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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri 6/1/2012

Friday, June 01, 2012

JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri 6/1/2012

Genesis 50:15-26
GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD, Lesson 67a

Over a few months we have spent a lot of time with Joseph and his family. Today, we are bringing our study of this great man of God to a close. Joseph’s life has been a series of trials and tragedies. His has been a road marked by many valleys and few mountains. We have seen the difficult life he had as a child. We have witnessed the hatred and cruelty of his brothers. We have seen him working as a slave. We have seen him falsely accused and imprisoned. We have seen him abandoned and forgotten in that prison.

We have also seen him taken out of that prison and elevated to a position of prestige, power and prominence in Egypt. We watched as Joseph was reunited with his brothers. We saw God use him to bring his brothers to a place of repentance. We saw him reunited with his father. We have seen all the highs and the lows of Joseph’s life. And through every valley and across every mountain, one truth held true: “God Meant it For Good“.

Even as Joseph nears the end of his life in these verses, he continues to display a remarkable faith in his God. It is that faith and confidence that I want to examine for a while today. As I have studied this series of lessons, one thing has been confirmed and reaffirmed in my heart and mind, and that is the truth that God is behind every event that occurs in our lives. There are no accidents. There is no such thing as coincidence. There is only providence and the outworking of the perfect will of God. This is the clear teaching of Scripture, (Isa. 46:9-11; Eph. 1:11; Psa. 135:6).

As Joseph approaches the end of his earthly life, I want to you see some steps Joseph took that demonstrate his absolute confidence in the providence of God. I want to teach on the subject, “ God Meant It For Good“. I would like for us to watch as Joseph Releases His Past; Remembers God’s Providence and Rests On God’s Promises. These steps leave us no doubt that Joseph understood that God was in absolute control of every event in his life. Let’s consider this text and learn the truth that “God Meant It For Good“.

v. 15-19 RELEASES HIS PAST

After the death of Jacob, the brothers of Joseph were worried. They remember all the terrible things they did to Joseph years ago. They remember how they hated him. They remember how they sold him as a slave. They remembered how they covered up his disappearance with the lie that he was dead. They remember these things and many others and they are afraid. They are sure that now that their father is dead, Joseph will seek revenge against them.

So, they come up with a plan. They sent someone to Joseph with a message. They want him to believe that Jacob left word for him to forgive his brothers before he died. When Joseph hears their words, he weeps.

It was never in Joseph’s heart to hold their past over their heads. He had forgiven them for their transgression a long time ago. As Joseph nears the end of his life, he can look back with a clear conscience. We have no record that he harmed no one, and we have no record that he holds a grudge against any one. In fact, he reminds his brothers that he is not in the place of God. In other words, they need not fear Joseph with what they have done wrong; they will eventually face a higher court and an infallible judge! That is a good way to die!

As we pass through life, there will be times when we are hurt by the words and actions of others. It is inevitable, (Luke 17:1). We will be hurt and sometimes, we will be hurt deeply. We cannot help what others do to us, but we can help what we do with the hurts of others. When the hurtful words and harsh deeds of others break our hearts, we really only have two courses of action. We can be angry, hold a grudge and seek revenge. Or, we can forgive them and leave the matter in the hands of God. Here is the scriptural mandate given to us by the Lord, (Matt. 18:21-35; Luke 17:1-5; Eph. 4:32; Rom. 12:17-21).

One day, we will all leave this world. Are you prepared to leave it with a clean conscience toward others? Here is what you need to do:

If you offending party you need to go to them and ask for forgiveness. Until you do, your relationship with God will never be what it could be. ( Matt. 5:23-24)

If you are the offended party, you need to take the matter before the Lord and strive to reach a place of forgiveness. You will never be happy in the Lord; your joy will never be full; and you will never be of use to Him until you have forgiven those who have wronged you. It may be that you will have to confront the person about their sin, (Luke 17:3). Joseph did not sugar coat what his brothers had done to him. It may be that, with the help of God, you can simply forgive them. Either way, you need to deal with the issue before it drains the spiritual life out of you, (Heb. 12:15).

Joseph was able to leave with world with a clean conscience toward others. Will you?

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSNG!
“Just A Little Talk With Jesus” By C. Derricks (1937)

Verse 1:
I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in
And then a little light from heaven filled my soul
It bathed my heart in love and wrote my name above
And just a little talk with Jesus made me whole

Chorus:
Now let us have a little talk with Jesus
Let us tell Him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry
He will answer by and by
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
And you know a little fire is burning
You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right

Verse 2:
Sometimes my path seems dreary without a ray of cheer
And then the cloud about me hides the light of day
The mists in me rise and hide the stormy skies
But just a little talk with Jesus clears the way

Chorus

Verse 3:
I may have doubts and fears, my eyes be filled with tears
But Jesus is a friend who watches day and night
I go to Him in prayer, He knows my every care
And just a little talk with Jesus makes it right

Chorus

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EAGLES_WINGS 6/2/2012 7:11AM

    emoticonVery real truths. I have an amends which I need to make. I think I am going to do that today! emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 6/1/2012 11:29AM

    That was a great lesson. Joseph is a powerful example of forgiveness. Thanks again.

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LOSTLIME 6/1/2012 8:13AM

    Very true! Very nice hymn.

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This Is My Prayer, Thur 5/31/2012

Thursday, May 31, 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!
Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERGSGIRL2 5/31/2012 7:20PM

    Take our burdens to the Lord, and leave them there! Your prayer is a great reminder.

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LMMIMI 5/31/2012 6:12PM

    Let go and let God!

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BLEGNER1 5/31/2012 5:35PM

    Give it to God and leave it there

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AVANELL 5/31/2012 2:09PM

    God holds the key to our success! If we will do our part in seeking Him for the keys we can be sure He will do His part in giving us the answers that we need. I believe I receive when I pray! Thank You, Lord Jesus!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thur 5/31/2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thur 5/31/2012

Genesis 49:1-12
THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF JACOB, Lesson 66b

V. 8-12 WE SEE A MAN CROWNED

The Reward - Surely Judah expected to hear from Jacob about his part in selling Joseph into slavery. Surely, Jacob would mention the fact that Judah had been a terrible father. Surely Jacob would bring up all that business about Tamar. Judah had done much evil in his life, and now it was all about to come out for all to hear. However, when the old man spoke, he spoke of blessings and praise. He spoke about the Lord, the Lion and the Law. He heaped praises upon Judah and never one time did he mention the evil Judah had done.

The Reason - Why this seeming unfairness? Why should old Judah get off so lightly when these others had been dealt with so harshly? The answer is in verse 11. The Bible tells us that Judah had "washed his clothes in the blood of grapes." Clothes are a picture of righteousness and the blood of grapes refers to cleansing in the blood. You see, a few years before, Judah had bowed at the feet of Joseph and had confessed all, (Gen. 44:18-34). That is why he received such a blessing at the Judgment Seat of Jacob.

Judah is a picture of that believer, who while not perfect, is repentant. The believer will sin! But, if those sins are taken to the Lord and dealt with through confession, (1 John 1:9), they will never be mentioned at the Judgment Seat of Christ. There are believers who have committed horrible, terrible sins, but they will never hear their sins mentioned because, like Judah, they got them under the blood! The Judgment Seat of Christ will become a blessed place for that kind of believer!

V. 20 WE SEE A MAN CONSOLED

His Position - Asher was the youngest son of Leah's maid Zilpah. He was the unwanted son of the unwanted wife. He was a nobody. Probably treated like a second-class citizen by the rest of the family. His was a life lived in the background.

Asher represents most of the church today. He was a nobody, and the church is filled with nobodies. That is, it is filled with people who never become well known and never accomplish great things for the kingdom of God. But, they are in the family! Even if the rest of the world does not recognize them, the Father knows who they are! You see, God loves nobodies! He must, His family is filled with them! However, to be a nobody in the family of God is not such a bad thing. After all, all of God's nobodies are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. All of them have their names in the Lamb's book of life. All of them have home in heaven. All of them are indwelt with the Spirit of God. All of them are eternally saved. All of them are heirs and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus. God's nobodies might not be prominent on the earth, but they are well know in heaven.

His Promise - Asher is told that he will "yield royal dainties." That is, he will be a part of the kingdom and will serve the king in that day. Jacob is looking beyond this present time, down through the ages to a day when the King of kings will rule on the throne of His father David. In that day, all the Asher's in the family of God will rule with Him in power and glory. Don't worry so much about not being well known in the Lord's work. The day will come all the Asher's in the family will rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ!

V. 22-26 WE SEE A MAN CONFIDENT

His Confidence - Finally the gaze of the old man fell on the face of Joseph. Joseph has been taking all this in with a sense of pleasure. He stands there under the gaze of his father with a smile and with coincidence in his heart. Why? The father has already told him how things will turn out, (Gen. 48). He already knows that he will receive the double portion of the firstborn. He already knows that his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim have been adopted by Jacob and given and inheritance among the brothers of Joseph. He already knows that he has lived the kind of life that will give him confidence in the presence of his father.

His Commendation - Why this confidence? Jacob tells him that his life has been fruitful, (v. 22) and that he can depend on the blessings of the Lord, (v. 25). He is commended because he has lived the right kind of life!

Joseph is a picture of that believer who lives his life under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. He isn't perfect, but he honors God in his life day by day. He is blessed at the Judgment Seat because he has earned a blessing. So it will be for you and me if we have earned it. Imagine hearing our Lord say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." We can hear that commendation if we earn it by a life lived for the Glory of God!

Conc: If you had to honestly put yourself into the shoes of any of these 12 brothers, which one would it be? In reality, we are going to stand before the Lord one of these days and these events will played out to a certain degree for each of us. How will it go for you? You have the final say in that matter! If there is a need in your life today; if there is something that might cause you to fear facing the Lord, why not get that thing right now? I want to be able, like Joseph, to stand in the judgment with confidence, How about you?

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” By James M. Black (1893)

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Refrain:
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Refrain:

Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Refrain:

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH A FRIEND!


  


This Is my Prayer, Wed 5/30/2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Loving Father, Merciful God, do with us whatever You think best and rescue us from our misery and the ways of the world. We do not want anything to separate us from You. Nothing is worth that! We confess to You everything we have done wrong and those things which are not pleasing to You. Whatever we have harbored what You consider an idol in our life, reveal it to us and we will confess it, repent of it and get rid of it. We have but one desire, to serve only You. Hear our prayer O Lord, and grant us Your blessings. This we ask and pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen!
Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLEGNER1 5/31/2012 5:36PM

   
amen and
Amen

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BHOLMAN1005 5/31/2012 9:46AM

    Thank you, what a beautiful prayer to start the day

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LINDAMARIEZ1 5/30/2012 4:01PM

    Ya gotta love a man that spreads the word of Jesus Christ....and can cook! emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 5/30/2012 1:13PM

    Oh thank God that the blood of Jesus will NEVER lose its power!! Amen.

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MAESTRAPLANK1 5/30/2012 9:36AM

    Amen, Victorio! Que Dios nos bendiga! May God bless us! emoticon

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EJHEINRICH1 5/30/2012 9:18AM

    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Thank you!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed 5/30/2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/30/2012

Genesis 49:1-12
THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF JACOB, Lesson 66a

The old pilgrim Jacob is about to leave this world. He is now 147 years old. His beloved son Joseph is 56 and his youngest, Benjamin, is 39. His death is at hand and he calls his 12 sons to his deathbed. Before he leaves this world, he knows there are some things that must be dealt with in the lives of his children. As we read through this chapter, it becomes clear that he has praise for some and chastisement for others. For a few of these boys, it would be the hardest hour they would ever face. For a few others, it would be their crowning moment. It was time for the 12 sons of Jacob to face the Judgment Seat of Jacob.

As we look at these verses, we may first wonder if there is anything at all here for the church. The answer is that there is more than you may imagine. For in this sad scene of a dying patriarch, we see a small picture of the coming Judgment Seat of Christ, which every born again believer will face when we leave this world. The New Testament is clear in its teaching that there will be a time when every child of God will face the deeds done in these fleshly bodies, (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12; 1 Cor. 3:10-15).

It is fascinating to consider what Jacob told his sons. Notice verse 2. He tells them that he is going to speak of what will befall them in the last days. If you follow these boys and the history of their offspring, you will see that what Jacob prophesied came true in every instance during the kingdom years of the nation of Israel. And, we will see that the same is going to prove true for the church. What is said to us at the Judgment Seat of Christ will determine our standing in the kingdom of God.

Now, I don't have time to consider the words of Jacob to all 12 of his sons. However, I want to concentrate on just a few of these boys and their father's dying words to them. These few that we will consider today seem to give a good description of the kind of people who will face the Lord Jesus Christ in judgment soon. Let's look into these verses and think for a moment about “The Judgment Seat Of Jacob“.

V. 2-3 WE SEE A MAN CRUSHED

Reuben's Station - Firstborn. His position in the family is stated for all to hear.
Reuben surely must have thought that all his wickedness was forgotten and that he would receive all the blessings and privileges that came to the firstborn. I can imagine his sigh of relief as Jacob addressed him as one who had been the pride and joy of his life.

Reuben's Sin - Jacob's next words must have come like a slap in the face! "Weak as water!" Like water which always seeks its own level, no matter how low that is, Reuben always seemed to seek the lowest level of life. Then came the bombshell! A sin that was committed over 40 years ago, a sin that was thought forgotten was brought into the light for all to see. Jacob reminded Reuben that Reuben had seduced one of Jacob's wives, (Gen. 35:22-23).

Imagine Jacob, still reeling from the death of his beloved Rachel, hearing the news that his own son had defiled his father's bed with Bilhah. Imagine the hurt. Imagine the broken hearted father waiting for a confession that never came! Now, it is all thrown out into the open! Now, Jacob says for all to hear, "He went up to my couch!"

What a lesson for the child of God! Many times we sin against the Lord and we try to hide that sin. We cover it up and pretend that it never happened. All the while our Father in heaven is waiting, brokenhearted, for His child to confess in bitter tears. Oh, but there is coming a day when all the secrets of men's hearts will be revealed. All those secret things will be shouted for all to see. Now, there can be forgiveness, then, only weeping and sorrow over sin committed and hidden away! What we do not bring out at the mercy seat, will be brought out at the judgment seat!

Reuben's Sentence - "Thou shalt not excel!" And, he didn't! His tribe never rose to prominence in the nation of Israel. In fact, they were often found on the wrong side of the fence. They were often found in direct opposition to the will of the Lord.

By the way, those with unconfessed sin in their lives will never excel in the things of God! There will always be a hindrance there. Imagine how Reuben must have tried to keep his sin a secret all those years, and all the while Jacob already knew about it. Friends, God knows us better than we want to admit! He knows everything we have ever done. He knows everything we have ever tried to hide. He knows it all!

It is interesting that Reuben, the oldest, never found his place in the family questioned. This judgment seat was not about determining position in the family. He was in the family and had been since birth. Nothing he had ever done had changed that fact. It wasn't about position in the family, it was about performance in the family. Because how one performed in the family determined one's position in the kingdom! So it is with the child of God! When we arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ, our position in the family will not be in question! What will be judged that day will be our performance in the family! Our performance in the family will determine our position in the kingdom. Don't fool yourselves! Heaven will hold more rewards for some than it does for others! God is just and God is fair! He will reward a faithful son more than a foolish son!

V. 5-7 WE SEE MEN CONDEMNED, (Simeon and Levi)

Their Shame - Old Jacob brings to light another sin that happened long ago. He recalls the time that they slew an entire village to protect the honor of their little sister, Dinah, (Gen. 34). Their sin was not done in secret, it was a high-handed sin that was committed in full view of everyone, but there was never any repentance of any kind.

It is almost astounding what some Christians can do! It is a disgrace how many of them live their lives and they do so without remorse, and without the slightest hint of repentance. However, the day will come when they will face the Lord Jesus Christ. On that day, their sins will be dealt with properly.

Their Sentence - When this sin was committed, Jacob, rebuked his sons, (Gen. 34:30). Now, after waiting in vain for them to repent of their wickedness he deals with their sins harshly. He divides them and tells them they will amount to nothing in the kingdom! This is exactly what happened! There was some measure of repentance on the part of the Levites and they became to Temple works and the priestly tribe, but just as Jacob said, they were scattered, (v. 7). They possessed no land of their own, and they were scattered all over Israel. Simeon was eventually swallowed up by the tribe of Judah and disappeared. Their sin cost them plenty!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“There Is A Great Day Coming” By Will L. Thompson

There’s a great day coming, a great day coming;
There’s a great day coming by and by,
When the saints and the sinners shall be parted right and left,
Are you ready for that day to come?
Refrain
Are you ready? Are you ready?
Are you ready for the judgment day?
Are you ready? Are you ready?
For the judgment day?

There’s a bright day coming, a bright day coming;
There’s a bright day coming by and by.
But its brightness shall only come to them that love the Lord.
Are you ready for that day to come?
Refrain

There’s a sad day coming, a sad day coming;
There’s a sad day coming by and by,
When the sinner shall hear his doom: “Depart, I know you not!”
Are you ready for that day to come?
Refrain

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!

  


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