• Impact

    Joseph, used by God to preserve a remnant

    Genesis 45:1–15 is part of the lectionary readings for the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, which is August 16th. Genesis 41:53-57 leaves the impression that life was busy and absorbing for Joseph, both personally and professionally. It became even more so as seven years of drought and famine began, for Pharaoh directed his starving population to go to Joseph for the food they needed to survive. The famine extended even to Canaan and affected its inhabitants. Moreover, chapters 42–44 reveal that as the situation worsened throughout the Fertile Crescent, Jacob was forced to send his remaining sons (except for Joseph’s full brother, Benjamin) to Egypt to buy grain for the family.…

  • Impact

    Joseph, used by God to preserve a remnant

    Title: Joseph, used by God to preserve a remnant Aim: To recognize that God’s purposes exceed our plans. Scripture: Genesis 45:1–15   Joseph’s disclosure, Genesis 45:1–7   Genesis 41:53-57 leaves the impression that life was busy and absorbing for Joseph, both personally and professionally. It became even more so as the seven years of drought and hunger began, for Pharaoh directed his starving population to go to Joseph for the food they needed to survive.   The famine extended even to Canaan and affected its inhabitants. Moreover, chapters 42–44 reveal that as the situation worsened throughout the Fertile Crescent, Jacob was forced to send his remaining sons (except for Joseph’s…

  • Impact

    Joseph, a dream come true

    Title: Joseph, a dream come true Aim: To note that God’s wisdom can enable us to help others. Scripture: Genesis 41:25–40   Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, Genesis 41:25–32   Most of the narrative in the last 14 chapters of Genesis concerns the life of Joseph. The faith this favored son of Jacob showed amid distressing circumstances has encouraged believers down through the centuries.   Because of sibling rivalry and resentment, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. Then, once Joseph became the slave of Potiphar, the quality of his character began to show itself.   Joseph did not wallow in self-pity, but energetically carried out the tasks set…

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    Social Gospel or Gospel with Social Ramifications?

      Before I became a Christian, I attended churches where I heard the “social gospel.” That is, I learned all about doing good works, but I didn’t actually know how to have peace with God through Christ. I thought good works were the way to such peace. But grace means that works follow salvation, not the other way around. Unfortunately, since becoming a Christian, I have often encountered an equally distorted view at the other extreme. Christians who know how to have peace with God through Christ often view pretty much everyone committed to feeding the poor and clothing the naked as preaching a “social gospel.” Often such believers see…