FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/23/2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/23/2012
JOSEPH: A PORTRAIT OF THE GLORIFIED CHRIST, Lesson 53c
v. 54-57 HE PICTURES CHRIST IN HIS POWER
v. 56 His Saving Power
Joseph had the keys to the granaries. He literally had the power of life and death over all the people. Joseph used his power wisely! He became the Saviour of the people. Jesus – He possesses all saving power! What can save the soul of man? Faith and obedience in Jesus Christ! (Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 10:13).
Bruce Revel tells about taking a cruise on a large ocean liner. Soon after boarding the craft, he found out that everyone would be required to participate in a lifeboat drill. One requirement was that everyone had to wear a life jacket. When the alarm sounded, all passengers and crew gathered at the appointed location. The scene was amazing. Every man, woman, and child on that ship was wearing the same kind and color of life jacket. Finely dressed ladies with expensive jewelry were wearing exactly the same kind of life jacket as the cleaning women. Men in elegant tuxedos wore the same life jacket as the men who worked in the kitchen. This is a beautiful illustration of the reality of the church. Every time the people of God gather, it is like that lifeboat drill. No matter what our status or economic level, everyone must have the same life preserver--Jesus Christ.
v. 49, 54 The Sufficiency Of His Power
Joseph had sufficient grain for all those who came to Him, both Egyptians and strangers! Jesus – His blood is sufficient for whosoever will! It doesn’t matter who comes, or what they may have done in their life, they can come to Jesus and receive eternal salvation ( John 6:37). The price is right too ( Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17).
Many years ago in Liverpool, England, a home for sailors caught fire and many men were trapped on the upper floors of the rapidly burning building. A ladder was brought. Some of the men climbed to safety, but the ladder was too short to reach the top floor. It looked as if the poor souls on the top story were doomed to a wretched death.
Suddenly a British sailor rushed from the crowd and hurriedly climbed the ladder. Precariously he balanced himself on the uppermost rung and reached up to take hold of the windowsill. With his hands locked on the window ledge and his feet on the ladder, he called for the trapped men to clamber down over his body to the ladder. One after another the frightened men literally scrambled over the brave sailor's back until all had escaped. The rescuer came down the ladder himself. His fingers were burned and his hair was smoldering, but no one died in that fire thanks to the sailor's sacrifice.
Once we were as hopeless and helpless as the men trapped in the burning building with no way out. We were utterly doomed by our sins, but Christ reached out to save us. He offered Himself as the bridge between death and life. By His sacrifice we have been saved. Jesus alone can bridge the gap between God and man, (1 Tim. 2:5). Our best efforts fall far short of reaching the safety of His salvation, (Isa. 64:6).
v. 44, 55 The Singularity Of His Power
Joseph alone was the saviour of the people. Jesus - There is no other force known to God, or man, which can save the human soul! It is by faith and obedience in Jesus ( John 11:25-26 ). In these 2 verses, Jesus summed it all up very clearly! Jesus alone has the power to transform a sinner to a saint! It doesn’t matter what they promise or what they claim; only Jesus is qualified to save the human soul. The price He paid to be able to do just that is what a person would have to do in order to become a Saviour!
An anonymous author made this striking comparison: "Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ's 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity.
Jesus painted no pictures; yet some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world's greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratorios they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble Carpenter of Nazareth.
His unique contribution to the race of men is the salvation of the soul! Philosophy could not accomplish that. Nor art. Nor literature. Nor music. Only Jesus Christ can break the enslaving chains of sin and Satan. He alone can speak peace to the human heart, strengthen the weak, and give life to those who are spiritually dead."
A minister saw a line of people filing in and out of a toolshed and went over to investigate. Inside lay the body of a man who that morning had been found at the foot of a steep hill nearby. The people were trying to identify him. As the minister looked at that lifeless form, he saw that one hand was grasping a long stalk of straw. Apparently the man had grabbed it, desperately hoping it would keep him from falling over the edge.
Many people believe that the straws of religious ceremony and good works will save them from eternal condemnation. Our own efforts are flimsy straws. We all need to acknowledge our lost condition and trust Him who died for our sins. If you say, "I'm not that bad." Listen! You are still clutching that last straw of self-righteousness. Let go and rest your eternal destiny on Christ Jesus.
v. 57 The Scope Of His Power
Joseph’s power reached into all the world. Jesus – His grace can reach anyone ( Rom. 5:20). No one in the world is beyond the saving touch of Jesus Christ. All that will keep anyone outside the saving power of Jesus is for them to refuse to come to Him!
A young man who had lived a wild and reckless life was stricken with a fatal disease. As he lay dying, he was visited by an earnest Christian who told him of his need for the Savior. Realizing he could not meet God with his load of sin, he opened his heart to the Lord and obeyed the gospel. As the end approached, the promise of John 3:16 gave him his greatest comfort and peace. When he could no longer read the text for himself, he asked his mother to open the Bible to that verse. "Put my finger on the word 'whosoever,'" he said. "That invitation is broad enough to include even me!"
Some in, and out, of Egypt probably refused to come to Joseph for help. They probably starved too! Many will also refuse to come to Jesus, and they will go to Hell. But whoever looks will live though bitten by sin (The Brazen Serpent – Num. 21:4-10; Isa. 45:22).
Conc: We serve a glorified Lord today! Greater in power and glory that Joseph or any other earthly ruler has ever hoped to have. We serve a Lord who is busy on behalf of His people and is busy reaching out into a lost world seeking to save the lost.
A Certain man was traveling on an ocean liner. He was leaning over the ship's rail tossing something in the air and catching it. "What is it you are tossing in the air?" asked an onlooker. "A diamond of great value. It is all I have in the world," said the man. "What an awful risk to keep tossing it up so carelessly!" "No risk at all. I've been doing it for the last half hour, and I can catch it every time." "But there might come a last time," remarked the onlooker. The man laughed and tossed it up again-,but this time he missed. For a moment, the man stood aghast. Then he cried out, "Lost! Lost! Lost!" Baker commented, "You say the story is not true--it is true! The ocean is eternity. You are on the vessel of life. That diamond is your soul. And you have been trifling with it."
If you are lost today, you do not have to stay that way! If you will come to Jesus today, He will save you eternally. What will you do with Jesus this morning? He will save you, bless you, keep you and take you home to Heaven some day if you will receive Him as your personal Saviour. If not? Well, He will still be the King of Kings and your judge as well.
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“What Will You Do With Jesus” By Allbert Simpson (1897)
Jesus is standing in Pilate’s hall, Friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all;
Hearken! what meaneth the sudden call? What will you do with Jesus?
What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be; Someday your
heart will be asking, “What will He do with me?”
Jesus is standing on trial still, You can be false to Him if you will, You
can be faithful through good or ill: What will you do with Jesus?
Will you evade Him as Pilate tried? Or will you choose Him, whate’er
betide? Vainly you struggle from Him to hide: What will you do with
Will you, like Peter, your Lord deny? Or will you scorn from His foes to
fly, Daring for Jesus to live or die? What will you do with Jesus?
“Jesus, I give Thee my heart today! Jesus, I’ll follow Thee all the way,
Gladly obeying Thee!” will you say: “This I will do with Jesus!”
INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!