Lessons from Joseph: Prison to Power

From a sermon delivered 26 August, read Genesis 41.

When we look at this episode in Joseph’s life it’s as if his break comes when he had stopped striving for it.  As a youngster he had always tried to be the best, the most popular, the brightest, yet all his striving only caused disappointment, division, and rejection.

In prison he’d hoped that the right connections would help him – but as we recall his ‘connections’ forgot him.

Now two years later – we imagine he’d resigned himself to his fate when unexpectedly – a lifeline – he is called upon to help Pharaoh. Hope restored. Continue reading

Lessons from Joseph: Stand!

From the sermon Sunday 19th July. Read Genesis 39 & 40

When life is tough, when temptations come our way, when all seems lost, some stand – some fall. There are some that stand out with incredible strength to maintain what they believe – to resist the pressure of the crowd, to resist greed of money, or status, to resist moral temptation.

I don’t know all the details but my recollection of Sir John Marshall, former Prime Minister of New Zealand was that he was a good example of a man who stood firm throughout his career. Over 29 years in parliament, 20 years as a minister and 17 as deputy leader or leader of the National Party Sir John was renowned for his strength of character, and deep Christian faith.  Sir John I am sure had many opportunities to stumble but he remained centred on Jesus Christ to the day he died en route to a meeting of the United Bible Society. Continue reading

Lessons from Joseph: Family Baggage

a sermon from Sunday 5th August. Read Genesis 37:1-11; James 2:1-9

What a story!  Today’s text from Genesis reads like a modern-day soap opera, even though it was probably written 3500 years ago.

Over the next 5 weeks we will follow the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob and his favourite wife, Rachel. You’ll note as we explore their stories that God achieves God’s purposes despite seemingly terrible situations and despite the fact that the people often at the heart of the story are the least likely of people to be doing great things for God.As you listened to the beginnings of this story of Jacob and his sons you’d quickly recognise that they had a few problems.  These days we talk of ‘dysfunctional’ families – Jacob and family tick all the boxes. Serious counselling was needed. Continue reading