Sabbath freedoms and the 4th Commandment..

The person who lead me into a personal relationship with Christ was an accountant. It took over two years of questions and challenges and… well all that is another story and anyway, God was in control of all that. The point is that we became close friends as he continued to disciple Judy and I (Judy’s salvation is another story of God’s grace) weekly for a number of years. As I absorbed his biblical Christian worldview one of the more interesting aspects of his “theology” had to do with the 4th Commandment,
(Exo. 20:8-10).  His Sunday’s were very different from the rest of the week. He would do no “work” whatsoever. No cutting the lawn or paying bills or hobbies or anything. He was a sports fanatic and yet, no TV on Sunday. He would go to church and spend the rest of the day reading his Bible, memorizing Scripture and praying, with the occasional nap and pleasure reading mixed in. That was almost twenty five years ago.

Over the past two weeks, through an unfortunate set of circumstances, I have had the unusual experience of spending a great deal of time alone, working on a huge project, physically isolated from human contact, other than by phone.  One of the benefits is that it has allowed me to be reflective in a number of different areas, not the least of which, my walk with the Lord.  When the first Sunday rolled around I decided to follow my old mentor’s example and “do no work”. I spent the day reading F260 (getting caught up), deeply researching and cross referencing the passages, praying, and… napping a bit. Secretly, my shallow expectation was that God would honor my commitment and redeem the time the following “workday”.  However, Monday was a disaster as far as making any progress on my big project.. As I sit writing this blog, today is the second Sunday and I spent the morning digging into Scripture and researching online the opinion of Christian theologian I respect related to the Sabbath and how as New Testament Christians we should behave on Sunday.  At the bottom of this blog is a list of some of my references.

I was reminded over and over again that we live under the sacrificial actions of Christ and the grace of God and not under the sacrificial system of the Law. Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matt 5:17-20) that the Israelites operated under as a shadow of the ultimate redemption in and through Christ. This does not mean that the 10  Commandments should not be followed. However, we are no longer under a Jewish law that would put us to death for working on the Sabbath (Exo. 35:2). For example, the following verse precludes us from even picking up sticks to light a fire in order to get warm on the Sabbath (which, by the way was Saturday, not Sunday…. again another rabbit trail).  Remember, Jesus challenged the religious rulers in Matt. 12:11 regarding Sabbath behavior using the illustration of pulling a sheep out of a well if the need arises. It comes down to the importance of doing “good” on the Sabbath, as defined by God, not man.

If our Sunday’s are no different than our secular Saturday’s, are we living in grace or taking advantage of it? God did not need to rest on the seventh day of creation. God does not get tired. He rested on the seventh day to set an example for His children that we need to have periods of rest and spiritual renewal. It can, and really should be a part of every day, a time of prayer and devotion. Like sleep, we can miss a few hours here and there but if we don’t catch up (refilling our leaky spiritual buckets) we are a mess, open to our own sin nature and Satan’s advances.

The bottom line is that legalism is a tricky concept. Like last Sunday for me, one can do all the” right” things for all the wrong reasons. For some, like my old accountant, trying to strictly follow the 4th Commandment is perhaps the right thing. For most, a more of balanced approach is in order. Today, I tried to strike more of a balance, spending a few hours working on my never ending project and the rest reflecting on the Lord through prayer and reading and writing. Tomorrow I’ll see if God honors that…. Just kidding J

Jeff Hilles

Internet References…

 

  1. Is Working on Sunday a Sin? https://www.gotquestions.org/working-on-Sunday.html
  2. Scripture verses about working on the Sabbath –  https://www.openbible.info/topics/working_on_the_sabbath
  3. Baptist Faith And Message – The Lord’s Day, Article 8 – http://www.baptist2baptist.net/b2barticle.asp?ID=251
  4. What does God’s Word say about Christians keeping the Sabbath. – https://www.backtothebible.org/what-does-god-s-word-say-about-the-christian-keeping-the-sabbath
  5. Piper- What does it mean practically to keep the Sabbath holy? – https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what-does-it-mean-practically-to-keep-the-sabbath-holy
  6. What does it mean to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy?- https://www.gotquestions.org/remember-the-Sabbath-day.html
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Is Aunt Sally an Angel? (Or a demon?)

If you have been around many funerals, you might have heard a well-meaning comforter tell a grieving family member “God needed another angel so He took ____________________.”  Or as recently heard after Billy Graham’s death, “Heaven is brighter now.” At the same time, I have never heard anyone say “Satan needed a demon so he took ______________” for I suppose it would bring little comfort.  We may view preceding deaths as how comics portray deceased loved ones as current angels.  The frequency of this perspective may convince you that this might probably happen. However, just because the view may be common does not mean it is supported by the Bible.

  1. God is wholly sufficient in His capability and love and does not need anyone.  To state that God needs someone is to imply that He is inadequate.  Please do not try to comfort someone by diminishing God and His character.  In the end, making light of God will not be a comfort to anyone.  The unique characteristic of a triune God is that He is perfect in His love among Himself. Therefore, His creation was a function of His desire for self-expression as opposed to a need for an object of love. God reveals Himself as the “I am” meaning that He is whole sufficient within Himself and without limitation other than His own character.  While Satan is not perfect and is lacking, still there is no indication from the Bible that Satan takes someone to make them a demon.
  2. The Bible already states that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. The presence of our loved ones with God does not enhance God, but they are the ones enhanced by God presence.  As amazing as Moses was as a leader, his face shown because he was in God’s presence and not vice versa.  We must see God as the source of blessings even when they come through human personalities.  People are a blessing to us due to God’s working in and through them.  When I grieve them, I am also grieving the loss of God’s unique working through them for my benefit.  Heaven is a place where those comforts are restored because I am perfectly restored to God’s presence.
  3. Angels and fallen angels are beings, different from humans, but also created by God through Christ (Psalm 148:2,5; Colossians 1:16) As such, the Bible gives no support to idea that deceased loved ones change into angels, but they do get transformed into bodies fitted for Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).    In fact, this role of redeemed and transformed humans is a role that even the Angels long to look into (1 Peter 1:12).
  4. Deceased loved ones will be judged by God according to Hebrews 9:27. As in the case of the thief on the cross, Jesus assured him an immediate presence with Christ in God’s Kingdom.  This expectation is also reinforced by Paul as he stated that to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).  The Bible seems to indicate a final judgment where we will be judged by either the book of works or the book of life.  Those being judged by the books of works will all be found lacking and all grounds for justification will be insufficient (Revelation 20).  The other option is to be judged by having our name written in the book of life (Rev. 20) which means that we are in Christ and Jesus has endured the penalty of our sin and we have received His right stand with God.  For such as those, God does not put into the role of angels, but as judges over angels (1 Corinthians 6:3).

Jarrod Scott

The Cycle of Life

Last fall, our family got four baby chicks.  We had been planning for some time to raise our own hens and collect the eggs, and so when my son finished building the coop and run, we went and bought four one-day old Speckled Sussex chicks.  Now, some twenty or so weeks later, the eggs are beginning to arrive.  We’re not exactly sure which ones or how many are laying as of yet, as we are getting only one or two eggs each day.  Since the cycle to produce an egg is slightly more than 24 hours, we should be getting almost 4 eggs each day once they each are laying.  And we fully expect that time to arrive shortly.  The cycle of egg-laying is not something that the chickens really have much control over.  Every day or thereabouts, they will find themselves remaining on the nesting area until an egg is laid.  They truly have very little choice in the matter, which made me think about this business of cycles and how they can take on a life of their own.

Reading through the book of Judges as we are in our church-wide Bible reading plan, the cycle is repeated numerous times over multiple generations of God’s judge leading the people, times going well, the people forget about God, times get tough, the people cry out to God, and another judge returns God’s favor to them.  It reads almost as if it were a precursor to the movie Groundhog Day, where a character relives the same day over and over with only himself in the know.

In nature, water comes from the clouds, evaporates from the earth, condensates in the sky, and returns back to the ground without the help of anyone or anything.  The tides, the seasons, the phases of the moon, the ovulation of a woman, the waking and sleeping of day following day, it’s all going to continue regardless of our part.  Our input couldn’t matter any less.

But let that not be the case where you and your faith are concerned.  You may have grown up in a cycle that tends towards goodness and positivity, with the pleasant qualities of life as its companion.  But little from the past is guaranteed in the future.  So make it a priority, part of your daily cycle, to abide in the God who exists outside of time and cycles.  Talk and listen to the One who is daily renewing what never gets old.  Do not take for granted the grace and mercy of our Divine Father.

But if you or someone you know is part of a cycle that is not overflowing with what seems so abundant in others, taking blessings for granted is the last thing you have to worry about.  It may be all you can do to block out the feelings of sorrow and thoughts of despair.  To dare to hope for something better seems a risk unimaginable.  Then how do you escape the cycle that may be all you’ve known for too long?  How could the Israelites cry out in year 400 when nothing but silence was heard for 399 years?

Until Jesus, the cycle had been birth, life, and then death.  But then, resurrection came.  And with it came the reality of a new life, a new cycle.  That may seem like just words on a page to someone who feels like they’re caught in a trap.  But if you’ll stake your life on them, if you’ll believe they can break your cycle and start you anew, then the love that God showed by raising His Son from the dead will be yours for the asking.  And what seemed unimaginable can become quite believable.

Rich Holt

Words Matter

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The last couple of weeks we have been studying the use of words especially focusing on James 3.  Just in case you may have missed that particular week, I showed how James 3 teaches us that:

1. Words Matter

2. Words matter for they reveal our heart

3. Words matter for they can form our/other’s hearts

4. Words said to/from God can heal our words to others

To prove a point, Sonship international ministry provides these instructions of speech to show how much of our thoughts and words reveal a continual struggle for approval.  We continual believe that we are in a courtroom to demonstrate our worth to ourselves, others, and God.

  1. Do not complain or grumble.
  2. Do not boast about anything at all.
  3. Do not gossip or repeat bad information about somebody else.
  4. Do not run somebody down, even a little bit.
  5. Do not defend or excuse yourself, no matter what.
  6. Do always affirm other people.

Yet. according to the gospel we are already approved by the work of Jesus on the cross on our behalf.  As approved by God, the only lasting authority, I no longer need to push myself before lesser authorities.  Yet our words may reveal that our heart doesn’t believe this declaration.

Consider these instructions in light of social media.  If you applied the instructions listed above to your social media postings and remarks, how many of your postings would be eliminated?  Social media’s effect is to amplify our heart revelations as well as intensify the effect on other people’s hearts.  The media can be a powerful tool for good if we learn to talk and hear from God before posting and remarking. Note in the verse below that the object of judgment is not just our speech, but our words whether written or spoken.

Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Jarrod Scott

The Greatest Commandment

In our F260 readings this week we are blessed with some memory verses from Deuteronomy 6 that many of us may already know pretty well. Verses 4-9 offer us some great truth and instruction, so I’m thankful we have the opportunity to study and learn what God has to share. Right out of the gate starting with verses 4-5, we get a great truth and the part we may know best of all “Hear O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
Jesus referenced this in Matthew 22:38 as “The first and greatest commandment”, so that reference alone makes it stand out and be worth engraving in our hearts as is stated in Deuteronomy 22:6 “And these words I command to you today shall be on our heart” which means always with us and a part of everything we think and do. In verse Deuteronomy 22:7, the word says “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise”. This is suggesting to us that these teachings should go on at all times and in all situations. Deuteronomy 22:8-9 says “You shall bind them as a sign on your hands and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the door post of your house and on your gates”. Which is telling us it should be ever present in our lives, in the work of our hands, in our homes and on our doorpost for all to see.  We are to live out the love we have for God in all we do and we are to share that through living it and teaching it everyday!
These verses offer great truths from God’s word, and while it may be more difficult to live it and teach it in our daily lives than it is to believe the fact that God is the One and Only True God, we know we can focus and believe in what Deuteronomy 22:4 & 5 say that “The Lord our God, the Lord is one” and if we love him with all of our heart and all of our soul and with all of our might, He will give us the strength to better live it out everyday. Let’s pray God will give us His strength daily to live for him in everything we do.
And as we approach Easter, let’s also pray that God will lay a burden on our hearts for someone that we can invite to church to hear the greatest news of all… that Jesus is Alive and sitting at the right hand of our God on our behalf every day.
Happy Easter!

Chris Best

St. Patrick’s Day

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In America, arguably more than even Ireland, March 17 is a big deal in celebrating what is called St. Patrick’s day.  In fact, the idea of parades began in New York with British soldiers from Ireland “marching” to a tavern on this day in the 1760’s.  The men we called St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD and was really British, not Irish.  He was born under the Roman empire authority and his father was a deacon and grandfather a priest.  As a 16-year-old, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish invaders and was made a slave.  While a slave for 6 years, Patrick stated: “The Lord opened to me a sense of my unbelief, that I might be converted with all my heart unto the Lord.”

Patrick escaped his owners a and made it back home at the age of 22.  While extremely grateful to be back home and no longer a slave his heart became burdened for his former captors.  One night he dreamed that an Irishman was begging him to return and preach.  Patrick started to prepare and study for the task that was before him and after several years went back to Ireland. In his mission work, he was able to plant 200 churches and baptized approximately 100,000 converts though he faced multiple attempts at murder and violent opposition. In his Confessions, he wrote, “I am greatly a debtor of God, who has bestowed his grace so largely upon me, that multitudes were born again to God through me.  The Irish, who had never had the knowledge of God and worshipped only idols and unclean things, have lately become the people of the Lord, and are called sons of God”.  (On this Day by Robert J. Morgan, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

The ritual of wearing green extended from wearing the green shamrock on this day to identify with the Christian tradition of Ireland and Patrick’s use of a shamrock to explain the Trinity.  If you want to watch a video that utilizes stupid humor as a tool to correct this and other bad analogies for the Trinity then click here.

The “Breast Plate of St. Patrick” is attributed to him (viewed in the picture above), but in reality, we do not know the author of the poem, though it is old enough to have been written or utilized by Patrick.

Jarrod Scott

What Should We Be Asking of God in Our Prayers?

A few Sundays ago, Jarrod spoke about the need to pray, not so much for what we want, but for what God has promised to provide us, in His Word. Sadly, there is often a significant difference in what we want vs. what God wants for us. Below are a few interrelated points to consider.

1. In 2010, David Jones, Professor of Christian Ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a book entitled, “Health, Wealth & Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ?” In that book, Dr. Jones raises concerns over the continuing trend in our Christian culture, from a Christ-based focus to a me-based focus. God’s primary desire is to see all come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). Said another way, to be saved (Romans 10:9). From that point forward, God’s longing is for us to love Him and to love our neighbor. This desire, referred to as the Greatest Commandment, is repeated, word for word (for emphasis) in Luke 10:27, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30-31 and Deuteronomy 6:5 among other verses spread throughout the Bible. Love comes from having a relationship with someone, exemplified from our F260 reading this past week where the Lord spoke to Moses as a man speaks to his friend (Ex 33:11). Once saved, our path to love God is through learning about who He is and what He has done for us (Jeremiah 9:23-24). The greatest expression of our eternal love for others is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them (Matt 28:19-20).

Reflection – Are these the foundational elements of your prayer life, to love God more and more every day and to share that love with others? If not, then you (we) are out of sync with God.

2. One of the “formulas” for prayer is A.C.T.S. These letters stand for Adoration (Praise – Psalms 68:35), Confession (of sins – 1 John 1:9), Thanksgiving (thanking God for who he is – Psalms 69:30), and Supplication (requests – Phil 4:6). Note the emphasis on this method of prayer, that adoration and thanksgiving are to be focused on who God is and confession is all about how we have fallen short. Only supplication has a component of prayer requests for ourselves balanced with prayers for others (intercessory).

Reflection – The obvious question is, what balance in these elements do you (I) see in your personal (not corporate) time of daily prayer?

3. God promises that all things will work out for good for His children (Romans 8:28). We cannot see eternity past (I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday). We cannot see today in all its detail (I can only see my side of an issue or event), and we cannot see into a perfect future (I pulled out of stocks two weeks ago, perfectly timing the lowest point in the market, which has risen consistently ever since). When God says He will work everything out for the good of his children, it is another way of saying Phil 4:6-7, that we should not be anxious about anything but pray with a focus on thanksgiving that God will take care of us regardless of the way circumstances seem to look at the time.

Reflection – It is always true that our prayer life becomes more vibrant when we, or our loved ones, get into trouble. The question is, do our prayers remain in balance (A.C.T.S.) or do they become only petitions to God, based on our imperfect view of the situation?

4. Finally, and perhaps the scariest reality as selfish individuals, God’s focus is not toward you and me, as individuals so much as it is to work everything out in a way that will bring Him Glory. God is not our servant, expected to come to our rescue and personally fix our problems based on the way we see them. John 16:33 reminds us that God desires that we have peace, not because we will get everything we want, but because He is in control. As I have mentioned in public before, God drove Judy and I into personal bankruptcy, the exact opposite of what I wanted for our lives. However, He used that process to drive us closer to Him, to be dependent not on ourselves, but on Him. I can look back and see the greater picture of God getting the glory, as well as my family entering His kingdom one day. However, this win-win is not always the case and it is not always so clear. Currently, I know a family where the father is in jail and will be for many years. The mom, with two kids, is facing major surgery in the next few weeks and a long and unsure period of recovery. God may somehow be glorified through all this but, at least so far, it does not appear to be a win-win for the family. Romans 8:28, working together for good, may eventually become visible, but it may not be all that clear on this side of the grave.

Reflection – Are you ok with the reality that comes from Proverbs 19:21 where it says, “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

I could go on and on but the point is that our sin nature (selfishness, pride, arrogance, etc.) clouds us from the reality that God sees things differently than we do. He has an eternal perspective where ours is often so blind and limited to earthly matters. The more our prayer life moves toward His desire, the more we will truly be citizens of Heaven rather than focused on struggling through the day to day existence in these temporary bodies.

Jeff Hilles

Just As I AM

With the news of Billy Graham’s death, I have been reflective of his impact in my life, our country, and the world.  These meditations have also included many more people that have formed my spiritual heritage.  With these memories, I could not help but think of the song “Just As I am” which have become connected with Billy Graham’s memory and his crusades.  In fact, it was the title of his autobiography, which I read several years ago.  This song was a common sound in the invitations at revival meetings and church services at my home.  I still can see my whitened knuckles gripping hard the pew in front of me as I pondered being “tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O lamb of God,” would I come?  I thought I would take the time to read the lyrics and share some history of the song with you.

The song was written by Charlotte Elliott of Brighton, England (1789–1871) and was an invalid most of her life.  As a believer surrounded by family that was very active in their faith, she struggled with feeling useless in her life.  In 1834, Charlotte was 45 and in the midst of her family working hard for a fundraiser for a ministry she languished in her feelings of uselessness. These feelings moved to doubts and conflicts of her whole spiritual life.  The next day, all those feelings hit her full force and she needed a resolution.  She brought together all of her spiritual certainties to consider over and above her emotions and expressed on pen and paper her definition of faith. She wrote in verse form her forgiveness, peace, and hope of heaven.  (Louis Benson, Studies of Familiar Hymns, Second Series, 201-202 accessed on http://www.challies.com/articles/hymn-stories-just-as-i-am/ )

 

Just as I am – without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

Access to a relationship with God by His initiation and on the basis of Jesus sacrifice alone!

Just as I am – and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

Our hope for being Right with God and ourselves is only by Jesus, “The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Don’t delay such a gift. 

Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

Our faith is imperfect, but our Christ remains perfect and receives us for He is greater than our doubts. 

Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

We don’t have to make ourselves right to be received by Christ for only through Him do we get right. 

Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

Jesus has promised, so take him at His word though we are “weary and heavy laden” 

Just as I am – Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

There is nothing so shaming in our heart that prevents God in His love toward us for it “is His goodness that leads us to repentance.”

Just as I am – of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

There is so much more to be experienced of God’s love that awaits for us after our own death.  The travails of this life are seasonal but God’s love is forever!

Jarrod Scott

The Makings of Me

Dad called last night and he was excited to share with me the report he got from his genetic kit.  You or someone you knew probably sent or received one of those genetic kits for Christmas.  I will be sending off my DNA kit shortly. They appeal to our fascination with ourselves and all that has gone into the 23 chromosomes that have determined our physical body.  Not only do we learn about our body, we also learn about all the places our specific forebears have traveled and intermingled.  We no longer see ourselves as just either red, yellow, black, or white but also as all the colors of the world.  I will look forward to learning about the various cultures and generic tendencies of my personal people groups.  This will be done with an eye to explain and understand my own tendencies and struggles.  We are always looking for someone to blame for our failings, aren’t we?

I am sad to say that my failings are personally mine and mine alone.  Yet, I read a verse in 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 that instructs me to no longer to judge according to the flesh but to seek Christ in myself and others because God is making us into a new creation.  As interesting as it might be to know the genetic markings of myself and others, more meaningful is to seek Christ in them.  This will lead us to an active prayer thought life as we go about our day.  Let the people you meet through your day form an active prayer list for you as you move through your schedules and agendas.  Pray for your people that Christ would be active and work in their hearts and life.  This spiritual power of Christ will determine more of you will be than genetic chromosomes.  As James instructs, “receive the implanted Word of God.”

Pastor Jarrod

Trials…What Good are They?

Let’s face it, life is full of trials and sometimes we just want to say, ” Alright already!” …Why do I have to face so many trials and what good are they anyway?  It’s a tough question, but it’s real for all of us in some capacity.  As believer’s we hope and maybe even sometimes expect the trials to cease.  But, we find they don’t and sometimes they ​even ​seem to increase​.​

S​o we are left to ​try​ to trust that God is there ​to walk us thru​ and ​that ​He has something to teach us that will draw us closer to Him while going thru it.  The good news is Gods word is full of good examples of this and what God can do thru trials.

​I​n our F260 Bible reading for the last couple of weeks we are seeing a great example of this in Joseph.  When it comes to trials, Joseph faced some pretty tough stuff, but he kept his faith in God #1 and we can see where God used ​those​ trials to teach him several things.  One was to accept the situation and glorify God thru it.  It’s real easy to have a “Why Me” approach to trials, but when Joseph was sold into Slavery he accepted the situation and went right to work for Potiphar.  

​Like Joseph w​e must accept our situation for God to work thru it.  Then when wrongly thrown into prison he continued to work hard and instead of holding grudges against those who put him there, he helped them prosper. God used this to bless others and draw them to himself, he can do the same thru our trials.  God ​also ​taught Joseph patience thru numerous and very long trials.  Joseph knew God was going to bless him so he kept his hope fixed on God thru it all and in the end his patience paid off with blessings, as it can for us in our trials.  He taught Joseph integrity thru the temptations of Potiphar’s wife. 

​ Joseph​ knew that being faithful to God 1st and Potiphar 2nd was the right thing to do even thought it would mean more trials, and God blessed ​his patience thru it​ as he will do for us.  He taught Joseph humility thru his trials.  At any point Joseph could have taken credit for his ability to interpret dreams and gained the reward for it, but instead Joseph always gave glory to God for this ability, proclaiming that God was responsible for his abilities and that deserved the glory for it all.  Joseph knew it was God’s blessing that gave him the ability to get thru this trial, so he gave him the glory as we should when God walks us thru a trial.    

​There are several things God Taught Joseph, but I’ll close with a big one that we all struggle with, forgiveness.  God taught Joseph that forgiveness is key for dealing with the trials in our life.  If we are going to get past some of the biggest trials in our life we must first forgive those who have wronged us so God can do his great work thru them.  Joseph knew God’s plan​s​ w​ere ​bigger than he was and ​that they were ​bigger than the many trials he faced ​since​ his brothers had committed ​the sin of selling him into slavery.  But, instead of holding a grudge he forgave, he trusted God​,​ and ​he ​gave God​the Glory he deserved every step of the way.  

Joseph’s trials and how he handled them, ​can teach us a lot ​​as we face our ​daily​ trials, so keep on reading and trusting in God’s word. And even though the trials may continue, He will walk you thru drawing you and others around you to Himself the whole way.  

Chris Best