If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)
If you speak to the average person in the street, they would consider you very strange if you said that you were loved by God and a part of His family. They might get hot under the collar if you said that they were not favoured or included in God’s family unless they have received Jesus. This choice is ours to make, however, the deeper truth is that if you are a Christian, it’s because God has specifically chosen you. Paul writes,
'For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.’ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
He predestined you for salvation by grace. On top of this, each Christian also has ‘good works prepared in advance’, Paul continues,
‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ (Ephesians 2:10)
Joseph was favoured and set apart for good works. likewise, when Paul was covered from his Christian-hating background, God said to Ananias,
‘But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”’ (Acts 9:15-16)
Such teaching can be despised and can cause people to despise those who hold such views. The bible is full of God choosing people over others in accordance with the mystery of His own will and mercy.
In this Coronavirus crisis, there is lots of talk about getting PPE (personal, protection equipment). Our identity, represented by Joseph’s robe, protects us from the attacks of evil. Our ability to keep our head above water in life depends on our identity as being loved by God no matter what. The grace of God means that the Father chose to favour us before we did anything good, in fact, it was ‘whilst we were still sinners that Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8)! You are favoured and have good works to do, because of God’s mercy and not on the basis of your performance. Like Joseph, let’s ‘put on the ornate robe’ of God’s gracious love for us.
If we are going to keep dreaming - keep hearing God and persevering in what He says - we must know His favour.
Key skill to receiving ‘dreams’ from God #2: Keep a journal
When God speaks to you through your bible reading, a dream, a prophetic word, an inner conviction… it’s really helpful to write it down for future reference and ongoing prayer. It so important to revisit and pray about what God has said in the past. This week, write down, each day, what you believe God is saying to you.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - DESPISED BUT NOT REJECTED (JOSEPH PART 1)
What has been the clearest moment of God speaking to you?
Introduction - please read in your group
Please read Read Genesis 37:1-11.
This week we begin a series in the life of Joseph. He receives dreams from God that, after a long and winding road, will lead to the salvation of many from from famine.
This week’s message was entitled, ‘Despised but not rejected’. Joseph became hated by his brothers, but he remained loved and favoured by God.
If we are going to expect to receive dreams from God, and persevere in obedience, we must know that we are unconditionally loved, no matter how despised we may be.
This week, in the daily devotionals, we are covering how to receive dreams from God, please be going through these this week.
If you or someone you know was feeling rejected by God, what texts of scripture would you use to encourage them?
Discuss/share together in small groups from Sunday’s message:
What did you hear from the Holy Spirit?
What will you do because of it?
How can we pray for you?
Please share from this week’s Church News