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FOLLOWING I THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/28/2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/28/2012

Genesis 43:15-34
SWIMMING IN A SEA OF EMOTION, Lesson 55a

This passage opens with ten of Joseph’s brothers leaving Canaan to make a second trip down into Egypt to buy grain. The first time they went, they came face to face with the Prime Minister of the country, but they did not know that he was none other than Joseph, the brother they had sold into slavery twenty years earlier.

They may not have recognized Joseph, but he knew exactly who they were. He used their meeting to try and get them to understand the guilt of their past. Joseph had imprisoned his brother Simeon and had sent the remaining brothers home. He sent them away with orders not to return unless they brought their youngest brother Benjamin with them.

So, they headed back home. Along the way, they discovered that the money they had paid for their grain had been returned to them and was in the sacks of grain. This caused them to be even more afraid. To make a long story short, they used up all the grain and they are headed back to Egypt again.

Verse 15 tells us that they took Joseph a present; double the original money; and Benjamin. They are ushered into Joseph’s presence and when he sees that Benjamin is with them, he invites them to his house for lunch, (v. 16-17).

These verses describe a scene that is filled with emotions. Fear, relief, gratitude and joy all mingle together in this poignant reunion between Joseph and his brothers. I want you to see in this passage the subject “Swimming In A Sea Of Emotions“.

Emotions are something we deal with every day of our lives. They are powerful and they can control our lives if we allow them to. Now, emotions, or feelings, are not bad in and of themselves. But, we must always remember that our emotions arise from our minds, or our souls. Since we are fallen creatures, our emotions have been affected too. That means that not everything we feel is right or proper. We must learn to check our emotions against the Word of God to ensure that we are not led astray by our feelings. This happens far too often in people’s lives.

Young girls will give up their purity because they are lost in a sea of emotions. Men abandon their families because they get caught up in emotions. Families and churches are ripped apart because people allow emotions like anger, bitterness and resentment control them.

Of course, God works in our emotions too. He uses the natural responses we have to the events of life to teach us about Him, His will and what He is doing in our lives. That is what this passage teaches us about today. In this reunion scene between these brothers, we see 12 men who are “Swimming In A Sea Of Emotion“. I want to point the emotions that are portrayed here and the lessons they have to teach us. I want you to see The Brothers And Their Fear; Joseph and His Feelings, and The Family And Their Feast.

v. 18-24 THE BROTHERS AND THEIR FEARS

When these men are brought into Joseph’s house, they become “afraid”. This word means “to be filled with dread.” They are convinced that they have been lead into a trap. They are sure that Joseph is going to arrest them and put them into prison, (v. 18).

They express their fears to the steward of Joseph’s house, v. (19-22). He comforts them the best he can, even telling them that God was looking out for them in all their troubles, (v. 23). Then he brings out Simeon to them, (v. 23). Then, he gives them water to wash their feet, a sign of great respect. He also gives them food for their animals, a sign of hospitality, (v. 24). So, with their hearts pounding in fear, they prepare themselves for the arrival of Joseph for the noon meal.

There are two emotions at work in the lives of these men. They are afraid and they are being eaten alive with guilt. I want to examine both of these emotions today. First, let’s talk about fear. Fear is a terrible emotion! It is paralyzing in the effect it has on our lives. Fear renders us incapable of trusting the Lord and looking to Him for the help we need in life.

Look at this scene. Here are eleven men who have been brought up to know Jehovah, the only true and living God. Yet, they are so overcome by the emotion of fear that they are unable to see His hand at work in their lives. They have to be reminded of God’s grace, His sovereignty and His purposes by an Egyptian pagan.

Haven’t we all been there at times? Life comes at us with all its problems and it tragedies. When it does, we become filled with fear and dread. Instead of faith in God, we are gripped by worry and dread. Someone has calculated that there are over 365 statements in the Bible calling us to put aside our fears and to trust in the Lord. That’s one fear not for every day of the year and more than enough to cause us to trust in Him. Here is His command to His people, (Phil. 4:6-7; Luke 12:32).

He has promised to hear us when we pray – (Jer. 33:3; Psa. 55:17).
He has promised to sustain us – (Psa. 55:22).
He has promised to meet our every need – (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-34).

With promises like that, why would anyone want to fret or fear? Don’t allow fear to dominate your life. Learn to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” (Pro. 3:5-6). If you live in fear, you will never have peace in your life. If you can learn to trust the Lord in all of life, you will never have anything to fear.

The real reason these men are so overcome by fear is the fact that they are filled with guilt. These men know that they wronged their brother, they lied about and they are convinced that God is out to get them. In a sense they are right. The Lord is using the events of their lives to bring them face to face with their past sins. He is awakening in them a sense of guilt and this guilt is about to eat them alive. They are convinced that they being punished for all the evil they have done, (Gen. 42:21).

Guilt can be a healthy emotion. The Lord uses it to awaken us to our sinful condition and to show us our need of Jesus. He causes us to feel guilty for our sins and that guilt before God is used by Him to draw us to Jesus and to His salvation, (John 16:7-11). That is good guilt.

The negative side of guilt is when we continue to feel bad over sins that God has already forgiven. In the Old Testament, the Jews had an offering called the “burnt offering”, (Lev. 1:1-6). A man would bring his sacrifice to the Tabernacle, place his hands on the animals head and kill the animal. The animal was taking the place of the sinner. The sinner’s guilt was transferred to the animal and the sinner was cleansed of his guilt. This is what Jesus did for us when He went to the cross to die for us. He literally took our sins and our guilt upon Himself and became our sins, (2 Cor. 5:21). He was judged in our place and we are forgiven when we trust Him by faith.

When the Lord saves us, He takes our sins away,( Psa. 103:12, John 1:29) and they are gone forever! We should never allow the flesh, the world or the devil beat us up over sins the Lord has forgiven. If you are saved, your past is not an issue any longer. Let you faith in Jesus spell the end of your guilt over your past.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSONG!
“He Gave me A Song” By A. H. Howard (1977)

He took my burdens all away, up to a brighter day
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
A wonderful song I now can sing, in my heart joybells ring
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)

Chorus:
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), to sing about (to sing about)
He lifted me (He lifted me) from sin and doubt (from sin and doubt)
O, praise His name (O praise His name), He is my King (He is my King)
A wonderful song (a wonderful song) He is to me (He is to me)

I am redeemed no more to die, never to say goodbye
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
And some of these days in that fair land, sing with the chorus grand
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)

Repeat Chorus (x2)

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 4/28/2012 8:04PM

    Thank you Vic!
Emotions is part of the human make up. Always look at it positively
For example, guilt - good emotion that awaken us from the wrong doing; healthy reminder not to repeat what we had done; but dont let it linger and make us feel bad about what we had done. once we asked God for forgiveness, moved on
Remember!
Nothing we have done is too much for the mercy of God. Receive His forgiveness

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NELLIEC 4/28/2012 4:23PM

    A lot of people don't really like emotions since we feel very vulnerable. Yet, they can be used for good, if we follow God.

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 4/28/2012 4:20PM

    Guilt can be so crippling if we hold on to it. Thank you for the reminder that once we have repented we need to release the guilt as well as the sin. This is so life-giving!

~Melissa

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/27/2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/ 27 /2012

Genesis 43:1-10
JUDAH GROWS UP, 54d

v. 7-10 JUDAH’S PLEDGE

As this passage closes, Judah begs his father to let them go to Egypt for food. He promises to trade his life for Benjamin’s should anything happen to the boy. Earlier, Reuben had pledged the lives of his two sons, (Gen. 42:37). Of course, Reuben knew that Jacob would never harm his grandsons. In this case, Judah is willing to lay down his own life for the good of the family.

This is a good sign that Judah is truly maturing. He is not longer the same self-centered man that he used to be. He is not longer the man who lives only for himself. He is emerging as a leader among his brethren.

Soon Judah will bow before and offer himself as a slave, (Gen. 44:33). Soon Judah will openly confess his sins before Joseph and make things right with him, (Gen. 44:16ff). Some, this formerly self-centered man will humble himself before Joseph. He will speak for the whole group and he will take the blame for all their actions. He will put them all ahead of himself.

Do you want to know whether or not you are making progress as a Christian? Do you want to know whether or not you are maturing in your faith? It’s real easy to tell! Just look at the place others hold in your list of priorities. When we reach a place of spiritual maturity, we will find that we will consistently begin to place others ahead of self.

A sure sign that you are still a baby in Christ is when you are still number on in your life. When we grow up, our priorities will become vastly different.
When we grow up, Jesus will come first, others will come next and self will come last. If everything in your life revolves around you, what you want and how you feel, then you just need to grow up. If, however, everything in your life revolves around Jesus first, others next and self last; you are making progress!

Here is what the Bible says about this matter (Phil. 2:4; Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 10:24). One of the greatest examples of this selfless kind of life is found in the testimony of John the Baptist. He was willing to play second fiddle as long as Jesus was glorified, (John 3:26-30). That is the attitude that the Lord wants to reproduce in your heart and mine!

We are living in a world that focuses all the attention on self. People are taught to gratify themselves, and then they will be happy. God’s formula for joy is vastly different. God’s formula comes down to a simple acrostic based on the word joy. True joy will be ours when we get our priorities in the following order:

J – Jesus
O – Others
Y – Yourself

That is the secret to joy in this life. When you arrive at the place of true joy, you will also find that you have reached the place of genuine maturity.

Conc: I fear that many are like the character in the old, but familiar Mother Goose rhyme which goes:
PUSSY CAT, PUSSY CAT,
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
I'VE BEEN TO LONDON
TO VISIT THE QUEEN.
PUSSY CAT, PUSSY CAT,
WHAT DID YOU THERE?
I FRIGHTENED A LITTLE
MOUSE UNDER HER CHAIR.

Like that cat, Christians sometimes settle for petty involvements, trivial pursuits--chasing mice--when we have the opportunity to spend time with royalty, with the King!
A.B Simpson said it like this:

“Once it was the blessing; now it is the Lord.
Once it was the feeling; now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted; now the Giver own.
Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone.
Once 'twas painful trying; now 'tis perfect trust.
Once a half salvation;
now the uttermost.
Once 'twas ceaseless holding; now He holds me fast.
Once 'twas constant drifting; now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning; now 'tis trustful prayer.
Once 'twas anxious caring; now He has the care.
Once 'twas what I wanted, now what Jesus says.
Once 'twas constant asking; now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once I tried to use Him; now He uses me.
Once it was my working; His it hence shall be.
Once the power I wanted, now the Mighty One.
Once for self I labored, now for Him alone.
Once I hoped for Jesus; now I know He's mine.
Once my lamps were dying; now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited; now His coming hail. And my hopes are anchored safe within the veil.”

That is the place we all need to come to. Years ago, some tourists visited a picturesque mountain village.
They asked some of the locals “Were any great people born in this village?”
One of the locals said, “Nope, just babies are in this village.”
The same is true in the family of God. We are all born as little spiritual babies. But, what a shame it is when we stay babies. The Lord wants us to grow up to live lives of spiritual power and honor for His glory. Judah grew up. Have you?

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!







  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LARKSONGRUTH 4/27/2012 12:40PM

    This is really a beautiful blog. Thank you for the day brightener! I had never really thought about Judah in the way you described and what it said about his changing nature. How important it is that we learn to put off the natural man and become the sons and daughters of God in Jesus Christ.

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SANDYTOES17 4/27/2012 12:30PM

    Thank you! I enjoyed reading this! emoticon

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 4/27/2012 8:58AM

    It is sometimes hard to distinguish between taking care of myself and being selfish. I know that for the sake of my children I need to take care of my health, which means devoting that time to my wellness each day, but I also need to be a good mother/wife by putting their needs above my own. I am still struggling with feeling like it is "okay" to take care of myself and enlist the help of others to allow me to do that. But I do try to glorify God in all that I do and direct my children to do the same.

~Melissa

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CAM2438 4/27/2012 8:31AM

    This is always good to read. Thank-you for shaing. emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/26/2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/ 26 /2012

Genesis 43:1-10
JUDAH GROWS UP, 54c

v. 3-6 JUDAH’S PLEA

In these verses, Judah states the simple, unvarnished truth. They cannot return to Egypt to buy more grain unless they take Benjamin with them. So, he begs his father to allow them to return to Egypt with Benjamin to buy more food. In these verses, it is clear that Judah is making spiritual progress. Let me show why.

He is not longer simply concerned about Judah. His primary focus in no longer what he wants; how he feels and what he thinks.

Judah is concerned about the rest of the family. He knows they have to have food or they will all starve. He is concerned about the future of the family.

Judah is concerned about Simeon. Judah knows they cannot bring Simeon home without going back to Egypt with Benjamin.

Judah is not concerned with doing things the right way. This has never been a priority with him before. Up to now, Judah has cared only about Judah. He would do whatever it took to get what Judah wanted. Now, he wants to do things the right way. He is finally growing up!

This progress hasn’t happened over night. It has taken many years and many trials to bring about these changes in Judah.

By the same token, the Lord’s work in your life and mine has not been accomplished overnight. If you are growing as you should, you are closer to Him today than you were when you got saved. He has been in the process of developing you since He saved you by His grace. And, His work in us is not something that happens overnight. God has plenty of time and He is willing to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to accomplish His eternal purposes in His children.

A quick study of the Bible proves this to be true.

Abraham – First, God worked in his heart o cause him to leave the only home he had ever known to follow God into Canaan. His faith is so shallow that he runs to Egypt for help during a time of famine. Yet, God keeps working on Abraham until the day comes that he is willing to offer his son as a burnt offering to the Lord. That is progress!

Jacob – He is a trickster and a deceiver. He is a man who lives down to his name. God works on him through a series of difficult circumstances to shape him into the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. God used problems in the family to shape this man. God allows Jacob to be tricked and deceived by his own uncle. God used hardships and even a personal encounter with Himself beside a river to bring Jacob to where God could use him. That is progress!

Gideon – God took a terrified man and called him to be a Judge of Israel. God gave him a mighty army and then God took his army away. God sent him into battle with 300 against a multitude. He even sent him into battle without weapons. All he and his men had were clay lamps and trumpets. God gave them the victory. That is progress!

David – God used everything from giants, to kings, to pride to break and reshape this young man into “a man after God’s Own heart.” That is progress!

Simon Peter – Here is a man who was constantly getting into trouble. He talked too much! He was always putting his foot into his mouth. He even denied the Lord Jesus three times in one night. But, God took those tragedies and used them to shape Peter into a mighty preacher of the Gospel. He would never have become the man he did
Ř without the problems he endured! That is progress!

Look at your own life. What has the Lord used to shape you into what you are today? He has used our sins, our trials, our valleys, our victories and everything else we have faced in this life. He has used it all to shape us into what He wants us to be.

The Lord’s shaping ministry is a powerful thing. It is something that every saint goes through. It is something the Lord uses to bring even sinners unto Him.

God’s desire is to take us like He finds us and then develop us into a vessel of honor for His glory, Ill. Jer. 18:1-6. We are merely clay in His hand, and like a potter, He will keep the pressure on us, as He shapes us into what He wants us to be.

There will be times when He will crush us and begin again.
There will be times when He will pound the clay.
There will be times when He will add to us and there will be times when He will take away from us.

In the end, we will become a vessel of honor unto the Lord our God! And, remember, you are never closer to the Potter than when His hand is on your life!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“More Love To Thee, O Christ” By Elizabeth Prentiss (1856)

More love to thee, O Christ, more love to thee!
Hear thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to thee;
more love to thee, more love to thee!

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
now thee alone I seek, give what is best.
This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to thee;
more love to thee, more love to thee!

Let sorrow do its work, come grief and pain;
sweet are thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
when they can sing with me: More love, O Christ, to thee;
more love to thee, more love to thee!

Then shall my latest breath whisper thy praise;
this be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
this still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to thee;
more love to thee, more love to thee!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PURPLEPEONY 4/27/2012 12:06AM

    Beautiful hymn! Keep spreading the Good News!

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SANDYTOES17 4/26/2012 1:06PM

    Thank you!

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POETLKNG2LOSE 4/26/2012 11:41AM

    I feel him shaping me in my circumstances and it isn't easy. Now i am fighting to get back that closeness i had before. My circumstances have caused me to be in a depressed frame of mind. it's hard to break away.

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BELTONWALKER67 4/26/2012 8:30AM

    Thank you!

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 4/26/2012 8:04AM

    Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now thee alone I seek, give what is best.
Let sorrow do its work, come grief and pain;
Sweet are they messengers, sweet their refrain.
Then shall my latest breath whisper thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;

Praise God! This hymn really speaks to me Vic. I am a musician and music really speaks to my soul. I pray that this can truly be the call of my heart each day. Thank you!

~Melissa

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GROEDER 4/26/2012 7:39AM

    I pray the God's hands are on me, shaping me the way He wants every day!!!!!!
He IS answering my prayers!!!!!!!

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BIGDOG18 4/26/2012 7:34AM

  emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/25/2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/ 25 /2012

Genesis 43:1-10
JUDAH GROWS UP, 54b

v. 3 JUDAH’S PROBLEMS

Judah is mentioned in verse 3. Let’s take a minute to remember what kind of a man we are dealing with here.

Gen. 37:26 – Judah is the one who talked his brothers out of killing Joseph and into selling him as a slave instead.

Gen. 37:31-35 – Judah was part of the lie that broke Jacob’s heart. They told him Joseph was dead and Jacob entered an extended time of mourning.

Gen. 38:1 – When Judah sought a wife, he married an unbeliever.

Gen. 38:7-10 – He raised two sons, Er and Onan, who were so evil that God killed them both.

Gen. 38:12-16 – Judah was a man controlled by fleshly lusts. His wife died and he sought female companionship in the bed of a woman he thought was a harlot.

Gen. 38:12-23 – Judah was guilty of committing incest with his daughter-in-law. She tricked him, but he was still responsible for his actions.

Gen. 38:24-30 – Judah was judgmental. Tamar, his daughter-in-law became pregnant through their incestuous relationship and Judah ordered her to be burned for her infidelity. As it turned out, she exposed him as the hypocrite he was. Their relationship produced twin boys, one of whom would become a distant ancestor of the Lord Jesus, ( Matt. 1:3).

We look at a man like that and we say, “He’ll never amount to anything! God can’t use a man that wicked.” The fact is, God had big plans for Judah. God was working in his life and on his heart to transform him into a leader among his brethren. God was working on him to make a blessing to the nation of Israel and to the whole world, (Gen. 49:8-12).

Judah was a rough piece of timber, but God had a plan to work him into shape! Of course, when you take the time to read your Bible, you quickly see that many of those that God used in the greatest of ways, started their lives on the wrong side of righteousness.

Rahab – She was a prostitute. She came to know God and she became an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ruth – She was a Gentile and a pagan. She came to know God and she became an ancestor of the Lord Jesus.

David – He committed adultery; he lied; and he was guilty of murder, but God forgave him and used him.

Matthew – He was tax collector in the employ of the Roman government. He was a thief, a liar and a cheat, but God saved him and used him for his glory.

The Gaderene Demoniac – He was demon possessed. He lived in the tombs. He had an entire region scare half to death. He met Jesus and became a powerful witness to God’s grace and life-changing power.

Paul – By his own testimony, he was guilty of terrible and gross sins, (1 Tim. 1:12-15; Acts 26:9-11).

Many more could be named! Not a single one of them was perfect when God found them. They were all dirty, filthy and full of sin. But, He knows how to clean them up and use them as vessels of honor.

There are some of you like that today who are ashamed of your past. You are right to feel that way, but never think for an instant that God can’t bless you and use you. If you have been saved and washed in the blood of the Lamb, His precious blood has negated your past. Every stain has been washed away and you are every white clean in His sight!

I praise the Lord that He is the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29). I don’t care how clean you live or how close you get to the Lord; there will always be someone out there who will hold what you were against you. Ignore them! When this thing is said and done you will not answer to them. Both you and them will stand before Jesus and give an account. Live to please the Lord and let Him take care of the rest!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Living For Jesus”

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.

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

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, wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His holy Name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.


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.

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!



































  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLE_TAILOR 5/14/2012 11:53AM

    I thought the one from the 23rd was fantastic, but this one blew it out of the water.

Thank you so much for sharing these.

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MISSM66 4/25/2012 2:38PM

    Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 4/25/2012 8:24AM

    All we need is a willing spirit and God will do the rest! Thank you for this reminder.

~Melissa

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GROEDER 4/25/2012 7:50AM

    No matter our past, there is salvation for us all through The Lord!!!!!!

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DLDROST 4/25/2012 7:20AM

  Thank you for sharing !!!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS O FAITH, 4/24.2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/ 24 /2012

Genesis 43:1-10
JUDAH GROWS UP, 54a

It has been a while since we looked in on Joseph and his family. If you will remember the story, you know that Joseph’s brothers sold him in to Egyptian slavery, and they told their father that he was dead. As far as they were concerned, Joseph was dead! They went on with their lives as though they would never see their brother again, because they never expected to!

God had other plans! While they are living their lives in Canaan, God is working in Egypt! While Jacob’s heart is broken through mourning Joseph, God is working in Egypt. Down in Egypt, Joseph is sold as a slave. He works for a man named Potiphar, who is Pharaoh’s chief executioner. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph, but he rebuffs her advances. She lies to her husband telling him that Joseph tried to rape her. Potiphar has Joseph thrown into prison. After a number of years, Joseph is brought to Pharaoh’s attention. God uses Joseph to help Pharaoh, and to make a long story short, Joseph is taken out of the prison and made the Prime Minister of Egypt.

A famine arises in the land, but Joseph has developed a plan to store up grain for the lean years ahead. When the famine comes, it affects all the countries of the earth, even the land of Canaan, where Joseph’s brothers and father dwell.

Joseph’s brothers make a trip to Egypt to buy grain to eat and they meet the brother they sold as a slave some 20 years before. He recognizes them, but they do not recognize him. God uses Joseph to awaken the dead consciences of his brothers. Joseph wants them to think about what they have done, so he accuses them of being spies and throws Simeon into prison until the other brothers return home and bring their youngest brother Benjamin. They told Joseph about him and Joseph uses this as a tool to get them to return with his brother.

The brothers return home with their grain, but no Simeon. Jacob again grieves and refuses to allow the boys to take Benjamin back with them into Egypt. After a while, the grain runs out and they are forced to get more. That is where our text begins today.

In this passage, we see a discussion between Judah, the fourth oldest of Jacob’s sons, and Jacob himself. In this conversation, Judah is trying to convince his father that they have no choice but to return to Egypt, with Benjamin, to get grain. Otherwise, they will all starve to death. That is the gist of what is taking place here. But, as is so often true in the Bible, there is more here than meets the eye.

What we see in these verses is a rebellious man demonstrating the fact that he is beginning to grow up. What we see in these verses is how God used the events of Judah’s life to bring him to maturity. God uses these events to shape Judah into the leader he will one day become.

There is help for us in these verses! After all, God is trying to do the same thing in your life and mine. He desires that we reach a place of maturity. This truth is stated for us in the New Testament.

Eph. 4:13-15, “13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

1 Pet. 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

2 Pet. 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Let’s examine this passage to see how the Lord worked in Judah’s life to bring him to the place of maturity. We need these truths because God is doing the same thing in your life and mine. He might use different processes to achieve His goals, but the end result will be the same. Let’s look on the subject: “Judah Grows Up“.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“More About Jesus” By Eliza E. Hewitt (1887)

More about Jesus I would know, More of His grace to others
show; More of His saving fulness see,More of His love who
died for me.
Refrain:
More, more about Jesus, More, more about Jesus; More of His
saving fulness see, More of His love who died for me.

More about Jesus let me learn, More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be, Showing the things of Christ to
me.
Refrain:

More about Jesus, in His Word, Holding communion with my
Lord; Hearing His voice in every line, Making each faithful
saying mine.
Refrain:

More about Jesus on His throne, Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase; More of His coming,
Prince of Peace.
Refrain:

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLEGNER1 4/24/2012 7:05PM

    Very good lesson for all who read it.
bless you
Barb

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 4/24/2012 9:36AM

    I think my favorite thing about the story of Joseph is the fact that he always remained faithful and trusted in his God. Even though he was jealously sold by his brothers and lied about to his father and wrongfully accused by Potiphar's wife and thrown in a prison he always trusted God. It is because of that faith that God was able to use him to interpret Pharaoh's dream and he was able to become his right hand man. If he had wallowed in self pity God might not have been able to use him at that critical time. God certainly works in mysterious ways and we all need to recognize that in our own lives. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's lesson!

~Melissa

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