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