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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/25/2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/25 /2012

Genesis 39:1-23
WINNING YOUR BATTLE WITH TEMPTATION, Lesson 44a

One day a father said to his son, "Now, son, don't swim in that canal." "OK, Dad," he answered. But he came home carrying a wet bathing suit that evening. "Where have you been?" demanded the father. "Swimming in the canal," answered the boy. "Didn't I tell you not to swim there?" asked the father. "Yes, Sir," answered the boy. "Why did you?" he asked. "Well, Dad," he explained, "I had my bathing suit with me and I couldn't resist the temptation." "Why did you take your bathing suit with you?" he questioned. "So I'd be prepared to swim, in case I was tempted," he replied.

Many people Iive their lives just like that. They expect to sin and so they live their lives in such a manner that they actually excite sin and make it easier for them to fall. Whenever we play with temptation, it is easy to drift into great danger. A woman was bathing in the Gulf of Mexico. She was enjoying the comfort of relaxing on an inflated cushion that kept her afloat. When she realized that she had been swept about a half mile out from the beach, she began to scream, but no one heard her. A coast guard craft found her five miles from the place where she first entered the water. She did not see her danger until she was beyond her own strength and ability.

The remedy for this is found in Romans 13:14, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Our text today speaks about a young man who faced a fearful time of temptation. Instead of falling, like so many do, Joseph weathered the storm of temptation and won a great victory in his spiritual life. He stayed clean in a situation where many others would have fallen.

Now, the fact is, every person faces temptation in one form or another. And, the fact is, most of us want to live clean lives. We want to please the Lord. We want to win over sin! To do this, we need to know how to win the war over temptation. This passage gives us some insights into just how to do this. Today, I would like for us to look into the experiences of young Joseph on this thought: “Winning Your Battle With Temptation“
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V. 1-6 THE TESTIMONY JOSEPH EXHIBITED

V. 2a He Had A Personal Testimony - The Bible is very clear that Joseph had a personal relationship with God. He knew the Lord and was walking with God by faith. This is the starting point for true spirituality and personal holiness. When an individual has a personal, faith relationship with God, they have the potential to live for Him and to live like Him. That is why it is so important for each of us to search our hearts to be sure we are in a personal, faith relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, (2 Pet. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:5).

V. 3 He Had A Powerful Testimony - Joseph’s faith was not just lived out in his heart, but it was lived out before everyone around him. Everyone could see that something was different about the life of Joseph.

1. Men Saw God In His Walk - The way Joseph lived among the Egyptians marked him as different. Those around him saw the difference. Can men see the difference in us? They should be able to, (Matt. 5:13)!

2. Men Saw God In His Work - Joseph had the Midas touch! The Lord blessed Joseph and all he did. When our walk with the Lord is as it should be, men will see the hand of the Lord and His activity on our lives, (Pro. 16:7).

V. 4-6 He Had A Prosperous Testimony - As Joseph walked with his Lord and worked for Potiphar, the Lord continued to bless him and use him for His glory. The Lord made it clear to all who were looking that He was blessing and using Joseph in a great way.

Here was a young man who had his priorities in the right order. He loved his God and he walked with Him faithfully. While this is the right way for everyone to live, we also need to understand that this makes you a prime target for attack. The devil likes nothing better than to defeat, destroy and devastate real men and women of God, (1 Pet. 5:8)! He isn’t too concerned about those who are merely nominal Christians, and who don’t live the life. He isn’t concerned about those who talk about Jesus but who don’t live like Him! He is after those who run hard after God. He wants those who want to live holy lives. He wants those who are in the fight! He wants you! A life lived for Jesus is a life that will be attacked, (2 Tim. 3:12).

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Living For Jesus” By T. O. Chisholm (1917)

Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.

REFRAIN

O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me.
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne.
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

Living for Jesus Who died in my place,
Bearing on Calvary my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.

REFRAIN

Living for Jesus through earth’s little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.

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ADJQUILTER 3/25/2012 5:59PM

    Wow! Somehow you know just what I need to hear! We had a big celebration at our church today for our 175th anniversary. There was a luncheon planned after the service.
I knew that I would be tempted by wanting to taste some of everything. The ladies at our church are very good cooks! So I decided that in order to avoid the strong temptation, I would take a banana and an apple with me, and drink water and decaf coffee. I asked my DH to bring me one of the deviled eggs I had made, so that I wouldn't have to go and look at all of the tempting foods. I had already entered the deviled egg and fruit into my tracker for lunch. The Lord is continually teaching me ways to avoid putting myself in temptation's way, so that I may obey Him about making healthy eating choices, and about other areas of my life.
Praise God for His loving guidance! I couldn't do it without Him!
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SHIRDEE1 3/25/2012 5:12PM

    Thanks so much for the wonderful blog. I missed church today because we had to go and help clean out my Grandma Sara's apartment, but I knew I could come here and read your blog. She went with him on Monday and we let her go on Friday. I am sure my mom is there also waiting with open arms. emoticon

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COOP9002 3/25/2012 2:08PM

    Thanks for sharing. Temptations are challenging for all of us. It's always good to be reminded from Whom our strength comes.

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SUNSETBREEZE05 3/25/2012 11:59AM

    God always gives you a way out when it comes to temptation. Thanks be to God when we choose it.

Blessing to all on this beautiful Sunday!

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MISSPEACHES3 3/25/2012 10:45AM

    Thanks for this wonderful blog. Much needed today.
Blessings to you,
Brenda

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GROEDER 3/25/2012 7:24AM

    Temptations can be very difficult and come in many forms. Each day I pray that God not only helps me resist temptations, but keeps me from encountering them in my life. He knows what I can handle and leads me in the right directions. All I need do is ask for His guidance.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/24/2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/24 /2012

Gen. 37:1-36
I MUST BE DREAMING, Lesson 43

As a Christian, I'm often amazed at just how good to me God is. When I consider all that He has done for me, is doing and has promised to do, I am sometimes overwhelmed! In fact, when I consider how low I was when God saved me, when I look at the changes He has made in my life, and when I consider what the end of it all will be, well, I feel that I must be dreaming! I want to look at the life of a dreamer today. A man named Joseph who had a reputation for dreaming. Joseph's life is one of the most blessed studies in the Bible.

He is a picture of Jesus and a portrait of the amazing grace of God. But, today, I want to look at the parallels between Joseph's life and that of the average Christian. When we look at what he endured, it is almost impossible not to see yourself in the life of Joseph. There is hope for the hurting, help for the struggling and a hand for the falling in these verses about the life of this man Joseph. I want to speak to you today on the subject, “I must be dreaming“!



Gen. 37:3, JOSEPH IN THE PLACE OF HONOR

Jacob's love for Joseph as seen in the coat of many colors is an example of God's love for His children ( Jer. 31:3; Rom. 8:35-39).
We stand in the place of honor and blessing today (1 John 3:2; John 1:12; Luke 12:32) When I consider where I came from and where I are - I must be dreaming!

Gen. 37:8-28, JOSEPH IN THE PIT

Joseph was cast into the pit because he was in the will of the Father, (v.13-14). Sometimes God's people get into the pit also! (For example: 3 Hebrews, and Daniel)! Don't allow it to steal your dreams! (2 Tim. 3:12; Rom. 8:28) Even when in the pit, Joseph still had the promises of God! (Verse 20). Dreams don't change just because circumstances do!

Gen. 39:1-20, JOSEPH IN POTIPHER'S HOUSE

Blessings in v.1-6; Temptations in v.7-13; and Trials in v.14-20 are all part of life. Life contains all three of these circumstances, but they can all be precious when you are in the will of God!

In every area of life, Joseph was an over-comer! ( Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor.
15:57; 1 John 5:4-5), I must be dreaming! Jesus has made me a victor regardless of my situation!

Gen. 39:21-41:13, JOSEPH IN PRISON

Joseph was surrounded by hatred, sin and in bondage; yet Joseph never lost his dreams! Best of all, God never left him (Gen 39:21)!
Regardless of how bad life becomes, remember:

1. God will always love you - ( How you know - Rom. 5:8)

2. He is always seeking your best interests - (Rom. 8:28)

3. He will always be with you - (Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20)

4. He will still use you - ( Gen40:8; 1 Cor. 1:27-28)

5. He will ultimately deliver you - (Gen 41:14, In His time)!

You may feel that your are in prison today. If so, just keep dreaming!
God hasn't forgotten you (2 Cor. 1:10).

Gen. 41:14-43. JOSEPH IN THE PALACE

A slave becomes a ruler!! Where we come from, what we are and where we are headed depends on God‘s plan for you!(1 Cor. 2:9)!
Sometimes I still think, "I must be dreaming!" Mine has been a journey from the pit to a palace! What a joy when it all ends up at my Father's throne!!

Conc: Regardless of where you are today, child of God, the Father knows, cares and is working on your behalf! Just don't lose the dream, we're not home yet! What some of you need is salvation! Others need to obey and follow Jesus. The Father has that too! All He asks is that you come to Him and receive His Son as your Savior. He loves you! Won't you love Him too?

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSINGS!
“Ivory Palaces” By Henry Barrowclough (1915)

My Lord has garments so wondrous fine, And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine With joy my being thrills.

Refrain:
Out of the ivory palaces, Into a world of woe, Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.

His life had also its sorrows sore, For aloes had a part; And when I think of the cross He bore, My eyes with teardrops start.
Refrain:

In garments glorious He will come, To open wide the door; And I shall enter my heav’nly home, To dwell forevermore.
Refrain:

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SUNSETBREEZE05 3/24/2012 11:23AM

    I have an animated dvd on Joseph and my Grandbabies watch it almost every time they come to visit. His life teaches us so many truths on how God wants us to handle so many situations.

Blessings on your day!
Cindy

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ADJQUILTER 3/24/2012 10:02AM

    When I was reading your blog this morning, it brought to mind one of the verses of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross:

"Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all."

When I consider the richness of the amazing blessings that God has bestowed on me, I cannot help but feel that in response, He deserves my soul, my life, my all!

Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Vic!
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GROEDER 3/24/2012 9:54AM

    This was exactly the unlifting message I needed today. I was feeling depressed (like I was going nowhere in my life)but reading your message helped me remember that God won't just go away and leave me. I just need to have faith in Him and let Him take the lead. He only wants the best for me, and all of us!!!!!
God bless you for your timing of this message, Vic!!!

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AVANELL 3/24/2012 8:49AM

    Eph. 3:20, 21 says it all for me! "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." He has done exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think in my life and I praise Him for bringing me out of the pit and placing me in the palace!

Thank you, Vic!

emoticon I wish there was a "Hallelujah" emoticon!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/23/2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/ 23 /2012

Genesis 37:36; 39:1-6
THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH’ Lesson 42c

Gen. 39:4-6 GOD PROMOTED HIM,

Potiphar saw that the hand of God was upon the life of Joseph, (v. 3). He knew there was something special about this Hebrew slave. As he watched Joseph work, and as he saw the results of his work, Potiphar saw that everything Joseph touched turned to gold.
Potiphar promoted Joseph and made him the overseer of his entire household. Joseph was in control of everything that happened in Potiphar’s home and in his business interests. Potiphar learned that he could trust Joseph to do the right thing. He discovered that Joseph was a man of industry and integrity. He was a worker who did the best job that he could for his master. Joseph served Potiphar like he was serving the Lord!

There is a word here for every person today. We all answer to someone! Whoever that person or group of people is, we should give them our best at all times. That means giving eight hours of work for eight hours of pay. That means doing what they tell you to without complaint and without an attitude. That means serving your employer like you were serving the Lord, (Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:22-4:1). It means working with industry and integrity for the glory of God.

Like cream, Joseph continues to rise to the top. Regardless of the situation in which he finds himself, he walks with integrity, seeking to glorify his God, and it showed in his life. Even Potiphar, the pagan Egyptian, saw something different in the life of Joseph. Joseph didn’t have to blow his trumpet and tell Potiphar what a great believer he was. The life he lived proclaimed the glory of his God and Potiphar saw for himself the influence of God in the life of Joseph! The touch of God on his life opened the door for Joseph to share his faith with Potiphar. The same thing ought to be true of each of us! The lives we life should be so different from the world around us that the mark of God’s favor will be clear to see, (Matt. 5:16).

Joseph lived a godly life. He glorified God and God promoted him and used him in a powerful way. The Lord will do the same in your life and mine. If He can trust us with the tasks He assigns to us, He will entrust us with greater things down the road. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much,” (Luke 16:10) When we bloom where we are planted and when we serve the Lord with industry and integrity, He will open up new avenues of service for us. He will use us when we get in a place of usability!

Conc: God used the sorrows of Joseph’s life to shape him into the man He desired him to become. The trials Joseph faced, and the trials you and I face, are never easy. They do, however, teach us to depend on God. Our trials help us to maintain a tender and compassionate heart. Our trials teach us the value of tears. Our trials make us useful to the Lord. We should never seek to shun the trials of life. In shunning our trials, we are also shunning the best of God’s blessings in this life.

Some poet penned the following words.

They fit well right here:
I walked a mile with pleasure,
And she chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser,
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But oh the things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.

We want to be used, but we do not want the heartaches that come first. I am afraid that we cannot have the one without the other. They seem to go hand in hand.

Here is a final word of encouragement. No matter how hard the way of life becomes, if you are saved, the same thing that was said about Joseph is true about you: “And the Lord was with him.” You do not face your trials alone. You do not walk through your valleys alone. Every step you take you are in the path of divine providence and God is in the business of protecting you, prospering you and promoting you for His glory!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Beyond This Land OF PARTING” By Mary B.C. Slade (1876)

1. Beyond this land of parting, losing, and leaving
Far beyond the losses, darkening this
And far beyond the taking and the bereaving
Lies a summer land of bliss!

Chorus:
Land beyond (land beyond), so fair and bright!
Land beyond (land beyond), where is no night!
Summer land (summer land), God is it's light
Oh, happy summer land of bliss!

2. Beyond this land of toiling, sowing and reaping
Far beyond the shadows darkening this
And far beyond the sighing, moaning, and weeping
Lies a summerland of bliss!

Repeat Chorus

3. Beyond this land of waiting, seeking, and sighing
Far beyond the sorrows darkening this
And far beyond the pain, and sickness and dying
Lies a summer land of bliss!

Repeat Chorus

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MZLADY77 3/24/2012 2:14AM

    Praise God! Life is not easy. We walked by faith and not by sight. Trial and Tribulations make us strong and be like Jesus. When you obey God, will have the joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Help us Lord not to be weary in well doing! Seek the Lord while He may be found.

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POETLKNG2LOSE 3/23/2012 10:22PM

    Thank you for this message. Though i am without a job now I did my very best when I worked. I never believed in slacking off. I know God is with me now; I just let my emotions get the better of me.

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CAVEPRINCESS65 3/23/2012 6:07PM

    Trials and turbulations are part of life. God will never tested us on things that we are not capable of handling. Looked at things through the eyes of faith!. Always know what we do in life in for one and only - God! and not for human. When we go to work, we go to work for God; we answer to God and not to human. Our boss is just the authority figure that was put by God in front of us. He/she was there for the same reason - to carry out God's will and assignments. So do the best in what we do; all the things that we do.

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AVANELL 3/23/2012 8:49AM

    The God of all comfort comforts us as we go through tribulations so that we can comfort others with that same type of comfort. He walks with us so we can walk with others and share His love with them so they can overcome their challenges and difficulties. Thank You, Jesus, for your hand of comfort on me through all the trials I've experienced!




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GROEDER 3/23/2012 8:15AM

    We do not have to tell people we believe in God. He makes His presence known to others through our actions.

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ADJQUILTER 3/23/2012 6:44AM

    "And the Lord was with him." What blessed assurance that He is with us, and will never abandon us! "And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own." What joy we share when we come to the garden alone to be with Him!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/22/2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/ 22 /2012

Genesis 37:36; 39:1-6
THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH’ Lesson 42b

Gen. 39:2-3 GOD PROSPERED HIM,

When Joseph arrived in Egypt, he no longer had his coat of many colors. He may have lost his coat, but his character was very much intact! The coat Jacob gave Joseph was a symbol of his position in the family. It marked him as the overseer. It marked him as the head of the family. It marked him as the one in charge of all things. It marked him as a man with authority. Joseph’s authority did not come from a robe. His authority did not come from some piece of cloth. Joseph’s authority came from his character! He was a godly young man who walked before his father in absolute integrity.

When Joseph lost his coat, he lost nothing that made him a great man. Joseph’s greatness did not come from the clothes on his body, but from the character of his heart. He may have worn the humble garments of a slave, but he was still a man of character and integrity!

We ought to have the same testimony! We need to be people of character and integrity. Some people are different depending on when you meet them. You meet them at church and they are one person; meet them in town and they are someone totally different. I would suggest to you that we need to be the same people regardless of where we go. We should strive to do the right thing at all times. We should determine in our hearts that we will have a good attitude and demonstrate Christ-likeness all the time!

When Joseph arrived in Egypt, he could have taken several paths. He could have adopted the ways and customs of his new land. He could have abandoned his God and embraced the polytheistic religion of Egypt. But, Joseph just stayed the course! You see, he may have been purchased by Potiphar, but Joseph belonged to God! He had already made up his mind how things would be in his life.

It made no difference to Joseph whether he was in his father’s house; in a pit; in the possession of slave traders; or in the house of his master. Joseph had purposed in his heart that he was always going to do the right thing. And, that is just what he did! Joseph was a man of integrity regardless of the situation in which he found himself.

Like Joseph you and I need to establish some boundaries for our lives. We need to make up our minds that there are some things we just are not going to do. (i.e. drinking, drugs, bad language, premarital sex, adultery, pornography, gossip, etc.) Then, when a situation arises, we do not have to debate it, we just know what we will and will not do. We have already made up our minds and the issue is settled!

We are told in verse 2 that Joseph was “a prosperous man”. Verse 3 tells us that “the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” Some might have looked at Joseph’s advancement in the home of Potiphar as “good luck”. They see a young man like Joseph and he has some bad breaks, then things turn around for him. Things start heading the other way. People look at that and they say, “Man. He sure is lucky.” I want you to know that “luck” had nothing to do with Joseph’s success. In fact, there is no such thing as “luck”. Luck is for fairies, gnomes, sprites and other mythical creatures; not for the children of the living God!

Joseph prospered because God blessed him! Joseph prospered because God saw in Joseph a man He could trust to do His will. What some would call “luck” in a person’s life may be nothing more than the manifestation of a good, godly character. Maybe God blesses some people more than He does others because they have the right kind of character. Maybe they enjoy His blessings because they have integrity. Maybe they are blessed because He can trust them to do right!

What I want you to see here is this: Joseph was in a bad situation, but he still lived a life that was blessed by the Lord. I am sure that his life was a life of endless drudgery and service, but he was faithful to his tasks. His character caused him to be faithful to his God and to his human master. As a result, God blessed his life and his work.
Here are two thoughts I do not want you to miss.

Just because you are going through trials and problems does not mean that God is not blessing you. You might not see Him moving in your life, but just trust Him and in His time, He will manifest His presence, His glory and His power.

Joseph made the best of a terrible situation. He demonstrated a proper attitude in the midst of his trials. So should we! The secret to happiness in the hard times is how you respond to what is happening to you. Ninety percent of living a joyful life is simply responding well to your trials. Life is what you make it!

You may have heard of the two grasshoppers that fell into a bucket of fresh milk. One was so upset that he quickly lost all hope. He sank and drowned. The other tried hard to get out. He kicked and he kicked, eventually he churched that milk into butter and walked out. It’s all about how you handle life! Either you will handle it or it will handle you!

The great Baptist preacher John Bunyan was thrown into prison in 17th Century England for preaching the Gospel without a license. He spent twelve years in jail because he would not promise the court that he would not preach if he were released. He could have become discouraged by so long an imprisonment, but John Bunyan was a man of character and integrity.

While he was in jail he had a stool that had three legs. He removed one of the legs and carved it into a flute. He would use that flute to play Gospel songs. While in jail, Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, which is an allegory of the Christian life. It is the second largest selling book in history, only the Bible has sold more copies. John Bunyan could have given up. Instead, he used his trials as a place to glorify his God. In turn, God blessed him! By the way, the Lord is still looking for men and women of faith, character and integrity. He is still looking for people that He can use in these days to get glory and honor to His name!

In the Ravensbruck death camp operated by the Nazis a young woman named Corrie Ten Boom was forced to endure the more appalling atrocities that you can imagine and many more that you cannot. She was starved, beaten and threatened. She was forced to live with lice, fleas and rats. She witnessed the death of her weaker younger sister. She saw thousands of Jews and Jewish sympathizers leave that place through the smokestacks of the crematoriums. Surely she could not understand why she, along with thousands of others, was forced to endure such hardship and agony. But, Corrie Ten Boom, inmate number 66730, determined in her heart that while she was there, she would be the best Christian she could be. In barracks number 28 she started a clandestine Bible study and helped many others make it through those difficult years. Eventually she won her freedom. Many might have become embittered by that kind of an experience. Corrie Ten Boom, however, was used by the Lord in a mighty fashion after World War II. She carried the message of Christ around the world and tens of thousands learned of the power of grace and of the forgiveness of God. She took her impossible situation and used it to glorify God!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Til The Storm Passes By” By M. Lester (1958)

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face, While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place. 'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry, Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

Chorus Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more, Till the clouds roll forever from the sky; Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand, Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispered, "There is no need to try, For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by" But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise Where the storms never darken the skies.

Chorus

When the long night has ended and the storms come no more, Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore; In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

Chorus

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAESTRAPLANK1 3/22/2012 8:53PM

    I really enjoyed your blog today. It is so funny how the same thought that we are who we are by character and not my dress is said so beautifully in many ways. My favorite dicho (saying) in Spanish is about a monkey dressed in silk, is still a monkey. I wrote a blog about it Aunque La Mona Se Vista de Seda, Mona Se Queda and posted it on my SparkPage. We are who we are and it is how we treat others and as you so aptly put, how we act under adversity that reveals our love of God and our godliness in the sense of how we are trying to live righteously. emoticon

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NELLIEC 3/22/2012 4:08PM

    I remember reading that at one point Corrie Ten Boon met one of the prison guards several years after the war. She chose to forgive him!

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GETTINGFIT4HIM 3/22/2012 2:09PM

  What a great, encouraging way to start my day! Right now we are facing some uncertain times and circumstances personally but if I make the choice and DETERMINE to rise up above them by allowing Jesus to take me by the hand and lead me not only will I get through the trials we are facing, but I will allow His light to shine through and be a hope for someone else. Thank you & blessings to you!
Judy

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AVANELL 3/22/2012 9:12AM

    Paul said it this way in Acts 20:24 "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."



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ADJQUILTER 3/22/2012 7:23AM

    That is my goal: to become more like my Lord Jesus Christ! That is my prayer. God allows trials into our lives, not to punish, but to present opportunities for growth.
Praise Him for His faithfulness and mercy!
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LOSTLIME 3/22/2012 6:03AM

    Thank you! This is a nice start for my day!

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DELORES499 3/22/2012 5:57AM

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GROEDER 3/22/2012 5:36AM

    Good morning, Vic. Sorry I missed yesterday's lesson until now. I had computer problems. All is well now so I can connect with you through your messages.
Gregg

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STALEYK 3/22/2012 5:31AM

    Thank you! What a great start to my day! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/21/2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 3/ 21 /2012

Genesis 37:36; 39:1-6
THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH’ Lesson 42a

When we left Joseph in our last message, he had been betrayed by his own brothers and sold as a slave. Joseph had been sold to some Ishmaelite merchants for less than $100.00. His brothers sold him for the price of a crippled slave! The Ishmaelite took Joseph to Egypt and put him up for sale in that land.

Try to put yourself in Joseph’s shoes for a moment. You are seventeen years old. You are the favored son in a family of twelve sons. Your father had chosen you to be the head of the family and he had given you a beautiful robe to symbolize this fact. You are on the path to power, influence and prominence in your family.

Then, in a moment of time, everything is gone. You are stripped of your coat. You are betrayed by people who should have loved you. You are separated from your father. You are sold as a slave and carried off into a strange land. Imagine the humility of being examined and sold in a slave auction. Imagine the lies Satan must have told him.

In many ways, you are just a simple country boy from an unsophisticated family, and you find yourself transported to the capital city of the most advanced nation on the earth at that time. Imagine how Joseph must have felt as the camels crested the last hill and the wonders of ancient Egypt spread out before him on the planes of Gaza. The great pyramids would have been standing in Joseph’s day. In fact, they would have been over a thousand years old when his great-grandfather Abraham visited that land many years before. Joseph would have seen the Sphinx, the great Egyptian temples and the opulent palaces of the Pharaoh and his people. It must have been a great culture shock to this young man from the country.

On the surface it seemed that circumstances could not have been worse for young Joseph. In truth, those difficult days were mere stepping stones along the path to greater glory. It may have appeared that all Joseph’s dreams had been shattered, but the God Who gave the dreams in the first place was working behind the scenes to ensure that they would all be fulfilled in His time.

What no one could see in all this trouble surrounding young Joseph’s life is stated clearly in Gen. 39:2. In that verses, the Bible says, “And the Lord was with Joseph.” I want us to learn the great truth that our God is always with His people to see them through their trials; to accomplish His plans in their lives; and to use them to point a lost world to Himself.

I want to join Joseph in the early days of his slavery. I want to show you the ways we know “the Lord was with him.” As we study these truths please keep in mind that what the Lord did for Joseph, He will also do for you. Let me share with you the ways God blessed this young man.


Gen. 37:36 GOD PROTECTED HIM’

As I stated a moment ago, it seemed that all had fallen apart for Joseph. Yet, if you will take a minute to examine the facts, it becomes clear that Joseph was in the hand of divine providence. Considering all he faced, too many things “just happened” to fall into place for him. Consider:

· The intervention of Reuben – Gen. 37:21-22.
· Judah’s idea to sell Joseph as a slave – Gen. 37:26-26.
· The appearance of the Ishmaelite traders – Gen. 37:28.
· The fact that he was sold to Potiphar – Gen. 37:36.

Potiphar is called “the captain of the guard”. His position seems to have been that of chief executioner. He was like the head of Pharaoh’s secret police. He was responsible for protecting his boss and for dealing with those who dared attack the Pharaoh. Potiphar, by virtue of his position, would have been in contact with many of the dignitaries and political officials of Egypt. It is not outside the realm of possibility that Joseph would have been introduced to many of the influential people who would later serve him.

· God set everything up just like it needed to be so that Joseph arrived exactly where he needed to be at the exact moment he needed to be there.
· Joseph might have been a slave, but he was safe in the arms of divine providence. He might have been separated from his earthly father, but his heavenly Father went with him and before him into Egypt.

You can see how much control the Lord has by looking at the actions of the people involved in this account. Joseph’s brothers, the Ishmaelite traders, and Potiphar were all serving their own selfish interests. His brothers wanted rid of Joseph and his dreams. The Ishmaelites were out for a profit. Potiphar was just looking for a good deal on a slave. What they could not see is that they were all unwittingly accomplishing the purposes of a sovereign God. Isn’t it a comfort to know that God can use lost people to accomplish His purposes? Isn’t it a blessing to know that all the events of our lives are part of God’s plan for us?

While the events of Joseph’s life appeared to be out of control, they were actually being controlled by God. You see, Joseph was being protected by the Lord. Notice how God protected him.

· By God’s presence – Gen. 39:2
· From a bitter spirit – There is no hint that Joseph was angry about his difficulties. He surrendered even to his hardships.
· By God’s providence – The dreams God gave Joseph in Gen. 39:5-11 were not off track. They were being fulfilled, in God’s time and in God’s way. I am sure those dreams sustained Joseph during the dark days of his servitude.

You and I have the same protections that Joseph enjoyed.
· We have His presence (Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20).
· We have His help to deal with our past, our problems and our pain His way ( Eph. 4:29-32). We do not have to become bitter, angry or unforgiving. We can display a sweet spirit, even during the most trying of times with our Lord’s help!

We have God’s promise that all “things work together for our good”, (Rom. 8:28). A lot of what happens in life does not make good sense, but it does not change the fact that God is in control of everything that happens to us, (Eph. 1:11; Isa. 46:10; 2 Cor. 4:17-18; Rom. 8:18).

Obedience to the Lord may lead us into the eye of a terrible storm. This proved true in Joseph’s life. This was also true of the Lord Jesus, ( Isa. 53:10). As I have told you before, God’s purpose in our trials is not to harm us, but to develop us. We can trust Him to protect us and grow us amid the hardships of this life, (Jer. 29:11). Our God is in control!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Be With Me, Lord” By T. O. Chisholm (1935)

Be with me, Lord I cannot live without Thee. I dare not try to take one step alone. I cannot bear the loads of life unaided; I need Thy strength to lean myself upon.

Be with me, Lord And then if dangers threaten, If storms of trial burst above my head, If lashing seas leap everywhere about me, They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.

Be with me, Lord No other gift or blessing Thou could'st bestow could with this one compare. A constant sense of Thy abiding presence, Where'er I am, to feel that Thou art near.

Be with me, Lord When loneliness o'ertakes me; When I must weep amid the fires of pain; And, when shall come the hour of my departure For worlds unknown, Oh, Lord be with me then.

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 3/23/2012 10:28PM

    Ah patience that's something that is in short supply with me sometimes. I know with God a thousand years is like one day but oh how long it seems to me. The waiting is the hardest part.

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NELLIEC 3/21/2012 4:36PM

    Ii am thinking that Joseph's attitude was to do the tasks set for him as best as he could, rather than being a slacker!

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ADJQUILTER 3/21/2012 3:40PM

    God's plans for us are perfect. We need to pray for wisdom to discern them, and strength to follow them, and patience to wait for them to unfold in God's time, and faith to know that they are perfect for us.
Thank you, Vic!
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