What was inside the heart of Joseph’s brothers when Joseph revealed himself? They felt fear because they knew they were at his mercy, especially since he was now prince of the most powerful nation in the world. He was no longer the little brother that could be overpowered by ten of them. Now, he had the most powerful army of the time at his beck and call. What went on in the heart of Peter when he refused to believe that Jesus rose from the dead (Mark 16:14)? Despite his unbelief, Jesus kept seeking him out (John 21:15-17) and even asked him; “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” Jesus did not call Peter by the name he had given him. Instead, he called him by the name his earthly father had given him, as if Peter’s deserting Jesus brought into question whether or not Peter still wanted to be with Christ. What went through Peter’s mind? Grief took over his heart as he responded, “Lord you know all things; You know that I love You.” This is the power of grace that breathes forgiveness and restores a person who did a sinful act to a relationship to which their heart is still connected.
A Christian person had a bundle of hides (skin) stolen from his warehouse. He wondered what steps he should take to prevent a repetition of such an act. Instead of putting the machinery of the law in motion, he placed the following ad in the newspapers: “Whoever stole a quantity of hides (skins) on the 5th of this month is hereby informed that the owner has a sincere wish to be his friend. If poverty tempted him to take this step, the owner will keep the whole transaction secret and will gladly help him to obtain money by means more likely to bring him peace of mind.”
A few nights later, when the family was about to retire to rest, a man knocked at the door of the believer’s house, carrying with him a bundle of skins. “I have brought them back,” he said. “It is the first time I ever stole anything, and I have felt very bad about it.” “Let it be the last, friend.” said the Christian gentleman. “The secret still lies between us.” He spoke to the man faithfully and affectionately about the folly of dishonesty and of the claims of the gospel. He also took him into his employment, and the man became a changed character, living an exemplary life from then on. (from Illustrations of Bible Truths Copyright © 1995, 1998 by AMG International, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
Where is your heart today? Can Christ still reach it? Fill in the blanks; __________ do you love me more than ______________? _______ Lord you know that I __________ you more than __________. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a).
Study Passages: 2 Samuel 11:1-15God’s Family Structure: A Father’s Role
Proverbs 13:24, 22:6, 15; Ephesians 4:14, 6:1-2, 4; Colossians 3:21Fall in Love with Jesus
Study Passages: 1 John 4:10-11, Ephesians. 4:2, Psalms 91:14-16, Matthew 22:37, 39