What do you believe people who survive you’ll write as your epitaph? How will your obituary read? What words will be employed in the eulogy to sum up your life? Saul’s epitaph was a unhappy one, summing up the sad life of this person who played such a very important role in David’s life.
Like Saul and his boys, we are all going to die. At other times it is wrenching and appalling, bloody and grotesque. On other occasions it appears the cold fingers of death linger too long as some dear soul endures discomfort and unhappiness, isolation and senility. But here’s the good news for Christians : We who know the Lord Jesus Christ carry inside ourselves a replenished soul and spirit, that part of us which He attacked currently we were born from above—when we became Christians. So we don’t lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being replenished day by day.
For momentary, light affliction is manufacturing for us an eternal weight of glory way beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which aren’t seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which aren’t seen are endless.
What part are you playing today? Is it authentic? Is it really Christian? If that is the case let me return to the questions I asked as you started this reading for today.
What do you suspect people who survive you may write as your epitaph? How will your obituary read? What words will sum up your life?
She or he wants it to seem like the work is very hard. In truth, the harder and strained the look, the better. Christian employees are scandalous for what I call the “tired blood” look, more widely known as the burdened and outmoded “missionary image,” or, better said the exhausted “overburdened spiritual image.” They sometimes carry an old, worn-out Bible, and walk with a slump, listing to port. They infrequently smile—sort of a “please pity me” image. The sad fact is, a number of these people are overworked and barely have enough to live on.
But I suspect you may be in full time ministry without needing to are like the poor-me stereotype. The most happy folks on earth ought to be those among us in the Lord God’s service. We have each reason to grin more than anybody else. Although our work is very serious, we ought to have more fun and have a better time doing it than anyone in any other career or calling. I believe an individual in cross-cultural ministry or a local priest ought to be ready to enjoy their taste in music and live it up, just like anyone else.
Overtly , people who look like they have just finished their last piece of bread don’t minister extraordinarily effectively, definitely not to me. People who minister to me, and those to whom I suspect I minister, are ladies and men who truly enjoy life. We actually do not have to spend all our time on the negatives of life ; there are sufficient heart-breaking experiences to go around for every one of us. There are occasions when you should work longer than you must. But we don’t have to remind most pastors of the necessity to work harder. “You’re making your job harder than it should be.
She also worked out a particularly creative plan. I would like to stop to reflect on this stress between considered planning and full-hearted religion. Are they jointly exclusive? Not on your life. Yet to chat to some followers, you may be led straight to think differently. I have counseled with jobless women and men who let me know, “I’m just waiting on the Lord to offer a job.”. “Then I am hoping you do not mind remaining jobless for awhile.”. The old motto of soldiers in the Revolutionary War is applicable to many areas of life : “Trust in Our Lord God, but keep your powder dry. “to explain, place your life in the Savior’s hands, but stay ready.
Do all that you can to prepare yourself for battle, understanding the final result rests with the Lord God. To stroll by religion does not mean you stop thinking. To trust God doesn’t imply becoming slovenly or lazy or apathetic. You and I must trust God for our finances, but that’s no license to spend sillily. You and I ought to trust God for safety in the car, but we are not smart to pass on a blind curve. We trust God for our health, but that doesn’t suggest we are able to chain smoke, stay up 1/2 the night, and subsist on potato chips and Twinkies without effects. Acting sillily or thoughtlessly, expecting God to get you out if things go astray, isn’t religion in the slightest.
Knowledge asserts to do all you are able to in your strength, then trust Him to do what you can’t do, to do what you can’t do.
He knows nothing at all about what’s just occurred in the dungeon and throne room. All he knows is that some young pretender, some foreigner, has maneuvered his way into Pharaoh’s good books. And he’s being told, “Bow your knee to this person. “Who does he think he is? Who did he bribe to get all this? He must know someone. That’s the way it is up there in the court.”. Given that very same situation, we’d possibly think the same. Back in the Vietnam time, we regularly heard the phrase, “Never trust anybody over thirty.”
Today, given the huge segment of aging citizens, we are much more likely to hear, “Never trust anyone under thirty.”. But what we will not see from our limited point of view is what God has been doing on the inside. That employee in the field doesn’t know—doesn’t have the smallest idea—what has gone on before in Joseph’s life, neither is he even aware of his years in the dungeon. He does not know about Joseph’s faithfulness when nobody else was around.
That is how he has come to get the robe, the necklace, and the chariot. That is the reason why others are pronouncing, “Bow the knee.” Joseph himself isn’t asserting that ; others are. I’m wondering what Joseph was thinking at that moment. I suspect he was saying to himself again and again, “Praise be to God.”
I suspect he was counting up all the stuff God had taught him during the past 30 years, things God also wants to educate us. Count on Him to deal with the cupbearers of your life, the people that forget you, the folks that break their guarantees. It’s God’s job to handle the cupbearers of your past. It’s your job to be the kind of servant He has designed you to be. Be loyal in the waiting times of life.
A cupbearer was the person that tasted the food and drink of the king before he ate or drank. That way, if it was poisoned, “So long, cupbearer,” but “Long live Pharaoh. This led straight to a really tight relationship, a relationship of trust between the 2 men. Regularly the king of the land would confide in the cupbearer. If you recall, Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king of his day and had a close, private relationship with him. In a number of ways, the cupbearer was the most reliable man of the court.
If that trust was ever damaged, major implications followed. Something similar to that must have occurred, as the cupbearer to Pharaoh landed in jail—as had also the king’s baker. ( He was someone else on whom the pharaoh relied, because whatever he prepared passed into the mouth of the Egyptian ruler. ) The specifics of what had happened to cause this falling out and punishment we are never told. All we all know is that they “offended their lord” and he was “furious with his 2 officials.” Perhaps the biscuits dropped that morning, and later there were too many jalapenos in the chili, and the cupbearer did not warn Pharaoh.
It must’ve been related to the food because their roles were interrelated. But whatever it was, it made Pharaoh so indignant that he claimed, “Get out of my sight. And since God’s techniques are deep and surpassing, it occurred to be the same jail where Joseph was detained. Joseph and these 2 men may have finished up in jail for different reasons, but they found themselves in the same place, sharing similar miseries. And out of his very own unpleasant experience, Joseph was ready to minister to them.