Friday, January 15, 2016

Jesus Changes Things: Jesus Changes Enemies into Friends - January 17th

Message notes by Pastor Ewings on a sermon based on Genesis 45:1-15
Backstabbing.  Betrayal.  Jealousy.  Judgment.  Lies.  Deceit.  Trickery.  Treachery.  Hate.  Hurt.  Disapproval.  Disdain.  Rivalry.  Revenge.  Arrogance.  Anger.  Enemy.
Do you suppose Joseph meditated on these words during the two decades that he spent removed from his family and dead to them?  Joseph’s own brothers, his very flesh and blood, had treated him as their enemy.  He had every reason to be filled with anger and rage and to seek revenge.  He had every reason to go to war with them and seek their very lives.  Yet, the Joseph we meet up with in this lesson has been changed.  the results we see aren’t the impact of that well-known phrase: “time heals all wounds.”  His faith has lead him to forgiveness.  His hatred has been replaced with love.  What a beautiful spiritual lesson!  Joseph’s brother Judah thought that Joseph was actually dead (44:20), and therefore, that he himself was guilty of murder.  What he did not realize was that Joseph was alive—and was his savior!  His love for his brothers saved their lives.  What a picture of Jesus Christ!
How many of these qualities have we harbored in our hearts?  There have been people in our lives who have wounded us much like Joseph’s brothers.  In some cases, we have legitimate reasons to treat others like our enemies.  In others, we have no reason to justify the hate that we have held on to.  In the same way, there are people whom we have wounded, friends we have treated like enemies.  Jesus reveals the new attitude of merciful love His disciples will have towards everyone, whether or not they have been wronged.  May Jesus change our lives so that we can reveal to one another—enemies and friends alike—the forgiving love of Jesus!

Lesson 1:  Genesis 45:1-15a
Lesson 2:  Romans 12:9-21
Gospel:  Luke 6:27-36

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