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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/20/2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/20/2012

Genesis 37:12-35
THE HEARTBREAK OF A SHATTERED DREAM, Lesson 41c

v. 31-35 JACOB’S DESPAIR

v. 31 The Brother’s Scheme – Again, these brother conspire together to cook up a plan. This time, they are out to deceive their father. They take the despised coat and dip it in the blood of a goat and take it home to Jacob. One lie always leads to another! When you tell an untruth, it will not be long before you will have to cover the first by telling a second and then a third and then a fourth. The best policy is to always tell the truth, regardless of the personal cost!

v. 32 The Brother’s Severity – There is no compassion for their father in their words. They bring him the bloodstained coat and they ask him to identify it. These men have no heart! They care for nothing but themselves and their own advancement in the family! The world is filled with people just like that. They do not care who they have to step on to achieve their goals. They do not care what they have to do to reach the top of the heap. They care for nothing but getting their own way all the time, and they do not care who they hurt in the process.

Something is desperately wrong with a person like that! Most likely they are not saved. Most definitely they are not displaying Christ-likeness in their life. Our walk with the Lord is to be marked by a desire to place others ahead of self, (Phil. 2:3-4). Our walk is to be marked by a desire to ease the burdens borne by others, (Gal. 6:2). Our walk is to be marked by a Christ-like love for those around us, (Matt. 22:39; 1 John 3:14; 4:8; 4:20).

v. 33-35 Jacob’s Sorrow – Of course, Jacob recognizes the coat. He knows it belongs to Joseph and he immediately assumes that his beloved son is dead, having been killed by wild animals. Jacob is heartbroken ands falls into the depths of despair. He refuses to be comforted by his family, vowing to grieve to the day he joins Joseph in death. These cold, calloused men have broken their father’s heart and they do not care!

v. 35 The Brother’s Shame – These hardhearted men reveal their hypocrisy by trying to comfort their father in his grief. Not a single one of these cowards had the courage to stand up and tell Jacob the truth! In the end, however, their father was in better shape than they were. He lived every day with grief; they lived every day with guilt! The knowledge of what they had done ate at them until they faced Joseph with the truth years later. That is the power of guilt! It will eat at you until the problem is dealt with. The best thing you and I can do with our wrongs is to make them right if we can. We need to apologize to people we have offended. We need to restore what we have taken. We need to get honest about our sins. That is the only way to get rid of guilt, (1 John 1:9; Pro. 28:13).


Conc: This is a sad place to step out of this story. Joseph is gone, sold as a slave, and headed off to Egypt in chains. Jacob is heartbroken and inconsolable. The beloved son of his wife Rachel; his choice to be the head of his family upon his death is gone. The brothers are guilty of a terrible sin against their brother, their father, their family and their God. They are being eaten alive by guilt. A prosperous, promising family has been plunged into the depths of gloom and hopelessness. It would appear that Joseph’s great dreams are at an end. They will never come to pass. At least, that’s what they think!
Behind the scenes of this terrible tragedy moves the unseen hand of God’s sovereignty. What appears to be a hopeless situation is merely setting the stage for hope in the future!

There is a word here for us as well! There will be times when things appear hopeless. There will be times when the shattered pieces of our dreams will lie all around us. In times like that we must not despair! Instead, we must cling to the precious promises of our great God, (Rom. 8:28; Ps. 37:23; Job 23:10). We must understand that despite how things appear to our human eyes and reasoning, God has a plan and nothing can derail that plan!

Some of you are looking at what you think are shattered dreams right now. What are you going to do with them? Are you going to weep and mourn like Jacob? Or, are you going to cling to God’s promise and trust that the Judge of all the earth will do right? Bring your shattered dreams to Jesus right now and let Him give you help in dealing with them. Let Him give you hope in hanging on to them.

We do not want to miss Jesus in all this! The people He came to, the nation of Israel rejected Him and pushed Him away. They pushed Him and pushed Him until they had pushed Him to an old rugged cross. When they saw Him die, they claimed the victory, while His disciples grieved over a certain defeat. Just like Joseph’s brothers, the very one who they desired to kill turned out to be their Savior! They threw the Savior into the pit of death and buried His body. Three days later, He came out of that tomb victorious over all His enemies! He fulfilled the dreams of the Father and of His followers. He fulfilled your dreams and mine too.

Do you have any dreams you need help with today? If so, come talk them over with Jesus right now!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Be not Dismayed Whate’er Betide” By C. D. Marin (1904)

Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you; Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you.

Refrain
God will take care of you, Through every day, over all the way; He will take care of you, God will take care of you.

Through days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you; When dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you.

Refrain

All you may need He will provide, God will take care of you; Nothing you ask will be denied, God will take care of you.

Refrain

No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you; Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.

Refrain

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 3/23/2012 10:43PM

    I have been through a lot of grief in my life. But he has always been there. I just have to believe and not give up.

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FERGSGIRL2 3/20/2012 9:41PM

    thank God for His uncompromising word!

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SCTRACKER 3/20/2012 5:44PM

    emoticon

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MISSPEACHES3 3/20/2012 11:49AM

    What a blessing, knowing that God will take care of us.

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ADJQUILTER 3/20/2012 10:52AM

    I love that old hymn! We just need to learn to trust that no matter how things may look, God is there, He loves us, and He has a plan for us that is far greater than we could ever imagine.
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WENDYSPARKS 3/20/2012 9:52AM

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GROEDER 3/20/2012 7:23AM

    This is very powerful lesson!!! It not only teaches the hold guilt can have on us, but how a life of faith can bring us through times of grief!!!!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/17/2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/17/2012

Genesis 37:12-35
THE HEARTBREAK OF A SHATTERED DREAM, Lesson 41b

v. 13-17 JOSEPH’S DEVOTION

v. 13 It Was Immediate – Without question Joseph accepts his father’s assignment and leaves to go find his brothers. He knows the risks, but obedience to his father’s commands is his first priority. In this regard Joseph is a type of Jesus. When Jesus came into this world, He was sent by His father, but He came willingly. Jesus did not have to be forced to come into this world to die for sinners. He came because it was His Father’s foreordained and determinate will.

Our lives ought to be marked by the same level of obedience. When God speaks, we should respond humbly and immediately to carry out His will. Nothing demonstrates our love for Jesus any more than out willing obedience to His will, (John 4:15; 1 John 5:2-4). By the way, had Jacob and Joseph known that when they said goodbye to one another it would not be for a few days, but for twenty years, would their parting have been different? It is in God’s great mercy that the future was hidden from them and from us! I praise the Lord that I do not know the future!

v. 15-17 It Was Insistent – When Joseph arrived in Shechem, he did not find his brothers there. A man tells him that they left Shechem and have gone to Dothan. Many people might have concluded that they had fulfilled their obligation when they could not find their brothers in the place their father sent them too. Many would have turned around and gone home. Not Joseph! His father wanted to know the welfare of his sons and he wanted word brought back to him. Joseph wanted to carry out the will of his father, even if it meant going beyond the original command.

Again, Joseph is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus came into this world to seek the lost sheep of Israel. He pursued them with steadfast love, but they rejected Him out of hand. He continued to pursue them, eventually dying on a cross to open the way of salvation for all who would come to Him by faith. Jesus was not deterred by man’s rejection and hatred. He loved sinners and died to set them free!

We should have that same desire within our own hearts. Nothing should be able to prevent us from accomplishing our Father’s will for our lives. Regardless of the cost, to pain or the opposition, we should seek to serve Him and be everything He saved us to be. I don’t know about you, but I want to reach the end of my journey knowing I did everything He told me to do to the fullest extent possible!


v. 18-30 THE BROTHER’S DEPRAVITY

v. 18-20 The Brother’s Plot – When Joseph arrives in Dothan his brothers see him coming. The hatred began in their hearts had found fertile soil and had grown into a desire to murder their own brother. Had these men arrested sin when it first began to grow in their hearts, this whole episode would have been avoided. They didn’t! They allowed dislike to grow into full blown hatred and a desire for murder.

The true nature of these men is on full display in these verses. First, they have a desire in their hearts to kill Joseph. They hate him so much that they are willing to put him to death to get rid of him! Then they ridicule him because of his words. They call him “this dreamer”. There is not a hint of brotherly love in their voices. They are so calloused that they want to kill him and toss his body into a pit! They even devise a plan to cover up their deed! They believe that they can derail Joseph’s dreams if they can just kill him. These men have no concept of the sovereign power of God!

Of course, this is what would happen to Jesus when He came. The people He came to save rejected Him, (John 1:11), and hated Him for His words, (Matt. 26:65-66). They rejected His message and they desired to see Him dead. They believed that killing Jesus would put an end to His message. They were dead wrong! Oh, they saw to it that He died, but they couldn’t see that His death would accomplish more than His life. They could not see that He would get up from the dead three days later.

We would all do well today to examine our hearts. If there are the seedlings of sin that are beginning to grow in our souls, they need to be removed now. If they are left alone, they will grow into mighty tress with deep roots. Getting them out will be hard work and will leave incredible damage behind. Remember, it’s “the little foxes that spoil the vines”, (Song 2:15).

v. 21-25a Reuben’s Proposal – Reuben displays his nature too. He is weak and vacillates from one position to another, ( Gen. 49:4). He is like water, totally unstable.
On the one hand he has more reason to hate Joseph than any of the other brothers. He knows that Joseph has been chosen to take his place as the head of the family. On the other hand, Reuben knows that he has a responsibility to protect his little brother, if at all possible.

He tells the rest that they should not kill Joseph, but just throw him in a pit in the desert and let him die of starvation and thirst. Of course, Reuben is planning to rescue Joseph when the other brothers are not around. Again, the hatred of the rest of the brothers is evident in the fact that they were willing to go along with this plan. What a wicked bunch of men this was!

v. 25b-28 Judah’s Plan – These men are so calloused that they throw their brother into a pit and then sit down to eat their lunch. There is no record of Joseph’s crying or begging for help in these verses, but Gen. 42:21 makes it clear that Joseph cried out and they turned a deaf ear to his pleas.

Apparently, Reuben had to leave and go elsewhere. And while he is gone some Midianite merchants pass by. They are heading toward Egypt to sell their wares. Judah convinces the other brothers that they should at least sell Joseph and not kill him. After all, he is their brother, (v. 27). The rest of the brothers like this idea and that is just what they do.
Joseph is sold for “twenty pieces of silver”, (v. 28). That was the price of a crippled slave. His brothers sold him like he was a piece of trash! They sold him for 8 ounces of silver! This comes to $98.24 in today’s money!

The brothers are so unfeeling and so filled with hatred for Joseph that they sell him to the merchants and watch him hauled away as a common slave! Ps. 105:17-18 tell us that Joseph’s experience as a slave was anything but pleasant! Again, Joseph is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was hated by His brethren and He was also betrayed by someone who should have loved Him. He also was betrayed for price of a slave, (Matt. 26:15-16). Praise the Name of the Lord that He loved us so much that He endured such shame and hatred and still He died to save people like us ( Heb. 13:2-3)!

v. 29-30 Reuben’s Panic – When Reuben returns, he finds that Joseph is gone! He panics because he knows his father will blame him. Reuben has been on the outs with Jacob ever since he committed adultery with his father’s wife Bilhah. These verses give us a little hope that Reuben is maturing into something resembling a leader.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less” By E. Mote (1834).

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
Refrain
On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.
Refrain

His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.
Refrain

When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh may I then in Him be found. Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.
Refrain

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONYALATRECE 3/18/2012 1:05AM

    Jesus has given us so many examples to follow, yet we are still disobedient and fall into our enemies' traps easily -- even when we are SHOWN (discernment) the enemies' traps.
Do we really have to fall prey, or be wise to hear God's voice and obey?
Jesus already paid the price!

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FERGSGIRL2 3/17/2012 4:17PM

    great insight and great teaching, thank you!

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ADJQUILTER 3/17/2012 10:38AM

    Lord God, fill me with the desire to serve you and the strength and wisdom to become everything you want me to be!
Amen!
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AVANELL 3/17/2012 8:50AM

    Thank You, Jesus, for going all the way to the cross for me! Thank You for so great a salvation!

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GROEDER 3/17/2012 7:56AM

    Remarkable parallels to the life of Jesus!!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/16/2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Genesis 37:12-35
THE HEARTBREAK OF A SHATTERED DREAM, Lesson 41a

Have you ever experienced the heartbreak of a shattered dream? Everything was set! You were sure things were going to turn out a certain way, and then the bottom fell out from under everything. Maybe it was a child that did not turn out the way you envisioned. Maybe it was a financial setback that broke your heart. Maybe it was a marriage that did not go as you had dreamed it would. Life, it often seems, is a series of shattered dreams.
When our dreams are shattered it often leaves us devastated, confused and upset. Sometimes we might be tempted to think that God has forgotten about us and about our dreams. We might even wonder if God has forgotten about the things He promised us in His Word.

I wonder how Joseph felt as the events of this passage worked themselves out. I wonder if he questioned the dreams God had already given him, (Gen. 37:5-10). Surely, when his brothers ripped off his coat, threw him into a pit, ignored his pleas and sold him into slavery, Joseph must have felt like his dreams had all been shattered to pieces. I want to take a look at these verses today. If they teach us anything, they teach us that life can seem incredibly unfair at times. They teach us that our dreams can be put to the test. They teach us that life doesn’t always go like we think it will. These verses have a lot to say to us today.

Besides speaking to us about our dreams, they also speak to us about the harsh nature of sin, when it is allowed to reign in hearts and lives. But, in the end, these verses also remind us that even when the dreams of our lives lie about us in shattered pieces, God is still in control! If God gave the dream to begin with, He is able to guarantee that it will become a reality. So, today, let’s look into these verses and glean the truths that God has placed here. I want to take these verses and look at “The Heartbreak Of A Shattered Dream“. Let’s try to get some help from the life of Joseph today.

v. 12-14 JACOB’S DEMAND

His Command – Jacob want Joseph to go and check on the welfare of his brothers. They are off, away from the family, tending their father’s sheep. There are a couple of reasons why Jacob was concerned about his sons. 1. They were in Shechem. It was here that Simeon and Levi had murdered an entire village to avenge the rape of their sister Dinah, (Gen. 34:1-31). Surely there was anger in that region and Jacob feared for their safety. 2. His sons had proven that they were not trustworthy. Joseph had already had to bring his father an “evil report” regarding some of his brothers while they were on shepherd duty. Jacob was probably wondering what evil they were up to now. Jacob sends Joseph because he can be trusted to do the right thing and to tell his father the truth.

His Confusion – Evidently Jacob was out of touch with all that was happening in his own family. Jacob appears to have been a father who was occupied with things other than the needs of his family. Had he been paying attention, he would have known that Joseph’s older brothers hated him. He would have known that their hatred had been growing and had reached a point that they couldn’t even speak to him in a kind manner, (v. 4). Either Jacob was out of touch with his family or he underestimated the extent of the problems in his own home. He may have known what was happening but believed that the other boys were not capable of harming Joseph. As we will see, not only were they capable of harming him, they were capable of murder!

If there is a lesson for us here it is this: Parents should pay close attention to what is happening in the lives of their children. You need to know who their friends are. The Bible is clear: the wrong kind of friends can ruin a life and destroy a testimony, (1 Cor. 15:33). You need to know how they are spending their time and money. You need to know what is happening in their lives. You need to know what they are looking at on the Internet. You need to know what they are text messaging on their cell phones. You have a right to know!

Children will demand their privacy, but as long as they live in your house, their business is your business. Passive parents will pay a high price for allowing their children do as they please.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Give Me The Bible” By P. J. Owens (1883)

Give me the Bible, star of gladness gleaming To cheer the wan d’rer lone and tempest tossed No storm can hide that radiance peaceful beaming Since Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

Refrain:
Give me the Bible, holy message shining Thy light shall guide me in the narrow way
Precept and promise, law and love combining Till night shall vanish in eternal day

Give me the Bible, when my heart is broken When sin and grief have filled my soul with fear Give me the precious words by Jesus spoken Hold up faith’s lamp to show my Savior near.

Refrain:

Give me the Bible, lamp of life immortal Hold up that splendor by the open grave
Show me the light from heaven’s shining portalShow me the glory gilding Jordan’s wave.

Refrain:

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONYALATRECE 3/18/2012 12:53AM

    God's Word reigns supreme!

The messages are clear if we'd just take heed to what God says.
Thanks!

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FERGSGIRL2 3/16/2012 12:00PM

    amen, God is still in control.

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AVANELL 3/16/2012 9:23AM

    Even what seem to be setbacks can be comebacks when God turns it around.

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WENDYSPARKS 3/16/2012 8:14AM

    emoticon

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ADJQUILTER 3/16/2012 7:50AM

    God can put the pieces together and make us whole! Praise His name!
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GARDENCHRIS 3/16/2012 7:32AM

    Amen! emoticon

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GROEDER 3/16/2012 7:29AM

    Although I am not a parent, I still gained an insight into God's Word through this lesson. It shows how living in His light afftects us and those around us.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/15/2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/15/2012

Gen. 37:1-11
GOD HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOU, Lesson 40b

V. 18-36 THERE ARE SPECIAL PROBLEMS FOR YOU,

The life of Joseph is one of great problems and trials. In v. 18, his brothers conspired against him. In v. 21, he was thrown into a pit. In v. 28, he was sold as a slave. In ch. 39, he is falsely accused of rape. In ch. 40 he is thrown into prison. Joseph was forsaken by his family, forgotten by his friends and frustrated by his failures. Please remember that all these things that happened to Joseph were just part of God's plan for his life.

This is a hard pill to swallow, but it is still true: Life is unfair! If the Lord of glory came to this earth and was crucified, then what makes us think that life will treat us fairly? Why did these things happen to a young man who was guilty of nothing more than obeying the will of God? The answer is found in Genesis 50:20. You see, Joseph is the Old Testament illustration to one of the New Testaments greatest promises, (Rom. 8).

Through all the problems that Joseph faced, the Lord is teaching him the difference between growing old and growing up! We need to remember that God is always doing for great things in our lives. Remembering these will help us when the storm clouds of life begin to gather about us.
1. God is always Guiding you - Psa. 37:23
2. God is always Guarding you - Psa. 121:5-8
3. God is always Gaging you - He is constantly measuring our growth. God is far more concerned about how we react to what we face than what we face. - Psa. 105:17-19
4. God is always Growing you - God isn't as concerned about delivering us out of our mess as He is about us growing out of the mess we are in. He is in the saint building business.

Remember, whatever you may face in this world, however deep and dark the valleys you are called to walk through, however heavy the loads you are called upon to bear, God is merely allowing these things in your life to strengthen and to help you become more like Him. The question is: How are you responding to problems that come your way? Storms make trees take deeper roots.

Gen. 39:2 THERE IS A SPECIAL PERSON WITH YOU

Repeatedly, the Bible tells us that God was ever with Joseph ( 39:2; 39:3; 39:21; 39:23; Acts 7:9). In everything Joseph faced he had a Helper and a Companion! Three times in chapter 39 we are told that the Lord was with Joseph. It will be helpful for us to see just how the Lord was with him.

Gen. 39:1-3 He Was With Him In Servitude - Even though he was a slave, Joseph conducted himself like the ruler God was preparing him to be. Instead of griping, complaining, whining, bellyaching, and fussing about his situation, he just served Potiphar and did the best job he could do. What a lesson! If we ever expect to rule, then we must first learn to serve! You will never be over until you first learn to be under! Joseph was learning about humility.

Gen. 39:7-19 He Was With Him In Seduction - Potiphar's wife tried everything in her power to seduce Joseph, but he stood strong in the Lord and fended off her advances. God was teaching Joseph that no price could be placed on a clean conscience. He lost his coat, but he kept his conscience. God was teaching Joseph a lesson in purity and in self-control. Both are essential to those in leadership positions.

Gen. 39:21-23 He Was With Him In Suffering - Even when Joseph was forced to endure the shame of a false imprisonment, God was with him and blessed him.

Well, you know the rest of the story. God turned tragedy, temptation, torment and trouble into a great triumph. God brought all Joseph's dreams to pass teaching Joseph and us this lesson, (1 Pet. 5:6-7).

Joseph never quit on the Lord. He never stopped believing, he never stopped trusting, he never stopped dreaming until the Lord brought to pass everything in his life that God wanted to do. Through it all, Joseph never wavered, he never compromised and he never flinched at what the Lord allowed in his life. As a result, he won the victory and so can you ( 1 Cor. 15:58).

Conc: I heard about a fellow who came into town to a Little League Baseball game. He looked at the scoreboard and it said, "21 to 0." A little boy was sitting on the bench while his team was in the field. The other team was batting, and the fellow said to the little boy on the bench, "Son, it looks pretty bad for your team doesn't it?" The little boy said, "Ah, no sir, we haven't even come to bat yet!" Well dear friend, sometimes it may look like the world and the flesh and the devil is winning. But remember with God on your side, you will always win because He has something special for you. So, keep dreaming, keep trusting, keep serving because God is preparing a great victory for you to enjoy. He truly has something special for you!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Faith Is The Victory” By John H. Yates (1891)

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.

Refrain
Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind's breath,
Swept on o'er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.

Refrain

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv'n.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heav'n.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We'll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus' conqu'ring Name.

Refrain

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH A FRIEND!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 3/15/2012 2:59PM

    Thanks for the lesson Vic. I know he is with me; I just don't always feel him near.
I know I am out of my comfort zone now; going to school. But i have to trust Him to take care of me and lead me through.

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BITTYGIRL51 3/15/2012 12:45PM

    Wow! This message made me realize just how SPECIAL I am to God! I've been thru my fair share of trials and tribulations as Joseph has! And I am definately out of my comfort zone currently and some might say even "in the fire" - but God deemed me SPECIAL enough to entrust me with the care of a dying 91 yr. old woman!! I am so humbled by how he teaches me, guides me, leads me into places I never thought I would go. Thank you, Lord for reminding me, "that your ways are so much greater than mine"...

I love you, more than mere words can say! emoticon

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SUNSETBREEZE05 3/15/2012 11:29AM

    Storms make trees take deeper roots. I have never heard it put that way before. Thanks for sharing Vic!

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FERGSGIRL2 3/15/2012 10:06AM

    Thank you for being God's vessel. Great blog to feast upon! I too look forward to reading them.

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AVANELL 3/15/2012 9:33AM

    Joseph went from the prison to the palace in 24 hours. One day he was in prison and the next he was in the palace. It only takes one word from God to change any situation we are going through! To God be the glory! He has equipped us for success! Joseph was a leader through all of this and God blessed him even in the midst of the difficulties! God is for us, not against us! He's working in us, around us, through us and for us to change not only us but to effect change in the hearts and lives of the people around us.

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ADJQUILTER 3/15/2012 6:40AM

    " The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand."
Ps. 37:23,24
Some times the Lord allows us to stumble, so that we may learn a lesson and grow in our faith. But He is there, to hold our hand.
Since God delights in every detail of our lives, it makes it critical that we do our best to make every detail of our lives delightful to Him.

May God bless you Vic, and this wonderful ministry of yours. Your words minister to my heart every day.
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BREATHE4LIFE 3/15/2012 5:34AM

  Thank you for posting these daily blogs. I want you to know I read them, I look forward to them and they make a difference in my life. Thank you! (((hugs))) emoticon

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GROEDER 3/15/2012 5:31AM

    The Lord is always with me!!!!!! All I need is faith, trust, and obedience!!!!
The life of Joseph is a prefect example.
Thanks for the great lesson, Vic.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/14/2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/14/2012

Gen. 37:1-11
GOD HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOU, Lesson 40a

A certain evangelist's wife died, and when he had to be away in meetings, he hired a babysitter to take care of his two sons. Whenever he had been away, he would always bring them a gift when he arrived back home. One day, however, he came home and had forgotten to buy the boys a gift. When they asked for their presents, the father told them that he would take them to the store and that they could have whatever they wanted

When they arrived, the first thing they saw was the candy counter. They decided they wanted to buy candy. Their father said, "Let's look around a little more first." Then, they went to the toy department and saw some cowboy suits, complete with guns, hats, ropes, etc. They both yelled, "This is what we want!" Their father replied, "Let's just look around a little more." Next, they went into the sporting goods and found basketballs. They began to dribble these about the place and told their father that they wanted to buy the balls. The father said, "let's look around just a little bit more." So they continue to shop and as they did, they spotted 2 brand new 10 speed bicycles against the back wall. Their father saw what they were looking at and said, "How would you like to have those bikes?" Those 2 boys left that store with far more than they bargained for because their father refused to let them settle for less that his best. You see, he had intended to buy the bikes all along! Those 2 boys thought candy would be wonderful, but their father had something far more wonderful in mind.

So it is with the Lord, He has plans for us that we can only begin to perceive. We see things and formulate plans that we think would be wonderful, but God has something far more special for us than we could ever imagine. A look at the life of Joseph illustrates this truth. Joseph's life demonstrates four facts that you will find true as you travel the path God has cleared for you. If you can remember these truths, then no matter how dark the clouds, how depressing the circumstances or how diligent the critics, you will always be aware of the fact that God has something special for you.

V. 1-4 THERE IS A SPECIAL PERSON INSIDE YOU

Joseph was different - If you read the story of his life, it is plain to see that Joseph stood out from his brothers in his commitment, his character and in his clothing and as a result, his brothers hated him!

Being different is socially unacceptable - The secret to popularity is conformity. The world tells us that to get along, you must go along. This is the siren cry of the world. Everyone wants to fit in, everyone wants to be accepted.

Being different is OK - While the world calls us to conform, the Bible gives us a far different message. The Bible warns us against conformity, Rom. 12:1-2. This literally means, "Do not let the world press you into its mold."

Be different because you are different - The main reason why you should be different is because you are! God made you an individual, ( DNA), and you do not have to conform to the crowd. There are those who are like whatever crowd they get around. They worship with the saints and they grovel with the sinners. This ought not be so! Think of Daniel, at the age of 17, he took a stand that was the equivalent to social suicide. He chose to be different. As a result, God was able to bless his life and get great glory from Daniel.

All I am saying is that you do not have to fit into anyone's mold to be accepted. The only person you have to please is the Lord God! If you are living your life in a manner that pleases Him, then you are living the right kind of life. Never sell out to this world or to people who want to make you like them! Make up your mind that you settle for nothing less than the approval of God upon your life. After all, He made you, He loves you, He died for you, and if you are saved, He saved you. You are going to His Heaven to live with Him for eternity. Realize and recognize that you are an individual and that you are unique among all the people who have ever, or will ever live. God made you special and your duty is to live for Him.

V. 5 THERE IS A SPECIAL PLAN FOR YOU

This verse tells us that Joseph dreamed a dream. In this dream, the Lord revealed the future to Joseph. In this dream, God showed Joseph that one day all the resources (sheaves) and all the ruler (stars) of the world would bow down at the feet of Joseph.

God had a special plan for the life of Joseph, and He has a special plan for your life as well. Sadly, many people lack the faith or the vision to find out what God's plan for them is. There is something that God wants you to do! He has something for you to do that no one else can do. He wants to work in you, through you and around you in a very unique and special manner. He has something only you can do and it will not be done unless you do it!

You might as well know up-front that there will be those around who will try to stifle your dreams. You might as well know that there will be those who will hate you because you have a dream. Notice how Joseph's brothers reacted to Him, (v. 19). There will always be those who lack the faith and the vision and will tell you that your dreams are either inconceivable, impractical, or impossible. Alexander Graham Bell's father-in-law called the telephone "a toy no one will play with." The famous British physicist, Lord Calvin, said, "Radio has no future." British Royal astronomer George Bidell Airy, said, "The computer is absolutely worthless." In 1899 Charles H. Duell, Director of the United States Patten Office, made this statement: "Everything that can be invented has been invented." He was so convinced of this that he tried to get President McKinley to abolish his job next year. Well, the very next year R. A. Fessenden sent the human voice over radio waves for the first time. In 1901 the first Mercedes automobile was constructed. In 1903 the Wright Brothers successfully flew a powered airplane. In 1904 the photoelectric cell was developed. All of this only five years after Mr. Duell said nothing was left to be invented. But, regardless of what the critics say, never let anyone kill your dreams, (Pro. 29:18).

It was the truth that God had a plan for Joseph that sustained him during the times when he was a slave in Egypt and when he was in prison. May I say that to live life with the knowledge that God had no plan for our lives would be hell on earth! Always remember that you are a special person created for a special purpose! Often, during the storms and battles of life, our dreams seem to be all we have left!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“My God And I” by I. B. Sergei (1935)

My God and I go in the field together; We walk and talk as good friends should and do; We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter; My God and I walk through the meadow's hue. We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter; My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.

He tells me of the years that went before me When heavenly plans were made for me to be; When all was but a dream of dim reflection; To come to life, earth's verdant glory see. When all was but a dream of dim reflection; To come to life, earth's verdant glory see.

My God and I will go for aye together, We'll walk and talk as good friends should and do; This earth will pass, and with it common trifles, But God and I will go unendingly. This earth will pass, and with it common trifles, But God and I will go unendingly.

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLE_TAILOR 3/28/2012 2:24PM

    An absolutely fantastic message, something that was very needed today.


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GOSPELCLOWN 3/15/2012 12:29AM

    It is too easy for me to read the Bible and say to myself, "God blessed that character, but He won't bless me like that."
God can and will bless any one that He wants to!

May each blessing be unique and wonderful!

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FERGSGIRL2 3/14/2012 4:32PM

    Thank God for this encouragement. We tend to overlook His will sometimes, when we are struggling with so many tasks daily. He does have a plan for each of us! Praise God His plan is what's best for me (us).

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BITTYGIRL51 3/14/2012 4:28PM

    I am in a place of total surrender. It initially, was not by choice - I must be honest to admit. But, as I've found myself letting go and letting God it just amazes me as how he uses me and blesses me among some very difficult and trying times. God knows best!

Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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ADJQUILTER 3/14/2012 4:00PM

    When I read your message today, It brought a tear to my eye. How humbling it is to know that the almighty God, creator of the universe, has a plan for me that is so much more than I can ever imagine. I need to put myself in a position where I can receive His plan, and obey. The best position for that is on my knees.
Thank you, Vic!
May God bless you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AVANELL 3/14/2012 8:19AM

    Thank you, Vic, for that reminder. I sometimes lose sight of the plan and purpose of God for my life.

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God Bless!
Avanell

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GROEDER 3/14/2012 7:42AM

    Every day I pray the God will show me His plan as He sees fit. I know that He has something in mind for me, and I just pray for the faith to follow His guidance every day so I can accomplish all the best things He has in store for me.
I know that, with His hand on me, nothing is impossible!!!!

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