By Margaret D. Mitchell

The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. – Genesis 39:2

One day, as I cleaned out a writing desk, I came across some lovely stationery from a few hotels I had stayed at while working as a flight attendant years ago. One in particular stood out: The New York Palace.

I sat for a moment and reflected…I recalled the lovely light blue French furniture with silver and gold trim that looked and felt more like palace furniture than any other place I had stayed. I thought of the juxtaposition of a servant staying at a palace.

That was me… a servant. That was Jesus. That was Joseph.

And Joseph stayed at a palace.

God blesses people in the most extraordinary ways, caring for our safety, ordering our steps along our journeys of destiny, giving us glimpses of our future, helping us to hold onto hope.

And Joseph waited and served privately before becoming a public servant. He was made in charge of all of Egypt (Gen. 41:43-44). He was in authority. He was personally appointed, and he ruled. Suddenly, after taking orders, he was giving them (Gen. 41:40).

God has greater things ahead for His beloved. He cultivates our heart along the way. Are you willing to submit your whole heart to God so He can get you to your palace by His grace? Are you in position for His promotion? I am convicted daily.

Do you see opposition as God’s opportunity for you? When others forget about you—even after you help them—do you remind yourself of God’s sovereignty in your situation? Do you wait expectantly, knowing that God has His best at heart for you? Do you consistently operate in the gifts God gave you along the way?

Joseph’s journey to the palace was one of God’s grace and Joseph’s obedience to God’s precepts. Joseph was highly favored.

Genesis 39:21 tells us: “But The Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him His faithful love. And The Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.”

God’s grace is such that, even when mankind isn’t kind to us, He is faithful to restore us. Even when we do the right thing, and we get slammed, God will lift us. Even when we have no family nearby to support us, God is with us. Even when we tire of the prison, God will purpose us. And when we are disappointed, God will awaken to us to depend upon Him alone. When life feels unfair, God will lead us to shine.

Will you choose God’s ways? Will you keep your integrity? Will you choose faith over fear, even in the face of authority? Will you respect authority as you serve?

I believe that God’s hand was upon Joseph even before his birth and that since Joseph was close to his father, Jacob, serving authority with respect was normal for Joseph from a young age. So when God opened the door for Joseph to serve Pharaoh, Joseph was in his zone. He was ready, and he stepped forward in God’s wisdom, void of bitterness in his heart.

God could trust Joseph with authority, and He blessed his heart of wholeness, even beyond Pharaoh’s promotion for him. God reunited Joseph with his beloved father.

At the palace, God…

· Facilitated a family reunion.

· Presented Joseph as a steadfast leader.

· Cleansed a family.

· Fed a family.

· Restored the heart of a family.

· Restored peace among a family.

· And made servants of slaves…who then became a great nation (Gen. 44:9, 46:3).

The palace was a grace place of transformation. Are you ready to serve God no matter what?

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines


By Lara Casey

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

As a personal trainer years ago, January was always an exciting month.

People packed the gym, energy soared and hope flowed like water. This was a fresh new start. Great things were ahead!

Then, come February 1 … you know where this is going. I’ve been right there too, making progress on some goals then weeks later, getting bogged down by inner shame: I failed. I can’t do this. I am not enough. I messed up — all hope is lost!

There is nothing magical about January 1st and no matter what you’ve done or not done, great things are ahead with God. The best is yet to come. Every day we are given the opportunity to be made new in Christ, not by our might but by our surrender. As Paul reveals in our key verse: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I need that truth written on a Post-it Note and plastered to my forehead every day.

As a toddler mama, wife, business owner and friend, I mess up a lot. We need new starts around here like we need daily food and clean diapers. I try to control just about everything: naptimes, schedules and my to-do lists. When things begin getting out of control and I feel Madame Overwhelmed creeping up behind me, I think back to a cold day one November when things started to change.

I was so afraid to let go. I was afraid of more pain. I was afraid my life would never be the same.

But I soon realized that the tighter I held the reins of control, the more intense the pain became. The day my daughter Grace was born, I learned a life-altering truth: my need for control was holding life back.

Perhaps your roadblocks aren’t roadblocks at all, but rather new beginnings in disguise. Perhaps your missteps are actually opportunities for growth, greater closeness with God or a nudge to take a leap of faith.

In order for a seed to sprout, the outer casing first has to fall away, or surrender, in order for new life to come. The same is true with our lives. We must let go a little — or sometimes a lot — for our new start to be revealed. As Paul says in Philippians 3:13b-14,“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (NIV).

My middle school English teacher had the words “This too shall pass” permanently painted on her classroom bulletin board. (And am I grateful that the awkward days of perming my already-curly hair did pass!) While those words on the chalkboard didn’t originate from the Bible, they do reveal some truth.

This life and everything in it will pass away, but God’s love never changes. Our new start can’t be found in more money, more business, more fun, more stuff or more visits to the gym. Our new start is found only in Him.

Lord, I have found myself overwhelmed at times, trying to do it all. I am so grateful You’re in control so I don’t have to be! Thank You for Your radical grace that makes all things new. Help me see my failures and mistakes as You see them: opportunities to draw closer to You. Help me find my worth and identity only in You, not in my accomplishments and not in my missteps. I love You Lord. I want to be closer to You, always sure of the fresh start I have been given because of Your sacrifice! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines


By Max Lucado

When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. – Genesis 37:4

Twenty years of marriage, three kids, and now he’s gone. Traded her in for a younger model. She told me her story, and we prayed. Then I said,  “It won’t be painless or quick. But God will use this mess for good. With God’s help you’ll get through this.”

Remember Joseph?  Genesis 37:4 says his brothers “hated him.”  Far from home, they cast him into a pit, leaving him for dead. A murderous cover-up from the get go. Pits have no easy exit. Joseph’s story got worse before it got better. Yet in his explanation we find his inspiration: “You meant evil against me,” he said, “but God meant it for good…” The very acts intended to destroy God’s servant, turned out to strengthen him.

The same will be said about you. You will get through this!

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines


By Kelly Givens

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. – Romans 12:15

“Just installed our kitchen countertops! They’re GOREGEOUS.”

I rolled my eyes as I glanced at the pictures someone – no older than me – had just posted online. Picture after picture of their sparkly new kitchen, inside their custom built (custom built, I tell you!) house. I looked up from screen and into my own tiny apartment kitchen with its plain, generic countertops. Nothing custom-built in my place. I tried not to think about it, but it was too late – jealousy had flooded my heart. It’s scary how natural it flowed in. All I wanted in that moment was to be OUT of my apartment and into some glamorous space of my own. Can you relate?

I love it when the Bible is black and white. There’s no confusion surrounding Romans 12:15 – we’re called to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Pretty simple… except when it isn’t. I bet most of us wouldn’t have to think too hard to remember a time we failed pretty miserably at rejoicing over someone’s joy, or weeping as another wept. Why do we have this challenge?

When we fail to rejoice with those who rejoice, there could be several reasons why, but here are some I thought of off the top of my head: insecurity, jealousy or envy, discontent, bitterness.

What about when we fail to weep with those who weep? Here are some reasons (excuses, really) that come to mind: lacking compassion, both generally in life or toward a certain individual; perhaps not taking the time to listen or really put yourself in the person’s position; too busy to notice the suffering of others, distancing yourself emotionally from pain.

I’ve thought of some scenarios that may indicate we’re failing at Romans 12:15:

– Instead of rejoicing at someone’s news, we immediately begin to compare how our circumstances measure up.
– We’re quick to say “Oh yes, that happened to me once, too” instead of silently listening and acknowledging the hurt of others.
– We try to come to the rescue in every situation, rather than acknowledging that some suffering isn’t solvable or explainable (think Job and his friends).
– We brush off the pain of others because we think they are “taking things too hard.”
– We’re quick to say, “Well at least you’ve never experienced this” (insert whatever horrible thing we’ve experienced).
– We think they cheated their way to the blessings, just got lucky or don’t deserve the good thing they received (their parents are totally paying for that custom-built house!).

So what’s at the root of all of this? What’s the “sin beneath the sin,” so to speak?

I think central to our failure to rejoice and weep with others is a preoccupation with self. We can’t step outside of ourselves long enough to truly step into both the blessings and sufferings of those around us. It’s taken me a while, but I’ve tried to make a habit of acknowledging the joys and sufferings of others without immediately inserting myself into the situation. This isn’t a natural inclination for me. Satan is the master of deception and loves to make us fall for one of the oldest tricks in the book: that everything is about us.

Ultimately, the key to mastering Romans 12:15 isn’t just thinking about ourselves less. We’ve got to think about God more. People are most successful at eliminating bad behaviors or habits from their lives when they replace them with a good habit or behavior. So, I not only have to stop focusing on myself, but I have to replace all that time I spend thinking of myself with thinking of God. This is life transforming; this is the key to killing pride – not simply humbling yourself, but exalting God – who is the only thing worthy of our exaltation.

When I’m thinking about God, and not about myself, he reminds me of some powerful truths:

I’ve come from dust and I’ll return to dust.  Genesis 3:19 reminds me that no matter how much I get ahead in life, eventually I’m going to die. And nothing on this earth is worth coveting when I acknowledge that I can’t take it with me.

I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139 reminds me that God made me perfectly, intentionally, knowingly- so I need to stop comparing the body I have to others. He made me just right.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30 reminds me that envy is a crippling sin; I could literally waste my life away being envious of others. Contentment, on the other hand, brings life.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 reminds me that our part of our calling as Christians is to care for those burdened and help carry the burdens of others. I don’t get to “pass” on this part of my faith if it doesn’t come naturally to me or if I feel inconvenienced or uncomfortable by it. I don’t get to ignore the sufferings of others; I’m called to step into it.

After meditating on God’s promises and blessings, I am able to recall all the wonderful things about our apartment (hello, cheap rent!) and the many, many ways God has blessed and provided for me. Proverbs 30:8 says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.” As Christians, contentment in our own circumstances is the surest way to reflect the all satisfying power of Christ to those who may need to be reminded of where their joys and sufferings begin and end.

Intersecting Faith & Life: Do you struggle to rejoice with those rejoicing or weep with those weeping? Check yourself – what’s stopping you? Pray that God would help uncover the “sin beneath the sin” – the ways you’re focusing on yourself instead of focusing on Him.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines


By L. B. Cowman

“Show me wherefore thou contendest with me” (Job 10:2).

Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never have been discovered if it were not for the trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too oft like a glowworm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star–not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black folds in which God doth set the jewels of His children’s graces, to make them shine the better.

It was but a little while ago that, on thy knees, thou wast saying, “Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith.”

Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?–for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it. God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery; real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.

God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers and climb mountains, and walk many a weary mile with heavy knapsacks on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you?
–C. H. Spurgeon

To be left unmolested by Satan is no evidence of blessing.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines


By Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:39-40).

Friend to Friend

Studying God’s Word has been one of my greatest joys since the day I became a Christian as a teenager. But sometimes I can get so wrapped up in studying about God, that I forget my relationship with God.

I read the Bible, pore through commentaries, and decipher Greek and Hebrew words. However, on many occasions, I have allowed my determined mind that wants to know more about God to override my soul’s deepest longing to simply know God.All my studying will be stillbirth if I do not move the words from my head to my heart to deepen my relationship with Jesus. If the words do not move me to worship and relationship, then I’ve missed the point.

All through history there have been men and women who have had an abundance of knowledge about God but have had little to no manifestation of God’s presence or power in their lives. Week after week people fill churches to hear well-delivered sermons, only to leave with the glory ache still eating away at their hearts. There is a yearning within our breasts which scholarly teaching simply cannot satisfy.

We can have a right opinion about God. We can agree that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient and still not be in right relationship with Him. Satan is proof of that. He knows exactly who God is and what He can do (James 2:19).

Knowledge about someone will never satisfy the longing to know someone personally. That doesn’t mean that we don’t study the Bible. But it does mean that we don’t stockpile knowledge and miss the intimate relationship Jesus died to make possible. His Word is a means by which He speaks to us in relationship. God’s Word is not a substitute for the relationship itself.

Jesus warned the religious scholars of his day: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40). Could Jesus be saying the same to me and to you? Have we been filing in the blanks of our well-laid-out Bible study books and neglecting to fill in the blanks of our empty hearts with Him?

We can possess volumes of Bible study knowledge, but if the words do not bring us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ, it becomes of no consequence to us. God’s word may convince us to try harder to be more moral, but head knowledge alone will not transform our lives. It is to the heart that God first speaks, and it is with the heart that our love relationship grows.

Here is what God is whispering to you today: “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.”

Let’s Pray

Lord, today I am praying the words of Paul to the Ephesians. I pray that I will be rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for me, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

In Jesus’ name,


Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines


By Pastor Adrian Rogers

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7

If you’re like most people, you don’t realize your dependency on God until you’re burned out from stress—either self-induced or caused by circumstances beyond your control.

Why is that?

Paul says it’s because we are fragile. But he doesn’t stop there. He says that God made us this way so that His power may be known through us!

Maybe someone told you, “Oh, just tie a knot and hang on!” Sometimes God wants us to let go of the rope because it is keeping us tied down to our destructive habits. We are totally dependent on God so that the love of His Son may be made known to the world.

Get a piece of rope and tie a knot in it. Let it sit on your desk this week as a reminder that God is more than just a knot at the end of the rope. He is the Savior of the World!

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines