It was the first sermon I have preached using only notes written in the margins of my new Bible. If you listen to the audio, you can judge for yourself the effect, if any, on my preaching style.
So whilst this is not the actual set of notes I preached from, it is a summary of those notes and an outline of the thoughts I had as I prepared. As usual, these notes, I am sure, will not convey the sense of exactly what I preached as I have a habit of interjecting material spontaneously. Us charismatics claim that is the immediate assistance of the Holy Spirit — but then so does John MacArthur, so it’s not just us wacky types!
The sermon is based on Genesis 37-50 and is entitled “Joseph—God’s Dreamer.” I wanted to encourage people to make great men of God their friends and disciplers — imagine what they would say to us today. The notion of dreaming big dreams for God is one that should be encouraged. It is not wrong for us to want to be significant for Him — whether in family, work, marriage, or church. We should start by wanting to be significant in some small way, and be willing to allow God to fulfil our dreams if He has given them.
1. The DREAM GIVEN (Genesis 37:3-11)
When God wants to save the world, He always chooses one man to do it. Joseph would find out that allowing God to take your life and inject it with destiny would be an interesting ride! Joseph, no doubt, despite the foolish favouritism of his father, felt fairly useless because of the hatred of his brothers — he just wanted to be appreciated by them! Who doesn’t!
Sharing such a dream with his brothers shows the naïvety of the dreamer.
The dream was rejected, but with shades of Mary’s response to the birth of Jesus, his father kept mulling this whole notion over.
2. The DREAM TESTED — we will all face similar trials!
- The dreamer rejected — sold into Egypt. (Genesis 37:19-22, 26)
- Great promise — Genesis 39:1-6 — success is still testing.
- Great temptation (Genesis 39:7, 10-12)
- Great injustice (Genesis 39:16-23)
- Great opportunity (Genesis 40:1, 8, 13-15)
- Great disappointment (Genesis 40:23-41:1)
- It is such a time for us as a church RIGHT NOW. But when God is blessing corporately, we should also expect times of individual blessing!
- God tests His leaders in the secret place, and isn’t in a hurry.
- But suddenly He quickens the pace!
- Note that Joseph already had experience of dreams! So don’t wait for the dramatic — get on with the ordinary!