The Story: Joseph – From Slave to Deputy Pharaoh

H-Icon_Ch03_SandalsThe Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic** church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The United Methodist Hymnal #882

This week’s scripture references:  Genesis 37, 39, 41-48, 50

This week we explore the story of Joseph. In Joseph’s story we discover the ultimate example of a dysfunctional family.  Joseph is a dreamer – favored by his father and resented by his brothers.  Sibling rivalry and resentment results in Joseph’s older brothers devising a scheme to make him disappear by selling him into slavery.  How will this young man filled with dreams and visions survive such an ordeal?  Joseph’s story as told in Genesis reminds us repeatedly that the Lord was with Joseph.  He begins as a slave and ends up as Pharaoh’s right-hand man.  In Joseph, God took a horrible situation and transformed it for good purposes.  Joseph’s story bears witness to the ways that God travels with us as we journey through life.  Joseph cooperated with God’s purposes by being faithful to the gifts and opportunities he was given, resulting in God using Joseph to save his family and neighboring nations of Egypt from famine and ruin.  Joseph’s faithfulness is evident as he responds to his brothers begging for forgiveness by saying, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)

Joseph’s story offers much for us to consider:

Are you a dreamer? What are your dreams?
How is God with you in and through your dreams?
How do your beliefs shape your faithfulness in challenging situations?
How is God calling you to use your success for the benefit of others?
How will you honor God’s gifts to you by extending his blessing to others?

The Apostles’ Creed is an early statement of Christian belief, the affirmation of faith most widely used by United Methodists. The Apostles’ Creed derives its name from its use in the Christian church from as early as A.D. 150 and the early belief that it was used by the apostles.  As you reflect on the words of The Apostles’ Creed and the story of Joseph, consider how this affirmation of faith shapes your belief.

How does your belief guide you to approach your life journey?
How does your belief shape how you respond to life’s challenges? 
How might Joseph’s story of faithfulness and forgiveness help you to allow God to transform your life situation?
How is God calling you to use your gifts and opportunities to build his Kingdom?
English: Wall painting at Partrishow (3) The A...

English: Wall painting at Partrishow (3) The Apostles’ Creed. Note the scraps of paintwork around the panel: there may be a palimpsest of images here, with possibly most or all the walls painted in the mediaeval period. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The band Third Day recorded this song, Creed, originally sung by Rich Mullins about the Apostle’s Creed.

To listen to this week’s sermon, God Builds a Nation Sermon 3/5 in “Go” The Story Mini-Series, click here! 

For Family Devotions related to this week’s message, click here!For more information and additional resources for The Story at Faith UMC, click here!

About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
This entry was posted in Devotions, Discipleship, The Story, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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