Sermon in a nutshell: Acts 7:9-16 “God saved people from fa

Sermon in a nutshell: Acts 7:9-16 “God saved people from famine.”
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Beginning today, we are waiting for the coming of the Lord. Sometimes waiting requires patience. What else do we need in this time of waiting? Stephen told us the story of Joseph and gave us insights about waiting.
Joseph was one of twelve sons of Jacob. Because the other brothers were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. When Joseph was sold, he could have destroyed his life with despair and anger. However, Joseph was faithful as a slave and became the chief slave of the house of Potiphar, the general of Egypt. Potiphar trusted Joseph and put everything in his hands. One day, Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph but Joseph refused to commit a sin against his master and God. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph and put him in jail. Joseph, again, could have cursed his own life and ruined his life while in prison. However, Joseph trusted God once again and then he became the chief jailer. He was wise and sincere. He interpreted dreams of other prisoners. When their dreams were interpreted and came true, however, people forgot Joseph. In that way, people betrayed him and did not appreciate what he had done. However, one day, Pharaoh himself had dreams that needed interpretation badly. This time, Joseph was remembered and brought to Pharaoh. God gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt.
Later, as Joseph interpreted dreams, a famine struck all of Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering because people could not find food. When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to get food. Joseph met the brothers and told them who he was. Pharaoh, also, learned about Joseph’s family and then Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, and his entire family, seventy-five in all. Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he died.
Joseph was able to wait with patience because he understood what his mission was. Later, he confessed to his brothers that God had sent him ahead of his brothers to save many people from famine! When Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers asked Joseph to forgive their sins. When he heard that plea, Joseph wept. His brothers came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
In this conversation, we can clearly see that Joseph was not just generous. He understood his call and interpreted the events of his life in light of that call. When he understood his mission, he was able to forgive his brothers because their actions were used by God and produced a greater good for the entire community. Patience and forgiveness are not the fruits of good character but the characteristics of God’s servants who understand their missions. Once we understand who we are and what we should do, we can be patient and hopeful! So, in this Advent Season, let us ask these questions:
1. Who are the ones that we should forgive?
2. Who are we to forgive them?

About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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