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FOLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/7/2012

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

JOSEPH, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 3/7/2012

THE MESSAGE FROM JOSEPH’S BATTLES, 36d

A. There Is A Message Of Hope – If the early years of Joseph’s life teach us anything, they teach us that your childhood does not have to ruin you. On the same note, your past should never be allowed to define you! Just because you came up rough doesn’t mean you have to live that way now. Just because you were raised around harsh words and violent tempers does not mean that you have to use the same words and display the same temper! You can overcome you past by the help of God!

To look at how you act and say, “Well, that’s just how I was raised”, is a copout! People say, “Well, my mother was ill-natured and that’s how I am too.” No, it’s how you choose to be! Others say, “My parents were negative and so am I. I can’t help it!” No, it’s how you choose to be. Some say, “A bad temper runs in my family and I guess I come by it naturally.” No, it’s how you choose to be!

To blame your actions on people in your past is nothing more than a smokescreen for a heart that refuses to repent of sin and be changed by the power of God! God would change you if you would let Him! He would take the shackles of your past off forever, if you would allow Him to. Your past should never be allowed to define who you are today! What if people like Peter, Paul, King David and King Josiah had adopted the attitude of people in our day? They all had pain and problems in their past, but they overcame them all by the help of the Lord and rose above that which could have held them down. We all have the power of choice!

B. There Is A Message Of Home – If we can take anything away from the home of Joseph it is the truth that our own homes should be sanctuaries of godliness. Every mother and father should fall down before the Lord and ask for His help to make your hope a godly home. It should be a place where Jesus rules; where His praises are heard; where He is Lord and where He is honored at all times.

Our homes must be places where our children can hear the Gospel and see it lives out. Our homes must be places where the Bible is read, honored and lived. Our homes should be places of worship, where Jesus is lifted up. Our homes should be places where the voice of the Holy Spirit is able to speak to hearts and lead us in the right paths. Whether you have children or not, you ought to pray to that end today! Every home that makes up this church should stand as a shining light for other homes in the church and in the world.

C. There Is A Message Of Help – As I consider the problems that plagued the early years of Joseph, there is a great blessing that I can take away with me today. I can rejoice that God was able to take the ore of this young man’s life; refine it and shape it into pure gold for His glory! That is a blessing to me!

Looking at Joseph from the outside, and considering all of his problems and the dysfunction of his hone, it would have been easy to conclude that he would amount to nothing! But, God took this life and shaped him into one of the greatest men of the Bible. That is the power of grace! That is the power of God! It gives me hope as a parent. I know I made my mistakes raising my children. It is a comfort to know that God can overcome my foolishness and use my children in spite of me. It gives me hope as a Man. I see children growing up today with the deck stacked against them. It is a comfort to know that God can work in their lives in spite of their problems. He can save them and use them. It gives me hope as a person as well. When I think of my own past and the baggage I carry to this day, I am encouraged when I understand that God can use me in spite of what I am, where I have been and what I have seen and done. I hope it gives you hope as well.

Conc: When God went looking for an Apostle to the Gentiles, He didn’t look inside the church. God went to the most unlikely mine imaginable and dug out some ore that no one would have chosen. When God was finished refining and shaping that ore it became the gold called Paul. When God went to choose a new king for Israel, God didn’t look in Saul’s palace. God went to the most unlikely mine called Bethlehem and dung out some very unlikely ore. When God was finished refining and shaping that ore, He had David, “a man after God’s Own heart”. When God sought a man to lead His people out of Egypt, He didn’t choose the likely candidates. He went to an unlikely mine and dug out the ore of a washed up, eighty-year-old fugitive who was keeping his father-in-law’s sheep. When God finished refining and shaping that ore, He had a Moses.

The Bible, and the church, is filled with stories just like those. God can take us in spite of what the world and the past has tried to do to us and He can take our unlikely ore and shape it into valuable gold that He can use for His glory. Praise His name!

If you have never trusted Jesus and He is dealing with your heart, you need to come to Him and be saved. If He has spoken to you about the life you are living, you need to come and get your ore into His hands. If there are issues in your past that need to be reconciled, bring them now. If you want to come and pray about your home, come now.
If you are ready to stop making excuses for your bad behavior and you are ready to become what the Lord can make you, you come now. This altar is open and God stands ready to help you with the burdens you bring to Him.

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BITTYGIRL51 3/7/2012 3:39PM

    The home is to be a microcosim of the church. We in our home aspire to achieve such but perfection will only be attained when we reach heaven. Until then, we will do our best to draw closer to our maker and trust that He will honor our efforts.

Thanks for sharing this, Vic. emoticon

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POETLKNG2LOSE 3/7/2012 2:44PM

    We all make excuses for our behavior and the way we act. It's easier to excuse than it is to change from the inside out. There are many times i just want to give up. I know god can work in me i just have to be able to trust him. That is a hard one for me.

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SUNSETBREEZE05 3/7/2012 12:59PM

    Awesome is our God! Thanks for sharing your insight.

Good Luck reaching Your Goals,
Cindy

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GROEDER 3/7/2012 8:21AM

    God has the power to shape us to His will, no matter our upbringing. All we need is faith and the desire to let Him have our lives. He will show us the way!!

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ADJQUILTER 3/7/2012 7:15AM

    Lord, take me and shape me and mold me into what You have planned for me to be.
Your plans are perfect. Enlighten my heart and guide my steps that I may always seek to follow Thee!
Amen

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/6/2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

JOSEPH, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 3/6/2012

THE MAZE OF JOSEPH’S BOYHOOD, 36c

The Problem Areas Of His Childhood – Joseph’s upbringing was not an easy one. In fact, his early years were like a minefield. It is amazing that anyone could survive the pain and turmoil of those years with their sanity, their integrity and their emotions intact. Let’s take a moment to look at some of the events that marked young Joseph’s life.

We have already talked about the problems in the home. One man with children by four women, living under the same roof, is a recipe for trouble! Add to this the fact that Jacob obviously loved Rachel more than the other women and you have trouble enough to go around, Gen. 30.

At a young age Joseph and his family make a hasty departure from his grandfather Laban’s house. They flee away under the cover of darkness, (Gen. 31:17-21), because Jacob has cleaned out his father-in-law through deception.

Imagine the fear as your grandfather chases the family, overtakes the family and has hard words with your father, (Gen. 31:22-35). Laban accuses Jacob of stealing his household gods. Jacob denies this, but it turns out that Rachel had taken them. She lies to her father to cover up her theft.

Jacob and Laban make a covenant to stay away from one another. Laban departs and Joseph never sees his grandfather again, (Gen. 31:36-55). Gen. 31:49 is not a prayer of blessing; it is a threat of violence!

As you travel, word comes that your father’s brother, Esau, is coming out with many men to meet the family. Jacob is afraid of Esau because of the way he treated Esau some twenty years earlier. He divides his flocks into three parts to be used as a bribe to soften the heart of Esau, (Gen. 32:1-23).

Joseph’s older sister Dinah is raped by Shechem. Two of his brothers, Simeon and Levi trick the men of the city and eventually kill them all, (Gen. 34:1-31).

Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse dies, (Gen. 35:8). Jacob does nothing to make things right.
Rachel, Joseph’s mother, dies while giving birth to his little brother Benjamin, (Gen. 35:16-20).

Reuben, the oldest brother, commits incest with his father’s concubine, Bilhah, (Gen. 35:21-22). Jacob knows about it but does nothing, as usual.

Joseph’s other grandfather, Isaac, dies and is buried, (Gen. 35:27-29).

Joseph’s older brothers were all wicked, self-centered men.

Jacob was a passive father who allowed his children to do as they pleased with no correction.

Jacob was also guilty of favoritism. He loved Joseph more than the rest of his sons, (Gen. 37:3).

Joseph lost his beloved mother at a young age.

Joseph was uprooted and moved as a young age.

Joseph was surrounded by rape, murder, incest, treachery, intrigue, idolatry, jealousy, death and hatred. This was a very negative and hostile environment in which to raise a child. Many people can look back at your own upbringing and see many problems with how you were brought up. Some of you were brought up in violent homes. Others were raised with drinking, drugs and hellish living. Some may have been physically or sexually abused. Hearing what Joseph faced may have dredged up bad memories of your own past. Let me encourage you to place your past in the hands of a sovereign Lord. Trust Him for the grace to live with the memories and for the strength to avoid making the same mistakes.

Where did all this dysfunction come from? It all started when Abraham asked Sarai to lie about their relationship, (Gen. 12:10-20). The foundation for future turmoil was laid when Sarai gave her maid Hagar to Abraham to be his concubine, (Gen. 16:1-16). The problems in that family, and in every other family, are passed down from generation to generation. Looking at the problems that existed in this home, we should have a desire to avoid some of their mistakes. Just for the record, here is how to build a dysfunctional home:

Be less than truthful with one another.
Be jealous of other family members.
Demonstrate favoritism to your children.
Try to help God accomplish His will in your home.
Practice deception so you can get your way.
Operate outside of the will of God.
Live a life of anger, manipulation and control.
Sin is always the root cause of dysfunction in the home!

The Positive Areas Of His Childhood – Not everything was negative in Joseph’s background. There were a few positive moments along the way. Let me share a few that may have had a hand in shaping the life of this special young man. One night Jacob sent his family ahead and he stayed behind to pray about his upcoming meeting with Esau. Jacob had an encounter with God that night that changed his life forever, (Gen. 32:24-32). When he catches back up with his family, he is limping on his leg and he tells them that he has a new name. He will no longer be called “Jacob”, which means “Trickster, Deceiver, Heal-grabber”. His new name will be “Israel”, which means “Prince with God”. Jacob has a new name, a new walk and a new life. He would never live like a trickster again! Surely the change in his father was something young Joseph never forgot.

God calls Jacob to come back to Bethel. Jacob demands that they do away with their false gods. He calls his family together to worship God alone. While they are there, Jacob builds an altar, worships the Lord, and gives the testimony of how he first met the Lord, (Gen. 35:1-4). Surely young Joseph never forgot the lessons he learned and the testimonies he heard at Bethel.

Gen. 35:5 tells us that as this family journeyed they enjoyed divine protection. They were surrounded by warlike tribes, but they were not attacked. This must have made an impression on Joseph.

As I said, most of us can find flaws in our upbringing, if we look close enough. Yet, most of us can look back and see times when God revealed His hand in our lives, even at a young age. I can remember prayers, church services, godly people, etc, that left a mark on my life. Thank God for those times when the Lord moved, in spite of the darkness and the sin, and revealed His presence and His providential protection. You can never underestimate the importance of the positive influences on a child’s life. In Joseph’s case, the positive influences seem to have had far more impact that the negative ones. I think the same can be said about your life and mine as well.

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH A FRIEND!

To Be Continued Tomorrow!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_BREATHE08 3/6/2012 11:29PM

    Thank you.....Great Blog!!

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GROEDER 3/6/2012 6:44PM

    This shows that God's hand can be with us no matter what our upbringing. He can lead us from dysfunctional childhood to a life of service for Him.
Thanks for the lesson and the words of wisdom on breaking the cycle.

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BITTYGIRL51 3/6/2012 2:22PM

    That is very enlightening, Vic. It gives me great comfort to know that dysfunctional homes very much existed back in Bible days and that it is not just ours or a sign of the current times. The part that ministered to me the most and the part of work on the hardest is the following;

"Try to help God accomplish His will in your home"...I try very hard NOT TO, but sometimes I think I get in the way of what God wants to do or get impatient.

God Bless you for these studies. They really minister to me, ALWAYS even though I don't always comment.
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ADJQUILTER 3/6/2012 12:25PM

    The real blessing is knowing that our God can heal even the most dysfunctional childhood, and He loves us because He is our Father!
Thank you, Vic, for another thought provoking blog.
God bless you!
Arlene
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IAM_HIS2 3/6/2012 9:17AM

    What a blessing!! You have us so much wisdom in this message...I truly needed to read this and look at my childhood differently. Also, I needed to know how to stop the cycle of being dysfunctional. The antidote to being dysfunctional: truth.

God bless you for this teaching!!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/5/2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/5/2012

Genesis 30:22-24
GOLD FROM AN UNLIKELY MINE, Lesson 36b

We hear a lot in our day about dysfunctional homes. I realize that many homes are in turmoil today. Divorces, sins of all kinds, absentee parents, among other evils, have left the home in tatters. In many cases it seems that little children growing up today do not stand a chance.

We are told that we are a product of our environment. We are told that our background shapes our lives to such a degree that how we were raised will determine how we will live. To a certain degree we are all products of our upbringing. We bring with us certain traits, habits and characteristics from the homes in which we were raised. Thankfully, that is not true in every case!

Joseph blows that theory out of the water! Before Joseph was thrown into a pit; before he served as a slave in Potipher’s house; before he languished in prison; and before he stood before Pharaoh as Prime Minister of Egypt, Joseph spent his formative years in a home marked by sin, sadness, strife and struggles. Yet, Joseph became a great man of God and was used of the Lord in tremendous ways.

Today, I want to examine the early years of Joseph’s life. I want to talk about those formative years that could have formed a boy into an evil man. Instead, I want you to see that God overcame Joseph’s family, his upbringing and all the negative influences he faced.

Looking at Joseph’s family and at his early years, most people would have concluded that Joseph didn’t stand a chance. After all, most of his brothers didn’t turn out too well. God, in His providence and by His power, was able to overcome all the negatives in Joseph’s life.

I want you to see how God dug “Gold From An Unlikely Mine“. Let me share some simple observations with you today as we focus on the thought “Gold From An Unlikely Mine“.

THE MIRACLE OF JOSEPH’S BIRTH

The Testimony Of His Birth – Joseph was born into a family embroiled in the midst of controversy. His father Jacob fell in love with his cousin, a girl named Rachel, and agreed to work for her father Laban, who was also Jacob’s uncle, for seven years, (Gen. 29:18). The deal was struck and after seven years, the wedding day arrived. Laban had two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Leah was the oldest, but Rachel was, by far, the most attractive. On the evening of the wedding, Uncle Laban tricked the trickster and sent his eldest daughter Leah to Jacob’s tent instead of Rachel, (Gen. 29:23). Jacob spends his wedding night with Leah, and in the morning discovers the trick, (Gen 29:25). Jacob confronts Laban who agrees to let Jacob have Rachel in exchange for seven more years of work, (Gen. 29:27-28). He didn’t have to wait seven years to marry Rachel. He had to wait one week, (Gen. 29:27-30), but work seven more years for his uncle.

So, within a week, Jacob has two young wives. These two wives are sisters. Jacob clearly loves Rachel more than he does Leah, (Gen. 29:30). This sets the stage for jealousy, bitterness and anger.

It isn’t long before Leah gets pregnant, not once, but four times. She gives Jacob four sons, Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, one after the other, (Gen. 29:32-35). Rachel comes unglued! The worse thing that could happen to a woman in that day was to be childless. She takes matters into her own hands and gives Jacob her handmaid Bilhah to have children in her place (Gen. 30:1-4). Bilhah has two sons, Dan and Naphtali, (Gen. 30:5-8). Leah sees this and knows that she isn’t having children again so she gives her handmaid Zilpah to Jacob to have children for her, (Gen. 30:9). Zilpah has two sons, Gad and Asher, (Gen. 30:10-13). After a time, Leah has three more children by Jacob, Issachar, Zebulon and a daughter named Dinah, (Gen. 30:17-21). Are you confused yet?

Now Jacob has ten sons and a daughter, but his beloved wife Rachel is still barren. However, God in His providence hears Rachel’s pleas for a son and Joseph is born, (Gen. 30:22-24). Joseph’s birth is a testimony in itself because God opened a barren womb to bring him into the world. He was born because of divine intervention! By the way, you are here because God, in His sovereignty, decided to send you to this world. Your birth was not an accident; it was the will of God! That is a testimony in itself!

The Triumph Of His Birth – Surely Jacob was proud of all his sons. Surely he was pleased with his little daughter Dinah. But, still something was missing! As he watched the woman he loved suffer because she could not have children, it must have broken his heart. But, God heard their prayers! God opened Rachel’s womb and Joseph was born! The birth of little Joseph brought about a time of rejoicing and great happiness in Jacob’s home. That is how the birth of a baby affects every home. Those cute, wrinkled dictators are born and they dominate the home. But, they bring with them such joy and satisfaction. Thank God for the privilege of seeing children come into the world!

C. The Timing Of His Birth – Joseph was the eleventh son born to Jacob. Reuben was Jacob’s first born. Form all outward appearances; Joseph entered this life at a disadvantage. It did not appear that there was much hope for his future in the family. He would always be the low man on the totem pole, being bossed around and picked on by the others. The timing of his birth could not have been worse, from a human perspective. But, as we will see, God knew what He was doing, and like cream, Joseph rose to the top of that family. You might look at your own life today and feel like everything is against you. Don’t count the Lord out! He has a plan for you, and He will implement and execute that plan, no matter how things may appear.


INVITE A FRIEND TO YHE TEAM!

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 3/5/2012 4:35PM

    Thank you for the blog about gold. I often forget that God put me here for a purpose and i am not insignificant or unimportant.

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NELLIEC 3/5/2012 2:58PM

    Also, because Joseph was preferred by his father, the other brothers were jealous, and could see no good in him!

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FERGSGIRL2 3/5/2012 2:23PM

    Awesome and informative blog! You brought some points I had not heard explained before. Thanks for taking the time to post these blogs! Looking forward to the next one!

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ADJQUILTER 3/5/2012 9:38AM

    I pray that God will use His patience to find the gold in my unlikely mine!
I suspect that if any gold might be there it is because He put it there!
Thank You and praise You dear and patient miner!
Amen!
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IAM_HIS2 3/5/2012 8:39AM

    Wonderful blog. God bless you. I look forward to tomorrow's blog.

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GROEDER 3/5/2012 7:34AM

    You are certainly right about Joseph's family life!!! If not for God's intervention, he would not have had a chance!!!
Praise the Lord for his wisdom!!!

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SVELTEWARRIOR 3/5/2012 7:30AM

    Wonderful blog!!


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/4/2012

Sunday, March 04, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/4/2012

INTRODUCTION, Lesson 36a

The pages of our Bibles are filled with the stories of hundreds of men and women. Nearly every story contains one common thread. Whether the character is a king or a peasant, a prophet or a general, a fisherman or a preacher; nearly every person mentioned in the Bible has his or her dark side revealed.

Noah got drunk. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all lied to save their own hides. Moses committed murder. David was guilty of adultery. Solomon was an idolater. Peter cursed and lied. John the Baptist doubted Jesus. The list could go on and on. The pages of the Bible are filled with the sins of the people mentioned on its pages.

The verses we will read today introduce us to a man named Joseph. He was the eleventh son of the patriarch Jacob. His name means “Jehovah has added”. He lived 110 years and there is not a single sin attributed to this man. He endured trials and afflictions that most of cannot even imagine and nowhere does the Bible even hint that his faith in God wavered. He never seemed to get his eyes of the Lord.

Whether he was in the place of favor in his father’s house or languishing in a prison, he was the same man. Hardship did not harden his heart. Riches and power did not corrupt him. He was the same man regardless of the circumstances in which he found himself. Joseph was truly a unique man!

Perhaps this is why the Holy Spirit gives Joseph so much space in the book of Genesis. He receives the same number of chapters as Abraham: fourteen. Yet, there are 25 percent more verses dedicated to Joseph’s life. He was a great man of God. While Joseph receives much attention in the Old Testament, he is mentioned only four times in the New Testament, (John 4:5; Acts 7:9-14; Heb. 11:21-22; Rev. 7:8). We are left to learn about Joseph from the record given to us in the book of Genesis.

Another characteristic that marks Joseph’s life is the number of areas where he pictures the Lord Jesus Christ. As you study his life you encounter over one hundred particular points where Joseph is a type of Jesus Christ. Perhaps we will point out some of those along the way.

Besides being a godly man and a type of Jesus, the study of Joseph’s life is valuable because he stands as a model of what every believer should strive to be. He never wavered. He never fell. He never complained. He never compromised. He never lost his power with God. He stood his ground for the glory of God in man’s terrible situations. His life demonstrates the triumph of faith.

Beyond all that, one of the greatest aspects of Joseph’s life is how clearly the hand of God can be seen in it. The providence of God is on display throughout the narrative of Joseph’s life. In every event in the life of Joseph, God was busy fulfilling Rom. 8:28.
I would like for us to spend the next few lessons with a man named Joseph. I would like to take Gen. 50:20 as my text for this series. That verse says, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” I would also like to borrow my title for this series from that verse.
I would like to take the life of Joseph and preach around the theme “God Meant It For Good”. I hope to show you how God can take every circumstance in life, whether we see it as good or evil, and use it to make us stronger in our walk with Him. I want you to understand that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing God working behind the scenes of your life to bring you to the place of Christian maturity.

With that in mind, let’s look in on the early years of this man named Joseph and learn the great truth that God Meant It For Good.

To Be Continued Monday!


































  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCTRACKER 3/4/2012 5:07PM

    Thank you!

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ADJQUILTER 3/4/2012 1:32PM

    In church this morning, the following quote from St. Francis of Assisi was mentioned:
"Always preach the gospel. Use words if necessary."
If we took his advice we would be walking in the footsteps of Joseph, and Jesus.

I look forward to hearing the rest of the story tomorrow.

God bless you Vic!

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IAM_HIS2 3/4/2012 9:42AM

    Joseph is someone I share with my daughter...it is her favorite bible passages. I cannot wait to read your blog and share it with my daughter. You are truly a blessing and I thank God for you.

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SNUZSUZ 3/4/2012 6:56AM

    Thank you!

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GROEDER 3/4/2012 6:52AM

    I am waiting for Monday to learn more.
Thank you for these lessons, Vic!!!
God bless you!!

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Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 3/3/2012

Saturday, March 03, 2012

ISAAC, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/3/2012

V. 14b-22 IT IS A LIFE OF GREAT PROBLEMS, Lesson 35b

Even Isaac’s life wasn’t filled with all blessings and glories. He fought some real battles and so will you! Let’s look at a couple of the battles Isaac was required to fight.

V. 14b-16 He Faced Problems With The World - The Bible tells us that the Philistines were jealous of Isaac. Why? Because they could see the hand of God on his life! He was prospering while they were struggling! Because they were jealous, they tried to make his life hard by plugging up the wells that had been dug by his father Abraham. Their king even kicked Isaac out of the country! Just as it was with Isaac, the Lord’s pilgrims should never expect to be accepted and understood by the world. The fact of the matter is this: the Lord tells us clearly that those who live for Him will be persecuted as they pass through this world, (2 Tim. 3:12).

Of course, some of the same tactics the Philistines used against Isaac are still being employed against the people of God! They become jealous when they can’t explain or understand our peace and joy under trials. They do their best to rob us of the blessings we have as children of God when they see us walking by faith through this world. They will seek to stop up the wells from which we are drawing through discouragement, intimidation and personal attacks. Yet, the Lord said it would be this way and He tells us to rejoice when this kind of situation arises in our lives, (Matt. 5:10-12; 1 Pet. 4:12-16). So, when the world turns on you, don’t be surprised or don’t get upset. Instead, rejoice in the Lord. It will make them worse, but God will be honored and He will see you through!

V. 17-22 He Faced Problems With His Wells -

We already know that the Philistines plugged up the wells of Abraham, but they even fought with Isaac over the new well he was digging in the wilderness. Why all this fascination with wells? There are several reasons. The primary one being the fact that men and animals must have water to survive. In that country, being semi-desert, water was as valuable as oil is today! In those days, all waste lands were called “God’s lands”. If any man could live in a desert place, provide for his family and flocks and open a well, then that land was considered to be his land! In other words, a well was a statement of ownership! To fill in a well was an act of war! These Philistines hated Isaac so much that they declared war on him by trying to seize his lands and drive him away from that which was his! Notice the fights he had to undertake.

V. 18 He Had To Clean Out The Old Wells -

Many years before, his father Abraham had passed through the land and he had dug some wells of water. He dug those wells to meet needs in his day and to pass them down to his son Isaac so that needs could be met in his days as well. The Philistines had come along and had plugged these wells to prevent Isaac from using them. Notice that the Philistines didn’t want them for themselves, they just didn’t want Isaac to have them. He had to take the time to reopen those wells! These old wells speak to us of the spiritual resources that were uncovered and proclaimed by our spiritual fathers in days gone by. If we are not careful, the world will destroy everything that we have been given! Many of the wells from which our fathers drank have already been stopped! Think of it, there used to be a day when God’s people drank deeply from the well of praise and worship! The world has stopped that well by telling us that we should not be fanatics about Jesus. Our fathers opened for us the wells of Scripture, of salvation, of sanctification, of service, of the great fundamental doctrines of the faith! And the world has come along a tried to stop them up. Liberalism has tried to change our beliefs! There is a need right now for God’s people to re-dig the wells that the world has tried to stop up! We must contend for the old ways, if we do not, the old ways will die when we do!

V. 19-22 He Had To Contend For The New Wells -

As he moved along in his pilgrimage, Isaac was always in the business of digging new wells. Every time he opened a well, his enemies tried to take it away from him. The water from the old wells were cool and refreshing, but more water was needed now. Therefore, new wells were dug! Three of those wells are mentioned here by name:

1. Esek - This word means “Contention”.
2. Sitnah - This word means “strife or hatred”. It has the idea of “laying in wait to ensnare someone”. The name Satan comes from the same root word.
3. Rehoboth - This word means “a wide open place”. It was at Rehoboth that the Philistines finally left Isaac alone!

Everywhere the man went, he faced a fight! The Philistines tried to take that for which he had labored. The same is true in the world today. Look at the world, and you will see that they tried to take everything that belongs to the people of faith. They have high-jacked Christmas and Easter. They even steal our language by talking about God, being born again, or all sorts of spiritual things. But, we must contend for the faith, (Jude 3). If we do not, then there will be not faith to pass down to the next generation, (2 Tim. 2:2). “Commit thou” means “to set before, or to set a table”.

For Isaac, the pilgrimage here was one fight after another! I can guarantee you that your journey through this world will not come without a fight as well. But, take moment to look around at the children. Then think outside the walls about those who do not know the Lord Jesus. Remember, you are fighting for them! Every time we reopen a well the world has closed; every time we dig a new well for the needs of today; every time we defend the wells we have, we are serving the Lord, the lost and the little ones! It is a ministry that must be performed at all costs! If it isn’t , there will be nothing left to defend and nothing at all to pass down! We may have to fight for what our fathers believed and we may have to fight for what we believe, but the Lord watches over the whole matter and like he did for Isaac, He will make a place for us!

V. 23-25 IT IS A LIFE OF GREAT PRIVILEGES

Isaac enjoyed the Lord’s provisions in his life and he also experienced some problems as well. But, these last few verses in our text let us in on the fact that pilgrim life is also marked by its privileges.

V. 24 The Privilege Of Enjoying God’s Words - The Lord appeared to Isaac and renewed His promises once again! There is no greater privilege than that of experiencing the Lord’s presence and hearing His voice. We have been given His Word to speak to our hearts, (Ps. 119:1050, but we have also been given His Spirit and He speaks to us as well, (John 16:130). It was the voice of God that got the attention of Elijah, (1 Kings 19:12. When He speaks, His sheep know Him, (John 10:3-4).

V. 25 The Privilege Of Enjoying God’s Worship - Isaac prepared an altar and went before his God in worship! This is a privilege enjoyed by those who know the Lord! What an honor it is to be able to enter into His presence to worship Him and to love Him, 9John 4:23-24, Heb. 4:16), when we stop to think of what we were before He found us.

V. 25 The Privilege Of Enjoying God’s World - Isaac was able to pitch his tent in the place God had marked off for him and he dwelt there. He was enjoying the blessings of God even while journeying through a hostile land. It is becoming increasingly clear that God’s true church is not wanted in this world. This world is not our home and the natives of this world do not like us being here. But, the Lord has a way of bringing His best into our lives as we travel along. While our hearts beat for Heaven, and our feet walk through this foreign land, our Father attends our way with His blessings and He makes the pilgrimage glorious!

V. 25 The Privilege Of Enjoying God’s Water - Isaac and his servants dug a final well and enjoyed the water that flowed from it. After all the work unstopping Abraham’s well and after all the fighting over the new wells, Isaac is given a well of water that is all his. God has a way of giving us exactly what we need just when we need it. As you pass through this world, look for you a well! The Lord said that when He save you, He placed a well within you, (John 4:14). It is a spiritual well that will never run dry. Still, we need to find ourselves drinking from a spiritual well that never runs dry. Take the time, as you pass through this world, to avail yourself of the spiritual refreshment the Lord had placed within easy reach. I’m talking about the Word of God and prayer! Those two things will refresh the soul quicker than anything else! Are you drinking from the well?

Conc: So, pilgrims, keep marching! Keep heading toward that city that captured the hearts of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Heb. 11:10. One day we will take the last faltering step down here and we will set foot on the shores of home. Until then, keep looking to Him for your provisions. Keep trusting Him through all the problems. And, keep thanking Him for all the privileges you enjoy as His child. There may be days when the journey is rough, but there never be a day when it isn’t worthwhile!

TODAY’S PRAYER and BLESSING!

“Most Holy Father, You formed man from the dust of the ground, breathed in to his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. We thank You for the breath of life You have given us. We pray You will breath new life into us today. Just as You spoke and brought life in Your magnificent world, help us to speak Your words that brings life into our own small world. How blessed we are to be closely connected to YOU in Every way. Thank YOU Father! This we pray in Jesus’ blessed name, Amen!”

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERGSGIRL2 3/3/2012 10:25PM

    Thanks for the blessing and a better understanding.

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ADJQUILTER 3/3/2012 12:22PM

    I love John 4:14 which you mentioned:
"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
As I drink my 8 cups of water today I will meditate on this verse.
Thank God we never have to suffer thirst!
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SCTRACKER 3/3/2012 12:01PM

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SNUZSUZ 3/3/2012 9:31AM

    Thank you! What another great lesson! I re-subscribed to your blog:) I wasn't getting it for a long time, I don't know why?

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IAM_HIS2 3/3/2012 7:23AM

    'Once again, thank you! This is very relate able to what is going on right now with our government. We need to fight for the right to practice our faith, we need to live as Christians and bond together and Christians. So I am praying and fasting for the faith and hopefully can keep the well open.

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DOOBIE893 3/3/2012 7:19AM

    Amen

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STALEYK 3/3/2012 7:02AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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