Shallowford Free Will Baptist
Thursday, December 13, 2018
For the Glory of Christ Alone
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                                                                                                                                                                                  December 4, 2018

 

Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”

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“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

~Genesis 45:1-8, 50:20

+++++++++++++++

               God had a plan. All the way through, God had a plan. I’m sure there were times that Joseph couldn’t see it…but those invisible hands of a sovereign God were there all the way through. But I am getting ahead of myself! Let me go back and set things up a bit so that we can get a better understanding of the words above. I believe that God has a sovereign plan that is at work in the world. That plan is far more complex and intricate than anything you and I would ever be able to understand with our human minds. The words of the prophet Isaiah are absolutely true: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:8-9). But that we cannot understand doesn’t mean that you and I don’t need to try. Unfortunately, hindsight is sometimes the only true perspective. Looking back we are often able to discern how the Lord has moved and operated to bring us along the way. All of our thoughts and actions as “free will” agents are incorporated, but those seemingly random threads produce a great tapestry of honor and glory for God the Father. Joseph’s story is no different.

               Joseph was the firstborn son of Jacob and his wife Rachel. He might not have been the oldest son, but the Scriptures indicate that he was most likely the favored son of his father. His mother and father provoked the jealousy the other brothers by making Joseph an expensive coat of many colors (37:3-4). Additionally, the Lord had given Joseph dreams that indicated his special place in God’ plans and purposes. Envy and jealousy and hatred produced the conspiracy of Genesis 37. The brothers threw him into a pit, eventually selling him to Midianite traders for the sum of 20 pieces of silver. Joseph went from being the son of honor to a slave in the span of a day. Can you imagine how he must have questioned God’s revealed plan as the slave trade caravan made its way to Egypt? Do you think he wavered in his faith when he was sold into slavery to Potiphar, one of the officers of Pharaoh? But God had a plan.

               And yet his “tragedy” continues. Joseph served diligently in Potiphar’s house where he found favor in his sight (Genesis 39). The Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian while Joseph was the overseer there. But the success would be marred by a false accusation of sexual misconduct by the jilted wife of Potiphar. “Lie with me,” she says to Joseph. Time and again Joseph refuses those advances until he decides the only thing he can do is flee from her grasp. Leaving his garment in her hand, Joseph runs. Potiphar’s wife accuses him of trying to rape her, and he is immediately placed in Pharaoh’s prison. Here Joseph is painfully aware of how integrity is not always applauded in the world. Do you think he might have questioned things a little bit? How would he ever be in a position of leadership having fallen from slavery into prison? But God had a plan.

               Joseph was placed in authority over the other prisoners by the keeper (Genesis 40). No doubt the keeper of the prison doubted the allegations against Joseph, but what could he do? Instead he allowed Joseph to have unchecked autonomy in that prison to manage it. It was “providentially coincidental” that there happened to be two men in prison with Joseph: Pharaoh’s butler (cupbearer) and Pharaoh’s baker. Both men had been imprisoned because they had offended Pharaoh. And both men dreamed dreams that God gave Joseph the interpretation for. To make a long story short, the butler was to be reinstated by Pharaoh to his former position. The baker would be beheaded, impaled on a stake, and the birds would eat his flesh. Three men were in that prison…only one of those men would remain in prison three days later – only Joseph. “Remember me,” Joseph pled with the butler. “When things go well for you, please remember that I was here. I was stolen from the land of the Hebrews, and I have done nothing wrong that should have put me into this prison.” And for two long years…he waited (41:1). Do you think Joseph might have anticipated his release over the few days after the butler was restored? But days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. I wonder if Joseph doubted. Perhaps he had misunderstood what God had revealed to him. Maybe God wasn’t really going to use him after all. Maybe he had disqualified himself in some way. But God had a plan.

               Genesis 41 is the turning point in Joseph’s life. Years after betrayal by his brothers, Joseph would begin to see how God’s plan would start to develop before his eyes. Pharaoh had a pair of dreams that troubled him severely, but no one could tell him what they meant. The butler’s oversight suddenly became clear. “There was a young Hebrew man who interpreted my dream one night.” Pharaoh summons Joseph to stand before him…the betrayed Hebrew slave standing before the most powerful man in that world at that time. And God gave Joseph the ability to interpret these dreams. Seven years of plenty would be followed by seven years of famine. If Egypt didn’t prepare and plan, the famine would consume them. Joseph recommends a plan where 20% of the produce of the land would be kept and stored. And Pharaoh raised Joseph to the second most powerful position in Egypt! Talk about a turn of events!! Because God had a plan!

               But no reversal of fortune could have prepared Joseph for the day when the famine brought his brothers through the gates of his palace. And now God’s plan became clear to Joseph. The famine that had devastated the land had also brought his brothers back to him. And he was now able to help them. All of the frustration and heartache of the years of his exile were racing through his mind as Joseph stood over them bowed before him. And suddenly Joseph realized – God really DID have a plan. “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” God brought their redemption about through all of his pain and suffering. And now Joseph understood the sovereignty of God throughout it all. It was Midianite traders that would bring their slaves to Pharaoh that brought Joseph to Egypt. It was an officer that bought him and eventually imprisoned him. Joseph’s imprisonment wasn’t in a common jail, but in the jail where Pharaoh’s prisoners were kept. These were men of reputation and status, so when the butler was reestablished, Joseph’s name was placed before Pharaoh. The dreams he interpreted for them brought him to interpret the dreams for Pharaoh. Joseph’s integrity and wisdom made him 2nd in the land of Egypt prior to the coming famine. And the famine brought his family back to him so that he could preserve their lives for God. God knew what He was doing all along. At no junction on this journey would Joseph have been able to see how God was working this out for good, but when he looked at things from the conclusion, it was perfectly clear. God was in control. His Word was true. All those days when Joseph wondered what God was waiting for were now revealed as His divine actions to bring about this day. And THIS was a very good day! God had a plan!

               Folks, I cannot be sure of what you’re going through. I definitely don’t presume to tell you that I know what God is doing in your life, but I believe He has a plan. I believe that plan incorporates us as individuals and together as a church. Along the crossroads of this journey, there will be dangers and snares and heartache aplenty, but God has a plan even now. There will be those who deviate from this journey never to be seen again…or to come back alongside us in the future. Either way, God has a plan. There will be seasons of fatness and seasons of leanness, and through them all God has a plan. We may not always make the right decisions, and we may wander from His paths on occasion, but it doesn’t change the fact that God will still have His perfect will done in all of our lives. And I find GREAT comfort in that. Paul was right. Truly all things do work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). We might not be able to see it until it comes to fruition, but we WILL see it. The question we wrestle with is this: “Will we dare to believe even when we can’t see God’s hand at work around us? Will we dare to believe as strongly in the difficulties as we do in the successes?” I pray God that He will help us to believe that GOD HAS A PLAN!

               Rest in His sovereignty this week! And praise His holy name!

 

 ~Bro. Benjamin 

 

Previous Postings                                                                  This Week's Sermons
December 11
December 4
                                                                                  December 9 (AM)
November 27                                                                        "Good Tidings of Great Joy!!"
November 13                                                                                    Luke 2:8-14
November 6                                                                                    

October 30                                                                                    December 9 (PM)
October 16                                                                               "His Name Is Immanuel"       
October 9                                                                                       Matthew 1:18-25
October 2                                                                                     
September 18                                                                               December 5 (WED)
September 11                                                                                  
Acts 19:21-34
September 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
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If you need a copy of any sermon from the past, email Bro. Benjamin with the date and title of the message listed below.
We will be happy to send you a CD of the sermon. Additionally sermons are available through the "Multimedia" Page


December 9 (AM) "Good Tidings of Great Joy!!"--Luke 2:8-14
December 9 (PM) "His Name Is Immanuel"--Matthew 1:18-25
December 2 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Ten Lepers"--Luke 17:11-19
 
November 25 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Man with Dropsy"--Luke 14:1-6
November 25 (PM) "The New Man in the Family"--Ephesians 6:1-4
November 18 (AM) Bro. Chris Card
November 18 (PM) "The Dancing King"--2 Samuel 6:12-15 - Bro. David Amburgey
November 11 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Bound Woman"--Luke 13:10-17
November 11 (PM) "The New Man in Marriage: Husbands"--Ephesians 5:25-33
November 4 (AM) "To the Least of These: a Demon-Possessed Boy"--Luke 9:37-42
November 4 (PM) "The New Man in Marriage: Wives"--Ephesians 5:22-24
 
October 28 (AM) "A Pastor's Heart"--1 Thessalonians 3:6-8
October 21 (AM) "To the Least of These: Jairus"--Luke 8:40-56
October 21 (PM) "Filled with the Spirit"--Ephesians 5:15-21
October 14 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Bleeding Woman"--Luke 8:40-48
October 14 (PM) "The Separation between Darkness and Light"--Ephesians 5:8-14
October 7 (AM) "The Greatest Love of All"--John 15:12-14
October 7 (PM) "Why Do We Wash Feet?"--John 13:1-17
 
September 30 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Gadarene Demoniac"--Luke 8:26-39
September 23 (AM) "Give Me This Mountain"--Joshua 14:6-14 - Rev. David Amburgey
September 23 (PM) "Is It Right for You to Be Angry?"--Jonah 4:1-11 - Bro. Jeff Baumann
September 16 (AM) "The Son of Grace"--Luke 15:11-24
September 16 (PM) "Walk in the Light"--Ephesians 5:8-10
September 9 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Sinful Woman"--Luke 7:36-50
September 9 (PM) "The Imitation of Christ"--Ephesians 5:3-7
September 2 (AM) "Bring Your Lunchbox to Jesus"--John 6:1-14
 
August 26 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Widow of Nain"--Luke 7:11-17
August 26 (PM) "Imitators of God"--Ephesians 5:1-2
August 19 (AM) "The Church Jesus Would Join"--Acts:2:40-47 - Bro. Joey Cosme
August 19 (PM) "
What the New Man Looks Like, Part 2"--Ephesians 4:25-32
August 12 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Centurion"--Luke 7:1-10
August 12 (PM) "What the New Man Looks Like, Part 1"--Ephesians 4:25-32
August 5 (AM) "To the Least of These: a Man with a Withered Hand"--Luke 6:1-11
August 5 (PM) "...What Now Is"--Ephesians 4:20-24
 
July 29 (AM) "To the Least of These: a Paralytic"--Luke 5:17-26
July 29 (PM) "The Baha'i Religion"
July 22 (AM) "To the Least of These: a Leper"--Luke 5:12-16
July 22 (PM) "What Once Was..."--Ephesians 4:17-19
July 15 (AM) "To the Least of These: a Lowly Fisherman"--Luke 5:1-11
July 8 (AM) "To the Least of These: Peter's Mother-in-Law"--Luke 4:38-39
July 8 (PM) "No Longer Children"--Ephesians 4:14-15
July 1 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Demoniac"--Luke 4:31-37
July 1 (PM) "You Have a Place; You Have a Purpose"--Ephesians 4:11-16
 
June 24 (AM) "The Fruitless Tree"--Luke 13:6-9 - Rev. David Amburgey
June 24 (PM) "Becoming a Hero in the Faith"--Galatians 5:22-23 - Bro. Johnny Amburgey
June 17 (AM) "To the Least of These: Joseph"--Matthew 1:18-25
June 10 (AM) "To the Least of These: Mary"--Luke 1:26-38
June 10 (PM) "Leading Captivity Captive"--Ephesians 4:7-10
June 3 (AM) "With Us in the Fires"--Daniel 3:13-30
June 3 (PM) "One in Christ"--Ephesians 4:1-6
 
May 20 (AM) "New Testament Christians"--1 John 2:12-17 - Rev. Ronald Wallace
May 20 (AM) "More Than We Could Ever Imagine"--Ephesians 3:20-21
May 13 (AM) "Moms After God's Own Heart"--Hosea 11:1-11
May 6 (AM) "Great Grace for the Least of These"--Matthew 9:9-13
May 6 (PM) "Becoming the Church"--Ephesians 3:14-19

April 29 (AM) "When You're Tempted to Worry"--Psalm 37:1-9
April 22 (AM) "Can You See His Face?"--Luke 22:54-62
April 22 (PM) "Grace Is Worth It All!"--Ephesians 3:8-13
April 15 (AM) "What's It Really About?"--Mark 3:1-6
April 15 (PM) "The Way Is Open!"--Ephesians 3:1-7
April 8 (AM) "Is Salvation Fair?"--Matthew 20:1-16
April 8 (PM) "The Greatest in the Kingdom"--Matthew 20:20-28
April 1 (AM) "The Resurrection & the Life"--John 11:1-44
April 1 (PM) "Today in Paradise"--Luke 23:39-43
 
March 25 (AM) "It Is Finished"--John 19:29-30
March 18 (AM)
"Father, Forgive Them"--Luke 23:32-38
March 18 (PM) "I Thirst"--John 19:28-29
March 11 (AM)
"Forsaken for Us"--Mark 15:34
March 11 (PM)
"We Are the Church"--Ephesians 19-22
March 4 (AM) "If It Be Possible..."--Matthew 26:36-47
March 4 (PM) "The Peace of Christ"--Ephesians 2:14-18

February 25 (PM) "Remember Who You Were"--Ephesians 2:11-13
February 11 (AM) "Faith Is a Family Affair"--Deuteronomy 6:1-9
February 11 (PM) "There Are NO Inactive Church Members"--Ephesians 2:8-10
February 4 (AM) "The Glory of Christ"--Matthew 17:1-8
February 4 (PM) "Prepositional Christianity"--Ephesians 2:8-10
 
January 28 (AM) "Lord of All Creation"--Psalm 102:25-28
January 28 (PM) "Great Reasons to Be Thankful"--Ephesians 2:1-7
January 21 (AM) "I See the Lord"--Isaiah 6:1-6
January 21 (PM) "All in All"--Ephesians 1:22-23
January 14 (AM) "Let's Make 2018 All About Him"--Proverbs 3:5-6
January 14 (PM) "What Paul Prays For, Part 2"--Ephesians 1:15-21
January 7 (AM) "Time to Start Over"--2 Corinthians 5:14-21
January 7 (PM) "What Paul Prays For"--Ephesians 1:15-21
*No Recording Available
 
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2017!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2016!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2015!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2014!

Click here for a list of available sermons from 2013!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2012!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2011! 

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About Our Pastor
 
 
Bro. Benjamin Miller began his ministry at Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church in August, 2011. Prior to pastoring our church, Bro. Benjamin pastored at New Home FWB in Colquitt, GA. He received his B.A. in History from Welch College (formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College) in Nashville, TN. He then received his M.A. in Biblical Studies from Lipscomb University, a Church of Christ graduate school in Nashville. Bro. Benjamin enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and fellowshipping with the people of the church. He is a HUGE Braves fan! Our pastor has dedicated himself to becoming a student of the Word and to preaching the Word with passion, integrity, and with real-life applications.
 
Bro. Benjamin married Jara in June 2002. She is a 5th grade teacher at Mount Bethel Elementary School here in Marietta.
She is a tremendous part of his life and quite active in our church. 
 
They had their first son, Thomas, in June 2008. Thomas was born prematurely, and is a testimony to God's amazing grace and provision. He is now a 5th grader, and does well in school. His greatest ability is to reach out to those in his class in concern and in love.
 
Bro. Benjamin and Sis. Jara welcomed Nathanael in March, 2014. His name means "given by God" and he is absolute reminder of God's ability to bless individuals beyond measure. Nate started Pre-K this year, and is doing well learning his letters & numbers.
 
We hope you'll take the opportunity to get to know our pastoral family!