The preacher began his sermon with the rhetorical question, “Does Jesus care?” He did not expect a reply. But on that day, from the back row a visitor boldly held up his hand and replied aloud, “No! He doesn’t.” While few of us would be that bold, most of us have felt that same sentiment on more than one occasion.
Today we begin a new series looking at the book of 2 Corinthians. A book that deals very much with trouble. If you are crying out, “Please help me; I’m in trouble”, then listen to this first lesson and find out that help is available.
Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, and Hebrews all make reference to the bones of Joseph. What in the world could be so important about someone’s bones? Listen to the final lesson on Joseph, and discover whether or not your bones matter as well!
When someone assumes a position that is not theirs to hold, we cry out with great gusto, “Just who do we think we are!?” When we take too much of life into our own hands, perhaps God wonders at us, “Just who do you think you are?”
In the face of evil men and evil situation Joseph never assumed God’s place. Listen to the next installment of Joseph and learn how to be like God, rather than trying to be God.
Life becomes the sum of choices that we make. What then makes a person successful in life? What provides us strength for life? Wherein will we find the real blessing of God for our life? At the end of Jacob’s life he graphically graphically prophecies the differences between Joseph and his brethren. Listen to the next lesson on Joseph to learn how you may also be fruitful, strong, and blessed.
I remember well playing “king of the mountain” as my brother and I savagely fighting off our two cousins, and each other, for total dominance of one of the great dirt mountains on our family’s property. We had all been helping with the construction of our house, when someone declared themselves the greatest. All four of us boys were teenagers, but our two cousins were older, bigger, stronger, and they probably won that day. Yet the thrill of being the greatest, or at least declaring yourself so, consumed the moment! In business, in family, in the possession of things, in beauty and strength, many men and women also seek to excel and assume the highest place.
In Genesis 47 we find a very strange question, “How old are you?” Listen to the next lesson on Joseph, and discover how playing “king of the mountain” with your life can leave you a poor man and the end of a life.
The sins of our fathers most certainly affect the way that we live our lives. But their sins do not excuse our own. How incredible the power of influence a mother or father holds over their child—to move a life with fear and kindness, love and hatred. Many a man or women is still held prisoner by the controlling desires of a parent. Many a man or woman has been delivered from evil by the truths of righteousness instilled in earlier days.
How do we deal with the sins of our fathers? Listen to the next lesson on…
Isaiah 61 holds one of the greatest promises of Christ: “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”
Where are you in life? Do you need to trade your ashes for God’s beauty, your sorrow for His joy? In Genesis 43-45 we find the dawn rise after some very dark nights in the life of Jacob. Listen to the next lesson on Joseph and learn the secret to trading your ashes for the beauty that God can bring.
My life stinks! How is your Monday morning so far? There are financial pressures, family discord,, the cat died, your ice cream fell off the cone… and your just want to scream out, “My life stinks!” Well you are not the first one to say so. And Jacob—much like you and me—had far more serious issues going on in his life. And In Genesis 34 and 42 we find Jacob… the Prince of God, one of the Patriarchs, a son of Promise; we find him in a place of great despair proclaiming, “My life stinks!”
Are you there this morning? Sometimes we travel the Christian journey drifting somewhere between despair and faith. Jacob and Joseph illustrate two such extremes.
Guilt has driven men and women to poverty, to sorrow, to abuse, and even to suicide. Guilt will drive the one accused to a life of ‘slavery’, forever bounding the person to his or her own regrets. How do you handle a guilty conscience?