Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Proverbs 22:29.

From the dungeon Joseph was exalted to be ruler over all the land of Egypt. It was a position of high honor, yet it was beset with difficulty and peril. One cannot stand upon a lofty height without danger. As the tempest leaves unharmed the lowly flower of the valley, while it uproots the stately tree upon the mountaintop, so those who have maintained their integrity in humble life may be dragged down to the pit by the temptations that assail worldly success and honor. But Joseph’s character bore the test alike of adversity and prosperity. The same fidelity to God was manifest when he stood in the palace of the Pharaohs as when in a prisoner’s cell. He was still a stranger in a heathen land, separated from his kindred, the worshipers of God; but he fully believed that the divine hand had directed his steps, and in constant reliance upon God he faithfully discharged the duties of his position. Through Joseph the attention of the king and great men of Egypt was directed to the true God; and though they adhered to their idolatry, they learned to respect the principles revealed in the life and character of the worshiper of Jehovah.

How was Joseph enabled to make such a record of firmness of character, uprightness, and wisdom?—In his early years he had consulted duty rather than inclination; and the integrity, the simple trust, the noble nature, of the youth bore fruit in the deeds of the man. A pure and simple life had favored the vigorous development of both physical and intellectual powers. Communion with God through His works and the contemplation of the grand truths entrusted to the inheritors of faith had elevated and ennobled his spiritual nature, broadening and strengthening the mind as no other study could do. Faithful attention to duty in every station, from the lowliest to the most exalted, had been training every power for its highest service. He who lives in accordance with the Creator’s will is securing to himself the truest and noblest development of character.17Ibid., 222.
Conflict and Courage p. 77
Prayer Requests
—-Our family are going through some severe trials. Please pray for us. LH
—-Prayers for my cousin Amy. She’s having emergency gall bladder surgery. JW
—-Pleas pray for my husband and I as we face his health challenge together with God. BF
—-Please pray for our family. Throughout this winter we and many in our church have had one virus after another. Pray that we all recover fully. Rose
Dear Friends,
The older I get, the more I think about the time when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10 Solemn thought. Yet, it doesn’t have to be a scary one.
John assures us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. . . . My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1

Since, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23), how vital it is that when our case comes up before the Great Judge that we have Someone who will plead in our behalf. Our Dear Advocate exclaims, “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8,9 How essential that our sins have been confessed and forsaken beforehand.

What a blessing is forgiveness! Without forgiveness, we all stand guilty before our Maker just as deserving of death as is the worst of murderers. Our Great Judge declares of Himself, “The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Ex 34:6,7 Praise God! He has promised, “I will forgive [your] iniquity, and I will remember [your] sin no more.” Jer 31:34 To Ezekiel was given an explanation of God’s justice and mercy, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11

Think of it! If we turn from our evil ways and follow Jesus fully, none of the sins that we have done, no matter how heinous our crimes against the government of God, will be mentioned unto us when we appear before Him. They are erased from the record of our life! Praise the Lord for His grace and mercy! David sang, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. . . . I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” Ps 32:1-5

“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isa 55:6,7 May we “therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb 4:16 May we “give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure” by bringing all of our sins to the Great Sin-Bearer. 2 Peter 1:10 May we continually walk in newness of life, doing as He did, speaking as He spoke, forgiving as He forgives, is my prayer.


Always the Same