IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
It’s Not About You
One of my favorite accounts in the book of Acts ever since childhood is that of Paul and Silas being arrested for casting a demon out of a slave girl and thrown into the deepest dungeon of the city jail in Philippi. Before they were locked up in stocks and placed there, the two missionaries were beaten severely. Down in that deep dark dungeon, imprisoned for doing good, chained up in stocks at the hands and feet and suffering from that horrific beating you would expect them to be moaning, groaning and whining about the unfairness of it all. However, instead of whining, the two were singing out praises to God. Their testimony was so great that, later that night, after a great earthquake that could have helped them break out, they led the official jailer to Christ, baptizing him and his entire family.
Paul would later write some powerful words in his letters that indicated the kind of faith that he exhibited that night.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:22-24
Another example of Paul’s approach is found in Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Paul and Silas knew that their lives did not belong to themselves. It was all about Jesus. If they had good fortune, it was for the Lord. If they suffered persecution, it was also for the Lord.
Joseph felt the same way. When he had been unjustly betrayed and sold as a slave, he could have whined and complained. After all, he was only 17 or 18 years old. He found himself to be a house slave for Potiphar, a high-ranking military officer in Egypt. He could have whined and complained. He could have given up on life. Instead, Joseph through himself into his work. He worked as unto the Lord instead of dragging his feet and holding back because of the unfairness of his plight.
As a result he became a highly valued servant. Potiphar placed him in charge of all of the affairs of his household. He became his highly trusted friend. In spite of the way his father had spoiled him at home, he realized that it was not all about him.
We all could learn from these three men of God. As Christ followers we must learn that life is all about Jesus, not us. If we carry that attitude with us we will be great witnesses to those around us who will see the difference Christ makes in all of his followers.
This Sunday we will continue our series of message in the series Any Nobody Can Become Somebody; The transformative power of God in people with a sermon titled Dangerous Success and based on Genesis 39:1-20a. We will look at an important part of Joseph’s life and how he turned tragedy into success and then found danger waiting. I hope you will join us for this powerful story of God’s work in this young man’s life.
Seeking God with you,