SBTS chapel blog: getting what I don’t deserve

Communications Staff — April 9, 2009

Speaker: James Merritt, senior pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga.

Text: Genesis 37, 39, 40, 41

If you get into ministry the way you should get into ministry, you will get what you don’t deserve. You will be misquoted, mistreated and mischaracterized. Today, some of the friends you think are your closest will turn on you.

Just an average Joe (Joseph, son of Jacob)

We have a lot we can learn from Joe. You’ve heard of Joe the plumber? This is Joe the shepherd. One-fourth of Genesis is about Joe. Joe’s family was a dysfunctional family.

Joe was the favored son in this family. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. Joseph didn’t deserve this. Today, we are going to study Joseph down in the valley.

How are we going to respond in the valley?

Joseph learned that God is walking beside me

Joseph was sold into slavery, which he didn’t deserve. Joseph was serving as a slave in Potiphar’s house, which he didn’t deserve. But then comes Gen. 39:2, ‘The Lord was with Joseph…’

We could think of our own lives: ‘Why did she marry him?’ ‘Why did I lose my job?’ Yet still, the Lord is with us.

The situation, for Joseph, gets worse. Potiphar’s wife tempts Joseph. What does Joseph do? Joseph knew that the Lord was with Him. And Joseph does what everyone who knows that the Lord is walking beside them does: he resists temptation.

Joseph learned that God is working for me

If someone was evaluating the situation, they might think God is not doing a very good job. But:

God is with you even when there is no evidence that He is.

Joseph resists the temptation. But Joseph is thrown into jail, getting what he did not deserve. Gen. 39:21, ‘But the Lord was with Joseph…’

Joseph goes from the pit to the prison to the palace. God’s way of getting Joseph to the palace was through the pit and the prison. The stepping stones that God uses to

Joseph learned that God is witnessing through me

The God that Pharoah saw in Joseph is the God that people will see in you if you walk and you live as if God is walking beside you and working for you. Pharoah noticed something about Joseph that was different.

Joseph lived every day with a belief that you could not shake with a hurricane, ‘you are not in charge: God is in charge.’

The chief jailer and supervisor did not check on anything that was in Joseph’s charge because he saw that the Lord was working in Him and for Him. What was different about Joseph? He lived every day, acting like anyone who would act who believes that God is walking beside them and God is working for them.

Every day, I (Merritt) seek to believe that God is walking beside me and working for me. I seek to believe that God is real in my life. Why do ministers give up? Because they don’t believe that God is walking beside them and working for them.

There are times in your life when you are going to get what you don’t deserve. In those times, you need to remember that God is walking beside you, working for you and witnessing through you.

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.