Summary: This message looks at the character of Joseph as a man of God, a man of Godly character, and a man of Godly action.
THE CHARACTER OF A GREAT MAN OF GOD
Genesis 50:19-20 (NIV) 19 But Joseph said to them, "Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Romans 8:28-29 (NIV) 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
INTRODUCTION: GREAT MEN (AND WOMEN) OF GOD ARE THOSE WHO RESPOND TO ADVERSITY WITH AN UNCANNY – SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THEIR LIFE! JOSEPH IS SUCH A MAN, AND HIS ATTITUDE IS ONE WE SHOULD EMULATE AS FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST.
I. GREAT MEN OF GOD ACKNOWLEDGE THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
A. JOSEPH FACED REAL ANIMOSITY
1. BROTHERS HATED HIM ENOUGH TO WANT TO KILL HIM, ISOLATE HIM, AND SELL HIM.
2. POTIPHAR’S WIFE EXACTED CRUELTY ON HIM FOR RESISTING HER ADVANCES
3. THE CUPBEARER OF PHARAOH FORGOT HIS PLIGHT AFTER BEING ASSISTED IN PRISON
B. JOSEPH HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
1. JOSEPH KNEW THAT GOD IS SOVEREIGN
2. JOSEPH KNEW THAT IS GOOD
3. REASON WHY JOSEPH SAY, “BUT GOD”
a. INTENDED IT FOR GOOD
b. USED IT TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT WAS BEING DONE!
II. GREAT MEN OF GOD ACCEPT THE WILL OF GOD
A. ACCEPTING GOD’S WILL ALLOWS GOD TO WORK OUT HIS ULTIMATE GOOD
B. ACCEPTING GOD’S WILL ALLOWS GOD UNHINDERED CONTROL OF ALL THINGS
C. WHEN WE NEGLECT TO ACCEPT GOD’S WILL WE:
1. SHACKLE OUR SERVICE
2. ROB OURSELVES OF JOY
D. GOD GREATEST DESIRE IN ACTING OUT HIS WILL IN OUR LIVES IS FOR US T BE PERFECTED FR HIS PRESENCE – BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY
Ephesians 1:4 (NIV) For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
Ephesians 5:27 (NIV) and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Colossians 1:29 (NIV) To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Jude 1:24 (NIV) To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy--
1. ADVERSITY AND AFFLICTION ARE SIMPLY PART OF THE PROCESS
E. TAKE A LOOK AT THE PARALLEL BETWEEN JOSEPH AND JESUS
1. JOSEPH WAS “SENT” TO A FOREIGN LAND
2. JOSEPH WAS FAVORED BY HIS FATHER, YET BECAME A SLAVE
3. JOSEPH WAS HATED BY HIS BRETHREN
4. JOSEPH WAS INNOCENT OF WRONGDOING
5. AND IF THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH, WHEN WE THINK OF THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST – THE DEATH OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS WAS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE PRAYER OF CHRIST GOING UNANSWERED! ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOD’S ULTIMATE GOOD!
GOD CONTROLS THE CIRCUMSTANCES APART FROM OUR KNOWLEDGE!
III. GREAT MEN OF GOD ASSIST IN THE SERVICE OF GOD
A. INTUITIVE KNOWLEDGE. FAITH ALLOWS US TO SENSE GOD’S WORK AROUND OUR LIVES AND IN OUR LIVES
B. UNDERSTANDING GOD’S GOOD MEANS ACCEPTING THAT THE CUMULATIVE RESULT OF ALL THAT GOD IS DOING PRODUCES A GREATER EFFECT THAN WHAT RESULTS FROM HIS INDIVIDUAL DEALING WITH ME.
C. GOD’S ACTIONS WITH REGARD TO US AND OUR SERVICE AS A RESULT ARE FOUNDED ON GOD’S “FOREKNEW” OF US
1. INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE
2. INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP
D. JOSEPH WAS ABLE TO BE A SERVANT OF GOD BECAUSE HE WAS FAITHFUL, FORGIVING, AND FRUITFUL.
1. FAITHFUL IN HIS RELATIONSHIP TO GOD
2. FORGIVING IN HIS RELATIONSHIP TO OTHERS
3. FRUITFUL IN HIS SERVICE TO CHRIST.
NOW UNDERSTAND THAT GOD QUALIFIES HIS ACTIVITY OF ULTIMATE GOOD
APPLIES TO CHRISTIANS
TO WORK GOOD IS TO CAUSE US TO ACT LIKE CHRIST
ULTIMATE GOOD MAY COME AT THE GOOD USE OF BAD THINGS
ACCEPTING OF GOD’S ULTIMATE GOOD IS AN ACT OF KNOWING, NOT NECESSARILY AND ACT OF FEELING