CALL TO PRAYER: May God use us!
EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is part of the call to prayer issued by Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, to pray for revival and spiritual awakening for our churches, our nation and our world.
SILVER SPRINGS, Md. (BP) -- A non-Christian was interested in what Christians believe. He had a Christian neighbor who left his house each morning, holding a Bible as he went to an early-morning prayer meeting. One morning, the seeker stopped the believer and asked, "What do you believe?" The Christian answered, "I believe what my church believes."
The seeker followed up, "Then what does your church believe?" The believer answered, "The church believes what I believe."
Somewhat exasperated, the unbeliever asked, "Well, what do you and your church believe?" "Oh," said the follower of Christ, "We believe the same thing."
We must show through our lives each day who God is, who Jesus is to us, who the Holy Spirit is in our lives. We must show; but we must also share in words.
We need to be like Joseph in his time. The Lord blessed Potiphar's house because of Joseph (Genesis 39:6).
Joseph was not a free man. While still a young man, he was sold into slavery. He probably did not go to college to learn Egyptian before his brothers sold him to the passing Ishmaelites. We can imagine his cultural shock -- from free to slave, from favored son to household servant, from fluent in conversation to the burden of learning a new language.
But God was with him. And God is with us!
My prayer -- that the LORD be with me, with you, with us. We are called to cross cultures, cross languages, and cross races in our changing communities. The Lord can use us to make an impact with the Gospel regardless of our feelings of inadequacy.
When God was with Joseph, the Egyptian knew that, realized that, saw that (Genesis 39:3). When the LORD is at work in our lives, it becomes apparent to those who come to know us.
My prayer -- may those who are around you and me see and know that God is with us. We must have a vibrant walk with the LORD in our daily lives. When we do, the living power of Christ cannot be hidden.
Not only was the LORD with Joseph; God prospered him and gave him favor in Potiphar's sight (Genesis 39:3-4). While this was true in a limited way in the material sense (though a steward, he was still a slave), it was more true in the spiritual sense. Joseph was prosperous for Kingdom work. God had a plan to use Joseph for eternal purposes.
My prayer -- may the LORD prosper me and you for His great things. Just as God had a plan for Joseph's life, he has a plan for us.
The Lord blessed the Egyptian's household, and ultimately all of ancient Egypt, because of Joseph. May God bless the people of whom we are a part -- the Southern Baptist Convention as well as the people we are going to preach the Gospel to -- so that we may enjoy who God is in our lives in preparation for the day when Jesus returns.
My prayer -- that God will bless us, and through us, bless those to whom we share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just as Joseph was the instrument of God to deliver the nation and the ethnic groups that surrounded Egypt -- including his own family -- from physical famine, may the Lord use us to deliver through evangelism and discipleship those people who are in spiritual famine. This is the Great Commission.
As William Carey famously said, we must "expect great things from God and attempt great things for God."