FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/12/2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/12/21012
LESSONS FROM THE SCHOOL OF GRACE, Lesson 59b
v. 5-8; 14-15 THE LESSON OF RECONCILIATION
Joseph could have judged them for what they did to him. Instead, he forgave them and promised to bless them. As he listened to their confession of their past sins, Joseph realized that they had finally come to the place where they were genuinely sorry for what they had done to their brother all those years ago. He sees the changes and he refuses to make them suffer for a sin confessed. He knows that what they did was bad, but it was not so bad that it could not be forgiven by God or by him. Again, Joseph is a picture of the Lord and His grace.
This is just what happened when you and I came to Jesus by faith. The very instant we received Jesus and His salvation, our sins were immediately forgiven. He washed away every sin, and every stain of every sin. When He saved us, He cleansed every sin away for all time and for all eternity.
If you are saved, your past has been blotted out! ( Psalm. 103:12; Jer. 31:34; Col. 2:13-14; 1 John 1:7). Praise the name of God all the sins of our past are forgiven forever!
God has forgiven us, now we have a responsibility to forgive others to the same extent. Joseph is a good example for us today. He forgave a great wrong, and we are to do the same thing. Watch what Joseph did.
His brothers had driven him away; he calls them to come near, (v. 4).
His brothers had left him without comfort or home. He encourages his brothers and comforts them, (v. 5).
His brothers had been willing to allow him to die of starvation and thirst in a pit. He gave them provisions for their trip home to Canaan, (v. 21).
His brothers sent him away on the back of a mangy camel. He sends them home on fine Egyptian carts, (v. 21).
His brothers had ripped the coat of many colors off his back. He gives them the expensive garments of Egypt, (v. 22).
His brothers sold him for silver. Joseph gives them silver for their trip, (v. 22).
That is grace and that is the essence of forgiveness.
Have you ever been hurt by someone else? Have you ever been offended? Have there been times when people have done you wrong? What do you do when that happens in your life? We have the example of Joseph. He forgave his brothers. We also have example of the Lord Jesus Christ. When He was hanging on the cross, about to die for sin, as the religious leaders and the crowds passed by mocking Him, He prayed for their forgiveness, (Luke 23:34).
When we are wronged, and it will happen, we are to forgive to the same extent that we have been forgiven, (Matt. 18:23-35; Eph. 4:23). In fact, we are to go the extra mile in our forgiveness of others, (Matt. 18:21-22; Luke 17:1-5). That is not an easy requirement, but it is the will of God for our lives, and it is the only attitude that pleases God. Instead of seeking revenge or holding a grudge, we need to follow Joseph’s example. We need to return “good for evil”. That is what the Bible tells us to do, (Rom. 12:17-21; Matt. 5:44-48).
How could Joseph forgive his brothers like he did? Joseph could forgive because he could see the hand of God in everything that happened to him, (v. 5, 7, 9). Joseph had been hurt deeply by his brothers, but he knew that God was behind every disruption in his life. His brothers were guilty of mistreating him, but Joseph knew that even their sins were part of God’s plan for Joseph’s life.
If you and I are going to get past the hurts we experience, we must adopt the same attitude. If something takes place in your life or mine, it does so only because God gave it permission to occur. He is behind every single event that takes place, even the hurts we experience, (Rom. 8:28 ). If he has allowed it, then He will use it for my good and His glory in His time. My duty is to accept the things that come my way and trust Him to work out His will through it. If I can see His hand in the hurts I experience, it will make them easier to bear. If nothing else, we should at least praise God that it was us who got hurt and not us who hurt someone else.
v. 9-13 THE LESSON OF RESPONSIBILITY
After their long overdue reunion, Joseph issues a command to his brothers. Joseph could have sent them away with nothing, because nothing is exactly what they deserved. Instead, he sent them away with good news for Jacob and with the promise of great blessings upon their return. They were to go and tell Jacob about Joseph’s “glory” and about all the things they had “seen” in Egypt. In other words, they were to share the testimony of their experiences in Egypt. They were also to convince Jacob to return with them to live a new life in Egypt.
Jesus issues a similar command to all His children. Joseph told his brothers to go tell someone. We have been told to go tell everyone! What are we to tell them? We are to tell them about Jesus and His glory. We are to tell them what we have experienced. We are to tell them that there is hope in the person of the Son of God. We are commanded to share the Gospel of grace with everyone we meet as we pass through this life, (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15).
What a message we have! It is a message of a changed life. It is a message of a blessed eternity. It is a message of love, hope, and blessing. It is a message that everyone needs to hear, and it is a message that every redeemed soul can tell.
The message is simple, (John 3:16). The message is powerful, (Rom. 1:16). The message clear, (Acts 16:31). The message is life changing, (2 Cor. 5:17). The message must be told, (1 Cor. 9:16).
Conc: I thank God for the lessons learned in the school grace! I praise God for Revelation, Reconciliation and Responsibility. Has the Lord spoken to you today? Obey His voice!
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“ Trust and Obey” By J. H. Sammis (1877)
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
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