Tag Archives: Joseph

It’s Difficult to Kill a Dead Man

81IwOxFrP4L._SL1500_Last night as I contemplated the suffering and adversity that Jesus endured on the cross, I thought to myself: Yeah, Good Friday was good for mankind but in no way, shape, or form was it good for Jesus (the man). No sooner had this thought entered my mind, it was replaced by a voice that reminded me that while a selfish man will avoid adversity at all cost, a selfless man who has died to himself welcomes and rejoices over the adversity that comes from doing what is right, upholding the truth, and fulfilling a purpose that is infinitely greater than himself.

Light-bulb moment: As a dead man, it is not a question of if you might go through adversity, it is a matter of when you go through it for doing what is right.

I was also reminded yesterday that Jesus was dead well before He ever died on the cross. He had totally and utterly died to himself and had become completely selfless – especially after the episode in the garden of Gethsemane. It was this selflessness that emboldened him to break the established rules in order to fulfill the law of love (God is love). The leaders in his time did not like that he broke the rules, so they found every reason to accuse him, arrest him, and sanction his suffering and subsequent death on the cross.

Light-bulb moment: As a dead man, you must regard obeying the unchangeable law of God as infinitely more important than obeying the changing rules of man.

In sanctioning the death of Jesus, the religious leaders thought they were putting an end to Him. How laughable! In truth they were only working to fulfill His most noble purpose. Moreover, he arose from the grave 3 days later. How shocked they must have been! What they did not consider is that it is ‘difficult’ to kill a dead man…a dead man cannot be killed off..he can only come alive!

Consider Nelson Mandela. The ones who held power thought they could put an end to his crusade to end apartheid by throwing him in prison; a place where they thought he would die. All they ended up doing was fueling the fire of change in the country. Mandela rose from the sentence of being a dead and forgotten man to being resurrected from his pitiful prison to rule the nation from his presidential palace.

The story of Mandela is in some way similar to that of Joseph in that Joseph went from the prison to the palace. Both left an undeniable imprint in their country and left a long and lasting legacy in the world.

Light-bulb moment: Though a dead man may endure adversity, adversity is nothing but a springboard to his success

So friend, if you are dead and selfless, be prepared to endure adversity. The folks who seem to hold sway may not like you (for whatever reason). They may even be convinced in their heart that they are right – like the pharisee believed. But remember that just because someone is honest in their belief does not mean their belief is not honestly wrong. Take heart and carry on in the will of God – no one can stop your impact in your world. Just as the only way a seed can produce fruit is if it dies (see John 12:24), the only way our lives will produce good fruit is if we die to ourselves and surrender ourselves completely to the will of God. Remember that the consequence of doing the right thing is not our responsibility; it is God’s responsibility. So die to live!!

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Success Secret From Jesus – Day 0 – Live in the Present or Die in the Past

Your Past History Does NOT Have to Determine Your Future Success

Your future depends on your ability to surrender your past to the Lordship of Jesus and your present to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Jesus paved the way by showing us that is possible to overcome impossible odds. So, please dust yourself up and reclaim the wonderful promises that are yours in Jesus Christ. The world needs you and me to walk in love.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” – see I Corinthians 2:9

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Called and Chosen to Rule – Joseph the Son of Jacob

Why was Joseph called and chosen to rule over all the land of Egypt? Is it because he had the gift of interpreting dreams? No, the gift is NOT what got him his position!

See, Joseph would never have been called to speak to the Pharaoh and so would not have been given the opportunity to show his God-given discernment and wisdom IF he had not first shown love – concern and compassion  – to his fellow inmates. Here is what the bible says about Joseph:

And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?” And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.” So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.” – Genesis 40:6-8

Listen to me and please understand that the reason why God is choosing you to be great is NOT because of your gifts and talents, but because of your heart for His people! If Joseph (though a prisoner himself) had not first taken the initiative to look at his fellow prisoners, he would have missed the opportunity to interpret their dreams. If he had not interpreted the dreams, the butler would not have told Pharaoh about Joseph (see Genesis 41:9-14).

But you are different!  You take the opportunity to look at the people around you. Though you may be in the same situation as they are, you still care enough to take notice of their expression (just like Joseph). You do not want people to be weighed down by sadness, doubt and uncertainty, but you want them to experience joy and peace right in the middle of whatever they are going through. This is why you take the initiative to look at the people! This is what you do when you go about taking notice of where there is need in your outreaches.

But you do not stop there, once you see a need, you are moved with compassion. You care enough to ask people what is wrong with them (just like Joseph). Although you have a destination and an agenda, you create time to be salt and light to those around you. You are NOT like the priest and Levite who were so consumed with their own agenda, but you are as the Good Samaritan who, being moved with love and compassion, stopped to pour out wine (the Holy Spirit) and oil (the anointing or empowerment of the Holy Spirit) on the wounds of the man who was hurt (see Luke 10:34). You are as Jesus, who being anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, went about doing good and healing those who were oppressed of the devil (see Acts 10:38).

But there is more, you are called and chosen to rule today because you also say words of life, truth, wisdom, and encouragement that God gives to you. In your humility, you offer people the water of the word so that they are not left thirsty. Instead, you fill them up and they go about refreshed and encouraged. Oh, how your words have changed the countenance and facial expression of many people around you – all to the glory of God! Just as Joseph offered the prisoners hope that their dreams could be interpreted by saying ‘do not interpretations belong to God’, you are offering people hope through your words

Lastly, you show people love. You just do not tell them that hope exists – by saying God is able – but you actually plead with people to show them the love of God (just like Joseph). You say to people through your actions, ‘You have been hoping that I can help you… I am both able AND willing.’ This is what Joseph did when he not only told the prisoners that God could interpret their dreams but followed it up by actually asking the prisoners to tell him. Remember how the man with leprosy said to Jesus ‘if you are willing, you can heal me?’ Remember how Jesus said ‘I am willing’, and then cleansed him? This is what you are doing when you say ‘tell me your problems so I can offer you the solution’.

Hallelujah! The solution inside of you is Jesus and just like Joseph, you are showing the power of love by looking, asking, saying, and showing.

When you noticed a need and volunteered your gift of interpretation, this is what you did – you showed love.

God is not going to forget that. It is because of this heart of compassion that God will use your gift and talent he has given you to put you in front of Pharaoh. Then you shall be put in charge of the whole land. All this because you have dared to love!

Food for thought: Love is always the key that is propelling you into your destiny. Wait for it, your audience with the Pharaoh is coming!

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Called and Chosen to Leadership – Joseph the Husband of Mary

The relationship between Joseph and Mary was orchestrated by God to achieve His purpose. Joseph was chosen to be with Mary because he was a ‘just and devout’ man who completely surrendered himself to the voice of God. Unlike the Prophet Jonah, he was a man who carried out the instructions of God without hesitation and without retort no matter how uncomfortable it made him feel. His obedient to love (God) was instant and unquestionable

If you know the story of Joseph, then you know that he cared about what God thought above what everybody else thought. He was a man who put his confidence in God. He was a man who neither considered the unrighteous judgment of man nor paid attention to his own fleeting and changing emotions but was devoted solely to God. He simply did not talk about putting God above man, but had the seemingly rare quality of actually walking that talk.

Light-bulb moment: The most important thing in choosing a partner is choosing someone who will obey the voice of God above all else – even above our own selfish wants and needs.

See, Joseph had to believe the unbelievable. He had to take the word of God over the reality of the present situation. While common sense and reality dictated that Mary was no virgin – for she was pregnant – Joseph chose to believe Mary and angel Gabriel.  Can you imagine the ridicule Joseph faced in his community? I am sure ‘foolish’ and ‘stupid’ are some of the choice words that many people used to describe him. Can you imagine the number of people that must have pulled him aside and given him ‘wise counsel’?

Quite frankly, Joseph must have been the laughing stock of his time – if not for staying with Mary, then for believing in Mary’s story and paying attention to his own ‘imagined’ vision. Can you fathom the humiliation Joseph endured especially in those times? Thankfully, Joseph knew that the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of man (1 Corinthians 1:25)

In truth, what Joseph made up his mind to believe was and is still unprecedented! What about you? Would you believe it if someone who was pregnant told you they were still a virgin? I certainly know I would have my doubts even if I had a dream about it. But Joseph was a man who truly trusted God; a man of great resolve!

Light-bulb moment: History making often requires believing the unbelievable!

Imagine what would have happened if he had not promptly obeyed the voice of God to leave Bethlehem for Egypt? His family would have unlikely escaped the murderous hand of Herod and perhaps another woman would have had to be chosen for the Immaculate Conception. Thankfully Joseph obeyed and so led his family into a foreign land. In reality, his obedience to the word of God is what ultimately destined him to be immortalized in the bible.

Light-bulb moment: Our obedience to God is the key to fulfilling our destiny

How unbelievable that God decided to place the fate of the savior in the hands of Joseph; He placed the fate of the entire world on the leadership of one man. He did not place it in the hands of a rich, resourceful, and powerful man who commanded armies and could easily provide protection. Instead, He placed it into the hands of a simple carpenter with modest belongings BUT who would not be swayed by public opinion. He put it into the hands of a true leader!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: A true leader is someone who submits himself to following the will of God. In reality, leadership is easy when all we are doing is following the instruction of God.

The story of Joseph also shows us the heart of God. He chooses to use man to accomplish his purpose. He does this not because He wants to share His glory but because He wants His glory to be reflected to other men so they may be drawn to Him. See, it may be that when other men see that God favors us and see His work through us that they are directed to Him – it is when they want to know him.

If we want to be chosen to fulfill something great, we have to prove ourselves to be completely surrendered to the will of God just like Joseph. Just like Joseph, we have to care not for our own thoughts or the thoughts of others, be people of great resolve and character, and obey God’s voice promptly!

Light-bulb moment: The key to being chosen by God is not our ability but our availability.

See, God chose Joseph to shepherd Mary because He knew the character of the man. My prayer is that we all grow to be Joseph’s; to be completely in love with God so that we are not simply called onto greatness but that we are chosen to achieve it.

Light-bulb moment: As children of God, we have been called to greatness. It is out love for God that determines whether we are chosen.

Food for Thought: You may be with the person you are with to achieve a greater purpose in life

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Is it ever okay NOT to honor my father and mother?

We are taught to honor our father and mother so that our days may be prolonged (Exodus 20:12). Before breathing a sigh of relief that this scripture is found in the Old Testament, Apostle Paul repeats this instruction in his letter to the church in Ephesus – teaching us that it is applicable to us today and reminding us that it is the first commandment with a promise.

But does this mean we have to acquiesce to every wish of our parents? Absolutely not! The bible tells us that we are to not to seek the honor that comes from man but to seek the honor that comes from God (John 5:41).

What does this mean? It means that we are never to honor the wishes of any man – including our parents – above honoring God. Why? This is because in being human, the wishes of our parents are at times driven by their fear, prejudice, selfishness, history, upbringing, culture, and life experiences.

In essence, the will and wishes of man is not always good for us and acceptable to God. Conversely, the will and wish of God for our lives is always good, acceptable and perfect (see Romans 12:2)

Lightbulb MomentIt is alright to honor the wishes of our parents only if what they want lines up with what God tells us to do as instructed by the Holy Spirit.

Put another way, our ultimate authority is God and not man – not matter how close the relationship! The perfect example of honoring God above man is that of Jesus. If Jesus had listened to his family, He would not have done the will of His father to do good and heal those who were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). We know this because the bible tells us that His family wanted to whisk Him away from the crowd to which He was healing, setting free, and preaching. Why? They thought He was out of His mind (Mark 3:20)!

Have you wondered why Jesus’ teachings and wonderful miracles did not excite His family? It is because they were only thinking of themselves! See, Jesus was the first-born son of His household; therefore, the responsibility of caring for the family fell on Him after Joseph’s death. Being a skilled carpenter and not breaking a jot of the law, He provided for His family very well! How do we know Jesus was well off? We know for the God promised great things for those who kept his commandments and obeyed His voice (see Deuteronomy 28). Since God is not a liar, it is clear that He commanded blessings into everything to which Jesus put His hand –  including His storehouse (see Deuteronomy 28:8).

See, the family of Jesus had it good! By Jesus leaving it all behind to embark on this new ministry of His, He had not only seemingly shunned His responsibility as the patriarch of His family, but they were also worried that He was no longer going to be able to provide for them! They would no longer live the good life. They wondered to themselves: ‘Why is He leaving this goodness to go perambulate the wilderness – just walking from place to place? God has blessed Him and given Him a duty to take care of us. And why is He going against our traditions? What will people say? Why is He simply throwing all He has away? Surely, He has lost His mind’.

You see, His family were being selfish in thinking only about themselves without pausing to think of how wonderful Jesus’ ministry was for those He was setting free.

Thank goodness Jesus did not decide to honor His family above the word and voice of God. Can you imagine if He had said: ‘Well, I must honor my family and so stop what I am doing’? How horrible for the entire multitude to which He ministered; how horrible for all humanity! Though His family did not understand, He understood what He was doing, and that is all that mattered. As we know, His own brother did not believe in Him at the beginning but would later come to understand and believe.

This tells us that every decision made in Christ will sooner or later be understood by all who doubted us. Why? It is because wisdom (the instruction of God) is always justified by her children (its results). In obeying the voice of God, Jesus not only honored God but ultimately honored His family and all humanity by paying the price for our sins on the cross and honoring us with a way back to God.

Moreover, He made sure His mother was going to be well taken care off as well (John 19:26).

Lightbulb MomentThe only way to truly honor man with love is to honor God. Anything done outside of God is not love but fear in disguise.

Food for Thought: I am right for honoring my parents, but I am wrong for honoring them above God.

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