Faithlife Sermons

Grace to Change Sinners, Part 1

Genesis   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The grace of God is the power to change sinners.

Notes
Transcript
Handout

Introduction

Turn to Genesis 42.
As we enter this chapter, I am going to encourage you to hang on tight.
We are going to cover a lot of ground in the next two weeks
The thing with narrative is that it tells a story. And sometimes, in order to garner application from a narrative, you have to see the whole story.
The next three chapters encapsulate a whole. There is not much in each individual chapter to hone in on, but by the end of a three, a truth emerges that is noteworthy and which will prompt a follow up message to these two.
But to get there, we have to go through narrative. Today and next time may well be reminiscent of a children’s lesson, a Sunday school retelling of the story but it is necessary if we are to get to the truth at the end we want to see.
It may feel to you (if you are like me) that where we will end today seems abrupt, leaves you hanging and wanting more.
From this chapter alone, it may feel hard to draw truth and application…because we will end today before the complete narrative is finished.
These next two weeks may well have a different feel, they do to me, but there is a point in it all, which I hope become clear by the end.
See, buckle up, hang on tight, and here we go.
The point, as we will see from our examination of these three chapters, of this familiar narrative is that The grace of God is the power to change sinners.

Outline

Big Idea: The grace of God is the power to change sinners.
First Journey to Egypt - Genesis 42:1-5
Fulfillment of a Dream - Genesis 42:6
First Test- Genesis 42:7-20
First Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:21-22
First Departure - Genesis 42:23-28
Home Sweet Home - Genesis 42:29-36
Second Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:37-38
Second Journey to Egypt - Genesis 43:1-15
Third Evidence of Change - Genesis 43:8-9
Family Lunch - Genesis 43:16-34
Second Test -Genesis 44:1-17
Fourth Evidence of Change - Genesis 44:18-34

Sermon Body

Big Idea: The grace of God is the power to change sinners.
We begin with a journey

First Journey to Egypt - Genesis 42:1-5

The years of famine hit.
Jacob/Israel’s family begins to feel the weight of the famine.
They learn that there is food in Egypt and sends his boys down to buy food so that they would not die
“Why do you look at one another?”
Why do you stand around fretting, worrying, and wondering what you are going to do? There is food in Egypt…go!
It is like the boys were at a loss to know what to do.
Perhaps didn’t want to go to Egypt. Too far, afraid, etc
So, 10 of the brothers journey together to Egypt to buy food.
Show map of journey
Did not send Benjamin. Israel is still playing favorites and was not willing to risk him after the “death” of Joseph.
Israel was allowing fear to control him.
Listen, we addressed the topic of fear and releasing those fears to God back in March when the pandemic first hit large. But we know and understand how controlling fear can be.
How easy is this for us to do? To permit fear to control us?
Fear is a tool to warn of danger and prompt the necessary response.
HOWEVER, fear becomes sin when it controls our thinking and our actions causing us to disobey God, to ignore truth, to act in ways that reveals a lack of trust in God, and when we respond in sinful ways.
Proverbs 29:25 - Trust in God is the solution for fear. Entrusting the thing we fear to Him and trusting him with it
2 Timothy 1:6-7 - We are not called to live in fear. We are called to trust.
Doesn’t mean we do not take precautions and live wisely but it does mean we do not allow the fear to control and consume us. Sometimes it is a fine line.
We can take precautions and act wisely in the face of danger, but at the end of the day, it is God who controls all things and we cannot be at peace with whatever his will, we are not really trusting God.
Israel was being controlled by fear. We will see as we continue in this text, that he had hung his happiness, indeed life itself on this boy. If Benjamin died, Israel would die, consider his life done and over. AND rather than trust God and be at peace with whatever his will, Israel wrestles for control (as struggle he has had his whole life…as do we all) and seeks to protect himself that which is really God’s job to protect.
It will control his priorities and his actions
He will be willing to sacrifice others to protect Benjamin
His grief and desire to protect impacts his relationships with others in his family.
The fear has consumed and has become controlling.
By the end, he will have not choice to release but he does not do so willingly. It is out of desperation.
Israel, for all his changes, still struggles to trust and let go, letting God protect and work as He will.
The lesson for us is, do not make the same mistakes. Yes, the path of God may not be what we want, may involve hurt, disappointment, loss, grief, etc. But do we trust God that whatever he directs or will is ultimately going to be redeemed for his glory and our good? Are we ok with that?
Trust God.
Why do you think that Israel permitted the fear to consume him as it did?
He had placed inordinate pressure on the children of his favored wife (and thus his favored children) to supply for his happiness. In a way, they had become his idol, his life. So much so dthat his life was bound up now with Benjamin’s. He would die if something happened to him. His foundation was not God, but man. And this is always a recipe for disaster. But is also explains why fear was consuming him. Because man is fragile, weak, and fleeting. And man is powerless against the events of life. We cannot control it. And that which we cannot control, we fear or are tempted to fear if we are not trusting in the goodness and grace of God.
What do you fear in your life? Why are you permitting fear to consume you?
Genesis 42 - The Sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came....
Others came to buy as well. This was not a solo trip by the Sons of Israel alone, but by many in the region who had heard there was food in Egypt and who made the trip together.
This makes Israel’s statement to them about gawking at each other even more comical in sense. OTHERS were going…it is not like the whole land was not aware of food in Egypt…it is not like they didn’t THINK about doing down, others were doing it…but for whatever reason, they were dumbfounded as to what to do and so Israel bumps them into gear and gets them going.
How long would this trip have taken?
Its over 200 miles
At least 10 days by camel/donkey
So they journey to Egypt and arrive there with the others traveling in from their area and others around the world.

Fulfillment of a Dream - Genesis 42:6

In order to get food, the brothers went to Joseph, whose job is was to sell and distribute to all peoples who came.
(He likely had others since there were storehouses in every city in Egypt, but they happened, by providence, to arrive at the one where Joseph was stationed.)
As was appropriate when greeting a man of power and influence, a ruler of a foreign land, they bowed in respect and submission to the authority of the ruler of the land.
I separate out this verse from all others because to me it is significant enough to point out.
The first of Joseph’s two dreams has reached its full fulfillment.
First dream fulfilled…Some 20 years after it was given.
13 years in slavery/prison
7 years of abundance
And who knows how long before the famine was so severe that they were forced to Egypt (He will later tell them that there are 5 more years of this famine)
Notice God’s patience in fulfilling his promises and plans...
20 Years for Isaac
20 Years for Jacob and Esau
20 Years for Joseph’s dream fulfilled
God ALWAYS fulfills his promises and plans but he does so in his time and way.
God’s pattern is to make us wait, to while we wait, work a work of grace in our lives, transforming us through the waiting process.
Why does God often wait so long to fulfill his promises?
He is using the time to transform us into the Christ likeness he desires.
He has a timetable that he operating under..one we do not often see the reason behind, but it is there.
He is testing our faith, seeing if we will trust and obey, if we will persist in patience waiting upon him.
Why do we struggle to wait patiently for God to fulfill His promises?
Our impatience. We want the good things he has promised now.
There is often pain, disappointment, and hardship in the waiting and we want deliverance.
Our faith struggles. We question whether he will follow through because everything in this life is broken and we struggle NOT to translate that to Him.
Despite the wait, God fulfilled His promise as he always does.
And upon recognizing his brothers, Joseph springs into action with a test to determine if his brothers have changed.

First Test- Genesis 42:7-20

He recognized them.
They did not him…which makes sense. He was young and would have changed much. PLUS he was dressed like, speaking like, and living like an Egyptian. It makes sense that they would not have recognized him.
He places a test before them to see if they have changed.
I take this as a test of Joseph and NOT a spiteful, vengeful action because of what he later reveals to them in Genesis 45:4-8
He has recognized at some point (probably early on in his encounter with Pharoah and his rise to power) that this was done by God for a reason.
For that reason, I do not take his gruffness and his actions here to be one of an angry, bitter man who is taking vengeance on his brothers for what they have done. Personally I believe he is from the beginning testing to see if they have changed and working to find a way to see his brother and father who are at home.
This is seen by how often he asks about his father
Genesis 43:6-7
Genesis 43:26-28
And in how he handles the demand that Benjamin be brought with them
Genesis 42:15-16
Genesis 42:18-20
Genesis 43:7
Genesis 43:29-30
Genesis 43:34
Vs. 9 - Joseph remembered his dream. I am sure he never forgot it, but once they bowed before him, he undoubtedly got a vivid mental picture of the dream he had so many years before.
You have to wonder what he felt and thought in that moment..especially since standing before them he would have had to compose himself.
MAYBE his gruffness was in spite and anger initially.
Perhaps it was upon his remembrance of the dream that things began to click into place and perhaps in that moment, as understanding dawned, that he let the anger wash away.
I tend to think it was before this point, but perhaps, it was here.
Accuses them of being spies.
They deny and defend, explaining who they are and why they have come.
In this defense, they explain that they are all brothers, 12 of them…but then they have to explain why only ten are there…
One is at home
One is no more....
Literally - non-existence; not there; none, not among us.
Strong illusion to death for sure.
NOTICE how they have persisted in this lie for over 20 years now.
Or perhaps they had come to believe he was dead.
They honestly do not know...
Or how deceptive this is…no more could refer to death but could refer to something else too...
Almost as if it takes the stance that we never actually said he was dead.
They showed the robes to Jacob, he drew his own conclusions, they did not reject it.
Even now, they continue the deception but without using the direct statement of death.
But point is, they deny his accusation and try to explain.
He insists on it being true that they are spies and proposes a test (again, a way to get to see Benjamin)
Demands that all but one brother remains in prison. The one is to go home and fetch the brother and return (Remember at least a 10 day journey, one way…)
In this way, they would prove their truthfulness (and he would be able to see his brother).
He puts them all in prison for 3 days to think it over (and perhaps to add incentive to bring Benjamin back…he was serious and would keep them in prison).
Side note....perhaps this is why did not want to come to Egypt and why they sat LOOKING at each other, forcing Israel to push them into action. Perhaps they feared this or had heard stories of Egypt. Not sure.
You have to wonder if while sitting in that prison cell, they remarked to each other that they did not want to come here in the first place.
Inconsequential, I know, but my mind works to fill in the gaps sometimes even if I cannot prove what my mind imagines.
After three days, he calls them forth and repeats the instruction, but this time shows a little mercy and reverses his order. He will keep one and the rest may go and bring him back.
He makes clear, I FEAR GOD.
Elohim - Mainly used to designate the ONE TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
I believe this use of this term/name would have been clear to them that he worshipped the same God as they and that it would have resonated with them. Which is why he would have used it. He wanted them to know that he worshipped the LIVING God and that he would therefore honor his word that he was giving to them.
You have my word that if you bring your brother back, I will release the one and will vindicate you as honest and truthful men.
Again, assuming that they went right home and came right back with Benjamin, that is at least a 20 day stay in the prison for the one brother remaining behind.
As they discuss their predicament, we have the first evidence that these brothers were not now who they once were.

First Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:21-22

They acknowledged their guilt. Their fault. Their shame. They here acknowledge, before Joseph (who they did not realize could understand them) their sinfulness in what they did to Joseph.
They saw the distress of his soul
He begged them
We get a picture here of Joseph’s state when they stripped, pitted, and sold him.
If you have any amount of imagination, you can picture the frantic desperation with which he begged and pleaded for his life, for his freedom.
He was distressed.
He BEGGED and pleaded
Only to be ignored.
Reuben claims this opportunity to do the “I told you so” speech and point out that now, 20 years later, the reckoning for his blood has finally come.
But in these verses, in these statements, we begin to get a hint that they have acknowledged their wrong and are connecting it to their current consequences.
And they are not wrong.
They are where they are BECAUSE OF actions they took years before.
NOT necessarily as a direct punishment or the expression of wrath, but nevertheless one that they would not have faced had they sold their brother to Egypt as a slave.
If it had never happened, Joseph would not be testing them in this way to determine if they had changed.
He would likely not even be in a position of power to do what he is doing.
Point is, they are not wrong. Their current situation IS a consequence of what they had done…though they are not fully aware yet of just HOW connected it is.
Genesis 42:24 will reveal Joseph’s response to this. He weeps.
What does he weep over?
The remembrance of the pain of that day?
The suffering he has endured since then as a result?
The hurt of betrayal and loss of his family?
The sense of remorse and guilt they bear and just displayed in front of him?
A sense of joy, mixed in with the hurt, that it seems like they are sorry for what they have done?
Yes, probably all of it. If I had to hazard a guess.
If we take his initial gruffness as anger from the hold hurt and not a test, it could be here upon hearing their words that his heart softens and changes leading him to respond as he does in Genesis 45:4-5.
Again, I lean towards it being a test because if he fully understood this was an act of God that brought him here, he likely made peace with his brothers in his heart before seeing them now.
But, knowing human flesh, it could have been a fleshly reaction and over the course of this narrative, his heart adjusts to him being able to say what he does in chapter 45.
To me, as I read this text, this is the first evidence of God’s work in the brothers life after all of these years.
With no other recourse to take, the brothers depart for home.
Is the acknowledgment of guilt the same thing as repentance? Why or why not?
No. It is not. It is confession, for sure, but not necessarily the same thing as repentance. One can confess their sin, acknowledge it but not be repentant or sorrowful for it.
Confession CAN include an acknowledgement of belief and an attitude of repentance, but it can also be limited to simply acknowledging a wrong without showing remorse or repentance.
Read Romans 10:9-10 and Mark 1:14-15. How are belief, repentance, and confession connected in these verses?
Repentance and belief go hand in hand. When you come to believe the truth about sin, about God, about our condition, repentance can happen. Does not mean it WILL but before one can repent, one must believe the truth of sin and their state in sin. Then upon believe, they must believe the message of gospel as the means for forgiveness and reconciliation with God.
You will not repent if you do not believe the message of sin and guilt before God. Belief in the message of sin is necessary. But once that belief takes hold, then God uses that to convict, to bring to a place of repentance; a changing of mind, a turning around, a rejection of error and embracing of truth. Once this repentance takes hold, this then produces a confession of that belief and repentance which exposes the salvation.
But until you first believe the message of sin, we will never repent or believe the message of the gospel. And thus, confession will never happen.

First Departure - Genesis 42:25-28

They depart, minus Simeon who is bound and led to the prisons.
Why Simeon?
Not sure.
Perhaps he volunteered.
We are not given a reason why him.
Their bags of grain were filled, their money replaced, they were given provisions for the journey, and they headed home.
At their first stop and lodging, they opened one of the bags to feed the donkey’s and found the bag of money in it.
They were terrified now! They had just spent three days in prison for having done NOTHING and now their money (which they thought they had spent for the grain) was back in the bag (at least the money for that bags worth).
Now, they will be accused of stealing, of wrongdoing and they will never get their brother out and they can never take Benjamin back there because they the man would take him too.
Imagine their predicament.
Their hearts failed them.
They trembled
They asked, what is this that GOD has done to us? They seem to see it as some punishment from God.
Why would the brother’s blame God for their predicament after discovering the money in the mouth of the grain bag?
They knew they had given the money to them to pay for it. They had no explanation for why it was back in their sacks and thus they considered this an act of God; seems like they believed it to be an act of judgement (but that is more implied than stated).
Why are we often tempted to blame God for our circumstances?
We know that he is ultimately in control. When things happen that we cannot explain or that are beyond our control, we look to God for answers. Our knowledge of his sovereign control causes us to cast the blame on him and to look to him for a solution, an explanation.
What dangers arise when we blame God for our circumstances?
Resentment, anger, bitterness.
Erosion of faith
Rejection of faith

Home Sweet Home - Genesis 42:29-36

They return home and relate the story to their father, telling him all that had happened in their time away.
However, the situation was far worse than they originally had imagined.
As they EACH emptied their sacks, they EACH found their bags of gold that has bee “used” to purchase the grain.
It was not just one bag, it was all of them.
This only worsens their position the next time (if there is one, in their minds) they have to go to Egypt. They will be imprisoned for sure as thieves and spies.
Israel is beside himself.
YOU, he says have bereaved me of my children
Seemingly blaming the brothers for Joseph’s “death” (which of course, they were guilty, but he did not know that).
And now of Simeon’s imprisonment in Egypt.
He seems to be blaming them despite the fact that in (Israel’s understanding) the brothers would have had no control over either.
Now we know that they DID have control of Joseph’s situation but Israel does not know that. The story Israel knows is that of wild animal killing him.
The brothers, in Israel’s mind, failed to protect his children.
He is grief stricken and likely not speaking rationally but emotionally, but nonetheless, he is laying blame at the brother’s feet for the fates of Joseph and Simeon.
And he knows, as well as the brothers do, to send Benjamin is a fate sealed in death and loss. They are convinced of this based on their treatment and now on the fact that their money has been returned.
Why do we have a tendency to blame others for the troubles that befall us?
To remove our own blame or guilt
To explain our suffering. At times, an explanation for suffering seems to lessen the intensity of the suffering. If we can find a reason behind it, it seems to ease the hurt.
They are in a predicament but they know that they are going to have to return to Egypt.
Simeon is still there in prison
And they probably suspect that they are going to need more food before this famine is over, so what now...
And this bring us to the second evidence of change.

Second Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:37-38

Reuben holds up in two sons as collateral in exchange for Benjamin’s life.
Now, in all fairness, he was the one who tried to talk the brothers out of hurting him and he had no part in the sale of Joseph.
But the extreme to which he is willing to go to guarantee Benjamin’s safety is pretty impressive.
Reuben’s standing with his father, at this point, is unknown. We know that he violated his father’s bed and that he will later be cut off from blessing and inheritance because of it, but even still, this seems a rather extreme stance to take (and if I was his sons, I would not be happy) to ensure the safety of another and to attempt to convince Israel to send Benjamin with them.
It evidences to me, that something has changed when so high a price is offered to ensure the safety of yet another son who clearly holds the favored status in the family.
Nothing (it seems) has changed in the way Israel is choosing to act with favorites. In fact, it seems that the situation may well be worse because of Joseph’s “death.” He is holding Benjamin even closer.
Jacob will say in the next verse (Genesis 42:38) that HE IS NOT SENDING Benjamin because if he is lost, it would kill him.
But he is evidently ok with leaving Simeon there.
And though he is grieved, he is NOT on his deathbed over Simeon’s fate.
Listen to his words… “his brother is dead, and he is the only one left.”
Now hang on…You and I know he means of the sons born to Rachel, but how do you think that makes the brothers feel? And it reveals even more acutely how much his favoritism has not changed.
So, for the brothers to offer so much in exchange for one who is STILL in the favored seat, evidences a change that has been brought in their lives through the working of God.
It seems settled here. It seems like this is where it will end.
Except the famine doesn’t. And it necessitates a second trip.
Which we will resume in two weeks upon our return from vacation.
Why is Reuben’s offer to his father an evidence of change?
There is great personal cost and sacrifice at stake here. He is willing to sacrifice a lot in exchange for his brother’s safe return.
What evidences of change does scripture speak of that we ought to look for in the lives of those who profess salvation?
Repentance. A turning away from sinful attitudes and actions
Humility
Thankfulness
Servanthood
Fruit of the Spirit - Patience, kindness, goodness, etc.
Righteous living
Just behavior
Integrity
Honesty
Etc.

Conclusion

Big Idea: The grace of God is the power to change sinners.
First Journey to Egypt - Genesis 42:1-5
Fulfillment of a Dream - Genesis 42:6
First Test- Genesis 42:7-20
First Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:21-22
First Departure - Genesis 42:23-28
Home Sweet Home - Genesis 42:29-36
Second Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:37-38
Second Journey to Egypt - Genesis 43:1-15
Third Evidence of Change - Genesis 43:8-9
Family Lunch - Genesis 43:16-34
Second Test -Genesis 44:1-17
Fourth Evidence of Change - Genesis 44:18-34
As we close for now, I do want to leave you with this question...
Do you believe the power and grace of God has the ability to change lives?
And don’t be quick necessarily to answer.
Think on it. Meditate over it.
Your mind may yes, and I hope it is true, but do our actions evidence our belief in the assertion of that truth?
I mean, why do I take such painstaking efforts to trace the evidences of change throughout these three chapters?
Because, I believe that one of the traps that we often fall into as followers of Christ, is that we limit the power and ability of God to change people…we often give them less chances to change and grow than God does.
Despite intellectually assenting to the truth that God can and does change people, we treat them as if the opposite is true. We can treat people as if they are forever trapped in the sinful patterns of living forever and that true change is not possible. When people come, by the grace of God, transformed by the grace of God, often times the very ones who profess the name of Christ reject that claim of change, refuse forgiveness and treat them as grace has never visited them.
We are seeing evidences that the brothers of Joseph are not the same men who sold him as a slave so many years before. Perhaps Joseph himself thought they could not or would not change.
What will become evidently clear as we continue our study is that the grace of God is the power to change sinners.
So, what I pray we can accomplish this week and in the weeks ahead to consider the power of the grace of God to change sinners. That we would root out and destroy any attitudes that are openly hostile the power of God’s grace to change and that we would have open hearts and minds to see the grace of God at work and to cooperate with that work, giving others every opportunity to change while there is time.

Introduction

The Grace to Change

By Melissa Applebee
October 30, 2017
My dear sister.
I am so sorry it’s been a rather long time. I want you to know that as the seasons change, my heart and time and passion changes, too. And right now, God has truly gifted me with stillness, silence, slowness.
I want to tell you this: For so long, I was addicted to busy. I was addicted to efficiency, to high-capacity, to achievement and the hustle and the go, go, go.
And now, I’m not.
It’s the most crazy and beautiful and true thing in the world, that God is always moving within our hearts, breaking chains and setting us free to be the women He always created us to be.
Now, I desire stillness. I desire the silence, the solitude. Now, I desire relationships, and connection. Now, I desire dinner at a table, or a one-on-one coffee date. Now, I desire slow days, with time, with space and my movements more like a melody than a hustle.
I think I may be the only one who was like that. It seems so often that people just have a natural, inherent desire for connection and relationship and slowness- but I didn’t. But maybe I’m not the only one.
Listen, my sister. I want you to know this:
Sin had hardened our hearts, enslaving us to ungodly traits and habits, making us rigid and broken and hot-headed and weak and evil people.
But God is always, always, always working to restore us wholly to the women that He created us to be.
Where we were once broken, He is making us whole.
Where we were once addicted, He is making us free.
Where we were once angry, He is giving us peace.
Where we were once ashamed, He is giving us confidence.
Where we were once proud, He is giving us humility.
The way we once lived our lives, is not how we will forever live. The way our hearts once functioned, is not how they will forever be fashioned.
Sister, when you come to know your sweet Jesus, it’s just the beginning.
It’s just the beginning.
He is so gracious and genuine, that He begins a work in our lives, from the inside out, from our heart, to our hands.
And that work is coming to life day, by day, by day, by day.
I absolutely do not recognize the girl I was four years ago before I gave my life to Christ.  And, I hardly recognize the girl who I was, in Christ, a year ago.
God has done so unbelievably, tangibly, beautifully much in my heart and it has changed what I do with my hands.
And sister, so has He in yours.
Listen, so often, there’s a lie ringing in my head that I can’t change. Because if I change, I would be a hypocrite, because that’s not who I really am. Because it’s impossible for me to change. Because I’ve been who I was for so dang long, and that’s who I’ll forever be. Because I’m chained to my sinful and selfish past.
Oh, do you know who Christ Jesus is?
My sister, and honestly I’m sweetly talking to my own self right now,
There is so much grace.
There is so much grace for you.
There is so much grace poured and lavished and drenched over your life.
You are moment by moment by moment being transformed. Transformed in to the likeness of Jesus. Restored to the woman that God, GOD created YOU to be.
Embrace it! Sister, embrace it!
This is the work of the mighty and merciful God, who has eyes like fire and a voice like roaring waters, and hands that are gentle enough to knit together a man out of dust and breathe soft enough to spark life in his dusty soul.
He is changing you. He is moving in you. He is so near and intentional and intimate in your life, oh, can you feel Him!
You are not, and never were, supposed to stay the same.
It’s a dang sharp lie from the devil if you feel chained to who you were.
There is grace for who you were, for you who are, and for who you will be.
You are ever changing into a woman of beauty, of honesty and integrity, of stillness and passion, of intimacy and trust, of fire and grace and grit and everything else godly.
Be you, my sister.
Be fearless in letting people see the work God is doing in you.
After all, it’s never been about you. It’s always, always, been for Him.
Let His grace over your life echo His glory.
Sister, when I sat down in this bar stool, at a coffee shop, drinking this “spooky” latte they made me with charcoal and orange and vanilla (don’t ask about the charcoal part- I just went with it), I didn’t really know what I was going to write. I just knew that I wanted to write, that I needed to. But now there’s almost tears welling up in my eyes and there’s a flame that is being fanned in my heart and I just have to tell you:
The work that God is doing in your heart and hands is so divinely beautiful and powerful and like a roaring fire but also like the waves kissing the rocks over, and over again. Please, my sister, don’t stomp that flame and don’t run from those waters. He is making you like Himself.
I hope, that you can feel the tenderness of power of grace and of change.
Don’t be fearful. Don’t hold back.
God has knit you together, specially, adoringly, with something like a hidden treasure or pearl inside, that only He in His grace can dig out.
Let Him.
With much, much love. And a peace over me, a deep peace, that allows growth, and change, and even rejoices with it. –Melissa
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
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I found this letter online this week.
It speaks well to the theme we began two weeks ago, the theme of grace to change sinners.
It is by the grace of God alone that we are saved, transformed, and made into the likeness of Christ.
But as this narrative we are examining makes clear, that grace is present and working in our lives so that we are becoming more like the God who made us.
Today, we will finishing looking at this narrative and see two more evidences of change in the lives of Joseph’s brother’s.
Next week, we stay with this theme as we look to the NT to consider how that grace is present in our lives to transform us from what we were, dead in our sins, to alive in Christ, to the very likeness of Christ.
It is by grace, we are changed.
It is by grace that Joseph’s was changed.
It is by grace that Joseph’s brother’s were changed.
Let’s look back at Genesis 42-44

Outline

Big Idea: The grace of God is the power to change sinners.
First Journey to Egypt - Genesis 42:1-5
Fulfillment of a Dream - Genesis 42:6
First Test- Genesis 42:7-20
First Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:21-22
First Departure - Genesis 42:23-28
Home Sweet Home - Genesis 42:29-36
Second Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:37-38
Second Journey to Egypt - Genesis 43:1-15
Third Evidence of Change - Genesis 43:8-9
Family Lunch - Genesis 43:16-34
Second Test -Genesis 44:1-17
Fourth Evidence of Change - Genesis 44:18-34
As we continue our journey through this text, we next see that a second journey to Egypt is necessary because of the severity of the famine that is in the land.

Sermon Body

Second Journey to Egypt - Genesis 43:1-15

The famine remained severe in the land. It is only the beginning.
AFTER they had eaten all the grain gotten from Egypt...
Uncertain how long this would have been, but more than month at least. (Depends on family size)
Genesis 43:10 makes known that in the time they have delayed, they could have gone and come twice, which is at least 40 days.
Chances are, it has been closer to two or three months.
Which means, Simeon has been in prison all of this time.
And it will take at least 10 more days for them to return to Egypt to get food.
Simeon’s prison stay is extending into a several month long ordeal.
They are once more out of food, so Israel sends them back.
They remind him, we cannot go without Benjamin.
We WILL NOT go without him. Period.
Israel — WHY ON EARTH DID YOU TELL THEM ABOUT ME AND YOUR BROTHER? You only needed to buy food, not tell them your whole life story!
Brother’s reveal - He asked specific and thorough questions. How were we to know he would demand we bring Benjamin back?
Going to skip verses 8-9 for a moment. Will come back to those.
Having no other choice, and resigning himself to that fact, he consents.
Probably realizes if he does not, they are all going to die anyway. They really do not have a choice in the matter.
He sends them back with gifts, choice fruit and items of the land ALONG with double payment to pay for the last load as well as the new one.
He says…maybe it was an accident, an oversight. Implied is, perhaps if you come back with double the money, they will forgive you and not accuse you of theft.
Take your brother, and go.
May God Almighty (El Shaddai) grant you mercy and bring him back to me. And as for me…if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.
Oh, along with your other brother
I know that is not how it reads, but that (to me) is the feel of this text. The “other brother” is not even mentioned by name.
Here he is seemingly trusting God and resigning himself to the necessity of the trip.
This is not trust filled and God orientated resignation but rather self pitying resignation.
This is not obedience in faith with peace but resignation with self focused self pity.
This is not acceptance and contentment but resignation with resentment.
It is not an act of trust in God. It is not being done in full faith and confidence that whatever God’s will is, he will accept and be at peace with.
He is doing it in an air of, I have no other choice and I hope that God will bring him home safe, but if not, oh well. He is hangs his entire hope and happiness on the life of this boy. He knows he has no choice but to let him go, but he is loathe to do so and he hopelessly surrenders to that reality BUT WITH THE ADMISSION THAT HIS LIFE IS FORFEIT IF THE BOY DOES NOT COME HOME.
That is not the stance of faith and trust in whatever the outcome may be.
He is not releasing Benjamin in trust, but in reluctant and necessity.
NOW, in full transparency, there are some who disagree with me. They see this as an act of faith and trust in God. As I read this narrative, his overall reluctance, and his unwillingness to send him until he is backed into a corner, I do not see it the same.
I see his actions as a negative resignation of the inevitable and done with great reluctance and despair.
I believe this a big difference between an act of faith that prompts obedience/action and that of reluctant resignation that prompts an action or obedience. The difference, the heart and motive that compels it. What may appear to be trust externally may not truly be so.
Resign

re•sign \ri-ˈzīn\ verb

[Middle English, from Middle French resigner, from Latin resignare, literally, to unseal, cancel, from re- + signare to sign, seal — more at SIGN]

(14th century)

transitive verb

1 : RELEGATE, CONSIGN; especially : to give (oneself) over without resistance 〈resigned herself to her fate〉

2 : to give up deliberately; especially : to renounce (as a right or position) by a formal act

intransitive verb

1 : to give up one’s office or position : QUIT

2 : to accept something as inevitable : SUBMIT

synonymy see RELINQUISH, ABDICATE

Resignation is a giving up.
Resignation is another word that mean, quit.
Now, one could argue that when you are giving up and resigning to God, it could be a good thing. You are finally surrendering to God and acting in obedience and faith.
This COULD be true, but does not have to be. Giving up could be nothing more than you are backed into a corner with no other options.
However, for me at least, when I hear the word resign, resignation, I hear it with a negative bent. One is quitting or surrendering. For a use of this concept in the positive, I would lead towards other words. I would not personally use the word resign to argue for a positive heart stance before God. I hear it as somewhat a negative stance…not always but that tends to be my feel towards this word. So, while it can be used in the positive....
It can also go the other direction and be an act of giving up, quitting, walking away, and doing so with despair, resentment, and deeply rooted grief over desires unmet.
It is one thing to resign our fleshly impulses and act in faith and obedience to God, committing to him whatever may come. One could rightly use the term resign, resignation correctly in this (though again I would lean towards other words to describe this)
It is another thing entirely to give up with an air of defeat, resentment, and angry, hopelessness because it did not turn out how you wanted it to.
And this is NOT a positive feel here in this context.
I think, typically, resignation has a negative connotation of giving up, walking away. Of quitting.
E.G. - I just resigned myself to the reality that he will never change. I resigned from my job today.
And while it can certainly be applied in a positive way, I resigned my job to care for my family, to pursue ministry, etc, here, Jacob/Israel is resigning himself to loss and grief because he has no other choice. It is not an act of faith.
Faith on the other hand....
Faith

1faith \ˈfāth\ noun

plural faiths \ˈfāths, sometimes ˈfāṯẖz\

[Middle English feith, from Old French feid, foi, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust — more at BIDE]

(13th century)

1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY

1 b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises

(2) : sincerity of intentions

2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God

(2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

2 b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof

(2) : complete trust

3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

Faith is an act that trusts God no matter the outcome, even if it brings pain.
It is an entrusting of all that we hold dear to the one who has all power and accepting that he will act responsibly and with the best possible intent. It is an embracing and accepting of that plan even if it is not what we want or brings pain and disappointment.
Trust is done in FAITH. Not necessarily faith that all will be well and I trust that it will turn out as I want…but FAITH in that whatever God permits or brings to pass, is good and best and I humble bow before it, accept it, and find peace in it.
Turn with the Hebrews 11
I want to take a moment to show you the difference between a heart that resigns and gives up in reluctance and heart that is motivated and moved by faith.
Read Hebrews 11:1-40 noting the following....
Definition of faith in verse 1
Verse 6 - What really pleases God is not the physical act but the heart of faith that motivates and compels the action
Verse 32-40 - A heart of faith trust God even when the path God puts us on brings pain, loss, sorrow, grief, and trial....and they did so, at times REFUSING release and relief, but instead entrusting themselves to God despite the pain.
It was not a begrudging obedience but a full acceptance of the path no matter what it brought.
That is the key difference between faith and resignation, at least as I see it.
This is not the stance of Jacob of Israel. If it does not end how he wants, he will be devastated.
Israel is NOT acting in faith trusting God to protect his son, he is not acting in faith entrusting the outcome to a good and gracious God who makes no mistakes.
He is giving up and sending him because he has no other choice. They will die without it.
And he will die (his admission) if the son does not come home.
Likely, he is worried sick the entire time Benjamin is gone. His life is being controlled by Benjamin. Benjamin is the idol that Jacob worships at, even if he does not understand or accept that.
No, his release is not done in an act of faith trusting the will of God no matter what that may be…rather, it is an act of desperation and necessity lest they all die.
I contend that if he had chosen to act in faith and trust of God to protect his son or to act as He (God) sees fit, he would have sent him the first time or when the brothers first asked.
AND I imagine that in the intervening space of time, there were multiple entreaties to send Benjamin with them.
They reveal that they delayed so long that they could have gone and returned twice....a delay that was likely because Israel kept refusing to send Benjamin. So I personally believe that there were multiple requests not recorded for us of them trying to convince their father to send Benjamin with them. AND only when it was desperate did he finally concede.
As much as Israel as grown, he is still a man with weakness and failings.
But, in the end, he does release him and they go.
So they rose, took Benjamin and went to stand before Joseph once more. But before we get there, we need to see verses 8-9 in the midst of this. In these verses, we see the third evidence for change.
When you hear the word resign/resignation, what do you think? What is your impression of the word/concept?
In what way(s) would you agree that resignation is different than obedience fueled by faith? In what way(s) would you disagree that they are different?
What is the key difference between a sinful resignation and righteous resignation/faith filled obedience?
A heart of faith that surrenders to God and trusts Him with the outcome no matter if that is what we want in the flesh or not.
A sinful resignation gives up because there is no other choice but does so with resentment and complaint.
The key difference between a sinful resignation and a righteous resignation (Surrendering that results in faith filled obedience) is a heart of faith and trust in the will and character of God to do that which is right and good.

Third Evidence of Change - Genesis 43:8-9

Judah, who suggested the sale of Joseph (Genesis 37:26-27), to make a quick penny and get rid of the pest…now steps up big.
Again, nothing has changed about the preferential treatment the sons of Rachel receive. In terms of their favored status, nothing is different.
Though I suspect, Israel did not place Benjamin over his brothers, send him out to check on them, and as far as we know, Benjamin never had dreams he boasted about to his brothers.
Little is really different...
And yet...
Judah…Entrust Benjamin to me. If he does not return, I will bear the blame forever. In other words, let the consequences be on me. This is an all or nothing, costly place to be if it goes south. The consequences if Benjamin does not come back is likely a complete cutting off of Judah from the family and a complete severing of all from the family of Israel. The cost would be huge.
But this is a cost he is willing to embrace to ensure the safety of Benjamin.
A cost he would not have been willing to pay with Joseph.
I also understand that he may only be offering this because he knows that unless they go, they will all die. That reality may cast some shadow over the purity of his intentions…but I suspect that he could have found a way to convince his father on that premise alone without offering to bear the blame for Benjamin’s death (should that happen) on his shoulders. He offered it, I believe, because God has been doing a work and has changed the heart of Judah from the man who sold his own brother into slavery.
It is the third evidence of change in his brothers.
Why am I convinced of the sincerity of a true heart change and not merely a self motivated request?
Because the value of what was offered in exchange for his concession to send Benjamin was too high for a man whose convictions and desires had not changed.
He was willing to murder and DID sell his brother to remove one from his life who stood in the way of what he wanted. The man who plotted his murder and executed his sale was not a man who was willing to pay the price to obey and please his father and serve his brother, loving his enemy.
He is now essentially offering up willingly the very thing that he had been willing to kill over and that HE DID sell his brother for.
The man who now offers himself and his very life in the assurance of his brother’s safety is a man who has been changed.
Truth is, the price someone is willing to pay, the risk shows the depth of sincerity and conviction they hold. And THIS IS A HIGH PRICE TO PAY. Judah risks a great deal to extend this offer to his father. A great deal indeed. This has to do with conviction and resolve.
Conviction - A strong persuasion or belief.
Convictions produce a resolve (Firm decision)
The grounding of convictions and the hardening of resolves happens when a heart accepts and embraces something as true, necessary, desired, etc.
And the more costly the resolve, the more it risks or demands, the deeper the conviction of the truth motivating the resolve is exposed.
For a man, Judah, to risk his life, his reputation, his inheritance, his standing for a child who like his full brother (Joseph) was clearly favored....WHEN years before the same man was out to murder (but settled for selling him) a child in the same position, this shows a heart of change by the grace of God in the heart and mind of Judah.
Where once he was convicted and resolved to fight for his own personal interests, to kill to protect his own estate…he had elevated his own personal interests above that of his brother’s or his fathers....NOW he evidences a change where that no longer matters, but he is wiling now to sacrifice those very things for the safety of his brother and the well being of his father.
As mentioned, in the face of the dire circumstances, he could have found a way to compel his father to send Benjamin without risking his own self.
The fact that he was willing to offer it up, to me evidences that his convictions (What he believed to be necessary for his happiness and life), desires, and resolves had changed. What once was important to him, what he once held dear, what he once held as convictions and resolves had changed.
The offer, to me, makes a clear statement that his values had changed.
His convictions about what was necessary for life and happiness had changed.
Back in Egypt, the brothers prepare to meet Joseph again.
In what way(s) do our actions expose and reveal our convictions; what we believe and what we value?
Our actions are driven and motivated by what we believe. Our belief WILL result in action. More telling than our words are our actions. What we do will expose what we believe and what we value.
Examine your own attitudes, desires, and actions. What do they show you about what you value, about what you believe?
How do the convictions (belief’s) we hold either encourage or block fellowship with God?
What we believe to be true will impact the way we live and the things we do. What we believe to be true will determine our values, what we prioritize, and how we live.
If we believe the wrongs things about who God is, his actions, his character, then we will not interact with Him correctly.
If we believe the wrong things about creation, about life, about our purpose, about our identity, about life and death, it will change the way we see, interact with, and engage with God.
It is critical that we know truth and that we believe the truth or else our fellowship with God will be blocked and hindered.
What is God calling you to surrender that you might enjoy deeper intimacy with Him?

Family Lunch - Genesis 43:16-34

Standing before Joseph, he sees Benjamin.
He tells the steward of his house to bring the men to the house and prepare a meal. They are going to have lunch together.
But being brought to Joseph’s personal house, the men were afraid. Based on their last experience, this did not sit well with them.
They fear it might have something to do with the money that was in their bags upon returning home their last time. They believed that they were being brought here in order that in the privacy of his home, he could seize their things, kill them, and put an end to these thieving spies.
So they approach the steward. They explain the money bag situation and try to pay him for the previous trip as well as this one.
The steward immediately understands and calms their fears by saying…PEACE to you.
YOUR GOD, the GOD of your FATHER....
Elohim - Again a term that would have resonated with them, assuring them he was speaking of the same God they worshipped.
which if they had been in calm and rational mind, they may have wondered at such a statement
It also reveals Joseph’s influence. The steward is aware of THE GOD and knows that it is the God of their father (which means he also likely knows that they are Joseph’s family…a truth that has not even been revealed to Pharoah yet.)
Your God is responsible for the money in your bags. I got it. Never you worry.
Simeon is brought out to join them.
Their feet were washed
Their donkeys cared for
They presented themselves before Joseph now, at his house.
They bowed before him again.
He inquired about their health and their father
Then he sees Benjamin, his full brother (not just half) and inquires about him.
He blesses him in the name of God
But then is so overcome he flees to room, weeping as compassion and love for his brother overwhelms him
You begin to get the idea that Joseph was an emotional man
Which even more puts stark contrast into the disparity between who I envision Potipher was and who Joseph is.
He flees to his room to weep.
You get the sense that Joseph is an emotional man.
Composes himself
and returns
They serve the food
He by himself
The Egyptians with him by themselves
and the brothers by themselves
It was an abomination for the Egyptians to eat with Hebrews. Therefore they had to eat separate and not even Joseph could eat with them. Besides, it probably would have been very inappropriate for a man of Joseph’s position to each with those lower than him.
The brothers were amazed at this, not understanding how they were able to sit be here eating in this man’s house and sharing his food.
Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s was five times more than anyone else.
Perhaps Joseph is repeating his father sin
Or perhaps it is nothing more than a special blessing to his full brother with whom they share the same parentage.
They ate and were merry with him, though amazed and I am sure confused by the turn of events and the difference between their two visits.

Second Test -Genesis 44:1-17

So, after they had eaten, he once more tells the steward to fill their sacks with grain, as much as they can carry.
Also their money bags
And then to put his silver cup in Benjamin’s bag with his money.
The men set off at first light
They had only gone a short distance when Joseph sent his steward after them.
Joseph instructs the steward what to say. But basically, he accuses the of stealing, of repaying his kindness with evil. He credits this discovery to the power of divination.
What is divination?
To seek and given omens, foretell
Basically, fortune telling; mystical, magical ability to see things and know things in supernatural ways.
The cup that was taken, the steward claims is the cup by which he drinks AND practices his divination.
IVP Background Commentary Notes...
Gen 44:5. divination cup. The cup that Joseph plants in Benjamin's sack is identified as being used for divination. Just as tea leaves are read today, the ancients read omens by means of liquid in cups. One mechanism involved the pouring of oil onto water to see what shapes it would take (called lecanomancy). More popular methods of divination used everyday occurrences, configurations of the entrails of sacrificed animals or the movements of the heavenly bodies. Lecanomancy was used in the time of Joseph, as is attested by several Old Babylonian omen texts concerned with the various possible configurations of the oil and their interpretations. Another technique, hydromancy, made its observations from the reflections in the water itself. Not enough is known about Egyptian divination techniques to offer more specific information, but in these early periods typically only people of status had access to divination procedures.
It seemed common to believe and accept then that people, especially rulers, would practice divination
And this cup, that was planted in Benjamin’s cup, seems to be the cup that was used by Joseph for such things.
The brothers, of course, deny the accusation, having done nothing wrong.
They reply that they even brought back money from the first journey and repaid for the food that was given the first round. Why on earth would we steal if we were willing to do that?
So confident are they that they say, whoever is found with it will die and the rest of us will be your servants.
They search from the oldest to the youngest. Finding it, of course, in Benjamin’s where the steward had put it.
Tearing their clothes in grief, they loaded back up and proceeded back into the city.
They arrive before Joseph and fall before him.
He repeats his accusation given from the steward.
They have no defense. They do not know how it got there, but they cannot deny that it was there.
They cast themselves upon the mercy of Joseph and submit themselves to the servanthood that they promised.
But note....their approach has changed.
Previously, the one who was found in possession of it was to be killed and the rest enslaved. NOW, they all simply being submitted as slaves
EVEN in this, there is an attempt to protect Benjamin, to at least spare his life. Presumably in the hopes that the misunderstanding may be sorted out at some point or that they would be released and returned at some point to their father.
Even in this shifting of consequences, they are attempting to protect the brother whose favored status caused Joseph to be sold into slavery 20 years prior.
Even here, the change is evident.
Joseph however, amps the test up to its final notch. He says no, it would not be just and right of me to keep all of you. I will keep ONLY the guilty party, Benjamin. The rest of you are free to go in peace to your father.
At this juncture, it is important to ask…though the answer may appear obvious…why Benjamin?
Because Joseph knows that his brother is likely the favored son now in the place of Joseph whose father presumes him dead.
How they respond to this, what extents they go through to either protect or offering him up will reveal just how much or little they have changed. He has be to be sure.
Therefore, Benjamin, as the other favored son of Israel has to be the object of this test. Joseph needs to know if they are willing to do for a second time what they did to him or if they have changed.
This brings us to the final verses we will look at today and the fourth and final evidence of the change…the final test that Joseph places before them...

Fourth Evidence of Change - Genesis 44:18-34

Judah steps up.
Again, the one who spoke with the brothers and convinced them to sell him.
The one who offered his own life and livelihood in exchange for Benjamin’s safety...
The one who seems to be the active spokesman for them all at this point as is evidenced by the past couple occasions where he has spoken up.
He lays out his argument. He explains the love of his father, the death of his brother (here he actually uses the word dead), the sole remaining child of his mother.
He reminds how Joseph ask for the boy to be brought back or else they would not see him again and be able to buy food
He explains his father’s reaction to that and the grief it would cause him if the boy did not return to him.
He explains how his life is now tied to the boy (The agreement he made with his father).
He explains how if the boy is not with him when they return that his father will die and that he would bear the shame forever because he vowed to bring him back.
SO INSTEAD, take me and let the boy return home to his father.
He offers himself in place of his brother. He offers his own life as sacrifice for his brother and for his father’s sake.
A sacrifice, a selfless act that he did not make 20 years prior.
HOW? HOW IS SUCH A CHANGE POSSIBLE?
Ezekiel 36:22-28
ESP vs. 26.
It is God who changes hearts.
It is God who grants forgiveness and faith
It is God who changes us.
This change is possible because God made it possible.
God is doing a work of grace
In this moment, as he speaks for his brothers, he evidences the work of grace in His life, grace from God, that has transformed these men into something they were not previously.
And in so doing, reveals the truth to us that
Big Idea: The grace of God is the power to change sinners.
This change cannot be explained in any other way.
History and scripture reveal, sin deepens and leads to further debauchery, not less. Men do not improve or get better apart from the work of God in their lives.
One proof text as we close for now and resume next time...
Philippians 2:12-13 - IT is GOD who BOTH WILLS and WORKS in our lives. He grants the desire to walk in righteousness as we submit ourselves to him. HE does it. Not us. He.
God’s grace is the power to change sinners; to convert hearts of stone to hearts of flesh…an act that he has been working and doing in both Joseph’s life as well as his brothers all these many years.
An act that He continues to do today....which we will consider at greater length next week.
Reread Ezekiel 36:22-28 again. How ought the truth that God has the power over hearts both provoke fear and worship in our hearts?
Worship in that God can do that which we cannot. He can change a person’s heart, desires, convictions, belief’s, and motives.
Fear for the same reason. He has the ability to both harden and soften hearts. We are all instruments in his hands accomplishing his purpose. If we reject and scorn his call to worship him, we may well find ourselves (or others) with hardened hearts being used by God as a vessel prepared for wrath.
How does this truth (of God’s power over our hearts) impact our ministry, discipleship, and outreach to others?
We are dependent upon God to change hearts. We cannot do that. We share truth, we admonish, exhort, warn, teach, etc…it is God who brings the change. We are not God and must be careful that we do not cross the line from admonishment, exhortation, teaching, warning, etc to that of attempting to FORCE a person to change.
What hope and encouragement does this narrative give to you today? How does it encourage your specifically in your circumstances today?

Conclusion

Big Idea: The grace of God is the power to change sinners.
First Journey to Egypt - Genesis 42:1-5
Fulfillment of a Dream - Genesis 42:6
First Test- Genesis 42:7-20
First Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:21-22
First Departure - Genesis 42:23-28
Home Sweet Home - Genesis 42:29-36
Second Evidence of Change - Genesis 42:37-38
Second Journey to Egypt - Genesis 43:1-15
Third Evidence of Change - Genesis 43:8-9
Family Lunch - Genesis 43:16-34
Second Test -Genesis 44:1-17
Fourth Evidence of Change - Genesis 44:18-34
Grace is the power of God, not only to save, but to change.
There is a glorious sequel to saving, justifying grace. The grace that justifies (declaring us holy in God’s sight) becomes the grace that sanctifies (making us ever more holy in daily life). It is a prevailing, unstoppable grace that doesn’t close up shop the day after the sinner’s prayer. It’s the power of God to help us overcome sin, and a potent weapon in the fierce struggles that accompany life after the honeymoon of conversion. Conversion, like a wedding, is hardly the end of the story – it’s just the beginning.
When Sinners say, “I Do,” Shepherd Press, 2007, p. 138. Used by Permission.
📷Dave Harvey
This truth is evidenced in this narrative.
Grace changed Joseph
Grace changed his brothers
And it is Grace that will change us.
As we reflect upon this marvelous truth, may it embolden and empower us to be growing together to become more like Jesus for the glory of God.
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