Date: Monday, June 9
Scripture: Genesis 37:1-11
Verse: His brothers said to him, “Will you really be our king and rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of the dreams he told them. (Genesis 37:8)
Years ago I went to a Christian rock concert with which I was severely disappointed. It wasn’t the music, that was great. The guitarist/singer was an amazing talent. The problem was with the presentation he gave toward the end of the show. Back in those days, Christian musicians were expected to give a sermon of sorts at every concert, even if speaking wasn’t their gift. I don’t remember exactly what was said, I just remember thinking it was far more about him and what he had accomplished for God, then it was about God himself. I wondered if he felt he was using his gifts to glorify God or to make a name for himself. (Wow, that sounds so judgmental. I’m just sharing how I received it. I hope you can relate.)
Joseph has been given a gift, a vision of his future. While we might like to assume he was naive, it is hard to image a 17-year-old didn’t know that sharing dreams about his older siblings and parents bowing down to him wasn’t going to be received well. When we’re completely honest, we know Joseph was not using the gift he had been given to glorify God. Instead he was using it to build himself up, to make others see him as important. That was an abuse of his gift.
Tomorrow we will look at the brothers’ response, but today we remember to use the gifts we have been given to glorify God. The blessings you have received are not just yours to use any way you wish. They are meant to go through you, on the way to someone else. I like the way Paul puts it in the New Testament, “A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7 CEB, emphasis mine). We don’t receive gifts from God to separate us from one another, but instead for the good of us all.
Prayer: Thank you God, for the gifts you have given me. Teach me to use them to your glory and not mine. Amen.
Action: Listen to some of your favorite Christian music today.
Respond: When have you viewed God as a “religion machine”?
To join the conversation click the word “Reply” in the bottom left corner of this window, or just type in the “Leave a Reply” window if others have commented before you. Let us know what you are thinking. Email subscribers, click the title of the devotion to go to the webpage where you can leave a comment at the bottom.