January 6, 2017

Read: Genesis 50:1–21

After Jacob dies, Joseph’s brothers speculate with one another, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!” (50:15). In their worry, they lie to Joseph and tell him that, before he died, Jacob had sought Joseph’s forgiveness for his brothers. Their fear was unfounded, however. Joseph held no grudge. His response is one of the most poignant statements of grace and trust in God’s will: “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones” (50:19–21).
In many ways we resemble Joseph’s brothers more than we resemble Joseph. Before God we are guilty; that’s all there is to it! Thankfully, He does not bear a grudge. When He extends His love and grace to us through Jesus, He never takes it back! As we seek to be faithful disciples and fruitful disciple-makers, let us resist the fear that comes from our guilt, and let us be reminded of God’s enduring love He has shown us in Christ. And then let us extend that same love to those around us.


Dear Lord,
When I am tempted to fear that You may hold a grudge against me for my sins against You, please remind me of Your enduring love You have for all of Your children. Thank You for showing Your love through Your Son. Through the grace You offer to me through Him, let me extend that grace to those who may have sinned against me. As Your disciple, enable me to be faithful to reflect Your love to those whom You desire to bless through my life.
In Jesus’ name,