January 15

Genesis 46-47, Psalm 15

A little less than six years ago while at dinner with my son, Michael (who was completely lost in the things of the world at that time), I explained to him that in Revelation 21:4 it promises the believer that there will be no more tears in heaven. I went on to say that if he were to die that day, I would never see him again since he never gave his heart to Christ and that is the only way to get there. Without telling the whole story this led to daily Bible study on his part with me, and he now loves Christ, is a deacon in his church, and has an online evangelistic ministry. When I see the beautiful reunions in yesterday and today's readings it seems like the amazing reunions that will take place in heaven with those believers who have went before us.

Joseph is a picture or type of Christ as he literally saves his family from starvation in the land of Canaan. Through Joseph's period of testing he could see that his brother's had repented, at which point he revealed himself to them and saved them. We see this scene in Genesis 45:12-15, "And behold, your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my mouth that speaks to you. So you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen; and you shall hurry and bring my father down here." Then he fell on his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him." Once saved, they now have the ability to reach out and lead others to salvation. They return home to Canaan and tell Jacob in 46:26, "And they told him, saying, "Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt." We have the honor of telling those who don't know that Jesus is alive, he indeed resurrected from the grave and sits at the right hand of the Father and governs all of heaven." Just as they were able to bring their father and their families, we are entrusted with the message which bring our families and friends into eternity. It's impossible not to love the scene in Genesis 46:29-30, "So Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; and he presented himself to him, and fell on his neck and wept on his neck for a good while. And Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive." Like Jacob, until we find Jesus we are not ready to die, but once we are in a relationship with Him, we have nothing to fear. Paul said in Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Lastly, in tomorrow's reading, after the death of Jacob, the brothers approach Joseph afraid they will now lose their salvation and treatment in Egypt. Joseph reassures them in Genesis 50:20-21, that their salvation is secure and not based on their goodness, "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them."

Since we have received something much greater than what Joseph offered his brothers, are we running around and sharing the good news to everyone that we can like they did with Jacob. We have the ability and the commission from Christ Himself (Matthew 28:18-20) to be His ambassadors on earth and share this amazing news of salvation. Mark Cahill wrote a book called, " One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven".

We can no longer share the good news with lost people there, since they're not there. The thought of our loved ones not being in heaven and spending eternity in hell is too difficult for many to visualize. But this is the true reality for many. We all want to have those reunion scenes in heaven with those that God has placed in our lives. It's time to roll up our sleeves and "having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (Ephesians 6:15). Eternity in heaven can be just one conversation away.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster