1.17 Genesis 48-50

Stacy Carstensen

1.17

Genesis 48-50

Summarize the days reading in one paragraph. 

The reading begins with Jacob on his deathbed. He blesses Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh and again we see the younger son receive the blessing over the older, though both are promised to be great. All of Jacob’s sons come to him and he gives them each the blessing they are to receive. After this, he dies and the sons fulfill their promise to bury Jacob in the field Abraham bought, where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah were buried. Now that their father is dead and buried, Joseph’s brothers are afraid Joseph will repay them for the evil they did. They ask for forgiveness and Joseph assures them he will take care of them and their children. Before Joseph dies he reminds his brothers that God will visit them and fulfill his promise. He has them promise they will bring his bones up out of Egypt. The book of Genesis ends with the death of Joseph. 

A key verse in these chapters is: 

Genesis 50:12 “Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them.” 

How does what you read change your vision of God? 

God’s plan is amazing and he will fulfill his promises. Just like Joseph reminded his brothers that God would visit them before he died, it’s a reminder to me too, that God will continue to be faithful. The reason for that is that he loves us so much! Even in these three short chapters God is teaching us to be grateful, to forgive, to obey and to remember Jesus in everything.  I see God as more relentless than I did before from this reading. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? 

It helps me see that I need to be happy and grateful with what God has given me and has let me experience in my life. I don’t need to expect or wish or long for things or experiences. His plan is perfect and his timing is perfect. My promise is in heaven and I just need to be content and be ready to praise him for any blessings he does give me on this earth. It also shows me that I don’t have to be perfect in order to obey God (Joseph’s brothers surely weren’t perfect, yet they still obeyed their father’s last wish) and I shouldn’t expect others to be perfect in their obedience either. 

How will you Go With God because of this reading? 

I will strive to be more grateful to God just like Jacob. It says in Genesis 48:11 that he never expected to see Joseph again but yet there he was getting to bless Joseph’s offspring knowing that God was the one that let him have that opportunity. I will also try to obey and not let hesitations or fear stop me. The key verse I chose reminded me that just as the sons obeyed their fathers commands, Jesus did too, and calls for us to imitate that! 

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? 

I thought about Jesus the most in Genesis 50:15-21. Joseph’s brothers are afraid he will repay them for their evil so come asking for forgiveness down on their knees (we come to Jesus for forgiveness knowing we are sinners, not wanting to be repaid for our evil). Joseph wept for them and shows humility (Jesus has compassion on us and so much humility). Joseph speaks truth to the brothers, telling them God meant it for good (Jesus spoke the truth to his disciples about God’s will when he was to die on the cross). Joseph tells his brothers not to fear, that he will take care of them and their children (Jesus tells us that he is always with us and that the promise is for all who are far off). 

I hope this helps you see the bible with new vision! 

1.16 Genesis 45-47

Clay Carstensen

1.15.2020

Genesis 45-47

Today’s reading from Genesis comes from chapters 45-47.  As I read these chapters, I couldn’t help but think of all that Joseph had been through prior to this.  His brothers sold him into slavery and was treated terribly by those closest to him just as Tatiana mentions.  

But his trust and reliance on God the Father never failed.  He never stops giving glory to and trusting in God!  

Key verse: 

Chapter 45:1-5

For me the key verse or verses came in the opening verses of Chapter 45. Joseph is overwhelmed with emotion and weeps so loudly that he could be heard by many! He then announces …”I am Joseph!”.   His next actions or words could have been harsh, vengeance could have been had, but instead we read “So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said “I am your brother Joseph whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life”.  

His compassion, forgiveness, wisdom and hindsight are amazing.  He possesses such clarity about the situation and the past situations because of an incredible trust in God the Father.  

I can think of a lot of situations where I wanted to or even chose to “get even” or settle things myself.  Oh how I have been in error. Scripture says that vengeance belongs to God and Joseph lives that out in 3D here in this scripture.  Instead he chooses love and compassion for his brothers and Father. He lets them know that hey, you were never in control, it was God’s plan for all of this to take place.  

What I have read makes me want to see tough situations in a different light.  To see it as perhaps something that God is using for a much bigger purpose. This would help me to lighten up and enjoy the journey more and not be fixated on the why all the time.  

I’m hopeful that this reading will also give me greater vision towards others and their actions that impact me. I must be under God’s influence above and before the influence of others.  

I will go with God by actively trying to see where he is in my present and future situations.  He’s always there, we just need to search harder at times. And sometimes we simply need to be still to find him and hear him.

I saw the life of Jesus and his sacrifice and heard him saying “forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”  He bore all our sins for the greater good of all. And for this, I am eternally grateful and want to be a servant to the most high! 

1.15 Genesis 41-44

Tatiana Reinbrecht

January 15, 2020

Genesis 41-44

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

Joseph had been in jail for two years, forgotten by the chief cupbearer. In the meantime the Pharaoh had two similar dreams. Being stirred and bothered by them, he asks for all the magicians and wise men in Egypt. When no one could interpret his dream, the chief cupbearer sent for Joseph because he had interpreted dreams before. Coming before the Pharaoh, giving all the glory to God, is he able to interpret his dreams. “The dreams of Pharaoh are one in the same” (Gen. 41:25) After explaining what God has planned – a seven year abundace followed by a severe seven year famine. After the knowledge and wisdom shared, Joseph is put second in command over all the palace and people in Egypt. After seven years of abundance, the entire world is enduring the famine while Egypt has saved up every year for these years. In the land of Cannaan Joseph’s father orders his sons to go to Egypt to purchase grain for the family so they will not die. At the sight of his brothers, Joseph is reminded of a dream. “You are spies! You have some to see where our land is unprotected.” (Gen 42:9) They need to prove their honesty, they must bring their youngest brother Benjamin. When they go back home, after Simeon is commanded to stay as a prisoner, they realize their silver for the grain has been returned to them. Their reaction – fear. Not until they are all out of grain are they sent again to go to Egypt. Judah pleads with his father to let Benjamin to with them. After agreeing, they bring gifts to give to the Eygiptian Official (Joseph), double the amount of silver, and Benjamin in tow. Arriving to Joseph, they are directed into his house. He is moved to tears as he sees Benjamin. They all feast together and were sent away. This time Joseph gave them a test, all their sacks were filled as much as they can carry, silver returned, and a hidden silver divination cup in the sack of Benjamin. When they were confronted by the steward about their thievery a bargain was struck. “If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.” (Gen. 44:9) Back at the house, searched, and exposed. Judah pleads with Joseph to have him take the place of Benjamin. 

We are left on a cliffhanger. What will Joseph say?!

What is one key verse?

Genesis 41:37-40 “The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

How does what you read change your vision of God?

It reminds me of God’s perfect and intentional timing. Joseph was supposed to be sent before his brothers, as we read previously (Gen. 37:6-11), but maybe not expecting what it actually would look like and the journey along the way. But, watching Joseph put his trust, faith, and hope in God we see how being a vessel – no matter the circumstance changes people’s lives. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

I look deeper into Joseph’s life and admire his obedience to God. His circumstances did not shake his faith. I want to be a leader who has unshakable faith and is used in all walks of life. 

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

By putting my faith above my circumstances. Is that easy? No way. But having faith as small as a mustard seed is what I hold onto. (Matthew 17:20) 

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

I see Jesus through the actions of Joseph. He treated his brothers, who hated him and attmepted to murder him, with love, grace, and truth. Jesus showed this with the Pharisees in his day. Joseph also gave his brothers opportunities to be changed and revised men. Men who were honest and humble – men who feared the Lord. All the glory was given to God. Just as Jesus reiterated in the gospels.  

1.14 Genesis 37-40

Ariel Buckhannon

January 14th

Genesis 37-40

Summary

Chapter 37-40 tells the story of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob by his wife Rachel.  In addition to a spiffy robe, Joseph had the gift of revealing dreams- to his brothers dismay they sold him into slavery and told their father that he had been killed by an animal. The story then turns to Joseph’s brothers Judah and his family. The verses chronicle several misfortunate situations caused by their choices and actions which were not for God.The story returns to Joseph and details his success in his Eygptian masters home. He is given the power to oversee the whole household and everything the master has. Joseph ends up catching the eye of the master’s wife who makes a pass at him. He refuses and she frames him for rape, and gets him placed in jail. Joseph prospers in prison with God’s watch and favor and is placed in a high position. He reprises his role as an interpreter of dreams and brings understanding to the dreams of two fellow prisoners with close connection to pharoah. 

What is one key verse? Why?

Genesis 37:18 “They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him.”

The sin was in their heart before it was ever acted out. Our sin problem begins in our heart and must be dealt with on a heart level. Our goal is not only to change our behavior, but especially to let god change our hearts from inside out. 

How does what you read change your vision of God?

I think it just reinforces that God always has a long term game plan for everything and everyone. God works through difficult and messed up families, not abandoning or forgetting them, but like with Joseph and his brothers, God made sure to keep his promises and his word. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? 

Joseph’s life tells us a lot about how God fulfills his word. His brothers were determined to defeat God’s revealed word, but as seen through Joseph’s life God’s word never fails. 

How will you go with God because of this reading?

People can try to disprove God’s word and what he says, just like Joseph’s brothers tried to do with his dreams, but as we see in the story- God’s word never fails. I will trust God’s word to overcome whatever tries to impede it. 

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters?

Jesus himself came from difficult family circumstances- unexpectedly and socially unacceptable; his mom became pregnant before his parents were married. Also, Joseph is like Jesus in the way he never complained and never compromised his relationship with God during times of adversity or times of success. 

1.13 Genesis 32-36

Rob Buckhannon

1.13

Genesis 32-36

Today’s reading picks up right after Jacob makes a pact with his father-in-law Laban, freeing him to lead his family to his hometown and aged father Isaac. Hoping to survive his return after swindling his brother Esau out of his birthright and blessing, he sends ahead servants with many gifts to soften any hard feelings Esau might still have after nearly 20 years apart. After a night of literally wrestling with an angel or man of God, Jacob and Esau have an emotional reunion and Jacob is welcomed home. Jacob makes a curious pit stop on the way and two of his son’s bring some grey hairs to their fathers head in a brief and brutal episode in the city Shechem. Then God calls Jacob to a special place in Bethel and reiterates his covenant and gives Jacob a new name, Israel. This episode ends on a sad note as Rachel dies giving birth to Israel’s twelfth son Benjamin and Esau and Israel bury their father Isaac shortly after.

What is one key verse? Why?

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”

Genesis 32:9-12

Jacob hears that his brother and 400 men are marching toward him. In that moment of fear for his life and family; he turns wholehearted to God for help. The text doesn’t mention what kind of intent Esau had in meeting his brother, but it does show Jacob having a fear of his circumstances and going to God to give thanks, ask for help and remember God’s promise. 

How does what you read change your vision of God?

The text doesn’t have God answer Jacob’s prayer with a  “I will protect you” or “Your brother will not harm you.” He leaves Jacob with the same promise from chapter 31 “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” Contextually, I would think Jacob is pretty stressed out going into his wrestling match/struggle with God. I think God lets us sit in tough situations by faith, forcing us to pray and remember his track record of provision, blessings and perfection and go on that. We might have to wrestle all night with God and get broken by him to take on the next day. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? 

When in a trial, I often want God to just fix it and for the pain to go away. It’s a tough pill to swallow that suffering is good for me. The author of Hebrews says “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope.” I should view suffering circumstances in my life as a painful opportunity to be better for my Lord.

How will you go with God because of this reading?

I will go to a special place of prayer like Jacob did and walk and talk through some of the things God had brought me through. 

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters?

I saw Jesus in Jacob’s fear of and zeal for God. When he is called by God to go to Bethel, he gets rid of all the idols and makes everyone purify themselves (this is before Leviticus was written!). This reminds me of Jesus clearing the temple. 

1.11 Genesis 27-31

Cassie Bryant

January 11

Genesis 27-31

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

In our reading today we saw Isaac giving his son Esau clear instruction on how to get his blessing. Rebekah uses this information to get Jacob to take the blessing from his brother. Jacob follows the instructions and impersonates his brother to his blind father who gave Jacob Esau’s blessing. After Esau found out Jacob fled to Harran to find a wife from his mother’s people. He finds Rachel pleasing and asks for her hand in marriage. Her father, Laban, agreed as long as Jacob worked for him for 7 years. Jacob did and married Laban’s daughter but didn’t realize he was marrying Leah who was Laban’s older daughter. Jacob then had to agree to work 7 more years for the hand of Rachel. God was faithful to Leah and gave her many sons from Jacob. Even both wives’ servants gave sons to Jacob. Rachel was barren for many years until God remembered her and allowed her to have a son. Laban would acknowledge that God was working through Jacob and even still cheat Jacob in his wages. God saw Jacob’s mistreatment and blessed his livestock and sent Jacob home. So, Jacob took his family and left to his father’s land. Laban followed them and confronted Jacob. Together they made a covenant to not harm each other. 

What is one key verse?

“The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.” 

Genesis 31:11-13

How does what you read change your vision of God?

I find it interesting that God continued to bless Jacob even though he gained his father’s blessing through deception. Also, God chose to keep Rachel barren all while blessing Leah and the servants with sons. Clearly, God sees what we can not and works in ways we do not understand for his good. When we make a vow to God to follow him he remembers us.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

People are sinful yet God loves then and uses them still. God loves us all. I need to see God’s love for people even in their sinful times. I need to see myself with God’s grace. He can work through all of us and he never gives up just because we sometimes do stupid things.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I will look for how God is trying to use me and follow him. I will work hard for the Lord knowing that he sees what I am doing and knows what is best.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

Jesus spent time with sinners and valued uneducated men with his message. He kept using men, like Peter, who denied him and forgot their way yet he kept them around and trusted them with spreading the gospel.

1.10 Genesis 25-26

Alex Bryant

1.10

Genesis 25-26

Summarize what you read in one paragraph: In these chapters, the story of Genesis and of God’s chosen family shifts from Abraham to Isaac and his two sons, Jacob and Esau.  We read about the birth of Jacob and Esau, and then see a quick snapshot of the kind of men they grow into, highlighted by the story of Esau rashly giving up his birthright to Jacob in return for a bowl of stew. Then the narrative returns to Isaac, where there are a lot of parallels between his life and the life of his father, Abraham.  We see him encounter a famine, but instead of suffering he is blessed with abundance.  We see him make the same mistake Abraham made by lying about his wife being his sister.  We see him re-dig the wells that Abraham had dug originally.  We see him build an altar to the Lord, and we see God promise to bless all nations through him and his offspring.

What is one key verse? 

“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.  I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands.  And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Genesis 26:3-5 (ESV)

What I noticed in this scripture is that God committed to blessing Isaac and his descendants before Isaac had really committed to God. Isaac doesn’t call on the name of the Lord until later, in 26:25, but he does respond to what God says in this verse with obedience, by remaining in Gerar instead of going down to Egypt.  Perhaps it was God’s unwavering commitment to his family that gave Isaac the confidence to trust and obey him, and eventually call on him himself.

How does what you read change your vision of God? 

What this passage shows me is that God isn’t waiting for us or depending on us to figure out what he’s going to do next.  He follows through on his promises.  He is also full of grace and blesses those who haven’t done anything to deserve it.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? 

God has called each of us to our place in life for a specific reason.  He has never made a mistake, ever.  This helps me to know that I am exactly where I am meant to be, doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.  It also helps me to appreciate and love all of the people who are in my life, in whatever capacity that may be, because they have been intentionally placed there by God.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I want to be more confident in my standing with God because of this passage.  I was not chosen because of my worthiness to begin with, in fact it is God who makes me worthy, and that is not something I initiated.  As long as I continue to respond with obedience, and repent when I don’t, I can be sure that God wants to bless me.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?) 

Like Isaac was blessed because of what his father did before him, we are blessed because of what Jesus did before us.  God worked through Isaac and his descendants because Abraham obeyed God and was faithful to him.  In the same way, we are a part of God’s family because Jesus was obedient, even to the point of death.

1.9 Genesis 21-24

Melissa Brewer

January 9

Genesis 21-24

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

In her old age, Sarah has a baby boy and named him Isaac because she laughed at the idea. Sarah and Abraham send Hagar and Ishamel away and God provides for them in the desert when Hagar thinks Ishmael is going to die. Abraham builds a well and makes a treaty with Abimelech with 7 lambs as a witness and calls it Beersheba. God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham follows and in the last seconds as he raises his knife an angel stops him and God provides a ram for the sacrifice. Sarah dies and Abraham insists on paying for the land she is buried in from the Hittites. Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac in his home country. The servant obeys and prays for a woman and God answers. The first woman he sees gets the servant water and water for all his camels. Laban & Bethuel agree the request is from God for Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife and Rebekah leaves the next day. Rebekah and Isaac marry.

What is one key verse?

But her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us for about 10 days. Then she can go.” But he responded to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has made my journey a success. Send me away so that I may go to my master.” So they said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her opinion.” They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She replied, “I will go.” 

Genesis 24:55-58

How does what you read change your vision of God? 

Through ch. 21-24 I see that God’s plans don’t make logical sense to me. Sarah had a baby at a really old age. Abraham was called to sacrifice his child. Abraham’s servant is sent to a foreign land to find a woman to leave with him. God calls us out of what makes sense or the traditions in our lives to make sure we fear God and will put him first no matter what. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

In the response to God’s plans, Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Abraham’s servant, and Rebekah all act with obedience to God. I particularly like Rebekah’s response in ch 24:55-58. Her family wanted her to stay 10 more days before she left to marry Isaac but because she knew it was blessed by God, she left right away. Life as a disciple does not need to make sense. It is a life of obedience to commands we may not understand. We do not need a reason, we just need to obey and fear God. I am very logical and I can be critical of others when someone else does something that does not make sense to me. I need to stop my critical thoughts to realize it is not my place to judge. God is always doing something bigger than I may understand and in these moments I need to just obey.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

If something does not make sense to me, it does not mean I need to change it or even have an attitude about it. I need to obey, surrender my thoughts and trust God. God is always working.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

Jesus’ life was obedience to God. And obedience to which he was sacrificed and killed. Abraham’s calling to sacrifice his son Isaac is a foreshadowing of God actually sacrificing his son on the cross.

1.8 Genesis 18-20

Ryan Brewer

January 8

Genesis 18-20

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

Three mysterious visitors meet Abraham while he lives near the trees of Mamre. Abraham recognizes that this is an unusual visit and has Sarah prepare a meal for the guests. The men tell Abraham that at the same time next year, he and Sarah will have a son, though they are well advanced in years. Sarah laughs, and one of the men, who is referred to as Yahweh (God), calls her out. Then God reveals to Abraham that he is about to destroy the city of Sodom, if they are as bad as the outcry of the communities around them claim. Abraham actually pleads on behalf of the wicked city. God agrees not to destroy it if there are even ten righteous people living there. Unfortunately, there are not ten righteous people. God destroys the city after a gruesome display of sin. Abraham’s nephew Lot escapes with his daughters…who trick him into impregnating them while he is drunk. Then, other crazy things happen. You just have to read it.

What is one key verse?

Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

Genesis 18:32

How does what you read change your vision of God?

God is remarkably gracious towards everyone and protective of the righteous. Even though Sodom was a violent and evil city, God was willing to spare them for the sake of a few righteous people. God is incomparably gracious, even in the moments where he is most criticized for being judgmental.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

I want to be more like Abraham. I want my prayers to be in defense of others, despite their sins.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

When I hear or see people sinning at work, I want to make an effort to always pray on their behalf. For example, if someone swears or makes a dirty joke, it always bothers me. Normally, I just try to ignore it to maintain a good relationship. But I want to pray for them to be shown love and mercy. I want to do more than just refrain from sinning. I want to produce righteousness in response to sin.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

The prayers Jesus made before going to the cross–and even while he was on the cross–were like the prayer of Abraham for Sodom. Jesus prayed for mercy on those who crucified him.

1.7 Genesis 15-17

Kristen Van Bueren

January 7

Genesis 15-17

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:  Genesis 15-17 give the account of God’s covenant He made with Abram – and Abram’s faith, which was credited to him as righteousness. It also shows the impatience of Sarai and Abram both – unwilling to wait on the Lord to fulfill His promise – Sarai gives Abram her servant, who gives birth to Ishmael. This resulted in a conflict within the family which is still evidenced today – thousands of years later. This section concludes with God changing Abram’s name to Abraham, and Sarai’s name to Sarah – and giving Abraham the promise that Sarah would become pregnant and give birth to a son, Isaac, one year from then. 

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty, walk before me, and be blameless…No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.’”

Genesis 17:1-5

How does what you read change your vision of God?  God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means father of a multitude, before Abraham actually had Isaac. God named Abraham not for what he already was/had become – but for what he would become. God saw who Abraham would be – this was His vision for Abraham.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?  This was powerful to me because so often I view myself from the perspective of what I am right now, or what I have been in the past. But that is not how God sees me – God views me not for who am I right now, but who I can grow into becoming. God’s vision for me is one who will bear more and more the image of His son! That is so inspiring to me!

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)  It is often so very easy to believe that lies that our enemy tries to speak over us – over me. But because of this passage, and how I now believe that God sees/views me, I am going to try to fight all the harder to resist the lies spoken over me – whether they come from family, co-workers, neighbors, friends, or even people in the church – that I am not who I used to be, and not even who I am right now – but that God sees me and has a vision for who I will become!

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)  

This is exactly how Jesus treated his apostles that he called. They were a hodgepodge group of men – not the most likely group of 11 (less Judas) that one would think to rally to change the world. But Jesus didn’t see them for who they were, but whom they would become. He even followed in his father’s footsteps when he changed Simon’s name to Peter!