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!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/ 23 /2012
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
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
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
INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!
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!
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