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September 13, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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Thanks for joining us online this past weekend! Continuing our study through the Book of Genesis, Pastor Doug Sauder shared from Genesis 41 and 42. In this message, we explored the power of moments, why nothing can stop God’s good plans, why good moments should always carry more weight in our lives than the bad moments, and how we can be prepared for the moment when God’s plan becomes reality.
Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your online group! Watch the video below to see a recap of this weekend’s teaching. You can also scroll down to check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.
To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
FOR THE NOTE TAKERS
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug’s message:
God’s Plan for You Is Made up of Moments: Think about the power of moments. In life, we’ll all experience significant moments—a wedding, the birth of a child, a career change, a big move, a life-altering tragedy—that shape who we are and where we end up. And in all of these moments, even the tragic and difficult ones, God is moving and working. Whether in painful moments of the past or while living through a present pandemic, God’s plan—which is always for our good—cannot be stopped or derailed. Every setback, trial, or instance of suffering we experience will all be redeemed! Just as with Joseph, God brings us to the moments where we’ll experience and accomplish the good plans and purposes He has prepared in advance for us.
Can you think of a moment God used to draw you closer to the work He wants to accomplish in your life?
Most of Our Moments Are Out of Our Control (Genesis 41:1–7): This is one of the most challenging aspects of life for pretty much everyone. No one really likes feeling as though they have no control, but the truth is that ultimately we have little control over the world around us and the things that happen to us. What we can control is how we respond to things. Joseph couldn’t control his brothers’ hatred, being sold to Potiphar, the accusations against him, or being sent to prison, but he could control the manner in which he responded to them. And his response was to honor God and remain faithful, humble, perseverant, and obedient. We can be like Joseph and remember we have little control over the things that happen to and around us, but we can take heart knowing that God IS in control and we can trust Him and respond in faith.
Be Ready for Your Moment (Genesis 40:25–32): As Joseph stood before Pharaoh, every moment and every response in his life up to that point had created a readiness and cultivated a deep trust in God, maturity, and gratitude. This was made evident when Pharaoh asked Joseph to interpret his dream. Joseph’s response was, “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” That’s wisdom and truth! Joseph’s response was filled with humility, maturity, and understanding of who God is and who he was in light of God. He knew that apart from God, he couldn’t accomplish anything good, worthwhile, or valuable. He understood that “it is God who is working in [us], enabling [us] both to desire and to work out His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 HCSB).
In spite of all the difficult moments that had taken place, God's plan for Joseph and the world was right on schedule. His preparation was tailor-made for his task, and because Joseph passed each test, learned from each experience, and learned to trust God more, he was ready when God swung open the door of opportunity.
Like Joseph, are your responses leading to maturity?
Good Moments Should Weigh More Than Bad Moments (Genesis 41:51–52): Bad moments should carry their proper weight as milestones that shape and develop our character. Romans 5:3–5 (NIV) puts the bad moments into perspective for us by saying, “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Did you see that? God uses the difficult moments—the suffering, the trials, and the pain—to mold us into people of perseverance and character who are anchored in hope. That’s why later in Romans 8:18 (NIV) Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” and in 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV) he says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
So, we should remember the darker moments are just stepping stones to the glory that is to come. We should never let the glory be overcome by the darker moments. For Joseph, you can be sure that the betrayal, enslavement, and time in prison didn’t outweigh the amazing honor of being used by God to save the people, the birth of his sons, or the beautiful reunion he had with his brothers and father.
Our God Is the Ultimate Moment-Maker (Genesis 42:1–9): In the presence of his brothers, now kneeling before him, Joseph remembered his dream. You see, every circumstance in Joseph’s life since that dream all had purpose. And all along, in every trial he was put in—the pit, in Potiphar’s house, in the prison cell, and when he stood before Pharaoh—God was with him, building him up, guiding his steps, pouring His Spirit into him, and giving him favor as he served the Lord and remained faithful.
The story of Joseph is a great example for us of God’s sovereign hand over our lives and His power and goodness to bring us to glory, accomplish His good purposes in and through us, and bring about His salvation for many.
Quote to Remember: Integrity has a way of silencing the critics.—Pastor Doug Sauder
Quote to Remember: Integrity has a way of silencing the critics.—Pastor Doug Sauder
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider with your family, your circle of friends, or in your group.
Ice-Breaker: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Discussion Question 1: Pastor Doug explained that nothing is going to stop God’s plan. Even though it took some time, the cupbearer remembered what God did through Joseph, which is what led to Joseph being brought before Pharaoh. How does God use the things we say and do to impact and work in the lives of others?
Discussion Question 2: It’s vital to have people like Joseph in your life—people who speak wisdom and godly truth. How are you cultivating these types of relationships?
Discussion Question 3: How are you preparing for the moments when God’s purposes and plans for your life come?
Discussion Question 4: Romans 8:18 (NIV) tells us, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” This weekend, we learned the good moments should weigh more than bad moments. How can you change your perspective on trials, suffering, and difficult moments in life?
WALK IT OUT
Ponder: As Joseph stood before Pharaoh, the most powerful man in the world, all Pharaoh could see was the Lord! You see, when we live to honor the Lord and we open our eyes, hands, and hearts to be used by the Lord, even in trials, tribulations, and tragedy, people see it! They notice, and they’re moved and drawn to the same God who saved us, sustains us, and strengthens us; the God who comforts us in crisis, who reveals truth, and blesses the work of our hands. How does your life point people to Jesus? Are people seeing Christ in you in the good and bad moments?
Practice: Pharaoh asks Joseph to interpret his dream, to which Joseph responds, “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” This response was filled with humility, maturity, and understanding of who God is and who Joseph was in light of God. You see, Joseph understood that apart from the Lord, we cannot accomplish anything good, worthwhile, or valuable. How can you follow Joseph’s example and embrace humility, which opens you up to be used by God to accomplish the good works He’s prepared for you to walk in?
Pray: Pray a prayer of perseverance this week. Ask the Lord for the strength, patience, and peace to endure this season, to walk through the trials that are set before you, and to do so as Joseph did. And pray that above all else He would be glorified in and through your circumstances.
QUESTIONS FOR FAMILIES
Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.
Ice Breaker: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Discussion Question 1: How do your actions affect other people? Can you think of an example?
Discussion Question 2: Why do you think it’s important to learn about God from other people?
Discussion Question 3: Tell me about one of the best days you’ve ever had. Now, tell me about one of the worst days you’ve ever had. Do you think God loves you and wanted good things for you on both of those days?
START A NEW BIBLE PLAN!
Looking to dive deeper into your relationship with Jesus this summer? Want to grow in a specific area, or need some answers to some really difficult questions? We’ve got you covered! Sign up for one of our latest Bible plans! From brand-new plans on studying the Bible and prayer to plans on relationships, sharing the gospel, experiencing peace, overcoming anger, finding fulfillment, or studies through books of the Bible, we have a variety of awesome resources for you, no matter what season of life you’re in, to grow in your faith and study the Bible.
To view our reading plans, click here.
A LOOK AHEAD
As we continue to track the news and information about COVID-19 and its effects both worldwide and right here in our surrounding cities, this week we will continue to hold services ONLINE.
Join us this Wednesday for part six of the powerful Alpha class where we discuss why and how to read the Bible. Then on the weekend, we’ll continue our study through the Book of Genesis as Pastor Doug Sauder teaches from Genesis 42–45. In this message, we’ll see the full interaction between Joseph and his brothers play out. Watch as God’s plan of salvation for Joseph and his family comes full circle.
We look forward to spending another awesome week with you!
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