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Summer Devotional and Sermon Series

Week 9/Heroes: Joseph

I have read the story of Joseph so many times since I was a little boy in Sunday School. Each time I read it, something new jumps out at me. Sometimes it is a new insight. Sometimes it is something to make me laugh. Sometimes it is both. This time it was both.

As a father now of three boys myself I appreciate this statement, “When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, ‘Why do you just keep looking at each other?’ He continued, ‘I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.’” Genesis 42:1-2

At times we are just stupid. The world is full of problems and we sit and overthink the problem and the solution is staring us in the face. We talk about what caused the problem at length. We assign blame. We talk about what we should have done. Sometimes the answer is just staring us in the face. Then we kick the answer around. The whole time the problem is not solved. In Jacob’s case, people are going to die! I admit this happens to me more than I like to admit. “Paralysis by analysis.”

Of course, my mind turns to churches. Your church is dying? What do you do? We tend to kick it around. What happened? Who is to blame? What should we have done? Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV) What do churches do? We pray and look for other people to work! We argue strategies, programs, budgets, etc. Fear gets involved. I am guilty of partaking in this. Jacob’s words ring in my words, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” followed by Jesus’ “Go! Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

As an individual, the walk of faith is not so much about knowing what to do but taking the courage to do it. God is calling to do something. But you haven’t done it. Why are you waiting? Often we get frozen in fear. “Paralysis by analysis.” Jesus says, “I am with you!” Who is going to mess with Jesus? The Bible says He goes in front of us and follows behind us. Andy Stanley once said, “God takes full responsibility for the life fully devoted to Him.”

Scripture

Genesis 42

Prayer

Lord, you speak so loudly in the life of Joseph that you are in charge. What ever fear I am caught in, remind me that you are with me and much bigger than my fears. The devil is all smoke screens. Help me take the next step of faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.