Summary: The funeral for Jacob is over. The eleven brothers of Joseph are afraid. They believe that Joseph might turn on them... But Joseph is not the “natural man.” He is a man who portrays the coming Christ... grace and truth.
Title of the message: “Five Steps to Keeping Yourself in the Love of God”
Key verse: (Jude 1:21) Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Introduction: The funeral for Jacob is over. The eleven brothers of Joseph are afraid. They believe that Joseph might turn on them, and he has the power to do so. More than this, he has every “right” to be angry with them. The natural man would have not shown grace.
But that is why God highlights the life of Joseph. He is not the “natural man.” He is a man who shows amazing grace. His life portrays the coming Christ, who was full of grace and truth.
Note how he responds to his brothers:
(Gen 50:19-21) And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
Here is the outline on "How to Keep Yourself in the Love of God":
1. I know that I am not God.
(Gen 50:19 KJV) And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Slowly, Meditate on each one of these thoughts:
I am not God...
Therefore…I cannot control the circumstances of my life.
Therefore…I don’t know everything there is to know.
Therefore…You will not stand before me on the Day of Judgment.
Therefore…It is for God to forgive you.
Keep in mind that Pharaoh thought of himself as God. Although, Joseph had the authority of Pharaoh, he choose a position of humility. He said, “I am not in the place of God!”
2. I know that I live in an evil world.
(Gen 50:20 KJV) But as for you, ye thought evil against me…
This world is an evil place. Expect the world to say, “Crucify him, Crucify him!”
Who would have thought that the ten brothers of Joseph would have such hatred for him… there is much evil in this world.
Joseph did not excuse the behavior of his brothers. He said "you thought evil against me." You cannot be forgiven until you recognize that what you have done is “evil.” And you cannot forgive others, until you confirm that what they have done to you is a "great evil."
As a Christian, if we do not anticipate a cross, we will never be able to carry one!
3. I believe that God is a Sovereign God.
(Gen 50:20) But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good…
Although this world is under the domination of Satan, God is so much greater!
4. I believe that God uses his sovereignty for my good.
(Gen 50:20) But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
We need to carefully examine Romans 8:28. The "all things work together for the good” part is followed by “To those that love God, to those are called according to his purpose.”
If we do not “keep ourselves in the love God” we will not experience, “all things work together for the good” part!
And again…. For his purpose. We are not placed here on the earth for our own purpose. SO, what is that purpose? I bring you to the final point: