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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri 5/25/2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/25/2012

Genesis 48:1-22
REFLECTIONS OF A LIFE, 64b

JACOB REFLECTED ON THE PRESENT

As Jacob was dying he knew that all his blessings were not in the past. The Lord had placed some things right in from of him that reminded him of God’s blessings today.

v. 8-11 The Evidence Of Grace – Jacob embraces the two sons of Joseph. There was a time when he thought Joseph was dead and that there would be no offspring from that son. Now, by the grace of God, Jacob not only sees Joseph again, but he also sees Joseph’s two boys. That is grace in action!

Can you see the evidence of grace around you today? I can! I can see His grace in my family. I can see His grace in the ministry. I can see His grace in the church. I am seeing things, doing things and experiencing things I never could have imagined when He saved me. I am surrounded by the evidence of grace!

v. 5-6 The Expansion Of Grace – Jacob adopts the two sons of Joseph and gives them an inheritance among Joseph’s brothers. He is, in effect, giving Joseph the double portion of the firstborn. When the inheritance of the nation of Israel was given our many years later, there was no tribe of Joseph, but there were the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim.

The grace that was active in Jacob’s life flowed from him to the successive generations. In other words, because of the grace of God that was on him, he was able to hand down a heritage, a legacy, to those who followed him. That is what we ought to be doing today. Just as Jacob handed down his blessings to his grandchildren, we ought to strive to hand down the gifts of God’s great grace to those who are following after us. I want to hand down a legacy of preaching, worship and obedience to God to those who come behind me.

v. 12-20 The Economy Of Grace – In these verses, Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons. But, Jacob gives the blessing of the firstborn to Ephraim instead of Manasseh. Joseph tries to intervene, suspecting that Jacob just couldn’t see what he was doing, (v. 18). But, Jacob was carrying out the will of the Lord and he knew exactly what he was doing, (v. 14, 19).
In the kingdom years, Ephraim became the most powerful and populous tribe in Israel, with Manasseh being second. God gave the blessing to whom He chose.

That is the way of grace. God blesses whom He will. God uses whom He will. God chooses one over another without explanation. When we see another person being blessed more than ourselves, there is a human tendency to become jealous. We should praise God for the simple fact that He even blesses us at all. We certainly do not deserve it! Any blessing of God on our lives is pure grace. Anytime the Lord uses us at all, it is pure grace. I look around today and I thank God for His grace!

JACOB REFLECTED ON THE PROMISES

Jacob concludes his reflections on his life by remembering and restating the promises of God in his life and to his offspring. These promises belong to us as well today.

v. 21 Their Heritage – God had a plan for Israel. He led them into Egypt and one day He would lead them out and back to the land of Canaan. They had a heritage! God had made certain promises to their fathers, and He would keep those promises to His people.

We have a heritage too! Our spiritual fathers believed God. They loved Him and they lived for Him. They preached Him and they praised Him. They left us a legacy of worship, holiness and pure religion. We would do well to honor our heritage. I am not looking for a place to change roads. I am not looking for a new way. I am confident that the God Who sent revival in the days of our fathers will send it again in our day. I am confident that the God Who blessed the church in the days of our fathers will continue to bless the church in our day. I am confident that God will continue to honor His Word and keep His promises.

v. 21 Their Helper – “God will be with you.” Jacob dies by reminding Joseph that God will never forsake His people. He will walk with them and stand with them until we leave this world for Heaven.

We live with that same promise today, (Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20). Think about it, God is with you all the time, watching over all you do. He is there to protect you, sustain you, encourage you, bless you and use you. He is our helper!

v. 21 Their Hope – One day God would visit His people and He would, deliver them from Egypt and carry them home to Canaan. That was their blessed hope, and that was just what God eventually did for them. ( The plagues and the Exodus.)

We have that promise as well. Our Lord is coming back for His people, (1 Thes. 4:16-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-52). That is His promise, (John 14:1-3), and that is what He will do when the time is right.

Conc: I praise God that I can remember some great things the Lord has done in my life. I praise Him that I can look around today and see His hand at work right now. I bless His name that I have some promises for my future. Like Jacob, I can go to my death knowing that I have been blessed by my Lord. What about you?

Are you saved?
Can you see the providential work of God in your life?
Are you surrounded by His blessings today?
Are you “standing on the promises”?

If these things are true of you and your life, you are a blessed individual. And, you should take the time to thank the Lord for His blessings and His grace in your life. If not, then you need to come to Jesus today and you need to be saved. If He has spoken to you, please come to Him today.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Where He Leads I’ll Follow” By William A. Ogden (1885)

Sweet are the promises, kind is the word
Dearer far than any message man ever heard
Pure was the mind of Christ, sinless, I see
He the great example is, and pattern for me
Refrain:
Where He leads I'll follow
Follow all the way
Follow Jesus ev'ry day

Sweet is the tender love Jesus hath shown
Sweeter far than any love that mortals have known
Kind to the erring one, faithful is He
He the great example is, and pattern for me
Refrain:

List to His loving words, "Come unto me!"
Weary, heavyladen, there is sweet rest for thee
Trust in His promises, faithful and sure
Lean upon the Savior and thy soul is secure
Refrain:

SHARE TODAY’S LESSON WITH A FRIEND!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 5/25/2012 8:09PM

    Thank you for this message. he has blessed me with a wonderful loving daughter and a good church family. I admit sometimes I complain too much or bget jealous of what others have.

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LOSTLIME 5/25/2012 8:08AM

    Thank you for this. At one time, I would think "why not me?" God does bless us all in different ways. This week, he blessed me with added years of togetherness with my husband. He went through cancer surgery and is now cancer free. So I have so much
to thank the Lord for.

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This Is My Prayer, Thur 5/24/2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Almighty Father, Faithful God, we fear the anger and wrath of our God, for He can become angry enough to destroy all those who will not believe in Jesus and obey Him. Help us to be one of Your faithful and powerful intercessor on behalf of all lost souls. Teach us not to focus on ourselves and our situations so that we might see how to pray for the needs of others. Give us strong faith to believe our prayers can make a difference in their lives. Show us the people we need to pray for today. Show us how to specifically pray for them. Help us to reach out to them with Your Love and Spirit. Bless them as You have blest us. This we pray and ask in the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen!
Vic.

  


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thur 5/24/2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/24/2012

Genesis 48:1-22
REFLECTIONS OF A LIFE, 64a

The Book of Genesis is a book of life, but it is also a book of death. In some ways, the Book of Genesis is a graveyard. It tells us how death started. From the mutilated body of Abel, to the unbroken litany of death in chapter 5, to the destruction of the world in chapter 6, the Book of Genesis is a book of death. Every one of the heroes introduced in the book, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph also died in its pages. It is a book of death. Chapters 48 and 49 chronicle the death of the great patriarch Jacob. He lived for 147 years on this earth, but eventually the hour of his death came.

We do not like to talk about death. It is a subject that we do our best to avoid. Still, death is stalking each of us, and one day, we will leave this world, (Heb. 9:27). What we learn as we watch Jacob finish his life can help us as the day of our own death approaches. What we learn here can help us live life knowing that death is coming.

I want us to look at “Reflections Of A Life“{. I want you to see that He Reflected On The Past; He Reflected On Providence; He Reflected On The Present; and He Reflected On The Promises. Let’s notice these four areas that held the mind of Jacob as he died.

JABOC REFLECTED ON THE PAST

As Jacob approached his date with death, the past was on his mind. He remembered three high places that stood out on the landscape of his past.

v. 3-4 He Remembered A Spot – Jacob remembered a night when he met God, He remembered and encounter at a place called Bethel, (Gen. 28). Jacob remembered what happened that night. He remembered the covenant the Lord made with him. He remembered the promises God gave to him. Even as he was dying, Jacob remembered the place and the time when he met God.

Do you have a spot? Do you have a place in your past where you met God? Can you go there in your mind and remember that place right now? You need a spot! That spot will become more and more important to you as the moment of your death draws closer.
If you do not have a spot, come and get one today! Let this place, this date, this hour be the spot you remember as the moment you met God and received Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

v. 7 He Remembered A Spouse – Jacob remembered the greatest love and the greatest heartbreak of his life. He thought of his beloved wife Rachel. He remembered how he felt when he saw her. He remembered their love. He remembered how he had to work fourteen years just to have her as his wife. He remembered all the happy years they shared together. He also remembered how she died. He remembered the love and he remembered the loss. Jacob saw his Rachel as the highpoint of his earthly existence. She has been dead for two decades, but Jacob has never forgotten her! As he looked at Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim standing before him, he was reminded of his Rachel and of her legacy.

Look back just now and remember. Take a moment to think of all the important people God placed in your life. Think of how they shaped you into the person you are today. Remember them and take a moment to thank God for your heritage and for the people He so graciously placed in your life.

Do you have some special in your past? Do you have some in your life right now? Take the time to tell them what they mean to you. Take the time to praise the Lord for giving you those special people.

v. 16 He Remembered A Spirit – As Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons, he remembers an Angel. He remembers a divine encounter with God that forever changed his life, (Gen. 32). Jacob wrestled with the Lord one night and when the sun rose on the new day, he walked different for the rest of his life. He remembers the day that Jacob became Israel. Jacob remembers the amazing, life-changing work of God His life.

Do you have a place in your past where you surrendered it all? Do you have a place where you laid it all down and began to walk with the Lord without reservation? I know where I was saved; I also know where I surrendered some things to the Lord. I fact, I have had many places along the way where I took parts of me and gave it away to Him. I can remember a time when my walk, my talk and my ways changed forever. Do you have such a place? Have you ever had an encounter with the Holy Ghost? Is there a place where He filled you and changed you forever? If not, make this that place today.

JACOB REFLECTED ON PROVIDENCE

As Jacob was dying, he looked back over the years of his life and remembered the times when God blessed him along the way. Let’s see what he remembered. I am sure a lot of it will dovetail with our own experience.

v, 3, 11, 21 He Remembered God’s Providence – Jacob remembered the times God moved in his life to accomplish His will and to lead Jacob in the right path. I thank God for His providential work in the lives of His people, ( Psa. 37:23; Psa. 40:2). Look back over your days and remember the awesome providence of God in your life.

v. 15 He Remembered God’s Provisions – He spoke of the God “which fed me all my life long unto this day.” Jacob remembers the past, and as he does, he remembers the provisions of the Lord. He remembers the God Who always came through for him. That is the God we serve today. There have been some lean times along the way, but there has never been a time when the lord failed me. He has lived up to all His promises in the Word of God, (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-34).

If we would be honest about it, we would have to remember that God has met all of our needs. He has blessed far above and beyond anything we deserved. God has been good to His people. ( Psa. 37:23-27).

v. 2 He Remembered God’s Power – Do you see the transition in verse 2? At the beginning of the verse he is called “Jacob”. At the end of the verse, he is called “Israel”. “Jacob” means “Trickster, supplanter, heel grabber”. Israel means “Prince with God.” As he lays dying, Jacob takes time to remember the God Who changed his life. He remembers the awesome power of God working in him and through him, changing him from what he was to what the Lord wanted him to become. That has been my experience as well! I want to praise the Lord Who changed my life! He saved me and made me a new creature for His glory, (2 Cor. 5:17).

TODAY”S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Make Me New” By Dan Burr (1985)

MAKE ME NEW LORD JESUS, MAKE ME NEW FOR IT SEEMS THAT IN SO MANY WAYS I'M NOT ENOUGH LIKE YOU TAKE THIS WEARY VESSEL I HAVE BEEN AND MOLD ME ONCE AGAIN CHANGE MY HEART CHANGE MY SPIRIT MAKE ME NEW

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!
























  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 5/24/2012 10:54PM

    Thank U Vic! Great reminder
Friends,
There s no co-incidence someone entered our lives. God planned our path to meet whether in person or in distance. Sometimes God will have us go through a difficult season/time to help somebody else. It’s not all about us. Therefore looked into our lives and be thankful for each and everyone around us. As they meet our needs in some shape perform, be ready to see the needs of others. As we remember this concept, it will helped us remember how, where, when we encountered God who continue to help us meet our needs. each of us has a place where we have this moments. Visit it often as it will make us a better person.

I am thankful for each and everyone of us who is able to remind each other his words, his goodness and his mercy. We may be distance but we are in one place where we know the almighty!! emoticon

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 5/24/2012 5:53PM

    Great lesonn & I'll do some questioning tonight.

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This Is My Prayer, Wed 5/23/2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Heavnly Father, Holy God, thank You for being ever so close to us when we pray. What other people is so great as to have their gods near them the way You are to us. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayes. We thank You that in Your presence there is transformation for our soul and our lives. We draw close to You through our Savior Jesus Christ and ask for an everlasting sense of Your presence. We ask that You will hep us to pray more every day and increase our faith to believe more so we may draw even nearer to You. This we pray this morning in Jesus' blessed name. Amen!
Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARWARSFAN2 5/23/2012 10:23PM

    Amen. emoticon for those words.

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EDITOR 5/23/2012 8:42AM

    Yes! He is so close. It is just that I draw closer in the morning when I am fresh. I pray too in the afternoon and evening, but by then sometimes I feel I am giving Him leftovers and not first fruits!
Thank you for the goodie and sweet comments. God bless because that is His nature to do.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed 5/23/2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/ 23 /2012

Genesis 47:13-26
CRISIS MANAGEMENT , Lesson 63c

CRISES CAUSE US TO REEVALUATE OUR PRIOTITIES

When the crisis came to Egypt, suddenly, things like money, possessions, lands and power meant nothing. What good is money when there is no food? What good are lands, power and stuff when you are starving to death? These people wanted to survive and they knew their possessions would not see them through. They needed help they could only get from Joseph.

As people move through life, they sometimes focus on things that don’t truly matter. When that happens they might just lose the things that really do matter. Consider:

People who put their jobs ahead of their families.
People who put the recreation ahead of their marriages.
People who put their plans ahead of God’s plans for their lives.
People who live their lives to gratify their flesh and satisfy their wants, with no regard for what God wants from them.

A crisis has the power to cause us to rethink the things that are most important in life.

When a crisis comes, you are reminded just how valuable your relationship with your spouse is.
When a crisis comes, you are reminded just how important family is.
When a crisis come, you are reminded how valuable your church family is.
When a crisis comes, you are reminded of just how important your relationship with the Lord is.

Why wait for a crisis? Look at you own priorities today. Who really comes first, you or the Lord? What is your real priority in life, you or others?


CRISES CAUSE US TO REESTABLISH OUR PRINCIPLES

You will notice that all the land in Egypt came under the authority of the throne, except for the lands that belonged to the priests, (v. 22). The priests were cares for by Pharaoh and their needs were met by decree of the king. Joseph was unwilling to take over sacred things, for they were more important than the immediate crisis.

When we are thrown into a crisis moment, we will learn what is truly sacred to us. We will find out what we can’t live without. We will discover that many of the things we love and cling to so tightly are mere fluff. When hard times come, we will find out what truly matters in our lives.

What are the things you would not be willing to give up under any circumstances? What is it that you won’t sell? A crisis will reveal those things to you. You will hold on to those things that truly matter and gladly turn loose of the things that do not.

You see, the crises of life do not make us, but they do have the power to reveal what we are made of and what we value in life. In Matt. 7:24-27 , the houses looked the same and the storm did not change the houses. When the floods came, they merely revealed what the houses were standing on. If you have built your life on the shifting sands of this world, the crisis will destroy your life. If you have founded your life on the bedrock of God’s Word then the crisis will not take away the things that matter most! No matter what you may lose in the crisis, you will still have the things that matter to you.

I have seen people shaken by the winds of adversity; assaulted by the waves of affliction; and I have seen them lose much of what they had in this world. But, I have seen many of those same people come out of that crisis stronger than when they entered it. Why? They built their house on the unchanging principles of God’s Word and they survived their storm. Others, who had nothing but the changing principles of this world, lost everything when the storms came.

Why did Joseph thrive when others around him failed? He saw every moment in life as a “God moment”. He realized that God was at work in him and around him all the time. Thus, in everything he did, Joseph sought to honor his Lord. In good times, Joseph lived for the Lord. In hard times, Joseph lived for the Lord. Joseph understood that all of life, even the times of crises, were part of God’s plan!

Conc: Someone said that “the hardest part of the Christian life was living it.” I say “Amen” to that! It is a real struggle for me to bring all of my life under His authority. How about you? It is a real struggle for me to keep my Purpose, my Priorities and my Principles in life in line with His will for me. How about you? But, I find that it is worth the effort. When my life lines up with His will for me I can live in confidence and power, and that is how He wants me to live.

As you look at your life right now, can you honestly say that everything you have and are has been brought under His authority? Can you honestly say that your Purposes, Priorities and Principles are all aligned with Him?

When I look at the life of Joseph, I am reminded that he never did get free from crisis. There always seemed to be another battle in his life. But, I find that is the way things are for us as well. I also see that God enabled Joseph to live a godly life for His glory. I am convinced that He can do that same thing for you and me.
Do you have a crisis you want to bring to Him? Do you need to come and get your life lined up with His will? If He has spoken to you, please obey His voice and come; give Him control of your life.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“There Stands A Rock” By Sunday School Journal/T. C. O’kane (1871)

There stands a Rock, on shores of time
That rears to heav'n it's head sublime
That Rock is cleft, and they are blest
Who find within this cleft a rest
Refrain:
Some build their hopes on the everdrifting sand
Some on their fame or their treasure or their land
Mine's on the Rock that forever shall stand
Jesus the "Rock of Ages."

That Rock's a cross, it's arms outspread
Celestial glory bathes it's head
To it's form base my all I bring
And to the Cross of Ages cling
Refrain:

That Rock's a tow'r, whose lofty height
Illumed with heav'n's unclouded light
Opes wide it's gates beneath the dome
Where saints find rest with Christ at home
Refrain:

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!








  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UNSTOPPABLE_ 5/23/2012 11:49PM

    Amen Brother

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