Category Archives for "Inspirational"
inspirational people and stories
inspirational people and stories
What Does the Bible Say About Debt?
There are a number of verses in the Old and New Testament concerning debt, and one of the most noteworthy can be found in Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Romans 13:8 states that: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another”. This clearly states that as a Christian, a person has the responsibility to live a financially stable and debt free life, save for the continued love of his God, and fellow man.
So is debt considered a sin in the eyes of God?
In truth, there is nothing in the Bible that specifically calls debt a sin. However, there are many cautions about debt becoming a source of conflict or problem. For example, debt can become a problem if the source of the need is envy from a neighbor’s possessions or even greed.
According to 1 Timothy 6: 10: For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. And Hebrews 13:5 states that:
Keep your lives free from love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’
These two verses clearly indicate that the cause of debt is sometimes envy of the possessions of others, the love of wealth, and a lack of faith in that God will provide. In addition, the Bible clearly indicates that all debts should be repaid.
According to Romans 13:7, the Christian should: Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then, honor. Also, the Bible indicates that debt should be a temporary state of affairs. For example, in Deuteronomy 15: 1, debts should be resolved or cancelled, within seven years. At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.
In summary, debt in and of itself is not a sin, however, the causes of debt, and the reckless borrowing of money can lead to sinful actions, so the Christian should make every effort to live responsibly.
Could God use you in Internet Evangelism? Could God use you to reach people for Christ via the Internet? The answer may surprise you!
I’m no techie!
” How could I ever use the Internet to reach people for Christ?” you might wonder. “I’m no techie. I know how to send email and read the news online, but that’s about it.” I can identify with that. My technical knowledge is limited. For many years, I was even hesitant to use an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) at the bank, for fear I would do something stupid and it would swallow my card.
Gradually, I overcame my technophobia and began to use computers for word processing. But I used somewhat primitive setups. Only in 1998 did I switch from the rather archaic DOS operating system to Windows because a friend said I should “get with the 90s before the 90s are over!”
What are your talents?
We all have talents and abilities. A key to usefulness is making our talents available to God. Your talents may be in building friendships, engaging in conversations, answering questions, inspiring people, or telling stories. God certainly can use those. Here’s a story that may encourage you.
My own interests involve communication, especially relating Christ to secular audiences. Over the years, I’ve written numerous evangelistic articles to help reach nonbelievers. Several years ago, a couple of friends involved in Internet ministry, Keith Seabourn and Allan Beeber, asked me to send them all my articles so they could put them “online.”.
I didn’t understand all that meant, but they said it would make the articles available free to people around the globe. That seemed like a good thing.
Keith’s website, Leadership University aimed to collect thousands of articles supporting the validity of Christian faith. Allan’s Evangelism Toolbox became an online “Yellow Pages” (directory) of evangelism resources. They helped introduce me to Internet outreach.
Are you ready for the digital revolution?
At a convention in Amsterdam a few years ago, I saw a brochure that said, “The Great Commission is Going Digital; Are You Ready?” That piqued my interest. Maybe God wanted me to focus my energies on Internet Evangelism.
The brochure spoke of the then-fledgling Internet Evangelism Coalition. I started to hang out with these folks– wonderful people– and to learn from them. I began to write more for the web and various articles appeared online.
Another friend encouraged me to do a Google search on my name. I was amazed to see page after page of my articles on websites that I had never heard of!
I also discovered a number of other “Rusty Wrights” including …
a platform tennis player.
a university professor.
a football coach.
a rodeo cowboy.
a racecar driver.
a cruise ship captain.
The simplicity and pervasive nature of the Internet was allowing people to find and use these articles in ways I had never imagined. I could sit with my laptop in my office, on an airplane, or in a hotel room and compose an article that would tactfully nudge people toward Christ or biblical principles. Then, by pushing a button, I could send it to Internet publishers who would make it available to people around the globe.
This seemed almost too good to be true. What a potential for spreading Good News!
A simple prayer.
In August 2003, while jogging one morning, I felt impressed to pray that within a year, I would be aware of 100 websites that had used my articles. (At the time, I was aware of 43.) There wasn’t an audible “voice from heaven” or handwriting on the sidewalk; just a strong inner impression that I should pray this.
A year later, I learned of the 100th site that had used this material. Some sites published the articles and others linked to them. The articles appeared in several languages: English, Spanish, Albanian, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, and Polish. People just kept translating and posting them. It seemed beyond my control or ability. God gets the glory for this.
A surprising number of the sites were not Christian. For instance, one site linked to a version of the article Elvis Has Left the Building which traces fascination with Elvis Presley and its spiritual implications. An Argentine medical school website published a translation of One Minute After Death, about near-death experiences.
Some secular newspaper sites ran material. Personal websites and “blogs” (web logs) linked to articles. I did not contact all these websites, asking them to use my articles. Many content managers simply found the articles on the web and used them.
God’s sense of humor.
I even found one article link on a porn site.
I should clarify. The evangelistic article is entitled Dynamic Sex: Unlocking the Secret to Love. It presents a biblical perspective on sex and love but is written to grab and hold the attention of non-Christians. And no, I did not discover this link by surfing porn sites! I typed the article title into Google. I do pray that many websurfers who go to that site looking for pornography will find Jesus. God has a sense of humor!
Again, God gets all the glory for this. If you have interest, many of these seeker- and skeptic-friendly articles are at Rusty Wright Ministries.
What can you do?
Internet evangelism offers you a dazzling array of possibilities to communicate Christ. Writing articles is just one method. You may want to interact with unbelievers in a chat room, correspond via email, communicate on a blog, design your own website, pray for and/or support web outreach financially.
You can also encourage your church or Christian group to participate in ‘Internet Evangelism Day’. This international focus day program helps Christians learn more about the potential of the Web for outreach. Their www.InternetEvangelismDay.com site explains how to create a short focus program to include in church services or other activities.
The important thing is to ask God what He would have you do. As Mary told the servants in John 2:5, “Whatever He [Jesus] says to you, do it.”.
Ask God to enlarge your borders. He did it for Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10).
Rusty Wright is an author, syndicated columnist and university lecturer with Probe.org who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford Universities, respectively: www.rustywright.com.
Copyright © Rusty Wright 2004. Permission granted to re-use this article in print.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Hebrews 10: 36).
As Christians our goal is to become “mature” in faith. This is meant to be a lifelong process. We will be brought into contact with many doubts and obstacles throughout each given day. Count it a blessing to go through the experiences of this ‘growth process’ while standing firm in faith. The testing and risk God takes is all part of the promise. When we respond with obedience it brings us in line to receive His faithfulness.
I depend upon God’s power working in my circumstances, making it possible for me to stand on his strength alone. For I know that this is what it means to stand on the promises of God; to trust only in Him and believe in His competence. The knowledge of God reveals his promises. It is through these promises we discover life as God meant it to be.
Pray and watch for His faithfulness. Go to Him, and remind Him of His promises, of what he said he would do.
Do not try to twist his arm and persuade him to do something he’s not inclined to do. We don’t say, “Well, you probably don’t want to do this for me, but I would like to ask you anyway.” Be reminded that it brings joy to His heart when His children come to him, when we go to Him humbly. Say, “Please fulfill this promise in my experience today Lord”, and then simply wait, watch, and believe that since he said He will, He will.”.
He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world today. Hold steadfast to the knowledge that our God is faithful. He has left many comforting promises to remind us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. ‘He is faithful that promised’ (Hebrew 10:23).
Point to Ponder: If He says He will … He WILL!
FACING THE GHOST OF THE PAST ( Genesis 32-33).
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac … Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. (Genesis 32:9, 11).
After more than 14 years of separation from his hometown, his parents, friends, and quick disappearance from the sight of his angry brother, Jacob was now claiming his freedom for almost two decades of laborious service under Laban’s tricky hands. Nonetheless, because of God’s faithful provision and protection, Jacob was able to rise from rags to riches, from a mere wanderer into a successful leader of a rising generation– the 12 tribes of Israel.
When he went to Laban, he was empty handed, alone, and a newbie. But now, as he prepares to go out of Laban’s camp, he’s richly full, with four wives and almost a dozen of children, and with trustworthy servants who will accompany and serve them along the way.
Jacob then was blessed and successful.
But mixed to his excitement of leaving his uncle’s camp was a fear of facing his unsettled disputes with his brother, Esau. Of course, he was not intentionally planning to meet with his brother, he can’t do it, he’s so afraid of him, even after decades of separation, no communication and no letter of “Hi” and “Hello”, still the memories of his brother’s vengeful face hunts him.
But now at this juncture, he had no choice but to move on even if he’s in between two clashing rocks. Truly, he’s afraid of his brother, but it’s also a disadvantage and danger to him and his family if they will not go away from his uncle and start living independent of other’s control and tricks. After all, they are now able to do this, having sufficient resources and man-power to stand on their own.
And so, Jacob being naturally witty in all situations planned to go and settle in a place both far away from his uncle and angry brother. This was his plan but for unknown reason, this plan was brought to the hearing of his brother Esau. And worse is they were already on the middle of their journey when Esau knew it. But Jacob can no longer retreat; it’s too late already to do that. Even if he tries to escape and hide again from his brother, but this time, it wouldn’t work to his condition as a family man. If he’s alone, maybe he can do that, but having a big family with young children with them, it’s hard. Thus, the only option is to face Esau, but he must do this in a very cautious way. And so he thought again of outwitting his brother’s emotion by creating means that would directly touch and softens Esau’s heart. Being now a veteran businessman, he knows by experience that a man’s anger is easily pacified if you do him a favor (Proverbs 21:14). And so his first approach to Esau is to send him lots of gifts specially delivered by his servants. Then after that, he strengthened the intention and quality of those “peace offerings” by sending next in line his wives and children but with the exception of her beloved Rachel and their son Joseph. Jacob was hoping that maybe when Esau sees his nephews and niece, his grudge to him would subside.
Now, what actually Jacob did here was a risk. He didn’t know what will really happen for he didn’t have a firsthand knowledge of what will Esau would do. With his long years of separation from his brother, his knowledge about him is not updated, up-close, and personal. And so that’s a dangerous disadvantage for him, considering that the Esau whom he knew in the past was aggressive and easy to provoke. But what can he do? He was cornered and his wits this time were being disabled by his youth-hood fears. But what’s so encouraging about this story is that, when Jacob was at the end of his rope, there he found God. Oh yes, the Lord strengthened him to face and overcome the ghost of his past. And the reason why he was able to face Esau was because he had seen the face of God. His fear of Esau was replaced by his fear of God (Genesis 32:29 -30).
Thus, the principle that we can learn here is this: The power to overcome your fear, to face the ghost of your past is to be energized by the presence of the LORD in prayer and meditation.
Becoming a Christian…accepting Christ as Savior…being born again—whatever words you use to describe or define your relationship with God, they denote a commitment. In aligning yourself with Jesus you are committing to be faithfully obedient to him.
But are you? Are you truly committed? Or is your relationship with Jesus like your membership at the fitness club…in name only? Jesus wants… no… He expects…even demands more from us than a name-only commitment. Time and again we read in God’s Word that to be a Christian is who you are—not what you do.
Life is busy. I get that, but you cannot allow your life to become too busy to recognize, communicate, and serve your Savior, Jesus. Becoming a Christian starts with an attitude of acknowledgement. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ~Romans 1:21 When you acknowledge Jesus as the giver of life and all its blessings, you will be more inclined to…
Give thanks throughout the day. Give thanks for your home as you put away the laundry, empty the dishwasher, flip on the lights, and feel the water run down your back as you shower.
Be more aware of what you allow into your home—tv shows, music, books, social media, etc.. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~James 4:8
Don’t just live life—pray it. Pray for wisdom. Pray for answers. Pray for guidance. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. ~Proverbs 3:5-8
Making time for Jesus in your home doesn’t require you to find extra hours in the day. It simply means including Jesus…making Him a part of each part of your day by:
• Talking to God about the big, little, and in-between things of life
• ‘Testing’ the decisions you make according to what the Bible says
• Recognizing God as the LORD of your life through your faith and obedience to His will
Jesus warns us against being lukewarm (Revelation 3:16). Don’t let this be you. Make time for Jesus all day every day, at home and in the work place.
Today’s blog re-post is courtesy of Free Cristian Illlustrations by Ian Coate
We will all eventually die. If the Bible is correct, there is an afterlife with judgement, heaven and hell. What is our plan to reach heaven?
Many say: ‘Well, I’m a relatively good person – when I die I’ll just hope for the best. Others add: ‘I’ve been baptized, had communion, plus I give regularly to the church and charities – I think I’ve ticked all the boxes.’
It’s ironic that many people, including many Christians, think getting to heaven depends on what they do. When asked about the relevance of Jesus Christ and the importance of the Cross, most scratch their heads; they don’t see a connection between their going to heaven and what Christ did on the Cross. Many people consider the cross simply a symbol of Christianity – a story told at Easter how a good man was wrongly crucified and miraculously rose from the dead.
Fact is, if we could earn our way to heaven by good deeds or religious rituals, Christ died needlessly on the Cross. If we could save ourselves by our works, there would be no point for Jesus to die for our salvation (John 3:16).
The Bible states: we can never be good enough to save ourselves (Eph. 2:8-9) – our works are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6) – that we need to be born-again (John 3:3) – and become a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
To enter the kingdom of heaven we need to have God’s perfect righteousness. This is the whole point of Jesus being crucified on our behalf. If we accept the gift of salvation by believing in Christ we receive His perfect righteousness and are instantly adopted into the family of God. Alternately, if we are hoping our good deeds or religious rituals will save us; sadly, we are in for a very rude shock.
We need the Cross. Christ is our salvation – He is the only door and way into heaven. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
Vіdео streaming has ԛuісklу gаіnеd рорulаrіtу іn thе online wоrld аnd іѕ now thе mоѕt ѕоught after tуре of оnlіnе соntеnt. Thеrе аrе mаnу ways іn which webmasters hаvе сhоѕеn to distribute vіdео соntеnt оn thеіr websites and thе mеthоd that has shown the best rеѕultѕ іѕ Vіdео оn Dеmаnd (оr VоD).
Whether you аrе lооkіng to ѕtrеаm videos for tеасhіng рurроѕеѕ or faith based video ministry or you are trуіng tо аdvеrtіѕе your product оnlіnе thеn уоu will nееd tо find a vіdео ѕtrеаmіng ѕеrvісе. One of the biggest leader in this industry is Uscreen. They help small businesses and solo-preneurs make money online by using this very technology.
Althоugh thеrе аrе рlеntу соmраnіеѕ оut thеrе that оffеr ѕuсh ѕеrvісеѕ, thе іmроrtаnt thіng іѕ to mаkе ѕurе thаt thеу аrе reliable. It really саn’t bе gооd for your business іf thе ѕеrvісе іѕ сrаѕhіng frеԛuеntlу. Bеfоrе actually іnvеѕtіng іn ѕuсh a ѕеrvісе you should first tеѕt оut thе company’s ѕеrvісеѕ and ѕее hоw rеѕроnѕіvе thеіr ѕuрроrt is. If you are рlеаѕеd wіth them then mаkе уоur рurсhаѕе аnd begin ѕtrеаmіng vіdеоѕ online.
Read more at http://www.uscreen.tv/use-cases
Thіѕ tесhnоlоgу wоrkѕ by allowing uѕеrѕ tо ассеѕѕ streaming vіdеоѕ vіа thеіr wеb browsers. Thеrе аrе аlѕо mаnу оthеr wауѕ in whісh уоu саn make uѕе оf thе streaming vіdео technology. Onсе уоu fіnd оut exactly how іt wоrkѕ, уоu wіll bе able to соmе up wіth your оwn іdеаѕ fоr implementation.
Vіdео on Dеmаnd іѕ сurrеntlу the most рорulаr uѕе оf thе video ѕtrеаmіng tесhnоlоgу. Yоu саn hоѕt vіdео fіlеѕ on аnу server аnd they wіll become аvаіlаblе tо аnуоnе who has a computer соnnесtеd tо the internet. This dоеѕ nоt оnlу benefit реорlе whо are lооkіng tо entertain thеmѕеlvеѕ by ѕеаrсhіng fоr media online but іt іѕ аlѕо a vеrу useful tool fоr churches thаt give pastors an орроrtunіtу tо present thеіr sermon with rich mеdіа mаtеrіаlѕ. Bеttеr yet, members are аblе to access the mеdіа files аnуtіmе. This іѕ grеаt еѕресіаllу for churches with different branches.
Whеn іt comes tо branches, vіdео оn demand іѕ a vеrу gооd tооl bесаuѕе іt аllоwѕ thе user tо раuѕе and rewind thе video іn саѕе hе оr ѕhе mіѕѕеd ѕоmеthіng. Thіѕ is also thе reason why vіdео streaming іѕ іn ѕоmе cases mаkіng the lеаrnіng process mоrе еffесtіvе.
Vіdео ѕtrеаmіng саn аlѕо bе dоnе live. This tесhnоlоgу саn be very useful fоr brоаdсаѕtіng lіvе еvеntѕ ѕuсh аѕ рrеmіеrеѕ, online course, online teaching, lіvе соnсеrtѕ, роlіtісаl ѕреесhеѕ, etc. Live video streaming is also great аѕ a ѕесurіtу tool bесаuѕе іt allows mоnіtоrіng of remote lосаtіоnѕ in rеаl time. Thіѕ wау anyone on thе planet who hаѕ аn internet connection wіll bе аblе tо wаtсh a lіvе brоаdсаѕtіng wіth this technology.
Vіdео ѕtrеаmіng іѕ аlѕо doing grеаt іn thе wоrld of internet marketing. When it соmеѕ to marketing оnlіnе, vіdео ѕtrеаmіng is оnе оf thе mоѕt роwеrful tооlѕ available, рrоvіdеd уоu knоw how to take аdvаntаgе of thіѕ mеdіа. Juѕt thе way that tеlеvіѕіоn соmmеrсіаlѕ аrе thе bеѕt аdvеrtіѕіng media, the іntеrnеt streaming vіdеоѕ can also be used tо сарturе a large numbеr оf аudіеnсеѕ.
Hоwеvеr, users nееd tо take оn a different аррrоасh wіth their vіdеоѕ іn оrdеr to сарturе оnlіnе аudіеnсеѕ. Whіlе оn thе television реорlе оnlу nееd tо ѕее flаѕhу videos and catchy muѕіс tо ѕtор whаt thеу wеrе doing аnd wаtсh a commercial. In thе оnlіnе wоrld thіngѕ аrе rаrеlу that simple. Here you nееd to get a lіttlе mоrе creative. What you nееd іѕ to сrеаtе a viral effect wіth уоur videos.
Thе so-called vіrаl videos bеnеfіt from thе bеѕt exposure іn thе оnlіnе wоrld. Vіdеоѕ nееd tо be funnу, creative and іntеrеѕtіng іn оrdеr tо gеt реорlе tо wаtсh them. Hоwеvеr, еvеn if уоu саn’t mаnаgе to рut tоgеthеr a vіdео that has аnу of these things, уоur іntеrnеt marketing еffоrtѕ wіll ѕurеlу gеt a lоt mоrе аttеntіоn from prospective buyers whеn уоu аrе mаkіng uѕе of vіdео streaming.
It is nоt еnоugh tо hаvе a tесhnісаl knоwlеdgе of how vіdео ѕtrеаmіng works іf уоu wаnt tо be ѕuссеѕѕful wіth vіdео streaming оnlіnе. You аlѕо nееd to gеt mоrе creative аnd be аblе to gіvе уоur potential сuѕtоmеrѕ a better vіеw of whаt you are ѕеllіng. Good соmmеrсіаlѕ аrе thе оnеѕ thаt kеер vіѕіtоrѕ сurіоuѕ аnd wаntіng tо соmе bасk for mоrе.
Making Time to Get to Know Jesus Better
I want you to think back to the day you took (and passed) your driver’s test. Oh, what a glorious day! What a milestone! What freedom!
It didn’t just happen, though, did it? You practiced driving. You drove (no pun intended) your parents nuts asking them to let you drive whenever the car left the garage. You learned to back out of parking places. You learned to yield, merge, wait your turn at 4-way stops, and all those other things that come naturally to you now. You practiced because more than anything else you wanted to hear the words, “You passed”.
Now I want you to think about what happened after you hear those two magic words and had license in hand (goofy picture and all). What did you do? Did you throw caution to the wind and start driving on your own terms instead of continuing to obey the rules of the road?
No! You don’t because you know it doesn’t work like that. In order to keep the privilege of having a driver’s license you have to know and follow the rules. Well guess what? Being a Christian is a lot like driving. Why? Because after you become a Christian you can’t just go your own way; living life on your terms. You have to live like Jesus. And the only way to live like Jesus is to make time to know Him up-close and personal-like.
• Read and study the Bible
• Listen to the Bible on CD or on your phone while driving, walking, or doing household chores
• Listen to Christian music in the car, on the treadmill, or while working around the house
• Memorize a few key and favorite verse– and yes, you can do it
• Join a Bible study. Everyone deserves a couple of hours a week getting away from work, the kids, and the other business we call life. And what better way to spend that couple of hours than getting to know Jesus and your brothers and sisters in Christ better?
Jesus tells us to come to Him in prayer and that He will speak, answer, console, and counsel– pray short, simple prayers throughout your day. Pray as if Jesus is by your side having a heart-to-heart, one-on-one conversation … because you are.
Serve- Use your talents to serve others in the name of Jesus. Be a part of your church, more than just a Sunday seat-warmer.
Making a commitment to Jesus requires you to follow the rules for Godly living. You can’t do that, though, unless you know what Jesus’ definition and expectations for Godly living are. And the only way you can know these things is to make your commitment to him a priority … your top priority. Is it?
As followers of Jesus we are to make time for Him not only in our personal life but in our work place as well. So how do we make time for Jesus? Simple, we do that by being by being like Jesus.
As a Christian you are a reflection of Jesus to the unbeliever and unsaved. Who you are is who they think Jesus is. And to your brothers and sisters in Christ and the church as a whole, you are to set an example of faithful obedience. In other words, making time for your commitment to Jesus is taking time to:
Your commitment to Jesus is real and effective at work when you:
Matthew 28:19-20 says: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples just before He returned to heaven. His disciples…fishermen, a tax collector, an anti-government radical, and a man who was could have been from Missouri (he had to see it to believe it). Do you notice that none of these men were training to be in the ministry before Jesus called them? That didn’t matter, though. When Jesus called they answered. They were willing to make time for Jesus while they worked.
( Genesis 39-40).
The brothers of Joseph thought that they have once and for all stopped Joseph’s dream by eradicating his presence before their eyes and silencing his mouth about his ambitious dreams of glorious position and power over them. But little did they know that the very evil that they had done to Joseph was the means that God will use in order to bring about the dream that He had given to Joseph ever since his youth.
This is the very mystery of divine intervention. The Lord in His majestic and all-knowing wisdom has the ability to transform and work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called by Him. Nonetheless, even if the Lord can immediately bring to pass what He desires for Joseph to be, but He used the “process” of time to step by step fulfill in the life of Joseph the dreams that He himself has given. This is teaching us then that even though the Lord is a powerful God by whom all things are possible, but still, He’s motivating us by the fact of who He is to do our part– our responsibility.
In the life of Joseph, we can learn three principles about how he responded to God’s sovereignty, doing all his best to live up according to the divine dream that the Lord has given him. By living accordingly to these 3 principles, he was able to master the divine truth in the dream, making himself as a worthy vessel for God’s blessing to His people.
1. THE PRESENCE OF GOD. The key to Joseph’s success in everything that he does is no other than the presence of God. The Bible says, “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man …” In other words, it’s not because of Joseph’s talents and innate ability that he was able to master his dreams, bringing them into reality. Rather, it’s because of the faithful and powerful presence of the Lord which always imparts blessings to all his plans and endeavors. Therefore, the vital question that we should ponder is this: How can a man and a woman summon the presence of God to their lives? Since it is an obvious fact here that true prosperity or success is given by the presence of God, how then can we take God’s presence with us? The answer is simple: It is by faith. Hebrews 11:22 says, “By faith Joseph …” Meaning, the reason why God’s presence was with Joseph was because Joseph trusted in the Lord. Joseph had a genuine relationship with God by faith. And this relationship that he had with the Lord gave him access to God even to His favor that brings blessings (Hebrews 11:6).
2. MAN OF CHARACTER. The evidence that Joseph is endowed by God’s presence is that he is a man of godly character. In other words, he proves his relationship with God by living out according to the will of God. Joseph’s life is a very important lesson for our lives today. You and I know that we are living in an ungodly culture wherein the principles of success and prosperity in life are more on pursued through crooked means. Godly character is not popular today. It is seen as a disadvantage, a weakness, and a loser’s attitude. But Joseph’s life proves to us that godliness is not a disadvantage. True! In the world the people will not recognize and applause you for standing on godly principles. Like Joseph, they will tempt you, persecute you, accuse you, and do you harm. But be strong, the fulfillment of your dreams, divine calling, and God-given purpose is not dependent on their approval and acclamation. It depends upon the presence of God. Thus, your responsibility and battle to fight is to stand fast and strong on God’s will, living it out with all your best, knowing that you have a God who never sleeps nor slumbers but always ready to fight for your cause.
3. GOD’S TIMING. In order for you to master your dreams– your God-given dreams, you need to understand that its materialization is not arranged by your schedule but by God’s timing. Therefore, for you to successfully achieve your dream, you need to be patient, waiting upon the Lord’s right time for its fulfillment. Like Joseph, he waited for years. Actually, considering the difficulty of his situation, he would have thought that all hope of freedom from slavery was long gone already. But God is not bound by difficult situation. He is not hindered nor affected by our human impossibilities and desperation. On the contrary, He is the God who can orchestrate all things, good or bad, best and worst for the good of those who trust Him. If you’ll read Genesis 40, you’ll see how the Lord had easily freed Joseph out of the prison and brought him before the very presence of the king with a great privilege prepared for him by the God of his dreams. And it’s just a matter of time that this slave young man in Egypt will become the renowned Prime Minister of that land, the Savior and Hero of that nation and Provider for his own people– Israel.