Jewish, for about two hours they all with one voice cried out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35After the town clerk quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what man is there who doesn’t know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis and of her image fallen from heaven?
36Since these things are undeniable, you must be calm and do nothing reckless.
37For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor revilers of our goddess.
38If Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them accuse them.
39But if you seek anything further, it will be settled in the lawful assembly.
40For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, there being no reason which we are able to give to justify this mob.” Upon saying this, he dismissed the assembly.
–from Acts 19
It may not be easy, but it will totally be worth it! In this world you will have troubles, but take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! Do worry about it, because worry changes nothing, but prayer changes everything! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for in the perfect timing, endurance will have it works getting you to a point where you will be complete, perfect, and lacking nothing!
Today’s reading concludes in Matthew with simple stories of profound truth…Do you realize you are sowing everywhere you go? What are you sowing is based on what you are saying, what you are doing, how you are acting as you are being watched and some of them may have hearts ready for the truth of God, some of them may have doubt, some of them may have hard hearts and need the soil of their heart to be tilled up and fertilized with truth, hope, and love. Let’s get into God’s Word and consider how we can use today for greater things!
Simple Stories, Profound Truths
1On that day after Yeshua left the house, He was sitting by the sea.
2And large crowds gathered around Him; so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood on the shore.
3And He told them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went out to spread some seed.
4As he was scattering the seed, some seeds fell by the road; and the birds came and ate them up.
5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil. They sprang up immediately, because the soil wasn’t deep.
6But when the sun came up, they were scorched; and because they had no roots, they withered away.
7Other seeds fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew and choked them out.
8But others fell on good soil and were producing fruit. They yielded a crop—some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9He who has ears, let him hear.”
10Then the disciples came to Him and said, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11And He replied to them, “To you has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12For whoever has, to him more will be given and he will have plenty. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
13For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear nor do they understand.
14”And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘You will keep on hearing but will never understand; you will keep looking, but will never see.
15For the heart of this people has become dull, their ears can barely hear, and they have shut their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts. Then they would turn back, and I would heal them.’
16“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
17Amen, I tell you, many a prophet and tzaddik longed to see what you are seeing and did not see, and to hear what you are hearing and did not hear.”
Parable of the Sower Explained
18“You then, hear the parable of the sower.
19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one having been sown along the road.
20“The one sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.
21Yet he has no root himself but lasts only a short while; and when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away.
22“But the one sown among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word; and the worries of the world and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
23“Now the one sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands. He indeed bears fruit, yielding a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.”
Yeshua Tells More Parables
24He presented to them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25But while the men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.
26Now when the stalk sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared.
27So the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’
28But he replied, ‘An enemy did this.’ Now the slaves say to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and gather them up?’
29But he says, ‘No, for while you are gathering up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.
30Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time, I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the weeds and tie them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
31He presented to them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.
32It’s the smallest of all seeds; yet when it’s full grown, it’s greater than the other herbs. It becomes like a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
33He told them another parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like hametz, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”
34All these things Yeshua spoke to the crowds in parables. And apart from a parable, He wasn’t speaking to them,
35in order to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet, saying, “I will open My mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”
36Then He sent the crowds away and went into the house. His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”
37He answered, “The one sowing the good seed is the Son of Man,
38and the field is the world. And the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the weeds are the sons of the evil one.
39The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
40Therefore just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
41The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks and those who practice lawlessness.
42They will throw them into the fiery furnace; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
43Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear!
44“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid. And because of his joy, he goes out and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.
46Upon finding a pearl of great value, he went out and sold all that he had and bought it.
47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea, gathering things of every kind.
48When it was filled, they pulled it ashore; and they sat down and gathered up the good into containers, but threw the bad away.
49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth and separate the wicked from among the righteous
50and throw them into the fiery furnace; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51“Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes.”
52Then He said to them, “Therefore every Torah scholar discipled for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure both new things and old.”
Unbelief in the Hometown Synagogue
53Now when Yeshua had finished these parables, He left that place.
54Coming into His hometown, He began to teach them in their synagogue so that they were amazed. “Where did this fellow get this wisdom and these mighty works?” they said.
55“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother called Miriam, and His brothers Jacob and Joseph and Simon and Judah?
56And His sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does He get all these things?”
57And they took offense at Him. But Yeshua said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own house.”
58And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
–from Matthew 13