"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
September 4, 2019
I have been reading the story in Genesis about Joseph. What has really struck me about his life is how he is faithful and full of integrity, regardless of what happens. His life wasn't a bed of roses where everything went perfectly and he never had anything bad happen; but Joseph chose to honor God regardless of his situation, and God gave Joseph great favor.
Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel. Rachel's sister, Leah, who was also married to Jacob, had given birth to many children; yet Rachel had remained barren. Finally, God opened her womb and became pregnant and gave birth to Joseph.
Genesis 37:3 says that Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, because he was the son of his old age. So Jacob made him a special tunic. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than them, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.
Because of their jealousy and hatred, Joseph's brothers sold him for twenty pieces of silver to some Midianite merchants. They then sold him into Egypt, to Potipher, an official of Pharoah, the commander of the bodyguards.
(Genesis chapter 39)
God was with Joseph, so he became a successful man in the house of his master. Potipher saw that God was with Joseph and the He made everything that Joseph did succeed. Joseph found favor in his master's eyes and served him as a personal servant, and Potipher made him an overseer over his household; everything that was his, he entrusted into his hand. God blessed the Egyptian's house because of Joseph and blessed everything that was in the house and field.
Joseph was a handsome man. Potipher's wife decided that she wanted him, so did her best to entice him to her bed. But he refused and told her, "How could I commit this great evil and sin against God?" Day after day, she continued speaking to him and invited him to be with her and he did not listen to her invitations.
One day, he came into the house to do his work and none of the other people of the house were inside. Potipher's wife grabbed him by his robe saying, "Come lie with me." He left his garment in her hand, and fled outside. She screamed to the men of the house and falsely accused Joseph. She kept his garment with her until her husband came home, then showed him and made the same false accusations. He became very angry and put Joseph in prison.
But God was with Joseph in prison and extended kindness to him and gave him favor in the eyes of the commander of the prison. The commander of the prison entrusted into Joseph's hand all the prisoners, so that everything that was done there, he was responsible for it. In fact, the commander of the prison did not concern himself with anything at all under his care, because God was with Joseph and made whatever he did successful.
Nowhere in scripture does it ever say that Joseph became angry or felt sorry for himself or wanted revenge on those who had sold him or falsely accused him. You never read where he cried out, "That's not fair! I don't deserve this! I'm going to get even with my brothers and make them pay for what they did to me! How could Potipher not trust me and believe the worst of me after everything I did for him? I hope he loses everything he has! His wife should suffer big time for lying about me."
NO! Joseph was faithful wherever God placed him, never complaining or feeling sorry for himself or filled with hatred or bitterness. In the eyes of the world, he had every right to want revenge and feel anger. He was mistreated and lied about. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers and separated from his father and family. Yet he faithfully served Potipher! He was enticed by Potipher's wife to go to bed with her, yet kept his integrity and refused, so we falsely accused and lied about, and ended up being thrown into prison. Not fair! Yet he faithfully served the commander of the prison guard.
God saw Joseph's heart and faithfulness, and gave him great favor! Whatever Joseph did, he was successful and those in authority over him saw that God was with him. They placed Joseph in leadership positions and both Potipher and the commander of the prison gave him free reign of being in control.
I believe that God blessed Joseph because he saw a young man who was steadfast regardless of his situation. His emotions and actions didn't cause Joseph to sin or waiver in his faith; but he faithfully served wherever he was.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, "Whatever you do, do well (or do it with all your might). For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom."
Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ."
Joseph did this very thing! He worked heartily with all of his might at everything he did. He worked as if his master was Christ; not Potipher or the prison commander. He didn't allow his circumstance to dictate how well he worked or how good his attitude was while doing so. Therefore, Joseph had the favor of the Lord upon him and succeeded at whatever he did.
We can have that same favor of God upon us! If we keep our focus upon pleasing our Master, instead of what may be unfair about our situation, then we will serve faithfully with a godly attitude.
Isaiah 61:3 speaks of putting on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. The truth is, too often we are so busy changing garments from heaviness to praise to heaviness to praise, that we wear ourselves out spiritually. What we wear depends on our feelings or our circumstances. But the truth is, we should always have on the garment of praise, even when our spirit is heavy.
Joseph did this well. He kept on his garment of praise at all times, no matter what happened to him. We can do this, also.
If you are struggling with this, perhaps you need to practice keeping your garment of praise on. When circumstances dictate that life isn't treating you fairly, or you feel betrayed or hurt, or perhaps you've been lied about and mistreated, etc, instead of allowing anger and bitterness enter in, causing heaviness to overtake your spirit, try putting on praise instead. If doubt, worry, stress, pain, or whatever tries to attach itself to you or interfere, say, "No, you have to leave! I choose to keep on my garment of praise. You have to leave -- you aren't welcome here anymore!"
We can learn a lot from the life of Joseph. I want the favor and blessing of God upon my life, as he did. But I know that I need to start making better choices in not allowing my circumstance to dictate my attitude and my reactions. I need to wear praise and keep my focus on Jesus at all times.
It isn't always easy to find something to feel positive about. There are situations where we might feel like everything is wrong, and no good can come of what is going on around us.
If you are stranded all alone, with no one to talk to, you can have some one-on-one time talking with God, knowing that no one will interrupt you. You can meditate, pray, and sing without worrying about someone asking silly questions or telling you that you're off key.
If you aren't all alone, then you have opportunities to share the gospel with others. If they already know Jesus, then you can share and pray with them. If they don't, you can share and pray with them, or simply be a good example to them. You can share your light.
2 pie crusts
Red potatoes, thinly sliced
sausage or hamburger, uncooked
1/2-3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper, to taste
Put one pie crust into the pie pan.
Layer sliced potatoes (no need to peel), chopped onion, and small chunks of uncooked sausage or hamburger until the pan is full and rounded up a bit. Salt and pepper each layer.
Pour heavy cream over the mixture.
Put second crust over the top. Pinch edges and cut vent design in crust.
Bake at 400 for an hour or until crust is golden brown and potatoes are soft when stuck with a fork. The meat will be fully cooked by this time.
If you are on Facebook, I encourage you to look up my new page 'Praying For Ewe' and click on "like" or "follow" so that my posts will show up on your newsfeed. I randomly post live videos or written devotionals. Anyone in need of prayer is encouraged to privately message me with their need and I will faithfully pray for them.
Let your love for God change the world,
but never let the world change your love for God. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon