Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Most Holy Father, Beloved God, help us not to be afraid. Fill our hearts with your GREAT love, for Your love will drive out all fears. Thank You Father for all the wonderful things You have done for us in the past; for all the wonderful things You are doing for us today; and for all the wonderful things You will do for us in the future. We are grateful for Your strength, Your Power, Your Word and Your Spirit in our life. Keep us from fear and discouragement as we face our daily challenges. Remind us us that Jesus goes before us in all our challenges. We look to Jesus for all our guidance and example. This prayer we bring before Your Throne of Grace in Jesus' name. Amen!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/ 22 /2012
CRISIS MANAGEMENT , Lesson 63b
CRISES ARE NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS
When the famine came to Egypt, it came to everyone. The poor, the rich, even royalty were all affected by the crisis of the moment. The same is true in this life, every person in the world is affected by crisis from time to time. We have almost worn out the words of Job, (Job 14:1; Job 5:7); and of Jesus, (John 16:33).
In my life it seems that I move from one crisis to the next. Of course, I am not alone; I see that happening to people all around me. This life is a life filled with crisis moments. No one gets out of this world without facing moments of crisis.
That was how Solomon saw this life. (Eccl. 2:17), “Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” (Eccl. 2:22-23), “For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.” That is how I see it too!
CRISES CAUSE US TO RETHINK OUR PURPOSES
When this crisis came to Egypt, the people were told to do one thing, “Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do,” (Gen. 41:55). From that moment on, the people of Egypt had just one purpose. They had just one duty. They were to obey Joseph and do exactly what He said to do.
Sometimes it takes a crisis moment in our lives to remind us of our purpose in life. Sometimes, we lose focus in life. We find ourselves doing things the Lord doesn’t want us to do; going places He doesn’t want us to go; and being someone the Lord doesn’t want us to be.
If we are saved, our first and foremost duty is to do exactly what they Lord tells us to do, (Luke 6:46). That is our sole purpose before the Lord. We are to be who He wants us to be. We are to go where He wants us to go. We are to do what He wants us to do. Our primary duty is to yield the totality of ourselves to Him and allow Him to use us as He sees fit.
There is nothing like crises to cause you to rethink your purpose in life. When you distill it all down to the bottom line, our main duty is to be who He wants us to be! (Eccl 12:13) No one wants to come to the end of life and say, “I wish I had lived my life another way. I wish I had done something else with my life.”
Whether we are in a crisis or not, we need to ask ourselves a few questions. “What am I doing? What does God want me to do? Am I being responsible and obedient to Him?”
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Walking Alone At Eve” By T. R. Sweatmon (1917)
Walking alone at eve and viewing the skies afar,
Bidding the darkness come to welcome each silver star;
I have a great delight in the wonderful scenes above,
God in His power and might is showing His truth and love.
O! for a home with God, a place in His courts to rest,
Sure in a safe abode with Jesus and the blest;
Rest for a weary soul once redeemed by the Savior’s love,
Where I will be pure and whole and live with my God above.
Sitting alone at eve and dreaming the hours away,
Watching the shadows falling now at the close of day;
God in His mercy comes with His Word He is drawing near,
Spreading His love and truth around me and everywhere.
Closing my eyes at eve and thinking of Heaven’s grace,
Longing to see my Lord, yes meeting Him face to face;
Trusting Him as my all where-so-ever my footsteps roam,
Pleading with Him to guide me on to the spirits’ home!
INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Loving Father, Caring Savior, We lift up to You the areas of our life that are overwhelming and burdensome. We come to You not to complain, but rather to seek Your help. Forgive us when we try to handle every crisis by our own strength instead of depending on Your love and strength. Teach us Lord, to pray that You will take each burden of our heart and enable us to rise above every challenging situation on our life to live to Your glory and praise. This we pray and ask in Your Son's name. Amen!
Monday, May 21, 2012
JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/ 21 /2012
CRISIS MANAGEMENT , Lesson 63a
As I read the story of Joseph, I am convinced that he had his act together. He is a man who knows how to handle himself in all kinds of situations. For the last while, we have been occupying ourselves with the details of Joseph’s relationship with his brothers and his father. Those events are the primary emphasis of these chapters. But, it is easy to forget that while Joseph was dealing with his brothers, he was also managing a crisis in Egypt. By the time Joseph faces this time of trouble, he has become master of crisis management. Consider the trials he had already faced and overcome.
His mother died while he was young.
His family was in a state of constant upheaval.
There was jealousy, hatred and infighting within his family.
He was betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers.
He was lied on and falsely accused in Egypt.
He was imprisoned.
The butler, who promised to help him, forgot about him for two years.
He was suddenly promoted to a position of prominence, power and responsibility.
He suddenly finds himself occupied with preparing an entire nation to deal with a famine.
In every crisis he faces, Joseph displayed exceptional wisdom and faith.
In this passage, we are allowed to witness how the Lord used Joseph to prevent a nation from descending into starvation and anarchy. We get the see Joseph use all his skills of Crisis Management.
Genesis 42:1-47:12 is a parentheses passage. As we pick up the story of Joseph today, we see that the verses we have read are a recap of (Gen. 41:53-57). In that passage, the people are hungry and they come to Pharaoh for help. His advice to them is clear, “Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do,” (Gen. 41:55). That is what the people did, and they survived that famine as a result. The people were brought to the end of themselves and of their own resources. They turned to Joseph because they knew there was no future apart from him.
What Joseph did was to take steps to save the nation. He took steps to bring everything in Egypt under the authority of the throne. You can see this played out in these verses.
Joseph took control of their Purses (v. 13-14) Joseph took control of all the money in the land. All of the people were placed on the same level. There were no longer rich people and poor people, there were just people. Every dime was brought under the control of the throne.
That is where our money needs to be as well. We should strive to bring every cent we possess under the control of the Lord. Let Him use it in His work as He sees fit.
Joseph took control of their Possessions (v. 15-17) When the money ran out, the people traded their livestock and their possessions for food. Everything they possessed was brought under the control of the throne.
Shouldn’t the same thing be true in our lives? Everything we have should be dedicated to the glory of the Lord. If you possess anything that cannot be dedicated to the Lord to be used for His glory, it has no place in your life.
Joseph took control of their Property (v. 18-20) when their money was exhausted and their possessions were all gone, they gave Joseph their land. He brought that under the control of the throne.
Again, everything we possess should be relinquished to God for Him to use as He sees fit. After all, it all came from Him anyway, (James 1:17).
Joseph took control of their Persons (v. 19; 21) When their money, their possessions and their property was all gone, they willingly gave themselves up to be the servants of Pharaoh, in exchange for food to eat.
We need to consider self. Sometimes we are able to give the Lord everything we own, but we keep ourselves back for our own use. He would have us surrender the totality of ourselves on the altar for His glory, (Rom. 12:1-2). After all, if you are saved, He owns you already, (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Joseph took control of their Positions (v. 21) Joseph moved the people from the country and other outlying areas and brought them into the cities, where work and food distribution could be more easily managed.
Just a reminder, but you and I really have no say in where we go and what we do. We belong to Him and He chooses where we serve; how long we serve; and what happens while we serve there. He is the Lord of His people, (James 4:15; John 3:27).
Joseph took control of their Production (v. 23-26) At the end of the famine, everything in Egypt was under the control of the throne. Joseph was in absolute over everything and over every person in the land of Egypt, (Gen. 41:44). He graciously gave the people seed to sow on the land and allowed them to keep eighty percent of everything they raised. Everything they produced was subject to a twenty percent tax.
This is what Joseph did to be sure there was grain during the famine,( Gen. 41:44). And, this is what he did to ensure that the people would succeed after the famine. Everything Egypt produced was brought under the authority of the throne.
God doesn’t ask His people to give Him twenty percent. He doesn’t even ask us to give Him ten percent. He graciously asks us to give Him one hundred percent of everything we have. When we do, He will show us how much of that 100% that He wants invested in His work and how much of that 100% we can keep for our own use. Our checkbooks need to be brought under His control.
Some people criticize Joseph for his tactics in these verses. They see him creating a feudal system where everything is controlled by a central power. No one owns land, no one owns houses, and no one can get ahead in a system like that. Some people have a hard time believing that he instituted a 2o% income tax on the people. I wish that was all we paid! – Income tax, Social Security tax, gas tax, road tax, county tax, city tax, sales tax, usage tax, plus assorted user fees. The people of Egypt did not criticize Joseph. In fact, they credited him with saving their lives, (v. 25). They saw him as a savior of their nation.
In this passage, Joseph is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. The same advice that Pharaoh gave to Egypt regarding Joseph was given to us regarding Jesus, ( Gen. 41:55; John 2:5), “His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”
In Egypt, Joseph’s desire was to bring everything under his control He knew that unless he could consolidate power in Egypt, the country would tear itself apart when the famine came. He knew the rich would oppress the poor. He knew the nation would be ripped to pieces by rebellion, revolution and upheaval. To stop this from happening, Joseph took control of everything and brought it under his authority.
Jesus possesses the same desire in our lives. He knows that if we are left to ourselves; we will bring our lives to ruin. But, if we will yield control of everything we have and are to Him and His authority, He will bless us and use us beyond our wildest dreams.
Are the areas of your life I mentioned under His control? Does He control your Purse, your Possessions, your Property, your Person and your Position? Has everything been brought under control of the throne? That was the introduction. Usually, there will be a short introduction and a long message. Today, there will be a long introduction and a short message.
In Joseph’s dealings with the people I see a few important principles for living that we must not pass over today. These principles can make all the difference when a crisis comes into your life. These principles teach us the real value of the crises we face in our lives. Let me share those principles with you today as we think about this matter of “Crisis Management“.
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Lord, Take Control” By Unknown
My heart, my mind, my body, my soul
I give to You, take control
I give my body a living sacrifice
Lord, take control, take control
I surrender my life into Your hands
Nothing less is what my soul demands
Only You can satisfy my soul
Oh my Jesus, come, take control
INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Heavenly Father, Blessed Lord, we celebrate the moment when we came to know You and we became an obedient child in Your Family. Jesus is Lord, our Lord, an we celebrate His glory every ime we assemble as Your chilfren, every time You heal us and bless us. We celebrate Your Name every time you answer our prayers. We celebrate Your Great Name when You deliver us from our mistakes and shortcomings, and You forgive our sins. We celebrate the wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ when You bring them into our life. We celebrate every opportunity You give us to teach and proclaim Your Word and Truth to others. We celebrate that we have been given a life with You with Great Promises in Christ Jesus our Lord. We thank You, Father, and we pray all this in Jesus' precious name. Amen!
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