Sunday, August 28, 2011

Msg: Better Days Ahead - Week 5

   Last week was the turning point in the story of Joseph, going from rags to riches. But that's far from the end of the story. This week it's time for a forgotten dream to come true, and the pain that came with sharing that dream. Joseph once again meets his brothers, but this time plays a game with them to see if they have really changed.
   While there are many parallels we can see from Joseph to Jesus, one thing is not the same: Jesus does not play games with us. When we pursue a love relationship with Him, he is accepting and receives us unconditionally. While it's true that God still allows hardship in our life, it is never to play a game with us. The other major theme in today's story is guilt. Is there something you are holding onto? We see how the actions of Joseph's brothers more than twenty years prior are still haunting them, believing God is punishing them. God desires to show us His love, and for us to repent from our past sins and seek true forgiveness from Him. Consider where your life is at today and look forward to better days ahead.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Msg: Better Days Ahead - Week 4

   I grew in a small town with one stoplight. The joke for visitors was, "Don't blink, you might miss it." Sometimes our lives can change in a blink - good or bad. Are you ready for a change? As we've been studying the life of Joseph, we've seen his life go through ups and (quick) downs: from favored son to slave; from ruler of a household, to prisoner; from commander of the prison and a chance for freedom, to forgotten. In today's story, life turns completely around for Joseph. The consistent quality we see in Joseph whether the situation was good or bad, was his desire to live for and honor God.
   There's a lesson in all of this for us today. Don't let your situation determine the quality of your relationship with God. We can never see the full picture when we are standing in the middle of it. Continue to trust in God that He can see all of what we are going through and where He is taking us. And remember to look forward to better days ahead.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Msg: Better Days Ahead - Week 3

If there's one thing we learn in the life of Joseph from the book of Genesis, it's that life can sometimes get a lot worse before it gets better. Been there? Joseph goes from favored son, to slave, to prisoner. Through it all, he makes the best of it, keeps his intentions to live a life that honors God and is blessed by God in all he does. Yet, things get worse.
In today's story, we see the first potential bright spot to bring this spiral to an end. As Joseph is in prison, he is given charge of two very special prisoners, and God uses Joseph to interpret the dreams these men have. But in the end, Joseph is forgotten. Let me ask you, is there anyone in your life you've forgotten about? It's easy to do when we get busy or things are going really bad or really well. But in Joseph's life, it was all part of the plan God had to use this man one day. Stay tuned, and remember to look forward to better days ahead.

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Msg: Better Days Ahead - Week 2

     Last week we started a new series on the life of Joseph from the Old Testament. In his life, things start off great and begin to go much, much worse. And as we said, as the story unfolds, you may find yourself in one of the characters. Hopefully not as one particular character in today's part of the story. :)
     This week, we see two things as we look at Joseph's life. First, we see what the best way to deal with temptation is - don't deal with it at all, flee! The way to look at temptation is to consider not how it will affect you or someone else, but having the right frame of reference and considering how God would see it. If we look at temptations through any other lens, we are bound to look for ways to justify going through with it. The other point we looked at this week is that things can go from bad to worse in moment. We need to not get caught up in the moment and get stuck looking at only today to determine how things are going. Joesph is  a story or perspective, looking beyond today to the promises God has given. Remember, the Good News is that even though you may not be able to see Him yet, God is there in the center of it all and wants to lead you to better days ahead.

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