Summary: This is a sermon outline that sets up a sermon on forgiveness following the story of Joseph.

Genesis 45:1-14

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, "Have everyone leave my presence!" So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. 4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ’This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me-- you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’ 12 "You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly." 14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping.

“Backs to the Wall”

A mother and a small boy had been to a shopping mall and the boy had not behaved himself. As they were driving home, he could sense her displeasure and said, “Mom… when we ask God to forgive us when we are bad, He does, doesn’t he?” His mother replied, “Definitely, yes.” The boy continued cautiously, “Mom… when he forgives us, He buries our sins in the deepest sea, doesn’t he?” The mom replied, “Definitely, yes.” The boy was silent for a while and then with a frown he said, “Mom… Dad’s got a really big fishing pole doesn’t he?” The mother replied, “Definitely, yes!”

1. Refresher from last week

2. Catching up in between

3. The problem with forgiveness

- Sometimes forgiveness is easy

- Sometimes it is downright impossible

4. Joke

5. Why does God want us to forgive?

- It is not just for the people we forgive… it is for us

- Blessed are the meek, blessed are the poor, blessed are the humble in heart… you could add “Blessed are those who turn the other cheek”

- God put down his really big fishing pole for us.

6. So What?

7. Joseph forgives…

- Imagine the either or… what if he had killed his brothers? You don’t even have to go that far… what if he had refused to help them.

8. Our choices have far reaching consequences. It’s time to put down that really big fishing pole.

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