Joseph and his coat of many colours is a story that has always been most popular with children -- a young lad sold into slavery, only to become a top official in Egypt. It's a story full of drama and human interest. Yet Joseph's life is much more than a great story for children.
From the life of Joseph we can see some principles for being a successful vessel in God's service. We can't tie up spiritual progress in neat packages and steps, yet we are foolish if we don't see certain lessons from great men and women who have gone before us.
Success can mean many different things but for a Christian, success can be only one thing -- being rightly related to God so that we can be a vessel that He can use to pour forth His blessings to others. Let's look now at.....
Day 1- If I were to ask you what makes a man successful, what would you
say? We all might have a slightly different answer but the Bible gives us a
clear description of a successful and prosperous man.
Day 2 -This was the kind of man that Joseph was. It says in
Genesis 39: 2-3....
Although we have very little background of Joseph, we know that he was the beloved son of Jacob (the 11th son) and that he had a relationship with God.
Day 3- A close relationship with God is the first step in becoming a
useful vessel for God's service. How important was this to a man like the
Day 4- This relationship involves a heart commitment to love Him with
all of our heart, mind and soul.
Deuteronomy 10:12/ Deuteronomy 11:13 / Deuteronomy 6:5
Day 5- Drawing close to God also involves a DAILY commitment to spending
time with God both by prayer....
Matthew 26:41 / Ephesians 6:18/ I Thessalonians 5:17 / James 5:13
Day 6- ....and in reading and studying His word--the Bible.
Jeremiah 15:16/ Deuteronomy 8:3b/ Deuteronomy 11:18-20/ Deuteronomy 6:6-9 / Deuteronomy 17:19 / Romans 15:4
Day 7- Although we are only given clues to Joseph's relationship with
God we know that God spoke to Him and conveyed His plans to him via the dreams
that he had.
Day 8- It was perhaps this relationship with God that became the source
of jealousy amongst his brothers that finally erupted into hatred when Joseph
explains to them the dreams God had given him.
Let's look at a part of Joseph's life that reflects a second important principle in becoming successful for God.
Day 9- When we align our life with God we can expect that those living
for themselves and this world will be against us or will be a temptation to
draw us away from God.
I John 3:13 / John 15:18-21
Day 10- For Joseph, this temptation came at a time when things were
going very well in his life. He had gained position, prosperity and success at
everything he did.
Genesis 39:1-6 / I Peter 5:8
Day 11- Times of rest, peace, prosperity and success can be gifts from
God, but they are just the times to be most on your guard.
Deuteronomy 8:10-14 / 2 Peter 3:17
Day 12- Temptations come in the form of thoughts, objects, people, or
circumstances. The power of temptation comes in the form of suggestions made to
us to act apart from God's will. What was Joseph's temptation?
Genesis 39: 7-10
Day 13- We see first in Joseph's case a PROMPT REFUSAL. He didn't even
consider the suggestion. This is the point where most of us lose our battle. We
consider something too long. It may be only a few seconds but even that may be
too long. There must be a prompt refusal to anything that is sin or would lead
Proverbs 1:10/ Proverbs 4:14-15 / Romans 6:13/ Ephesians 6:13
Day 14- One would think that, had Joseph consented to sin, it would have
been a sin against Potiphar, his boss. Even though sin may appear only to
affect ourselves or one other person, who is affected the most?
Day 15- A prompt refusal to temptation will almost always necessitate
Genesis 39:10 / Romans 6:13
Day 16- Yet, even Joseph's practical action wasn't enough. Potiphar's
wife would not give up easily. Temptation is often like that. Even with our
efforts to stay away from it, temptation can still tenaciously cling to us....
Day 17- Removing ourselves from the place, the person, or the situation
where we are exposed to temptation becomes a practical step to....
Day 18- Joseph's determination to FLEE from evil needs to be ours as we
each face personal temptations. What are God's comforting promises to us?
I Corinthians 10:13 / James 1:12
Joseph did all the right things regarding the temptation in his life. Yet his reward for keeping himself from fornication was prison! Had God forgotten about his "crown of life"? The third principle of a successful man is to ....
Day 19- Have you ever felt someone was controlling your life? Causing
you to go in a direction you didn't want? Forcing you beyond your will? Are you
in a situation right now that seems unfair and unjust?
I Peter 4:12-13
Day 20- This is what Joseph found himself asking as he sat in a dark
prison cell for two years for being accused of a crime he never committed.
Day 21- Then Joseph tried something that we try as well when we're in a
tough spot. We try to get other men to help us out of it rather than to trust
God that He has everything under control and will work on our behalf.
Genesis 40:1-19 (vs.14-15)
Day 22- The results are always disappointing when we trust in other men
Genesis 40:20-23 (vs.23) / Psalm 146:3/ Isaiah 2:22 / Isaiah 31:1 / Jeremiah 17:5
Day 23- God had not forgotten Joseph. He was allowing him to go through
a time of discipline. A man or woman that expects to be used by God should
EXPECT GOD'S DISCIPLINE!
Hebrews 12: 5-11
Day 24- God had not abandoned Joseph even though everything may have
appeared that way. God never leaves us or forsakes his children even in the
Hebrews 13:5b / Isaiah 43:2
Day 25- God's plans for us are always far beyond what we can think or
imagine and therefore He takes special care to prepare us. Thus we see the
humbled Joseph rise quickly from the lowly prison cell to become second in
charge over the land of Egypt at the young age of 30 years.
The fourth principle that we can glean from Joseph's life is .....
It was not long before there was a famine throughout Egypt and the
surrounding lands just as the Lord had said there would be. It was during this
time that Joseph came face to face with his brothers?yes, the same ones who
despised and tried to kill him 20 years earlier. If ever a man was in a
position to "get even" Joseph was.
Day 26- The Bible doesn't give us any indication of how Joseph dealt
with any bitterness or resentment he may have faced during his years as a
slave. But by the time he sees his brothers face to face there is only
forgiveness and love that pours forth. Joseph played tough on the first meeting
with his brothers. Yet what was his reaction when he heard them talking
Day 27- Read the account of Joseph's second visit with his brothers
(Genesis 43). How did Joseph react to seeing his youngest brother Benjamin?
Day 28- "Forgiveness has two sides that are inseparably joined; the
forgiveness each of us needs from God, and the forgiveness we owe to other
human beings. Most of us prefer not to face up to the fact that God's
forgiveness and man's are forever linked." -Catherine Marshall
Mark 11:25 / Ephesians 4:32 / Colossians 3:13
Day 29- "Jesus warned us that if we want the Father's forgiveness, there
is only one way to get it. Start the flow of forgiveness between heaven and
earth by forgiving our brother from the heart." -Catherine Marshall
Day 30- We see the dramatic revealing of Joseph to his brothers in
Genesis 45. Joseph had been able to see beyond all the hurts and trials of the
years. God had allowed it all for his own good purposes. In our own situation,
can we say confidently as Joseph did....
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