صيادي الناس

Message from the Monthly Flyer March 2016

Prisoner, set free and sentenced to death

Gen 40:20-22 – KJV – And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand: But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

While he is in prison, Joseph son of Jacob meets two important men who are working for Pharaoh king of Egypt: the chief butler and the chief baker. They are both accused of a particular crime and sent to the prison where Joseph has been appointed as overseer. One evening, each of these high ranking officials has a dream that is interpreted by Joseph as follows: the chief butler will be set free from prison, will be lifted up and will be restored in his functions; the chief baker will also be set free, lifted up but will be sentenced to death. (See chapter 40 of the book of Genesis).

Everything began quite well for Pharaoh’s chief baker. He had rejoiced over the news that he would get out of prison to be a free man again. But all of a sudden his whole world had fallen apart, the screen had darkened and Pharaoh had ordained that he should be hanged. The chief baker whose responsibility was to prepare all kinds of nice bakeries for Pharaoh, and the chief butler who was taking care of Pharaoh’s wines and drinks had been appointed a very delicate role because Pharaoh depended on them for his subsistence. Thus it was in the best interest of these high ranking officials to make sure that Pharaoh is constantly satisfied with their services, and they owned him an unconditional obedience, loyalty and faithfulness. These two servants were very well aware of the important of their functions and were not ignorant of the fact that their lives could be in danger if Pharaoh had a good reason to be angry with them. The chief butler and the chief baker both had the same opportunity to do their job correctly. One of them was judged faithful, was lifted up and was restored back in his position with all the honors due to such a promotion, but the other one was judged unworthy and was sentenced to death. What a sad end for a high ranking official who certainly had everything he needed to be successful but did not have the wisdom to walk in integrity to keep his high position and save his life.

That should not happen to us who are called children of God. Just like the chief butler and the chief baker, we also were once prisoners of the devil and bound in sin. We were by nature enemies of God and separated from Him. We were worthy of death and deserved God’s punishment because of our transgressions, for the Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). But thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ who left His heavenly throne and died for us on the cross of Calvary. He did not deserve to die but he became sin for us in order to give us eternal life. We are no longer under condemnation because Jesus has redeemed us. We have become citizens of His heavenly kingdom. He has written our names in His Book of life and by His blood we have been washed from all sins. We have become high ranking officials in God’s kingdom and we are now sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 2:6). He has lifted us up after taking us out of prison and we have become His ambassadors on earth. We are now the head and not the tail, and all His promises for us will come to pass because He is not a man that He should lie. Jesus Christ has set us free from the filthy prisoners’ rags that we used to wear and has clothed us with his garment of righteousness. The Word of God even says that we are heirs of a glorious kingdom and we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). The chief of Pharaoh’s bakers was in prison, he was set free and lifted up, but he was found guilty and was sentenced to death. What a mess!

If we don’t want to end up like Pharaoh’s chief baker we should, as God’s elected ones, make sure that we do not walk in duplicity. If we can fool men, we cannot fool God who knows all things and can even read our thoughts. Nothing that you do escapes God’s attention. That’s why we should always be ready to repent, for whoever says that he has no sin is a liar (1 John 1:8). Moreover, we should always be willing to renew our commitment to walk with the Lord Jesus on this narrow and thorny way that leads unto everlasting life. Only those who take their calling serious and are faithful till the end will be saved and will enter in the Father’s eternal glory. We have everything we need in the Word of God to live a victorious Christian life. At the end of this race, we want to hear the master telling us: “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:23). The world has many things to offer, but it is all illusory. Let us be like Jesus who chose to honor His Father and accepted the shame of the cross instead of enjoying for a while the fleeting glory of this world that the devil was offering Him. Let’s resist the devil and he will flee from us (1 Peter 5:8-9). Our calling in Jesus should not be “prisoner, set free and sentenced to death” but rather “prisoner, set free and glorified”.

Our elevation in Jesus is not an illusion. We have the assurance of our salvation because everything has been accomplished at the cross. The Lord Jesus did not delivered, liberated and elevated us to condemn us afterwards like Pharaoh did with his chief baker, for the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29), and there is no condemnation for those who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1). God does not have plans of evil for us, but plans of peace to give us an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). We can rest in Jesus Christ with the assurance that He will never abandon us because His love for us goes beyond the human understanding. Unfortunately, many Christians are not faithful to Jesus and die in their sins. They will be forever separated from God and it is sad because they have believed in vain. We don’t want to be as foolish as the chief baker or the five virgins who did not take their calling serious and where rejected at the end (Matthew 25:1-13). That’s why we must be watchful and make every effort to keep our salvation; it is a matter of eternity that we don’t count in terms of days, months or even centuries. Eternity is too long for us to take our salvation for granted. This world will pass away with all its covetousness, but the Word of God remains for ever (1 Peter 1:25). Let’s hold on to Jesus with all our heart, with all our strength and with all our mind because He is our real treasure.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? (Mark 8:36). Jesus is the only source of true joy, and the happiness that people are longing for when they give themselves up to the love of money, material things, exaggerated distractions, extravagance and addictions, and the list goes on, can only be found in Jesus, the Rock of our salvation. To the young people who are eager to have new experiences: you will walk, you will search and you will go around looking for true fulfillment and satisfaction but there is no one like Jesus. Do not waste your beautiful youth, your time and your energy in worldly and ephemeral pleasure that leave you emptier than before and with a wounded soul. Listen to what the Ecclesiastes has to tell you: “Rejoice, young man, in your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant in the days of your young manhood. And walk in the ways of your heart and in the desires of your eyes, but know that God will bring you into judgment for all these things. Therefore, remove sorrow and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, for childhood and the prime of life are fleeting. (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 – AMP). Every aspiration outside of Jesus is nothing but vanity and running after the wind. But if you live your life in Jesus Christ, then you are not living in vain and you have the promise of everlasting life. Prisoners, set free and glorified: that should be our story in Jesus Christ. mt

صيادي الناس

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