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16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hand. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe--the richly ornamented robe he was wearing--24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, 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.
Dreams. Visions. Hopes. Goals. Sometimes, we have a clear sense of what God has in store for us. Within us, our spirit has awakened to the dreams that God has for our lives. As you know; a week ago, I was in Hillsboro, New Hampshire for Teen Camp with more than eighty Nazarene teens from all over the state of Maine. Rev. Fred Fullerton challenged us morning and evening to “Dream Big” for our lives. The spiritual emphasis of the week was that God has bigger dreams for our lives than we could ever imagine dreaming ourselves. Teens were challenged not to sell themselves short in the areas of education, career, dating or marriage. The challenge went forth to make decisions based on what God is dreaming for us, not on our own human desires. We were exhorted to let God break through the barriers in our lives, in order that He might use us for His Divine purposes.
I know that the lives of teenagers were changed. I know that teens made new commitments to let nothing come between them and God’s will for their lives. The gates of Heaven were thrown open and the red carpet was rolled out as our teens experienced a taste of Heaven on Thursday night. Teens gathered around the altar and prayed, confessed sins, worshipped, and challenged to “dream big.” I believe that some teens went home with a sense that God was going to use them for great things.
Many of you prayed for our teens during the week of teen camp. I believe those prayers made a difference in the lives of teenagers all across the state. I also know that those teens need as much prayer this week as they received during the week of
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