The Bible records Gods relationship to many individuals and groups of people. As we read how He relates with them, scripture gives us instructions, guidelines and patterns of how God deals with us. One such story is Joseph. God called and trained Joseph to be a crucial participant in His overall plan of salvation. I believe God gave us this story to show us how He shapes people who change the world. I also believe God is shaping us, NWC, into world-changers. Today, we will explore the pattern revealed in Josephs life and then apply it to us.
Genesis 37-50 Overview
God seasons Josephs character
Genesis 37:3-9 (before)Joseph is, at least, a little full of himself.
Genesis 41:16 (after)Hardship has mellowed Joseph. Ambition has given way to humility. Joseph does not assert his ability. Instead he relies on God. God waits for us to let go of our plan, so He can guide us in His.
God increases Josephs competence
Genesis 37:2-3Overseer within his family.
Genesis 39:2-4Overseer of a wealthy household.
Genesis 39:21-23 (before)Overseer of a prison.
Genesis 41:39-42 (after)God was increasing Josephs skill level. He knew where Joseph was going and what he would need when he arrived.
God expands Josephs perspective
Genesis 40:14-15 (before)Joseph expresses his victimhood. He was indeed unjustly treated, but God had to move him past this thinking if he was to be useful.
Genesis 50:15-20 (after)Looking back over his life, Joseph is able to take in the big picture and see Gods plan of salvation.
God used Joseph to change the world
Genesis 38Israel is being absorbed into Canaanite culture.
Genesis 43:32God drives Israel into Josephs waiting arms by famine, where Israel can grow into a nation. God is preserving the lineage of Messiah.
God grows groups into world changers one step at a time just like Joseph.
NWC, you are a strong, healthy church. You have walked faithfully with God for decades. You are now middle-aged and well seasoned.
You endured the growing pains of rapid expansion when Pastor Steve first arrived.
You were patient when several hundred people arrived with confused theology.
You have carefully avoided the excesses of charismania, while not settling for Holy Spirit-less religion.
You have wisely and generously expanded the campus here at Twin Lakes twice, without excessive debt or ostentatious décor.
NWC, you are seasoned.
Church, you are competent in the Word and many of you are experienced elders.
Pastor Steve has taught you through the Bible for twenty years.
You are missionaries who have travelled to Nepal, South Africa, PNG, Peru, Alaska, Idaho and I have certainly missed somewhere.
Hundreds of you have been trained as Stephen Ministers to care for individuals in times of crisis.
Scores have been trained to lead and support worship, facilitate small groups, pray for the sick, share your testimony, deliver an accurate, timely prophetic word
and so on.
God has invested in our competence to minister.
God wants to broaden our perspective beyond being a really good church. He wants us to be world changers.
In Genesis 50, Joseph sees Gods purpose in his life. God seasoned and trained Joseph to fulfill His plan so that many people would be saved. He forever
changed the world.
NWC is a really good, mostly white, middle-class, suburban church. Nothing wrong with that.
During the last decade Federal Way has changed dramatically. The world is now in our backyard.
I believe the Star Lake satellite campus is just the beginning of Gods broadening of our perspective.
God has big plans in mind, but we have to see things from His perspective in order to embrace the changes He will initiate in us so He can change the world.