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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Man of Integrity

For those of you who were at the "Chrono Dinner" tonight, this is just a repeat of what i shared then...

I was really inspired by Josephs heart... If you take a step back and look at the big picture here, you'll be reminded that at this point in time, there was no 10 commandments, no "law", no teachings of Christ... Just man and God... The commands that existed at this time were handed down from generation to generation... We have seen nations created, and we've seen nations destroyed.. We've seen people obeying God, and we've seen people living in perversion and sin... We've seen the world created, and we've seen it destroyed by the hand of God... We've seen those who had hearts to please God, and those who had hearts to please themselves...

Joseph was a prime example of a man who lived and loved to please God! He may not have been the most tactful when it came to sharing his confidence (look at how he approached his family about his dream), but at a heart level, he just wanted to please God... When Potiphar's wife came onto him, look at what his response: "How then could i do such a wicked thing and sin against God?" Joseph wasn't concerned with losing his "status" in Potiphars household, being arrested, getting her pregnant, becoming unemployed, or anything else... His main concern was that he didn't want to sin against God... How many of us base every one of our decisions in life about whether or not we will please God?

When we go onto read about everything Joseph went thru - being conspired against by his brothers, being sold into slavery, thrown into prison, and falsely accused - you never see him losing faith in God... The text doesn't go onto say "but Joseph had faith in God", however his actions speak louder than any words... God went on to use Joseph in many powerful ways because of his pure heart to please God... Joseph had integrity, not before man, but before God...

The same goes for us... God desires to do so many powerful things with our lives, but our faithlessness and sin prohibit Him from using us to our full potential... The flip side of that coin is that God can use us in a powerful way if we live solely to love him and please him... To live a righteous life; not before man so that we "appear" to be great. But before God; so that He sees our "Joseph-like" heart and allows others to see the great things His Spirit within us can accomplish. I think it's awesome to know that as we're led by the spirit, we can have a pure heart to love and please God and that God will use us for noble purposes...

2 comments:

Justin said...

Dean you're right it's impressive that Joseph was righteous without any law to stick to. I wonder if he learned just from Jacob and the examples pasted down. Maybe it was out of a love for other people or that he respected Potiphar. But thinking as I write this, God's principles have always been the same. Boundaries are part of creation and have always been around.
Maybe Joseph stayed righteous because he knew he was going to do something greater. God had given him that dream and it did come true. Of course his heart was proud about it which maybe why he needed to be humbled so much.

Inga Gerard said...

There is a great DPI book on Joseph. It does a great job of character study and brings to light cultural context as well. I forget the name of the book but it definitely has the name Joseph in it.