February 24, 2019
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” His brothers could not answer him because they were afraid of him.
“Please come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. When they did so, he said, “I am Joseph, your brother you sold into slavery in Egypt! Now, do not be sad or angry with yourselves that you sold me. God sent me ahead of you to save lives. The famine has been in the land for two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. God sent me ahead of you to make sure that you would have descendants on the earth and to save your lives in an amazing way. It wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He has made me like a father to Pharaoh, lord over his entire household, and ruler of Egypt.”
Hurry back to my father, and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says, “God has made me lord of Egypt. Come here to me right away! Live in the land of Goshen, where you will be near me. Live there with your children and your grandchildren, as well as your flocks, your herds, and everything you have. I will provide for you there, since there will be five more years of famine. Then you, your family, and all who belong to you won’t lose everything.”’
You and my brother Benjamin can see for yourselves that I am the one who is speaking to you. Tell my father how greatly honored I am in Egypt and about everything you have seen. Hurry and bring my father here!”
He threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and cried with Benjamin, who was crying on his shoulder. He kissed all his brothers and cried with them. After that his brothers talked with him.
1 Corinthians 15:21–26, 30-42
Since one man brought death, one man also brought life back from death. As everyone dies because of Adam, so also everyone will be made alive because of Christ. This will happen to each person in his own turn. Christ is the first, then at his coming those who belong to him will be made alive. Then the end will come. Christ will hand over the kingdom to God the Father as he destroys every ruler, authority, and power. Christ must rule until God has put every enemy under his control. The last enemy he will destroy is death
Why are we constantly putting ourselves in danger? Brothers and sisters, I swear to you on my pride in you which Christ Jesus our Lord has given me. I face death every day. If I fought with wild animals in Ephesus, what have I gained according to the way people look at things? If the dead are not brought back to life, “Let us eat and drink because tomorrow we die!” Don’t let anyone deceive you. Associating with bad people will ruin decent people. Come back to the right way of thinking, and stop sinning. Some of you don’t know anything about God. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Someone will ask, “How do the dead come back to life? With what kind of body will they come back?” You fool! The seed you plant does not come to life unless it dies first. What you plant, whether it’s wheat or something else, is only a seed. It doesn’t have the form that the plant will have. God gives the plant the form he wants it to have. Each kind of seed grows into its own form. Not all flesh is the same. Humans have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds have another, and fish have still another. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. Heavenly bodies are of one kind, and earthly bodies are of another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon has another kind of splendor, and the stars have still another kind. Even one star differs in splendor from another. That is how it will be when the dead come back to life. When the body is planted it decays. When it comes back to life it cannot decay.
“I tell everyone who is listening: Love your enemies. Be kind to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who insult you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other cheek as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t stop him from taking your shirt. Give to everyone who asks you for something. If someone takes what is yours, don’t insist on getting it back. Do for other people everything you want them to do for you.
If you love those who love you, do you deserve any thanks for that? Even sinners love those who love them. If you help those who help you, do you deserve any thanks for that? Sinners do that too. If you lend anything to those from whom you expect to get something back, do you deserve any thanks for that? Sinners also lend to sinners to get back what they lend. Rather, love your enemies, help them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward. You will be the children of the Most High God. After all, he is kind to unthankful and evil people. Be merciful as your Father is merciful.
Stop judging, and you will not be judged. Stop condemning, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be given to you. The standards you use for others will be applied to you.”