Sermon Reflections based on from Navigating Launchpad Temptations | Alex Hardt | January 21, 2024
BETRAYAL, LIES and DECEIT are all elements in the continuing story of Joseph this week. For the first time we see Joseph as a young man who lives a life of integrity in the midst of evil doers. Joseph is without family,
alone in a foreign country and yet he survives well as he continues to follow God and depend upon Him. Joseph does not succumb to the lower moral conduct of the pagan society but clings to God’s rules of conduct. God hon-
ored Joseph’s integrity with blessings.
God blessed Joseph with His favor.
Genesis 39:3 “the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did,”
God blessed Potiphar through Joseph, 5 “The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the
This is a biblical principle we can count on today. God blesses those who follow and obey Him. God blesses others through us because of our faithfulness. Have you seen this at work in your own life? Think about
how God has blessed you and think about how others have been blessed because of this. An example of this in my own life is when God blessed me with the books I have written. I was blessed by the truths I uncovered, app-
lied to my life and the process of publishing that stretched my faith. In turn, those who have read and studied by books have been blessed as they have applied God’s word to their lives and told me about it. The blessings came to
them and back to me! Praise God!
How can and do you confront temptations?
Joseph was again betrayed by Potiphar’s wife when she lied about Joseph’s actions. She wanted what
she wanted and desired he be punished because he would not give into her demands. Have you know people who demanded their own way and when they do not get it seek any by any means possible to get their way?
In today’s language Joseph first said NO! Actually he did that repeatedly as she confronted him daily. When that did not succeed, she sought to punish him for avoiding her. Joseph’s running away, avoiding the situation by
getting out of there, Potiphar’s wife turned to her advantage. It seemed that Joseph had lost again but God!
When he was put in prison, God met him there. 20 “But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” God had his back and
saw to it that Joseph was again put in a position to shine for Him. Our memory verse Gen 50:20 gives God’s principle of care for those He loves. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what
is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Joseph’s brothers, Potiphar’s wife and Potiphar all intended to harm Joseph, but God! Joseph’s faith in God allowed him to navigate the troubled situations of his life. The betraying brothers, the slave traders, Potiphar and his wife had all presented Joseph with temptations, but God knew how to guide Him through the troubling trials. As Joseph depended upon God, He was given a pathway and guided so that he could withstand the adversities of His life. How about you? Are you finding God to be the answer? Is he showing you the way to navigate your troubling situations? Pray and lean into Him. He keeps His promises and will guide you.
ere are a couple of promises to cling to:
Psalm 25:9 “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his
Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your
needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like
a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
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Alex Hardt August 21 Why am I Here?
Last Sunday Pastor Alex challenged us to examine our hearts. His question was, what is keeping you from fully committing to God? Scripture tells us that our purpose is to glorify God in all we say and do. Our memory verse from Psalm 86:12 “I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart. I will glorify your name forever.” The week before we had Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” So if our purpose is to glorify God, what is keeping us from doing just that?
Alex points us to 3 things that are roadblocks to our achieving our God given purpose. The first is pride. Proverbs 16:18 in the Message “First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” We all let our pride get in the way at times, but do we let it become such a problem that it is keeping us from doing what God wants us to do? Are we trying to do things “my way” or “in my own power” so much that we are blocking out God? As Americans I think we have more trouble with this than other cultures. We are fiercely independent and want to show others we can stand on our own 2 feet and get it done. However, Alex pointed out that God wants us vulnerable and open to His leading His way. I am reminded of Cheryl Summer’s favorite verse in this regard, Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” God wants us open and willing to follow His will not the ways of the world.
The second hindrance to realizing God’s purpose for our lives is control. We do not want to relinquish control of our lives to anyone, even God. Giving up control involves trusting the guiding person, in this case God, to do what is best for us. God’s Word tells us there are multiple blessings in store for the one who gives up that control and is obedient to God. Luke 11:28 ““Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” God promises blessing to those who hear His word and step out in obedience. John 15:10-11 goes a bit farther in explaining the blessing “ If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” God promises that obeying Him will keep us in His love. I love the proof of His keeping us in 1 John 3:24 “The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” We will know He is with us because His Spirit is within us! Later in 1 John 5:3-4 we are told “ In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Living a life of surrender, walking with Jesus and being filled with His Spirit will give us victory to overcome the world! How great is that?
Alex listed the third thing that can keep us form realizing our purpose is fear. This I can attest to personally. In fact fear lead me to search scripture and write “Fearless Living’. Fear can be devastating and debilitating and it leaves one floundering without direction. Doesn’t that sound like what Satan wants for us? He wants us sucked in by the world’s values and ineffective for God. He cannot take away our salvation (John 10:29*), but he can render us powerless. Fear is a major tool on his belt. Proverbs 29:25 tell us “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” James 4:7-8 tells us “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.” God promises us that if we resist Satan, he will flee from us and God will draw near. We need to resist the fear and cling to Jesus. I love Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” God promises to be with us always. What have we to fear if God is with us? 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Praise God!!
I pray that some of the above scriptures will help you to focus on the hindrances Satan is trying to erect in your life. Reject them and claim your allegiance to God and seek to walk with Jesus each day. Seek to be vulnerable before Him, surrendered to His leading and trusting in His ways. Know without a shadow of a doubt that God does all things for His glory and our good! He is a good Father and we can trust Him always.
*Once you belong to Jesus, you cannot be taken away. Depend upon His promise and claim it in your life. Praise God!
John 10:28 “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
John 6:39-40 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Painting a New Perspective | Why Am I Here?
Sermon series, "Painting A New Perspective." Today Alex teaches from 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.
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A collection of thoughts from our community