Who is Asenath?

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Do you know who Asenath is? She was the daughter of an Egyptian priest, but she is in the lineage of Christ. How could that happen?

It happened with Joseph, a son of Jacob who had visions. His brothers hated him because he was Jacob’s favorite, and they sold him to some Midianite merchants who took him to Egypt. He served Potiphar the governor until he was falsely accused and put in prison.

Years later because he had the ability to interpret dreams, he was allowed to tell Pharaoh about the coming of a famine. The king put him in charge of the harvests, and he stored up food to feed the people during the famine.

He married Asenath and she bore him two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who became two of the twelve tribes of Israel and ancestors to Jesus.


As Asenath was a pagan to Israel, we were too. We were lost in our selfish, sinful lifestyle until we experienced God’s amazing love. He demonstrated his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). By no effort of our own, Jesus brought us salvation from sin and gave us new life, abundant life (John 3:16).

As Joseph had an Egyptian bride, Christ does too. His bride is the church, which is made up of people who believe Jesus’ sacrifice was for them personally and who became a kingdom of priests so others might be brought in to God’s family. Listen! There is room for everybody! If you have not received God’s amazing love, it is not too late. Do these three things and you will be joint heirs with Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven: Admit you need Jesus’ love, believe that He is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6), and confess Him as Lord of your life (Romans 10:9). Then find a Bible teaching church and be baptized.


Thank you, Father God, for Jesus our Savior. Teach us to live in the light of our salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Birthright and Blessing

Silhouette of two greedy and selfish men can not divide the crown. Concept of selfishness in politics and society

“The babies jostled each other within Rebekah, and she said, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ The Lord said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:22-23). The first child born was Esau and the second was Jacob. Esau, Isaac’s favorite, grew up to be a skillful hunter. Jacob, Rebekah’s favorite, grew up to be a quiet man and stayed among the tents. Desperate after hunting all day, Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew that Jacob had cooked. Later Jacob deceived his father Isaac into giving him Esau’s blessing. After that, Esau plotted to kill his brother, but Jacob escaped to Paddan Aram.

Esau’s descendants were called Edomites and Jacob’s descendants were the Israelites. The Edomites lived under the dominion of Israel until the days of the Roman Empire. An Edomite, Herod, became King of the Jews, and when he heard about the birth of the Messiah, the real King of the Jews, he plotted to kill him by ordering the death of all baby boys under the age of two years old.


Because Esau lost his birthright and blessing, he spent his whole life in an effort to compensate for his loss. Esau and Herod were not the chosen leaders of Israel. Jacob and Jesus the Messiah were the men God chose to lead Israel. Through Jesus Christ we have redemption and blessing. Have you aligned yourself with Him or with the false leaders of this world? God so loved the world that He gave His only Son Jesus so that whoever believes in Him will not die separated from Him, but will live eternally with Him (John 3:16, my paraphrase). Did you know that you will live forever–even after your physical death? Choose today whether you will be in Heaven with our Lord or in hell, totally separated from Him.


O Lord, our God, I know you don’t want anyone to live outside of a relationship with you. I pray that you open people’s eyes to the truth of who you are that they might experience your presence and amazing love in their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You Will be With Me

Three crosses on the mountain Golgotha representing the day of Christ’s crucifixion

Jesus hung between Heaven and Hell with a thief on His right and another on His left. One of the thieves insulted and ridiculed Him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” Jesus didn’t respond to his remarks, but the man on the other side of Jesus said, “Don’t you fear God since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then the second thief said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus assured this man: “Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43).


Even though the first man hung on the cross, he was not remorseful or repentant for the things he did. Jesus didn’t respond to his insults. The second man, however, did repent, and he asked for mercy. Jesus responded with His amazing love and assurance that he would be with Him in Paradise.

Friend, you can have the same assurance. God wants all people to be with Him in Heaven. The problem is that sin cannot enter God’s kingdom. That’s why Jesus made the sacrifice to forgive you of sin. Will you accept what He did on the cross on your behalf? If you have not done this, the alternative is more emptiness, loneliness, guilt, despair, and anxiety. Today is the day of your salvation, a day to experience God’s amazing love and abundant life (John 3:16).


Father God, I pray for readers who do not know you in a personal way. Send your Spirit on them to make them aware of your presence in their lives and your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love – the Gift that Keeps Giving

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Love is probably the most over used word in the English language: romantic love, the love of family and friends, the love of animals, of money or possessions, power or sex, success or status. Valentine’s Day reminds to show love, especially to our spouses or significant others. Today I want to talk about the amazing love of God. He loved us so much He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). This is good news! We are adopted into the family of God, and we have a royal inheritance with Jesus. What amazing love this is!

Jesus gave His life for me–to take away my sins, the very thing that God doesn’t like in me. My response is to devote my life to loving Him in return–to love others. This is challenging in a world isolated because of a virus. When I venture out and look for people to make eye contact with, many of them are withdrawn, rude, or preoccupied with their devices. Sometimes it is hard to see people face to face, except for those in public service–clerks in grocery and department stores, food servers in restaurants or customer service representatives on the phone. Then I can express appreciation for what they do or share a complement in order to make a connection. I may not always have an opportunity to share God’s love, but it is my intent.


John said this about love. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16).

Paul said, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).


O Lord, teach us how to show compassion even in a closed world. Help us to connect with others to share your light and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Foxhole Redemption

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Have you ever made a foxhole promise? You know, a promise made when you are in deep trouble? I remember mine, but it wasn’t in a foxhole, a car accident or after a failing grade at school. It was in the surf at Monastery Beach, California. I was scuba diving. Our group went out under what didn’t seem to be a scary surf. The underwater colors, plants and fish were amazing! It was more fantastic than a walk in a park or a forest. To say I was captivated is an understatement, and I stayed down too long–so long I was nearly out of air.

I started back the wrong way and got tangled in kelp. My instructor recognized my situation and came to cut the kelp away and lead me around it. We were still a long way from shore. The instructor taught us in class that when we climbed out of the surf to plant our fingers into the sand during a surf. When we came out of the water, the surf was at least 8 to 10 feet over our heads. I panicked and raced up the beach on my hands and knees. The surf slammed me into the sand and the surge pushed me onto my back. It grabbed the regulator and mask off of my face. The weights and tank on my back made it impossible for me to turn over to crawl up the beach.

Tossed around by the surf and surge, I didn’t think I would get out alive. “O Lord,” I cried. “If you get me out of this mess, I promise I’ll go back to church. I’ll make my life right with you.” The instructor motioned to people on the beach for help. It took seven men to rescue this panicked woman out of the water that day. All I could think about was my children waiting on the beach for me. I had to make it out for them.


Most people don’t remember their foxhole promises, much less keep them. However, I did start back to church, and I took my children with me. My life didn’t change right away, but it changed. I dusted off my Bible and began to read it. Every word seemed to jump off the page and into my heart. I didn’t know how to pray. All I could say was, “Thank you, Jesus,” so thankful that the God of the universe loved even me–divorced and self-indulged. I learned that “Thank you, Jesus” is a powerful prayer. I grew more and more thankful for God’s mercy and His amazing love.

What about you? Do you feel desperate and alone? Do you think you’ve made way too many mistakes for God to love you? It’s not true. God loved you so much He gave His only Son to die on the cross for your forgiveness and eternal life with Him (John 3:16). He did that while you were still sinning. When you believe that and confess the need for God in your life, you will be saved from the pits of hell and for an abundant life.


Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Jesus and the sacrifice He made for my redemption. Open the eyes off my heart to see your presence in my life and help me to be more like Jesus. In His great name I pray, Amen.

Forgiven and Forgotten

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Would you like to experience something as wonderful as a thousand sunsets, or be washed under magnificent waterfalls, or walk on beautiful forest trails or along delightful streams in the desert? What keeps you from the blessings of God? Is it because you think you don’t need Him? Is it because shame or despair or anxiety make you think you are not worthy of His love for you? Nothing could be farther from the truth. God loved you so much He gave His only Son to die on the cross for your sins so you could have new life in Him (John 3:16). You see, God does not tolerate sin. That’s why He gave His Son to pay our sin debt, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

God not only forgives us our sins; He forgets them. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:11-12). When we receive His great love for us, God clothes us in a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). That means He does not see our shame or guilt. They are gone–forgotten. We might remember them, but God doesn’t. It’s a mystery we accept by faith.

The key to a blessed life with God is to believe what He says is true–that He gave His Son for your new life. If you believe this, admit it to God and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Be specific. Then commit to live for Him. Ask Him to help you. Then begin to read a Bible you understand. Read devotional books. Pray. At first I didn’t know how to pray and all I could say was, “Thank you, Jesus,” so thankful that the God of the universe loved even me.

Oh Friend, open the eyes of your heart to see a whole new world. We walk by faith; not by sight. Let this story and song of this young man speak to your heart.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray the first time Christopher Duffley opens his eyes, he will see you. Help us to live the words of his song. Help us to live for you in newness of life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God is on the Move

Worship Service

“God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we are still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8). His love never stops. He moves behind the scenes even when we don’t realize it. He is working to answer our prayers before we think to pray or utter our requests. I have heard a couple testimonies from missionaries that prove this.

A hospital in Rwanda had been destroyed and rebuilt three times. During a period of eight weeks, no supplies or medications arrived. The doctor prayed, “Lord, we’re gonna have to close the hospital unless we can help these people. I cannot look into the empty eyes of these suffering people any longer.” The next day an airplane landed in the area of the hospital. The pilot said, “These medical supplies were on our dock, and we didn’t know what to do with them. Thought you could use them.” Tears streamed down the doctor’s wife’s face. “We serve a great God!”

Another missionary doctor needed hospital supplies that included hot water bottles for the patients who had pneumonia. The village held a prayer meeting and prayed specifically for all the things they needed. After the last request, a child prayed: “And please bring a dolly for my friend who is very sick.” The mail carrier delivered a big box within a few days. The villagers gathered around to see the package opened. Yes, item after item requested in prayer was opened. The doctor stopped unpacking, but the little girl said, “You didn’t get everything.” The doctor took out more packing material, and under it all was a dolly.


Do you see how God moved the universe well in advance of the desperate cries for help? It takes at least two months for supplies to be delivered to missionaries. God orchestrated people to gather medicine, supplies (and a dolly) months before the needs were realized. It started when we first believed. God loved the world so much that He gave His only son as a sacrifice so that whoever believes in Him will not die in their sins but have eternal life (John 3:16), and He did that while we were still sinning (Romans 5:8).


Thank you, Father God, for loving us before we knew we needed it. Thank you for forgiving us when we didn’t know we needed forgiveness. Thank you for answering our prayer even before we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Mary, Highly Favored

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The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). Hundreds of years had passed since an angel appeared on earth (with Daniel in the lion’s den). I cannot imagine what Mary must have felt when she saw an angel (with clothes so gleaming white and a supernatural countenance). His message must have shattered her dreams of marrying the love of her life, but Gabriel explained everything so Mary understood. Then he encouraged Joseph not to hesitate to take her as his wife.

Mary was not really named “Mary” but “Miriam,” after the older sister of Moses. In Egyptian her name meant “love,” and Miriam’s calling in life was to protect the life of her baby brother as he floated down the Nile River so one day he could grow up to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt.

In Hebrew the name “Miriam” meant bitterness and rebellion. Mary’s calling in life was to usher in the life of the Messiah, who would save the world from sin, death and Satan. Both meanings find fulfillment in John 3:16: “For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Yes, God loved the world, but many people did not accept His love.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” His light shines into the darkness of our world to expose the fear, anxiety, anger, malice, corruption and all other kinds of rebellion against a loving Father. He did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save it with His mercy and forgiveness.


Miriam was called to protect Moses who would rescue the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. Mary was called to bear the life of Jesus who would save the world from sin. As people who have been redeemed from sin, death and Satan, we are called to follow Jesus in reaching a cold, dark world with His love. Will you let God be born in you? Will you let His love flow through you to those who desperately need it? Begin by reading His word and spending time with Him in prayer. He is always available, and He will partner with you as you make yourself available to serve Him.


Thank you, Holy Lord, for Jesus. Help us to be more like Him–more loving, more caring, more forgiving. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Mystery in the Star of David

Illustration in stained glass style with an abstract six-pointed blue star on a blue background

The star of David has two triangles, one interlocking with the other. It is the foundation of the Jewish and Christian faith.

When Israel was rescued from slavery, Moses commanded the Hebrew people to sacrifice a lamb and put the blood on the door posts–above and on the right and left sides. Consider each mark a point in a triangle that points upward, and that it represents man reaching up to God for redemption, to be saved from the Angel of Death (Passover is described in Exodus 12).

As Jesus was crucified, there were three points where His blood spilled, one at His right hand, one at His left hand and one at His feet. Consider each mark a point in a triangle that points downward, and that it represents God reaching down to men to give them the redemption they hunger for, the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life with Him. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.


For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Beloveds, let the beauty of God’s message of salvation penetrate your hearts that you may recognize His presence in your lives and experience His amazing love.


O Lord God Almighty, send your Spirit to shine into the darkness of this world and expose lies and deception, to bring about justice, to show compassion and mercy and forgiveness to those who desperately need it and may not even know it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Gift That Keeps Giving

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“God loved the world so much that He gave His only son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Yes, God loves us so much He gives and keeps on giving. In Him we have hope and peace and joy and love. Those who have a relationship with God know that He gives new mercies every day. What an amazing God!

In response to God’s amazing love, we love Him and others and follow His example by giving. Christmas is a time we like to give. I wonder what it would be like if we kept the spirit of giving all year. It seems to me that the world might be a better place. We wouldn’t have to give expensive gifts to each other and maybe not every time we see each other. But what would it be like if we thought of others all year? And as we thought of others, we could share dinner or cookies or something we made. Maybe the gift of our time. We really don’t have to wait til Christmas to give, do we?


Have you ever tried to out-give God? I have a friend that gave 50% of his income to the Lord one year instead of the usual 10%. He called it hilarious giving, because the more he gave, the more God gave him to give. It’s a hard thing to understand, but I have found it to be true too. During financially hard times, I have kept my commitment to tithe and never suffered but have been blessed beyond my dreams. I discovered it’s more than a spirit of giving; it’s a spirit of loving. God loved the world so much He gave! When we love, giving is part of what we do.


Heavenly Father, thank you so much for Jesus! Your gifts of love and forgiveness melt hearts and change lives. Empower us to follow your example of loving and giving. In Jesus’ name, Amen.