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Joseph realized that whatever skills he had, whatever potential lay within him… his abilities and his skills and his potential were solely reliant upon the power of God.
ILLUS: As one person once put it: “I am a pencil in God’s hand. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it.”
God can make the best use of us when we are willing to get out of the way and let Him work through us.
IV. Secondly, Joseph realized that God could use him, no matter what his circumstances
Where is Joseph in this text we’re reading this morning? Joseph is in prison. He’s there because Potiphar (his master) had a wife that wanted him to go to bed – and he wasn’t going to do it. So, his master’s wife falsely accuses him of raping her, and now he’s in the King’s jail. And (if Potiphar has anything to do with it) he ain’t never getting out of there.
Joseph is in prison. It’s kind of hard to do much of any value while you’re setting in prison. Or at least that is what many people might say.
ILLUS: One of the great preachers of our brotherhood was man named Owen Crouch.
Like many preachers, he wasn’t paid a lot of money, and so when he was in his 60’s he was approached by a group of businessmen who were starting a company. And they said wanted a man of his integrity to handle the books. He took the job, kept the books, wrote the checks, signed the contracts… and when the company was hauled into court for fraud and shut down because of its illegal business practices, this preacher’s name was the only one on any of the paper work
He hadn’t realized the business was a sham. He hadn’t realized the businessmen he had worked beside were crooks. But - he went to prison all the same. Those business men even got lighter sentences than he did.
It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. And he was left holding the bag and setting in prison.
But Owen Crouch was a man who’d learned to lean on God. A man who realized that wherever he was, God could use him. So he began ministering to the other prisoners, leading them to Christ and discipling them to be strong Christians when they left those prison walls.
And when he left prison, he wrote a book about his experiences and ministered to even more people because of his faithfulness.
My point is this: God can use you no matter what your circumstances.
No matter how unfair life may seem to you
No matter how imprisoned you may feel in the life you lead
No matter how useless you might feel your efforts would be
…God CAN, and God WILL use you.
V. Third, Joseph reached his destiny because he made the most of every opportunity to serve God
This is a principle that is repeated throughout the New Testament:
Eph. 5:16 says we need to (make) the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Col. 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
Galatians 6:10 “… as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
While Joseph was in prison, he made the most of every opportunity to serve God. Because he was God’s man, Joseph always found an opportunity to do good to those around him.
For Example: When Joseph was thrown into prison, we’re told
“the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge
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