This past Sunday was not our highest on record, but it had to be one of the best weekends in my ministry here! The only thing that could have made it any better was to have a few hundred baptisms after the service. God is doing a new thing in many of our hearts. I’m excited about what God is doing.
So what happened? I am not a liberty to give any details, but here is what I believe I can say.
I had a friend who was atheist say he has now started believing in God.
Another person made a real breakthrough and started to really give up some emotional pain to Jesus.
Still another said they were just about ready to cross the line and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It has been really cool watching God grow in their life.
God is so awesome! Based on your many comments and stories I can see God healing people and helping them recognize they can be healed of their emotional brokenness through Jesus Christ. Let’s give the praise to him.
Yesterday we talked about the role the family has in our emotional make-up and how being part of God’s family can break the cycle of pain. I mentioned yesterday after going through the patriarchs that Joseph broke the negative family patterns he inherited from his father and grandfathers. In the message I went a different route and didn’t discuss how Joseph was able to do that. Briefly, I would like to share with how Joseph was able to break the dysfunctional familial cycle. If you are not familiar with the story of Joseph go skim Genesis 37-50 as a background to this thought.
First, Joseph had a profound sense of the bigness of God. Through all his troubles he saw the loving hand of God. We must do likewise.
Secondly, he admitted the sadness of losing his family. When Joseph was with his family he openly wept. He didn’t try to hold it in. He didn’t try to be tough. He did not try to rationalize or blame others or himself for his feelings. Out of his honest emotion he was able to forgive his brothers for the sins they had committed against him.
Thirdly, he rewrote his life according to scripture. When you are thrown into a pit as a youth how do you live your life? Joseph chose to live it by God’s word. Instead of thinking himself as a loser or worthless he rewrote those thoughts as a precious child of God, and God blessed him for his attitude.
Fourthly, He partnered with God to be a blessing. Pete Scazzaro writes, “Joseph could have destroyed his brothers with anger. Instead he joined with God to bless them. For those of us who have been deeply wounded by Joseph, that can feel like a difficult, almost impossible path.
Joseph made a choice. It is the same choice we make everyday: Is God safe? Is God good? Can God be trusted?” Joseph repeatedly answered yes to all of those questions. Do you?
(Some material from Pete Scazzaro.)