Your Wilderness Experience (1)
By Hubert Eke
‘…and as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result…’ Gen. 50:19-21
In the story of Joseph, we see clearly a teenager of interest to God. God wanted Israel saved from a future intense world famine, so He orchestrates this whole movie in the little boy’s life. Sometimes God does not interfere with nature’s phases or perhaps he even orchestrates them. He starts by choosing this teenage boy and giving him two memorable, jealousy-causing, hatred-arousing future dreams and causes him to tell them to his brothers and father. Hmm! Isn’t that interesting? You see, like Joseph, God has given you and me two dreams (past & future) to tell…
- The gospel of His son’s death, burial & resurrection and
- His son’s soon coming
How much are we sharing? Have you gotten entirely administrative? You know what I mean.
To be certain, God is the hero of the story. The Bible is the story of God (not me, you, or Joseph) and his nature and character. God gave us this story to point to Him. God is in control of everything in our seen world and the unseen world. In the story, it doesn’t feel as though God loves Joseph. Isn’t it?
In your own story on earth so far, some events do seem as though God doesn’t love you either. Right? Step back and SEE what God is doing. What is God teaching me about Himself? What are God’s intentions in my affairs? Your affairs?
- His dreams: The scandal of God’s word brought tension to Joseph’s life. His dreams were scandalous to his brothers and even to his father. God gave it to him to share. Surely he knew it would bring trouble for him. God didn’t reveal part of his plan to Joseph. Don’t soften what God gave you to share. I can’t soften what God said for me to share. Share God’s truth, not your own truth.
Even when he was hated, God was in control. This tension shadows the truth about all followers of Christ. Suffering for the gospel may not be fair. But didn’t “fair” end on the cross? Do you still experience the tension that comes from sharing God’s dreams to friends, family and strangers? If you have stopped sharing, get faith from God’s word and like me, start all over again. That’s what we are called to do. Right?
My good friend, just for a moment, think about the guts to show the blood and the robe to their aged father. What does this show about the eleven brothers? You read it. Genesis 37:31-33. What robe and blood do you show our ancient of days? What rich excuses do we give him?
- Submitting to God’s plan that you know and see is the beginning of real joy. This joy is from God himself. The knowledge of Him. God was setting things up to achieve his plan for Israel through Joseph… His own way. What wilderness are you called to submit to? Romans 8:28. Disappointments, murderous plots, separated family, child not doing well spiritually and/in school, child dropping out of school, mistreatment in business, unceasing temptations, pressure from materialism, false accusations, imprisonment, seems like God has forgotten you exist, pressure to continue to be like Jesus in a corrupt convoluted world? Joseph was called to these and more. If we allow Jesus in the story, the end of the story is amazingly predictable in His own way. May end in your physical death, though! God’s good purpose triumphs over man’s evil intentions.
- Endurance and patience and thinking about God’s big picture are required to come out faithfully at the end. The Bible should not be looked at as, “do good, get blessed book”…
Genesis 50:20: “but God”, are the greatest words in the bible.
Pray for our President, that God may keep Him safe and grant Him loads of courage.
Good morning. It’s a great day!
THE OBVIOUS TWO’S
By Hubert Eke
HAVE YOU IMAGINED THE NUMBER TWO? TAKE TWO SECONDS TO THINK ABOUT IT NOW.
- What are the obvious things that occur in twos in life?
Today, we will discuss some things our lord JC said about the TWOs
- The Two Trees (Matthew 7:15-20)
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Thus, every good tree produces good fruit, and the bad tree, evil fruit. A good tree is not able to produce evil fruit, nor is a’ bad tree able to produce good fruit. Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Thus, you will know them by their fruits.”
Bring out some fruits and show the discussants.
- How do you know this fruit is…?
- How can we know people by their fruit? What is JC talking about here? How can people produce fruits when they are not trees?
In this context, Jesus is telling us to be on our guard against” false prophets and false doctrine.
- Why is it important to identify/discern False & Sound doctrine?
They have flooded our world. False doctrine kills. FD deceives many into believing what is false.
- Give some examples of a false doctrine
- How about sound doctrine?
- What question, should we ask to help us identify false/sound doctrines?
Just as there are two roads, there are also two types of trees and two types of fruit. One tree produces good fruit, and the other tree produces evil fruit.
- Why is it not possible to have good fruit and bad fruit growing on the same tree?
By looking at our fruit, we can determine what type of tree we are.
But make no mistake, there are only two types of trees: good and bad.
When I was a boy, I used to listen to a preacher Mr. Abel. I remember Mr. Abel talking about people telling him to not be judgmental in his preaching. They would say, “Mr. Abel, the Bible says, ‘Do not judge.'” Mr. Abel would reply, “Soon after Jesus ‘said, ‘Do not judge,’ he also said, ‘By their fruit you will know them.'” Mr. Abel would add, “I’m not a judge-I’m just a fruit inspector!
- The Two Roads (7:13-14)
By Hubert Eke
Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction. There are many who take it. But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to life, and few find it.
There are only two paths/roads in life.
- What are some characteristics of the wide road?
It is easy to navigate. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
It is well travelled, It is comfortable and complacent.
- What are the characteristics of the narrow road?
The road to life is completely opposite.
It is difficult and challenging? WHY THIS
It is travelled by a few.
It is the road of discipleship, It places the mission of JC above own desires
YOU ARE ON ONE OF THE ROADS
- Two Types of Followers (7:21-23)
By Hubert Eke
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only they who obey the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord,’ we prophesied in your name, in your name expelled demons, and in your name we performed powerful miracles.’ And then, I will declare to them, ‘1 never knew you, go away from me you lawless people.
There are two types of followers here.
- I would like you to identify them?
One follower calls Jesus “Lord” and does his will.
The other follower calls Jesus “Lord,” but does not do his will. WHICH FOLLOWER ARE YOU?
WHAT IS THE WILL OF GOD, WHICH WE NEED TO DO? John 8:20-32
- How can we tell what kind of a follower someone is?
To tell what kind of a follower a person is, we must look beyond his works.
- Why was JC not pleased with these mighty fantastic works – prophesying, expelling demons and working miracles?
- What Characteristic was more important for JC?
Doing the will of the Father? This is how we can tell if he is a true follower.
- What does it mean to do the will of the father?
Doing the will of the Father is to follow the teachings of the Bible. We must do things God’s way. We can do many great things, but if we fail to do them God’s way, then they are unacceptable to him. In fact, Jesus calls them evil. On the judgment day many will protest their innocence, essentially saying, “But we prophesied for you, cast out demons for you and performed amazing miracles for you.” Jesus will look at them and calls them evildoers. What they do is evil because it is outside God’s will. Their mighty works end up confusing people because they do not draw people to the word of God.
- Two Types of Builders (7:24-27)
Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them, is similar to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rains fell, the floods rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house. The house stood because it was built on a rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is similar to a foolish man. He builds his house on the sand. The rains fell, the floods rose, and the wind blew and beat against that house; and it fell with a great crash.
- What is the key emphasis here?
The need to put his word into practice.
- Why is it is not enough to just hear the word? We must change.
- What is the difference between these two types of builders?
The difference between them was their choice of foundation.
The difference in the foundations is that the wise man built by hearing the word and putting it into practice, while the foolish one built by just hearing the word. Hearing is not enough: we must be doers of the word. The proof of our faith is in the way we live our lives.
WHICH BUILDER ARE YOU NOW?
WHICH BUILDER DO YOU WANT TO BE?