It is Not in Me; God Gives the Answer (1/26)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Genesis 41-42.

When Pharaoh was troubled over two dreams which he had, he was told of a young Hebrew in prison who could interpret dreams. Pharaoh sent for him immediately to teach him the meaning of these dreams.

Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer’” (Genesis 41:16).

Joseph knew that he was not the one who possessed such great insight and wisdom. Independently, he was incapable of interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. He knew that without God’s revelation to him, he could not accurately explain them. He was also humble enough to admit this. It did not matter to Joseph that Pharaoh gave him credit. Joseph wanted it to be clearly understood that he merely explaining the interpretation which God was revealing to him. He wanted God to receive the glory, not himself.
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Preaching and Writing

Bible and Notebook

While I was in high school, I made the decision that when I grew up I wanted to be a gospel preacher. So at that point, I began writing religious articles. I did not care for writing in school and was never a gifted writer, so I needed to start practicing and improving my skills. I saw writing as an inherent part of the work of a preacher, as this would provide another avenue through which to spread the gospel message. So since I decided I was going to preach, I decided I also needed to write.

Nearly fifteen years later, it appears to me that preachers in general do not do as much writing as I thought they would. Dedicating time regularly to writing seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Maybe this has always been the case and my youthful naiveté led me to wrongly assume that writing was common for preachers. Perhaps more preachers are writing than the relative few of which I am aware. Or it could be that writing by gospel preachers has decreased in the last decade or so. Regardless of which one is closest to reality, I want to deal with some reasons why writing is a valuable endeavor for preachers and should not be quickly dismissed.
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Why the Interest in Judgment Day Predictions?

According to Harold Camping, May 21, 2011 was supposed to be the Judgment day. Here we are, a couple days later, and we are still waiting for the Judgment. This was not the first time for Camping to make such a prediction. He is also not the only one who has presumed to announce the date of this event. Despite all of the failed prophecies, there are still many people willing to believe that someone like Camping has figured out the date of the final Judgment. They ignore the Scriptures that say, “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36), and “the day of the Lord will come like a thief” (2 Peter 3:10). But why?
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For The Truth

Bible

For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8).

In this verse, Paul was not discussing what is or is not possible. Rather, he was speaking of the determination of faithful disciples of Christ. We must choose one of two sides – we can be for the truth or against the truth. As Christians who have committed to being on the side of truth, let us notice what we can do to benefit and support it.
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Should Christians Pay Attention to Current Events?

Newspaper

Keeping up with the news can often be a depressing and frustrating endeavor. As Christians, we know “the world is passing away” (1 John 2:17) and will one day “be destroyed” (2 Peter 3:10), yet “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). So is there any good reason for Christians to pay attention to current events? Yes! Consider the following reasons.
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Resolutions for the New Year

Notebook

As one year quickly draws to a close and we look forward to a new year, we usually take some time for self-evaluation and making resolutions to improve our lives. Many resolutions that are made have to do with our lives here on this earth: improving our finances and health, eliminating bad habits, etc. These are all good, but we must remember that improving our spiritual lives is far more important.

For bodily exercise is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

In the new year, you may get in shape, eat healthier, quit a bad habit, and get out of debt. Those are all great goals, but none of them will matter if your spiritual life is not in order. So as you make your resolutions for the new year, here are six suggestions for improving your spiritual life.
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A Noble Reception of the Gospel

After being run out of town in Thessalonica, Paul was sent to Berea. Here he continued doing the very thing that had previously stirred up opposition against him – teaching the gospel (Acts 17:1-5, 10). Fortunately, these individuals in Berea were “more noble-minded” than the ones Paul encountered in the last city. What was it that made them noble-minded? It had to do with their reception of the gospel.

Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

This verse shows us three reasons why the Bereans were called “noble-minded.” In addition, we can see how we should receive preaching and teaching today.
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