Friday Coffee with PJ

Today is the first Friday in March and that means many things: winter is over (meteorological spring begins March 1st!), our church sanctuary renovation is about halfway done, and March Madness (NCAA basketball tournament is just around the corner!). And today being a Friday means ... Coffee with PJ. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and join me for a few random thoughts. 

1. I hope you enjoyed February's weather. It was the warmest on record for our area. We are also on pace for the least "snowiest" winter on record! All that to say ... this winter has been downright delightful! But not all would agree. There are a number of snow "enthusiasts" around us who love a good old fashioned blizzard (or two) each winter! I was once numbered among those people ... but no more! The older I get, the less I like snow (although I admit there is a beauty of seeing the trees and ground covered with a LIGHT blanket of snow!). The word on the meteorological street is that winter might try to hold on during the month of March. But take heart, spring in all of its blooming glory will eventually arrive as the sun continues its northward journey! And so it is with the Son of God. He has promised to one day return to this planet (Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 22:20). Just as you can count on the coming of spring ... you can count on the coming of Jesus Christ! Are you ready to meet him (1 John 2:28 and Two Ways to Live: the Choice We All Face)?

2. The story of Joseph in the Old Testament is classic (if you have not read it lately, open your Bible to Genesis chapter 39 and begin reading!). Joseph, hated by his brothers, was sold into slavery. Instead of dying an early death in bondage, which was usual for young foreign slaves in Egypt, he rose to become the "Vice-Pharaoh" over all of Egypt! How did he accomplish this? Via his great intellect? His mighty strength? His incredible good looks? No. Behind his great rise in power was an even greater God! And it was because God was "with" him, that he not only was set free from his bondage but rose to become such a powerful man in Egypt. Now what does the Scripture mean when it states that "the Lord was with  Joseph" (Genesis 39:2)? Isn't God present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12)? Of course he is! So whatever this means, it means more than just the fact that God was there with Joseph (for in his omnipresence he is in that sense with everyone!). 

The answer to this can be found in Isaiah 57:15: 

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

“I dwell in the high and holy place,

    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,

to revive the spirit of the lowly,

    and to revive the heart of the contrite.

God in this verse reveals his two "addresses." The first is "the high and holy place" which is obviously heaven. The other is with "him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit" or, in other words, the truly humble person. So when Genesis tells us that the Lord was with Joseph, it is telling us that Joseph was indeed a humble man. 

How about you? Do you want to live a productive life for God? Then humble yourself under God's mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6). Scripture is clear, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Keep in mind that humility is a difficult virtue to measure, for once you think you have it you probably don't! 

If you want some help in measuring your humility, I recommend the following resource from Revive Our Heart Ministries: 

I have used this with great profit. But I warn you. You will not have to go far down the list of the contrasts between a proud and broken (humble) person before you will realize you are not nearly as humble as you thought! But if you want God to bless your ministry, you need to be humble before him! 

3. My wife Sharon is continuing to make slow but, of late, steady progress. Her x-rays of last Friday were very good! She does not need to see the surgeon for 6 months (a very good thing!) She is getting stronger and is hoping to finally resume driving next week. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for her! 

Thanks for stopping by . . . 

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Friday Coffee with PJ

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