Order, Words, & Voices 08.28.22

Order, Words, & Voices

08.28.22

Order

Pre Worship Music

Opening Song: One Thing & He Leadeth Me Lynn

Prayer Rick

Reading Genesis 39:1-20 In Person Segun 

On line Sherri

Song: I Will Trust In You Lynn

Message Unfair Rick

Song: I Will Trust In You Lynn

Howdy/Community Dave, Segun, Sherri

Closing Peace Rick

Benediction Rick

Post Worship Music

Words and Voices

Music [23 slides]

Your love never fails

It never gives up

Never runs out on me

Your love never fails

It never gives up

Never runs out on me

Higher than the mountains that I face

Stronger than the power of the grave

Constant in the trial and the change

One thing remains

One thing remains

Your love never fails

It never gives up

Never runs out on me

Your love never fails

It never gives up

Never runs out on me

On and on and on and on it goes

It overwhelms and satisfies my soul

And I never ever have to be afraid

One thing remains

One thing remains

Your love never fails

It never gives up

Never runs out on me

Your love never fails

It never gives up

Never runs out on me

In death in life I’m confident and

Cover’d by the power of Your great love

My debt is paid there’s nothing that

Can separate my heart from Your great love

Your love never fails

It never gives up

Never runs out on me

Your love never fails

It never gives up

Never runs out on me

One thing remains

One thing remains

He leadeth me O blessed thought
O words with heavenly comfort fraught
Whate’er I do where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me

He leadeth me He leadeth me
By His own hand He leadeth me
His faithful follower I would be
For by His hand He leadeth me

Sometimes ‘mid scenes of deepest gloom
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom
By water’s calm o’er troubled sea
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me

He leadeth me He leadeth me
By His own hand He leadeth me
His faithful follower I would be
For by His hand He leadeth me

Prayer [5 Slides Midway through]

God, you are the God of presence. You, O God, were present with Joseph as he sat in a prison for a crime he did not commit, you were present as Elijah hid in the back of a cave fearing the vengeance of a Queen, you were present with Jesus as he sat in a jail cell listening to cries outside his window screaming for his execution. Even when we do not see or sense your presence, you are there. Help us to trust that you are always with us, so that we might live faithfully in this world. 

[Slides Begin] [Join me as we voice the Lord’s Prayer]

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done

On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses, 

While we forgive those who trespass against us.

And, God, lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

Amen.

Reading [No Slides]

[Segun] Jacob settled in Canaan, the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. When Jacob and Rachel’s son, Joseph, was seventeen years old, he was shepherding the flocks with his brothers, the sons of the servants of Rachel and Leah. Joseph brought a bad report of his brothers to Jacob. Jacob, now called Israel, loved Joseph more than any other of his children because he was the son of his old age, and he made Joseph an ornamented robe. But when his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than them, they hated Joseph and could not speak peaceably to him.

[Sherri] Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. Joseph said to his brothers, “Listen to the dream I had. We were all there, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.

[Segun] Then Joesph had another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 

[Sherri] When Joseph told the second dream to Jacob, his father sternly corrected him saying, “What kind of dream is that? Are we all, me, your mother, and your brothers, going to bow before you?” So now, Joseph brothers were even more jealous of him, and his father kept the matter in mind.

[Segun] Later, Joseph’s brothers stripped him of his robe and threw him into a pit. With Joseph sitting in the pit, the brothers sat down to eat, and when they looked up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead on their way down to Egypt. Joseph’s Brother Judah said to the other brothers, “What will we gain if we kill Joseph? Instead, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, after all he is our brother, our own flesh.” 

[Sherri] The brothers agreed. As the Midianite traders passed by, they lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And the Midianites took Joseph to Egypt.

[Segun] With Joseph gone, and money in their pocket, the brothers took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood and took it to their father Jacob saying, “We found this coat, it may have been the coat you gave to Joseph, we are not sure.” 

[Sherri] Of course Jacob recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.” Israel tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. Everyone tried to comfort Israel, but he refused to be comforted. By this time the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, the captain of the Pharoah’s guard.  (Genesis 37:1-11, 23-36)

Music [23 Slide]

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wondering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty warrior King of the fight
No matter what I face You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust I will trust
I will trust in You

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust I will trust
I will trust in You

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation
The Rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust I will trust
I will trust in You

Message – Unfair… [? Slides]

Genesis 39:1-20

[Slide 1 – leave up to slide 8] There are two threads woven through the life of Joseph. Both are a blessing and both are a curse…sometimes at the same time. The first thread is [Slide 2] Clothing – a very elemental basic need which can define the difference between life and death, but for some it can be the very definition of our personality and presence. The second thread [Slide 3] Favor/Affirmation is not a need in the sense of life or death, but more of an ethereal need. A need that carries us mentally and emotionally through life, a needed boost to our confidence and a subtle motivator that lifts us up when we most need lifting up.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow list these two threads as being the base, and then the foundation of the very tip, of our hierarchy of needs. 

Over the past weeks, we have observed some miserable folks, all of whom have been treated in ways that are unfair, undeserved, unredeemable, unimaginable, and even unconscionable.  The curtains of the lives of Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and last week’s story of Dinah give us just a miserable perspective on a life burdened by the choices of others. Each story left us with a stench in our nostrils and an echoing in our minds of injustice and mistreatment, silenced voices and unnoticed lives.

Today, as we look at the story of Joseph we get a much broader view. We get to see Joseph from teenager to grown adult. We see him through multiple trials, mistreatment, victories, setbacks, and ultimately the fulfillment of God’s promise to him. Joseph’s story, quite frankly, is painful, it is a story which I would rather skip to the ending, skipping the pain. But, if that were the case we would be unable to see ourselves in this story. For it is the middle of Joseph’s life that allows us to see our own lives. [Slide 4] Joseph’s story is our story, it is  the preparatory flicker of the story of Jesus. The story of Joseph is our reference point for the apostle Paul’s words he spoke in Hebrews 12 – 

[Slide 5] “…let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  [Slide 6] Consider Jesus who endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart…Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. [Slide 7] Pursue peace with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and through it many become defiled.  Hebrews 12:1b-3, 12-15

To understand the breadth of what Paul is saying let’s first look at Paul’s use of the same words elsewhere.

[Slide 8] “We know that our old self was crucified with Jesus so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”

Romans 6:6-7

The sin, sin that entangles us, is not just our personal sin, we must realize this to proceed with truth but to also navigate life in this world while still holding on to our faith – Paul is also speaking to the sin of humanity, the sins of those around us and those far from us historically and geographically. I may genuinely seek to care for God’s creation, but I will still be left with the impact of abuses of others. I may chose to seek and speak truth, but I will still be living with the impact of those who spread  deceit and conspiracies. It is not just my own sin that negatively impact me.

Jesus was without sin, but still, there on the cross Jesus was covered in the sin of all mankind – not his sin, the sins of others. We all bear the brunt of sin, that weight of all of sin becomes the weight of sin we all carry. While we see in Joesph a young man who was not perfect, who faced correction just as we all do, but the pain and misery he experienced was not just the results of his sin.

Let’s look at these two threads through the extraordinary, and yet very disturbing and unfair, life of Joseph. We first meet Joseph as a sixteen/seventeen year old teenager. A bit cocky, seemingly unaware of social clues, blind to his own entitlement, yet strangely attuned to the presence of God. The first of two sons/children, to Jacob and Rachel, and the eleventh son, twelfth of thirteen children to Jacob. Right away, on our first introduction we see the these threads of clothing and favor become a burden.

Jacob shows his unabashed favor of Jacob by giving just him, not his siblings, a beautiful coat – a still clueless Joseph wears the coat, he wears it a lot, which quickly becomes a constant reminder to the brothers that Joseph is dad’s favorite. 

Next, Joseph tells his brothers of two dreams. Both dreams were prophetic, predicting a future status and greatness for Joseph. Again, a clueless Joseph, while wearing the same cursed coat, highlights his own favoredness by telling his siblings. When Joseph tells Jacob, his father attempts to educate Josphe on the fact that no one likes a showoff, and his brothers respond by hating Joesph even more, a whole lot more. Soon, the brothers have stolen Joseph’s coat, sold Joseph into slavery, and reported to their father Jacob and that his favorite son is dead.

The story goes on as the slave traders sell Joseph to Potiphar the captain of the Egyptian Pharoah’s guard. Potitphar was quickly impressed by Joseph’s intelligence and, yet again, favored Joseph enough to make him the master of the household. Potiphar’s wife also favored Joseph, but not for his intelligence. She sought to seduce him but Joseph consistently rejected her advances until the only escape was an actual escape, Joseph fled from her and in running away, she ripped off his garment, holding it screaming that she had just been assaulted by Joseph. 

Joseph now lands in prison, treated worse than a slave, now treated as a criminal of the most disgusting kind. Favored by no one, now wearing the ripped clothing of a nobody. During his time in prison there were glimpses of hope, but none came to fruition. It wasn’t until the Pharaoh had his own dream, that Joseph was remembered and favored once again. Joseph was favored again and quickly rises to second in command to the most powerful man in all of Egypt. 

Now in a position to either prove a point and curse his enemies with his favoredness and royal clothes, or he could use this favoredness, and these clothes, to bless all, including his enemies. He chose the later, ultimately not just saving all the Egyptians from starvation but also his brothers and entire family.

Notice the change that has taken place so far in the life and actions of Joseph. No longer cocky and blind to others, now seeking to bless rather that missing the pain of those around. But we must also remember the pain along the way, the time spent in misery and waiting, the endless waiting, the apparent absence of God. The isolation, powerful but still miles away from family, considered unclean and unacceptable to those that surrounded him, alone.

Joseph’s story ends with Joseph favored and clothed. Reconciled to his family and respected by his enemies. The most powerful ruler in the world, came to him with favor and gratitude and Joseph gave a destitute people the seeds needed to sustain life. When his brothers came repentant and fearful, Joseph raised up their heads and gave them forgiveness and hope. When Joseph ultimately settled with his family, he settled in the clothes of royalty, and the favor of the nations. 

[Slide 9 – leave up for 2 paragraphs] As we take a full view of Joseph’s life, we actually see three threads woven through his story. Clothing, Favor, and Promise. The tip of Masolov’s hierarchy. Joseph had now experienced the finality of the promise given to him way back when he was a teen. The difference now is that he is ready to see the completion of the promise through the eyes of gratitude, compassion, mercy, grace, and love. A Perspective he didn’t have as a cocky, seemingly socially unaware teen, blind to his own entitlement and privilege. 

Here is the key for Joseph, he understood that even in slavery he could be free as long as he kept his perspective focused on the promise. He grasped the essential nature of not living life as a victim, even when he was a victim, because what he saw was God’s future. Somehow, ans this is the amazing aspect of Joseph’s journey, he always remembered the promise of God, he always filtered the events of his path through the power of God’s promise. He never allowed any moment, set back, or even victory, to define who he was.

Joseph held on, even when no one else stood by him, even when God seemed distant and absent. Even as a teen, Joseph sood alone. His father tried to silence him and his brothers tried to eliminate him. Joseph was alone in living with this promise – but, he held on, even in despair he held firmly and knew this was his hope. When he was victim of his brothers sinful brutality, Joseph knew this was not the final chapter – he chose to not live as a victim, he looked ahead. When he was sold as a slave, he continued doing his best enriching a master  who would disappoint Joseph. When success crumbled, instead of leading to freedom he sat in prison, still  knowing this was not the end of this story. He helped those who hurt him, he assisted those who imprisoned him, and he remembered the promised hope set before him.

See, a victim stays in a pit, but one who chooses to not be a victim climbs out. Slavery is a reality, but the impact depends on our state of mind as much as our actual circumstances – freedom is living on a different path even in the bottom of a dungeon cell when no one on the outside is willing to advocate for us. 

This is not to say there was not pain, that there was no doubt, that there were not times whenJoseph desperatly cried out to God. There will undoubtedly be pain. It would be a rejection of all the examples of the believers in scripture and even more, it would be a willing blindness to our reality to suggest that pain and misery do not exist. But, the takeaway of the story of Joseph is about our life, a full look, a full life. A demonstration of the life that Jesus came to give us all. 

Joseph suffered, he was treated unfairly, he grew out of his teen arrogance, he succeeded, he was framed and imprisoned, he saved a nation, and all the surrounding nations from starvation. Joseph forgave. Joseph worked to see others succeed. Joseph survived. Imprisonment did not stop him, slavery did not define him, victimhood did not stick to him. He held to the God who gave the promise that carried him through a life of suffering, rejection, and pain. He lived life in peace, he lived life in fulfillment, he lived because he was looking ahead to see God.

Promise. 

Herbert Lockyer counts that there are over eight thousand promises in the Bible. For most Bibles that equals out to over five promises per page. Promises such as

“It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Luke 12:32

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.”

John 11:25

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” 

John 14:1-3

“And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.”

I Corinthians 6:14

“Creation itself will be set free from its enslavement to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

Romans 8:21

And of course, “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me

Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Incidently, a promise that took seventy two years for the people to be able to see.

We too, stand on promise. We too, hold onto promise. We too, go through times alone and times of pain. We too do not do them out of the notice of God, nor do we go through them in a place too distant for the promise of God to hold true. We stand, we persevere, we live, we seek, we flourish on the promise of God.

Let’s Pray.

Music  [5 slides]

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust I will trust
I will trust in You

Community/Howdy 

  • Howdy…. [No slides] Interview

Dave: Today’s Howdy online and unperson interview is with Segun Bodunde who is here with us unperson, and Sherri Stiger who is on line from McAlester, OK.

  • Where did you grow up?
  • If you are employed, share with us the work that you do, if you are retired share the work you did before retirement.
  • Share three facts with us about yourself that we may not know.

Community Announcements [2 slides]

  • [Slide] Next Sunday,  The God They Did Not Know, Exodus 1:8-2:10
  • [Slide] Miserable Endings, Wednesday Lunch and Bible Study, ? @ noon, schedule at gfnorman.com, bring your own lunch. Final summer study, Hezekiah, II Kings 18-20

Closing Peace [1Slide]

May the Peace of the Lord go with you. And also with you.

Benediction [1 Slide]

“Depart now in the fellowship of God the Father and as you go, remember: By the goodness of God you were born into this world. And by the grace of God you have been kept you even until this very hour. And by the love of God, fully revealed in the face of Jesus, you have been redeemed and you are being redeemed. So go in peace.” 

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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