January 13, 2017

January 13, 2017

GENESIS 38-40

Focus Verse: “When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, ‘Why are your faces so sad today?’”

Genesis 40:6-7

I’m going to tell on myself today. I am terrible at the concept presented here. If I were Joseph I would have completely missed this opportunity and probably my chance to be restored in Pharaoh’s palace. But what Joseph does in these two verses, two verses that are very easy to fly through and not think twice on, is the second most important step in discipleship.

The most important step in discipleship is being a disciple of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. You can’t make disciples if you aren’t a disciple. So that comes first.

But the next step is this – Joseph OBSERVED these people. Now no one in “the church world” will actually get this answer wrong, but we are called to love God and love _________. And everyone shouts together “people”. But we have a very funny way of showing that in the church today.

We love people so we disciple them by putting them through hours of Sunday school classes. We preach at them every Sunday and teach them all of the things they need to get into the kingdom of heaven. What greater love is there than that?

But we become so program oriented, so class-driven, that we forget the people we are supposed to be loving.

Jesus is really working on me in this area. I am a very task-oriented individual. I have my to-do lists and I like to get them checked off. That means that I will blow off conversations I could have with people in order to get things done.

I need to change that…correction…I need Jesus to make me more like Him.

Because this example we see in Joseph is even more time-intensive than talking to people. Joseph is taking the time to observe people. When is the last time you observed people during worship on a Sunday morning? It happens very rarely in the church today because we’re all looking forward! We have plenty of time to observe the Pastor or the worship team or whoever is up front, but take very little time to see how we might be an encouragement to the BODY!

If we are going to follow the command found in Hebrews 10:24, to “consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” we need to observe to see who needs encouraged, who needs loved on, who needs stimulated.

So let me encourage YOU brother/sister in Christ, turn your eyes to the body this week (and next week and the week after that, etc) and see if you notice anyone “dejected”, anyone broken, anyone full of joy, anyone in awe of God, anyone skeptical, anyone confused, and take the time to encourage them to love and good deeds. All Joseph did was listen. Then after that what did he tell them? I don’t know the answer to your dreams, but I know who does! Let’s seek the Lord on this together!

Let’s put down the to-do list for a second and make people our number on priority. And let’s start by observing to see who needs encouragement!

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