PART 9 – JOSEPH WAS A SEED SOWN BY GOD (4/5/20)
Updated: May 5
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)
Oftentimes, we focus on what I or we must do for Jesus. We worry that we are not doing enough and, of course, we are not doing enough! We can become judgmental of ourselves and of others. We can become driven or lose motivation because we are not making the progress that we would like.
The story of Joseph teaches us an important lesson - God is responsible for fulfilling His plans. Joseph’s family are not heroic. They fail to respond well to Joseph’s God-given dreams. The brothers become hateful and treacherous. But God’s plans for this family and for Joseph will be fulfilled!
Joseph was a seed sown by God
‘But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him…So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing …and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it…his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.’… Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”…He recognised it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”’ (Genesis 37:18, 23, 28, 31, 33)
On Sunday our message was entitled, ‘The power is in the seed’. Joseph was like a seed. He was sown in a kind of death as he was put into the cistern and sold into slavery in Egypt. Joseph will achieve salvation for his family who deserve nothing. He will grow to become a ruler in Egypt. Through him, his family and many in Egypt will be saved from famine. The power was in the seed - in Joseph; he will do it all for them!
Are you more focussed on your failures, your weakness rather than on the power of Jesus who is achieving God’s plans? Alternatively, are you prideful of what you are achieving? Are you scornful of what others are not doing? Or do you see that everything that you are doing, and every gift that you have, is the work of Jesus in you?
Paul says something very interesting in 1 Corinthians 15,
‘But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me’ (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Too often we read a text like this and immediately jump to thinking about what I, we, they… should do more of - we need to ‘work harder’! However, do you notice the three uses of the word ‘grace’? Paul’s focus is on what Jesus is doing in and through him - his work is from, through and to the praise of Jesus!
In this lockdown period, for many reasons, it’s easy to become driven in our souls. God is teaching you and I to trust in Him no matter what! He is working for His glory. He is working out His plans.
His brothers deserve nothing, but they will get everything! This week we will think more about what Jesus is achieving for us. But for today, give thanks. The power is in the seed. God’s purposes for us and in the earth will be fulfilled because Jesus is powerful and faithful.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – THE POWER IS IN THE SEED
Do you have any funny or interesting experiences of trying to grow something?
Introduction - please read in your group
Please read Read Genesis 37:18-33
On Sunday our message was entitled, ‘The power is in the seed’. Joseph was like a seed. He was sown in a kind of death as he was put into the cistern and sold into slavery in Egypt. Joseph will achieve salvation for his family who deserve nothing.
This account is a prefiguring of the gospel. Jesus, like Joseph, will die for those who deserve nothing.
Jesus, like Joseph, will achieve everything for us.
God wants to teach us that our salvation, transformation, all our good works are a result of the power of 'the seed' - Jesus working in and through us.
This, of course, does not encourage passivity. If we have truly received Jesus, His power will work in us in a far greater way than thinking that we are are responsible for everything.
Please read Mark 4:26-28
The power is in the seed - Jesus has died, He's risen, He's working to complete the restoration of all things.
Discuss together (Before getting into smaller groups)
Some of us find it very difficult to talk about what Jesus is doing. The victory He is winning. We are the kind of people that spend little time worshipping because we feel that we need to quickly move on to 'productivity' in praying for things. Are you more focussed on your failures, your weakness, what you must do, rather than rejoicing in the power of Jesus who is achieving God’s plans?
Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:
What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message)?
What will you do because of it?
How can we pray for you?
This week, as I hope you've seen in the Church News, we are praying for our Community Groups. Community Groups are so important in connecting together in building friendships and strengthening our relationship with God.
At this time of not being able to meet together as we usually do, it is so good that we are able to meet online in smaller groups.
Prayer points for this week -
For each leader, as they faithfully serve in leading their group.
That each person would be encouraged and encourage others in their group.
That our faith would be strengthened as we share Gods word together.
That we would see growth and more groups starting.
For more leaders.
Please share from this week’s Church News