Last Sunday, July 9, 2017, Deen Salami brought the message, continuing in the series about Holiness.
He brought us a positive example, looking at the life of Joseph.
But first we looked at three components of holiness:
In 2 Timothy 2:20-21, Paul wants Timothy to be distinctive, different from the false teachers.
This involves determination, "those who cleanse themselves." You can't be distinctive without choosing to cleanse yourself.
We get on the same page with God and can see what God is doing. Paul talked about a thorn in the flesh and realized it was to keep him humble. It takes discernment to know what God is up to.
What does holiness look like when we come up against obstructions? We'll look at the life of Joseph, Genesis 37-50.
We started with the big picture, where Joseph is in a place of understanding, Genesis 45:4-8.
Looking at Joseph's background, we see rivalry and dysfunction in Genesis 37. His character was already contrasted with his family, but it was more of a passive distinctiveness, so far.
We don't have to be a victim of our circumstances.
In Genesis 39, Joseph did good work in Potiphar's house. God grants favor, but we still have work to do.
His father Jacob displayed resignation. But Joseph had determination, actively engaged in being distinctive.
Samson was worn down by women; Joseph was not. Joseph maintained his integrity - and it cost him.
A pattern for Joseph: Even in prison, he's determined to be distinctive.
He was trustworthy and God had His hand on him - even in prison.
Egypt and all he went through gave him a platform in which to shine.
God uses our circumstances to give us a platform in which to shine.
The question is not "Why me?" but "What should I learn from these circumstances?"
Even after he interprets the dreams, Joseph has to wait 2 years.
Once again, Joseph is put in charge. After the long wait, God moves.
Our job is to be prepared so God can use us when He wants.
All these circumstances - 13 years - were his proving ground.
Becoming second in command wasn't his great triumph.
His great triumph was when he discerned what his life was all about. (Back to Genesis 45:4-8)
The discernment took many years. He was determined. His determination made him distinctive.
Our circumstances don't define us; they show who we are.
A life of holiness is a life in preparation to be used by God.
Determine to be distinctive.