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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun 5/20/2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/20/2012

Genesis 47:27-31
THE DEATH OF A PILGRIM, Lesson 62b

A WORD ABOUT BREVITY

We are told that the years of Jacob’s life were a “hundred forty and seven years”. 147 years! I can almost guarantee you that no one here will live to be that age! I can also guarantee you that Jacob looked at his own life and thought the years had passed by way too fast, (Gen. 47:9). The word “few” in that verse means “too little; short; not nearly enough.” After living far longer than any of us will ever live, Jacob believed that his life had ended way too soon. That is how this life is. It is over in just a short time. Of course, that is what the Bible teaches. ( James 4:12-17; Job 7:6-7; 9:25-26; 14:1-2; Psa. 102:3).

We need to remember that death is coming for all of us. Barring the Rapture, every person will die one day, (Heb. 9:27). Disease, tragedy, natural causes, and other evils are all conspiring to take us out of this world. We are all in the process of dying!

My visit last week to visit the graves of my family members. One died at 68; one at 69, but they all died. Just up the hill I have a cousin. He died when she was just under 14 years old. Just across the little dirt drive, is the body of a 16 year old girl who died in a car wreck in 1999. Beside her is the body of her mother who also died in a car wreck just over 1 year ago. One day, I will join them and “be gathered to my fathers.”

This life has been described as a brief pause between two long eternities. When this life is over, you and I will leave this world behind. We will go either to Heaven or Hell, depending on what we have done with the Lord Jesus Christ. What kind of preparations have you made for eternity? When your time comes to leave this world will you be ready to meet that hour? Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior? Remember, what you do with Him in this life, will determine what He does with you in the life to come, (1 John 5:12).

A WORD ABOUT BURYING

As Jacob reaches the end of his own earthly journey, he has a final request. Jacob simply asks his son not to bury him in Egypt. He wants his body taken back to Canaan so that he can be buried in the same place as his fathers, (Gen. 23). Joseph promises to carry out his father’s wishes.

This tells me something about this man. He was not asking Joseph to bury him in Canaan out of superstition; he was asking in faith. Jacob died with full assurance that all the promises God has made to Abraham and Isaac would be completely fulfilled. He has lived long enough to see the partial fulfillment of some of those verses; he died believing the rest would one day come to pass.

Therefore, he wants to be buried in the Promised Land. He wants to be buried in that land that will witness the birth of the nation Israel. He wants to be buried in that land that will witness the birth of the Redeemer. He wants to be buried in the land the Lord promised to his fathers and to him.

After he receives Joseph’s promise to carry out his final wishes, Jacob goes to his death knowing that his body will be buried in Canaan, but that he, himself, will be gathered to his fathers. Jacob died knowing that one day a Deliverer would come and rescue the Israelites from Egypt. He also knew that one day God would send a Redeemer Who would deliver lost men and women from the bondage of their sins, (Gen. 49:10-15). Jacob died with confidence in the promises he possessed. I am sure he didn’t have all the information he wanted, but he took what he had and he believed God. He believed God for the promises. He believed God for what he could see and he believed God for the things that were yet to appear.

Isn’t that where we find ourselves today? We look at the blessings of our lives and we are thankful. At least we should be! We look at the brevity of our lives and we are filled with dread of the unknown. But, I tell you that we can go to our own burying with peace in our hearts. We can died with the same confidence that has secured to hopes of countless saints down through the ages, ( Psa. 73:23-26; Job 19:25-27).

There are several truths that offer hope and encouragement to us today. We have the promise of a resurrection ( 1 Thes. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-44). We have the promise of a glorified body - Whether we leave this world through the clods or through the clouds, these bodies will be changed and we will go to be with Him, (1 Cor. 15:47-54). We have the promise of a heavenly home ( John 14:1-3; Rev. 21:4) and live in the glories of that city! We have the promise of a heavenly reunion – Ill. With loved ones and with the Lord, (John 14:3; 1 Thes. 4:17). With these promise, plus many others, we can face our own times of departure with hope and peace.

Jacob received the promise he was seeking from Joseph. He died with the confidence that his son would honor his legacy. And, he did, (Gen. 50:1-13)! These verses talk about the fulfillment of Joseph’s promise to his father. In fact, Pharaoh had such respect for Jacob that he ordered a royal funeral for him. Joseph took his father’s body, along with the rulers of the land of Egypt, and they traveled to Canaan to mourn Jacob’s death and to bury his body. The funeral made an impression on the inhabitants of Canaan.

When we leave this world, it will comfort us to know that others are carrying on for the glory of God. I look behind me and I am comforted by what I see! It is hard when the people we love and admire pass from the scene. When they do, we need to consider the lives they lived and the legacy they left behind. We need to honor that legacy. If we were blessed to have had godly parents and a godly heritage, we should honor their desire that we live a good and godly life.

In the church we are privileged to walk in the footsteps of some godly people who paved the road of holiness for us. They left us a standard of living that we would do well to honor and uphold.

According to Heb. 11:21; Jacob died worshipping the Lord. When the Bible says “And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head”, it does not mean that he died, but that he worshipped. How could he worship in the face of death? He simply believed the best things in life can only come to us after death! He believed the best days were still to come!

I believe that too. I would like to live my life for the glory of the Lord and leave this world worshipping Him. That can happen; all it takes is faith in the Person, Plans and Promises of God! He has big plans for His people and I am excited by what lies ahead!

Conc: If the Lord has spoken to you about your soul, your blessings or your future, you need to come to Him now.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“We Shall Assemble” By Twila Paris (1991)

We shall assemble on the mountain
We shall assemble at the throne
With humble hearts into His presence
We bring an offering of song

Glory and honor and dominion
Unto the Lamb
Unto the King
Oh hallelujah
hallelujah
We sing the song of the Redeemed

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLEGNER1 5/20/2012 4:05PM

    Thank you for the teaching and preaching

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 5/20/2012 1:37PM

    Thank you Vic for a wonderful lesson.

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CAVEPRINCESS65 5/20/2012 9:13AM

    Thank U Vic!
Friends,
Life is too short to spend it trying to keep others happy. We cannot please everyone. We should keep our focusing on pleasing God. Dont focus on what others did to you, focus on what you can do for others. Afterall, God wants to do greater things in and through us. Often God use us to blessed others, to help others grow towards the destiny that he had planned for them. Do the right thing even when it is hard. That way when we were buried, what we did will not be buried with us but continues to blessed others!

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This Is My Prayer: 5/19/2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Heavenly Father, Holy God, we worshop You for Your greatness and goodness. We praise You for Your Holiness. Speak to our hearts and teach it to be HOLY, for You O God, are HOLY. We pray Your holiness will rub off on us and permeate through us and all around us. Help us to take on the beauty of YourHoliness, not only when we are in your presence, but also as we strive to live a holy life every day. Enable us to become more like you each day. Grant us Your Holiness and make us whole like Jesus. It is in His name we pray and ask these things. Amen!
Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UNSTOPPABLE_ 5/19/2012 10:16PM

    Amen Vic

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CAVEPRINCESS65 5/19/2012 11:25AM

    Amen!!
Thank U Vic!

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SONYALATRECE 5/19/2012 7:17AM

    Praise God for whom all blessings flow and holiness!

~Sonya

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 5/19/2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/19/2012

Genesis 47:27-31
THE DEATH OF A PILGRIM, Lesson 62a

In these verses, we are called to the bedside of old Jacob. Jacob is a man who has lived a hard life. When Jacob went before Pharaoh, he told the Egyptian king that his life had been very difficult, (Gen. 46:9). Jacob certainly has experienced many tragic and painful turns in the road of his life.

He had been forced to leave his home when he was a young man because of trouble between him and his father and brother. He had been deceived by his own uncle for many years. He had worked hard to build a small fortune and raise a family during some very tough times. His beloved wife Rachel died in childbirth. His favorite son Joseph was taken from him and Jacob was led to believe that he was dead for over twenty years. His oldest son Rueben committed adultery with one of Jacob’s wives. Most of his twelve sons were evil men, who were guilty of many sins including adultery, murder and lying to their father.

Now, Jacob is nearing the end of his earthly pilgrimage. He had been uprooted from his home in Canaan and transported to a new home in Egypt. As Jacob nears the end of his journey, we are invited to his beside as he speaks to Joseph and shares with him his final wishes. I am interested in the content of their conversation.

As we listen in on this conversation between Jacob and Joseph, we see more than just an intimate encounter between a father and a son. We are actually given a small glimpse into life itself. I want to share with you a few simple thoughts that present themselves in these verses. There is A Word About Blessings; A Word About Brevity and A Word About Burying. I want to share those thoughts as we look in on “The Death Of A Pilgrim“.

A WORD ABOUT BLESSINGS

Verse 27 gives us a brief catalog of the blessings of Jacob’s life. Surely Jacob thought that his life would end in tragedy. That seems to be what he was thinking after Joseph was presumed dead,( Gen. 37:35).

But, now those hard times seem like a distant nightmare. Jacob and Joseph have been reunited and Jacob is once again enjoying the blessings of the Lord. This verse mentions a few of those.

When this verse says they “grew, and multiplied exceedingly”, it refers to both their physical and material blessings. Their flocks and herds increased. Their numbers also increased. They entered the country with just seventy souls, (Gen. 46:27). When they left 400 years later, their numbers had grown to as many as a few million. The blessings of the Lord in the life of Jacob and his family were many.

As I thought about this, I was reminded of the need to catalog my own blessings. I think it does us good from time to time to take and inventory of the blessings of the Lord in our lives. Have you thought about it lately? Let’s take just a moment to look at what we have and thank God for it. Family, Friends, Finances, Church, Bible, Jesus, Salvation.

Sometimes, we look at our lives and think that we missed out on the blessings that others enjoy. We think our lot is harsh and hard, but I would suggest that God has been very good to every one of us, and we would see that, if we would only take the time to inventory the good things God has done for us!

It would do us good to consider how we have been blessed today and to offer up praises to the Lord for His grace and goodness in our lives. I, for one, have been blessed far more than I ever deserved. God has been good to me and I want to give Him the glory and praise that He deserves.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman (

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
Refrain:

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
Refrain:

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Refrain:

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This Is My Prayer

Friday, May 18, 2012

Merciful Father, Awesome God, our God, we thank You for the Day of Atonement, for Jesus who paid the price for our sins so that we don't have to face the Day of Justice. Because of Jesus and His redeeming blood we have been reconciled to our God by faith through mercy and grace. Enable us never to be separated from our God again. Help us to extend the love and forgivness You have given us to others. Teach us ways we can show You our gratitude for all You have done and still are doing. We praise You; we praise Your name. We thank You in the precious name of Jesus our Lord. Amen!
Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDITOR 5/19/2012 3:27AM

    Totally in agreement, Vic!

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ANHELIC 5/19/2012 12:12AM

    Thank you for your heart felt prayer. I am also a born again Christian. I will pray for you as well. My God richly bless you Vic as you carry on doing His will
Many Blessings,
Joan emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you for adding me as I friend. I will be honored to be yours.
Joan

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GOOZLEBEAR 5/18/2012 9:12PM

    Thank you for the heart felt prayer! Amen!

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MRSJERRYBUSH 5/18/2012 11:34AM

    Wow! Such a wonderful prayer!

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KIMPY225 5/18/2012 9:14AM

    Have a wonderful day!

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 5/18/2012 8:43AM

    Amen!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 5/18/2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/18/2012

Genesis 46:28-47:12
JOSEPH’S FAMILY REUNION , Lesson 61c


v. 47:27-31 JOSEPH AND A BITTER FAREWELL

In these verses, we are called to the bedside of old Jacob. He believes that the end of his journey is near. He has a few things to say to Joseph before he dies. Let’s listen in because there may just be something here for us too.

v. 47:29-31 A Final Petition – Jacob simply asks his son not to bury him in Egypt. He wants his body taken back to Canaan so that he can be buried in the same place as his fathers, (Gen. 23). Joseph promises to carry out his father’s wishes.

v. 50:1-13 A Final Present – These verses talk about the fulfillment of Joseph’s promise to his father. In fact, Pharaoh had such respect for Jacob that he ordered a royal funeral for him. Joseph took his father’s body, along with the rulers of the land of Egypt, and they traveled to Canaan to mourn Jacob’s death and to bury his body. The funeral made an impression on the inhabitants of Canaan.

It is hard when the people we love and admire pass from the scene. We need to consider the lives they lived and the legacy they left behind. We need to honor the legacy of those who have gone on before. If we were blessed to have had godly parents and a godly heritage, we should honor their desire that we live a good and godly life. In the church we are privileged to walk in the footsteps of some godly people who paved the road of holiness for us. They set a standard of living that we would do well to honor and uphold.

Joseph honored the legacy of his father and carried his corpse home to Canaan. Many years later when Joseph died, he made the same request, (Gen. 50:25). His was honored as well, (Ex. 13:19). Those bones were buried in Canaan by Joshua, (Josh. 24:32).

It may just be that if we will honor the heritage that we have been given, others will honor the heritage we pass down. If we treat the previous generations like they are worthless, others may treat the things we have down the same way.

Conc: Joseph was a man who had his priorities in order. He loved his family and he loved his father. He was also willing to protect his heritage. It may be that the Lord has spoken to you on some level of your life. If He has, you should come to Him as He calls right now. Maybe your relationship with your family needs work. Maybe your relationship with your parents needs work. Maybe you need to get with you children and let them know they are loved.

There is work to do in our homes today. We are way behind and this is a call to get busy dealing with the things that matter.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“To The Work” By William H. Doane (

To the work! To the work! We are servants of God;
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.
Refrain
Toiling on, toiling on,
Toiling on, toiling on,
Let us hope and trust,
Let us watch and pray,
And labor till the Master comes.

To the work! To the work! Let the hungry be fed;
To the fountain of life let the weary be led;
In the cross and its banner our glory shall be,
While we herald the tidings, “Salvation is free!”
Refrain

To the work! To the work! There is labor for all;
For the kingdom of darkness and error shall fall;
And the love of our Father exalted shall be,
In the loud swelling chorus, “Salvation is free!”
Refrain

To the work! To the work! In the strength of the Lord,
And a robe and a crown shall our labor reward,
When the home of the faithful our dwelling shall be,
And we shout with the ransomed, “Salvation is free!”
Refrain

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KOUNTRYFIDDLE 5/18/2012 7:39AM

    emoticon Great blog today! Thanks for sharing!

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