Faith + Patience Part 53 – Overwhelming GRACE!

by Rick

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Today we continue our series entitled, “Faith and Patience Volume IV — The Wonder Twins.”  I am using Joseph as an excellent example of our need for patience.  We are seeking to learn from the different phases of Joseph’s life.  Let’s get into it.

(James 1:2-4 TPT)

2  My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! 

3  For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. 

4  And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

(Ecc 3:1 ERV)

There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.

(Read Gen 43:15-30)

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

Setting the stage.

In our last message, we saw how Jacob finally decided to send his boys to Egypt to get food.  I dealt with the fact that we all get frustrated.  Jacob certainly was.  In one breath he pronounced a blessing over his boys, so they could make a successful trip to Egypt and back.  In the next breath, he resigned to losing all his children.

Joseph’s brothers set off for Egypt with gifts, money, and Benjamin.  When they arrived in Egypt they got an audience with the Sultan (Joseph).  Joseph looked at his brothers and he finally got to see Benjamin.  This was his only full blood-brother.  He loved them all, but he had a special place in his heart for Benjamin.  11 of the 12 brothers were together.  All 12 could have been together, but Simeon was still being held, hostage.  

To complete the circle with a celebration Joseph instructed his steward to take the men to his house and to have a fine meal prepared.  The brothers were taken to Joseph’s house, but they were still anxious.  They did not understand why they were being treated so well.  They thought it was some sort of trap.  They took the opportunity to explain to Joseph’s steward that the first time they visited Egypt to purchase food, they somehow left with their money in their bags.  They assured him that they brought a double portion of the money this time, but Joseph’s steward said, “Everything’s in order.  Don’t worry. Your God and the God of your father must have put the money there.  I was paid in full.”  Now they were really confused.  

This scenario playing out in front of them seemed too good to be true.  They still thought some sort of trap was coming and that they would be punished for what they had done to Joseph 20 years earlier.  However, no matter how skeptical they were, things kept working out for their good.  Then, to make good things even better, Simeon was returned to them.  The scene was set.

All 11 brothers were made comfortable and their donkeys were tended to.  The brothers spread out their gifts and waited for Joseph.  They were prepared to “pay” the Egyptian Sultan everything they had.  Joseph showed up, they presented their gifts, and they bowed respectfully before him.  Joseph welcomed them and asked about their father.  In that moment, Joseph looked around and realized that all 12 brothers were now reunited.  Not only that, but they were bowing to him, just like in the dream.  And then he looked over to Benjamin.  When he saw that all his brothers were there and that Benajmin was present, he was overwhelmed.  It was too much for him to handle.  Joseph rushed out of the room and into his private chamber and wept uncontrollably.

The brothers could see and hear what was going on.  They were totally confused.  With the scene set, let’s get into what this means to you today.

1.  Grace is undeserved.

Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt as guilty men.  They knew they were guilty before God for what they had done to Joseph as a boy.  They believed they would be accused of being guilty before the Sultan for leaving without paying for the food on their first trip to Egypt.  They were afraid.  They laid out their money and bowed down before the Egyptian Sultan in an attempt to receive mercy.  They never knew that the man they were bowing down before actually loved them and had already forgiven them.  He loved them so much that he burst into tears.  He cried uncontrollably because instead of wanting to get punish them, he wanted to bless them.  He wanted to spend time with them.  He wanted to be reunited with them.

This is how it is when you come to God.  You come unquestionably guilty and your guilt makes you attempt to “pay” for your sin.  You want to do “things” to make up for what you have done.  But there is nothing you can do to pay for sin.  Jesus has already paid the price.  You bow before God as a guilty foreigner, as the men did in the text, but Jesus receives you in love as a blessed brother from the same Father.

God does not want to bless you because you are so good.  The message of grace is that God wants to bless you because He is good.  It is that simple.  God loves you so much that His heart yearns for you like Joseph’s heart did for his brothers.

When Joseph was reunited with his long lost brothers he wanted to throw a party.  He laid out a spread.  Although they had done him wrong, he was not holding their transgressions against them.  Joseph loved them so much that he cried.  This is how it is when you come to God.  You are clearly guilty.  You have done more things wrong than you want to remember.  But instead of chastising you for your flawed performance, God overwhelms you with His love.  Instead of punishing you, angels rejoice in heaven and they throw a party the moment you get saved; the moment you accept Jesus as Lord!

This is grace.  It is unmerited, unearned and undeserved.  Grace is amazing!

2.  Joseph in the story, back then, is Jesus today.

The similarities between Joseph and Jesus are too many to pass up.

— Joseph was beloved by his father.  When Jesus was baptized, the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (see Matthew 3:17).

— Joseph was envied and hated without cause.  So was Jesus (see John 15:25).

— Joseph was living with the knowledge that someday he would rule because God planned it that way.  Obviously, the same is true for Jesus (see Isaiah 53:2).

— Joseph was betrayed and sold for 20 pieces of silver.  Jesus was betrayed with 30 pieces of silver (see Matthew 26:15).

— In our text, the brothers came to Joseph with guilt and shame.  Instead of punishing them, Joseph received them as forgiven family members.  Instead of condemning them for what they had done, he ordered a meal to be prepared.  They had dinner.  One day we will stand before God.  We will know we have done more wrong than we want to remember.  But if we are Born-Again, instead of punishing us, God will prepare a meal for us.  We will enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb (see Rev. 19:9).

3.  God’s love and His grace seem too good to be true, but you must believe it.  

— As you expand your capacity to believe God you must get to the point where you believe the love.  

— Yes, it is always right to repent and to come broken before God, but you must believe that He will accept you, forgive you, and invite you to fellowship with Him.

— God blesses you simply because he loves you.  Once you truly believe the love it will transform your perspective of God and change your life forever.

— This series is about faith and patience.  One of the greatest ways to maintain your patience is to open your heart to God’s love and to meditate on it day and night.  The more you remind yourself that God loves you, that He wants to bless you, that He made plans for you before the world began, and that He is tirelessly dedicated to those plans, the strong your faith will be and the longer you will be able to hold on, so you can see what God said!

— Grace helps you to believe what God believes about you.  That’s the key to faith and patience.  Believe the love!

Declaration of Faith

Father,  I believe the love.  I know You are love and You love me dearly.  You love me more than I truly understand.  I came to You in guilt and You received me in love.  You sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for my sin.  He paid a debt He did not owe because I owed a debt I could not pay.  Jesus receives me in love.  You receive me in love.  I believe Your love and my faith in Your love transforms my life.  This is why I can boldly declare that GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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