The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

05/31/2008

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Freedom From Self-Prisons


"The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man" (Gen.39:2).

Joseph is a favorite Bible figure of mine. Of all the patriarchs in the Old Testament, fewer bad things are attributed to him by far, than the others. He became the second most powerful person in all of Egypt. He accomplished this despite a difficult road of loneliness and injustice. Without going into details, he was sold into slavery by his resentful brothers. Separated from his family and in a strange country, it is hard to imagine how lonely and homesick he was. "And the Lord was with Joseph."

What made all the difference, was the presence of God in his life. Through a series of events over which he had no control, Joseph wound up in prison. Its quite a fall from dad's favorite to prison. Joseph however did not sulk and just "put in time." He used his prison experience to his benefit, as a sort of 'training ground." He learned patience there, and soon rose to a position of authority. He was developing the leadership skills necessary to become second in command and the chief distributor of food duing the coming famine.

His brothers mistreating him so badly.....Ending up in prison for doing nothing wrong...I don't know about you, but it would have made me a bitter and vindictive person. Why did these terrible experiences, not embitter him? "And the Lord was with Joseph." Although he didn't understand what and why, he felt the presence of the Lord in his life.

Now to us. We may be in a type of prison today....A self-prison...We may think we are misunderstood by people. Whatever our prison experience, there may seem to be no way out. We may question God, and see no immediate solution. Our God knows the lessons we need to learn. Lessons of patience, self-denial, and submission. Our faith may need to be strengthened. We may be so anxoius to be released from our prison that we do not learn the lessons that our Lord has placed before us.

As the Lord was with Joseph, He will be with us. Our God is with us today and He has made some pretty wonderful promises. "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU" (Heb. 13:5). We can grow from our experiences, and be free...

Have a wonderful day...I hope your worship on His day is both uplifting and a glory to our God....Let your light shine Love Mark Phil. 4:11

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