The making of a leader. Lessons on leadership from the life of Joseph.
Lesson # 5: Stewardship. Handling success.
Title: When the birds are singing.
Transition: Joseph was a man of character, a gifted individual holding on to his “dream”; at all times he acted as a servant-leader; he functioned all his life in a second role position. He works as a faithful steward.
Lesson context: Gen 41:38-44
Introduction: Joseph is now in the palace, he has power, and he is successful. He will handle well his “ministry”, his accountability, and his personal life.
Theme: Handling work, success, power, right.
I.JOSEPH IS NOW IN A POSITION OF SUCCESS:
A. Joseph reaches the pinnacle:
Pharaoh places Joseph in a position of absolute power right after himself.
KJV Genesis 41: 38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? 39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled :g only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See , I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
His wisdom is recognized. v39
Joseph is set over the Pharaoh’s house.
He is given authority over the kingdom of Egypt (v44).
His is given tokens of authority: a ring for a signet, royal garments, and a gold chain (42).
He is given the second official chariot (v 43).
People are asked to bow the knee before him (v 43).
His dream is partly realized; people bow to him.
The whole Mediterranean World depends on Joseph (v57).
Joseph, at 30 years of age is at the peak of his material influence as COO of Pharaoh, vizier, highest executive after the king himself, “second-in-command”.
All the surrounding nations come to him for food.
He is now in charge of the kingdom.
Joseph has a wife, a family, he is comforted, “the birds are singing”.
Parallels: When we finally have our own business, have graduated, are now facing our own responsibilities, are now in charge, have now been given a title, a supervisory or managing role, seniority, etc. When you reach the position you wanted. “When you have been discovered” (Harold H.).
When you are given a responsibility in the church. When you are ordained. When you are hired. When you are promoted. When you got married.
Now we are going to know if you still have a servants’ heart or if you were just looking for power.
Are you going to act differently or are you going to remain faithful, gentle, reliable, growing.
Will you become a tyrant, take your chances, your revenge.
Jesus said it often happens in this world: people become abusive.
KJV Luke 22: 24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief , as he that doth serve . 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat , or he that serveth ? is not he that sitteth at meat ? but I am among you as he that serveth .
The temptations of power and authority in Joseph’s life:
Now Joseph had a choice, use his power to take his revenge on Potiphar and his wife or move on.
How is he going to handle freedom, money, and power?
Many come out of prison bitter, revengeful. Many come to a position of leadership and now they are going to show us what they can do, show off, take advantage of their position to abuse others.
Application: How are you going to handle your marriage, your new responsibilities?
II.HOW JOSEPH BOTH SUCCEEDS AND HANDLES SUCCESS: A threefold great approach to the ministry!
A. Joseph operates wisely, purposefully and personally:
1.He applies his gift of wisdom. He does not talk about his gifting, he uses it, he proves it, he demonstrates it by the way he conducts the business he is now in charge of.
Joseph uses his gift of wisdom.
He does what he told Pharaoh to do: save to save people (saving food for coming hard times).
KJV Genesis 41: 46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much , until he left numbering ; for it was without number.
2.He implements a plan that gets everyone involved in saving for 7 years.
He is the same age than Jesus when he started his ministry. As Jesus did he travels all through the land. He gathers the product of people’s labor for times of famine.
Application: How to build for the kingdom of God, how to build a lasting ministry:
Get everybody involved.
Develop discipleship programs, train people.
Visit all the people in your group and their families.
Do “pastoral type ” work, take care of the sheep as Jesus told Peter.
KJV John 21: 15 So when they had dined , Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
On your level as a leader, mobilize the “body of Christ”, involve other people.
Paul tells Timothy to train men, to establish elders, to meet the needs of all the groups, young people, elderly, young women, widows, etc.
You can’t do the work of God sitting in your office and waiting for people to come to you.
Make phone calls.
3.Joseph went in person:
He created a sense of understanding, of participation.
He talked to people, explained why the city leaders, the farmers needed to get involved, and give away to store and save.
The people of the land of Egypt were exposed to the truth in person, personalized.
They were given a chance to understand, to be convinced the way the Pharaoh and his servants were when they heard Joseph interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams.
From what we read, one could not see and hear Joseph without been convinced.
Like Stephen he had something about himself, an “aura”, a wisdom one could not resist.
KJV Acts 6: 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake . …15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
But for that convincing “magic” to work, Joseph had to go and “kiss babies” as the presidents who want to be elected do.
a. Be a “living word of God”: Visit your group, your people, take them to lunch, go to their house, listen to their stories, their concerns; care for them , and pray with them.
Be a people person, not a technocrat.
Follow the example of Jesus who went all over Galilee and Judea, touched the sick, the lepers, and held the children in his arms, talked to the religious and the needy, prayed for people.
KJV Acts 10: 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good , and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
KJV Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
“The word was made flesh” for people; Jesus did not stay in heaven, he was incarnate; he did not stay in Nazareth, he went all over Galilee and Judea.
KJV John 1: 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Such are the leaders who have a heart for people; men and women are looking for them and will follow them.
b.Create an atmosphere of trust, of enthusiasm, of confidence. Make yourself known to people.
Conclusion: Joseph gains the respect of every individual in Egypt!
B.Joseph expressed godly character: Twofold approach to accountability.
1.Joseph remains faithful under authority:
He is loyal to the Pharaoh, another expression of wisdom .
He never asks to leave Egypt or try to start his own kingdom.
Wise, he knows his safety resides in the kingdom of Egypt.
Even when his father dies he gets permission from the Pharaoh to go and bury him.
Remain in the church the Lord has placed you; herein lies your safety.
KJV Heb 10: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching .
Do not create divisions.
KJV 1 Corinthians 1: Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
2.Joseph is a faithful steward.
Joseph is consistent and faithful to his employer; he functions as a good overseer.
He travels onsite, makes sure things are done right.
KJV Genesis 41: 45. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Joseph keeps working hard; he does not just administer from his office. He puts effort in his work.
Joseph takes ownership of his charge.
It does not just get a title or a position.
A good leader is not lazy or idle: he prepares, he works hard, he plans.
We are called to be faithful stewards of the things God entrusts us with:
Financial stewardship: Handling money right.
Paying our taxes, tithing, giving to missions, giving to the needy, sharing.
Reporting, giving an account to our supervisor, manager, group leader, senior pastor.
Anticipate the day when we will all report to the judge of the universe, the Lord of the Church.
We will have to give an account of how we operated, what are motives were. Were we true to God? Did we serve well the people we ministered to, did we meet their needs?
KJV Luke 16: 1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods . 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward .
Having an accountability partner is a way to double check where we are at.
B. Joseph functions out of a strong personal faith:
1.Joseph is thankful to God:
Joseph did not forget who put him in this position of power.
Joseph dedicated his children to God by giving them spiritually meaningful names expressing his faith in God.
Manasseh emphasizing God’s role in his success, meaning “for God made me forget”.
Ephraim meaning “for God made me fruitful”.
KJV Genesis 41: 50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came , which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priesti of On bare unto him. 51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh:j For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim:k For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
Joseph kept his faith alive even in the fast pace of business and work.
Make time for God, for regular prayer and meditation.
Develop a routine of quiet time, meditation, Bible reading.
Seek God on a daily regular basis.
Example of Jesus: Praying early in the morning, way before others were awake.
KJV Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out , and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed .
Develop a life of godliness, work at remaining fit spiritually so as to overcome temptations that come with success.
Joseph handles his money well:
Even though Joseph becomes rich, we do not hear of Joseph building a monument to himself or other extravagant behavior.
Application: Avoid the pitfall of the love of money.
KJV 1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after , they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Avoid the traps that accompany riches.
KJV James 5: 1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted , and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered ; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold , the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud , crieth : and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton ; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. 7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold , the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Money can become a god taught Jesus about Mammon.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
2.Joseph has built a strong family:
He is a family man: a good husband and a good father.
a.Husband:KJV Genesis 41: 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah;h and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Joseph is thirty years old, he has his own wife, soon his own children.
The names he gives to his children reflects his appreciation of fatherhood.
Manasseh means “forget” (v 51); he affirms God has made him forget all his trouble and all his father’s household.
Ephraim means “Twice fruitful”; Joseph expresses how “God has made me fruitful in the land of his suffering”.
Joseph acknowledges his true riches, having 2 sons of his own.
Application: Value the importance of a stable home, a strong marriage.
Spend quality time with your family.
A happy husband/father is a good role model in the church.
Our whole life is a teaching per se.
When I ask individuals to help me teach I tell them I am looking for role models: people filled with the spirit, good husbands or wives, people of faith, etc.
3. Before building a family Joseph was fulfilled as a young man:
He was happy in his unmarried state.
When tempted to cross the sexual line by his Master's wife, he consistently refused.
Joseph's basic internal, value-related and emotional needs were met in his relationship with God, in his doing a good job wherever he was, and in the friendships he developed with his fellow slaves and fellow prisoners.
Application: Those who are not married can be fulfilled too.
Our relationship with God can meet our inner needs.
Our job, our ministry can contribute to great satisfaction.
Family relationships and friendship can meet our emotional needs.
We can use our sexual energy drive to invest in hobbies such as music, sports, etc. Idleness is often what opens the door to sexual temptations.
Paul and Timothy are good examples of people satisfied without being married,
Joseph seta a good example for leaders who reach the position of power::
1.He implements a wise, all encompassing, and personalized ministry.
2.He is accountable and loyal in his stewardship.
3.He remains a strong believer with family values.
1 Timothy 3:1-16, 4:7-16, 5:1-4, 6:11-12
How much quality time do I spend with my spouse, daily, weekly?
How much quality time do I spend with my children?
Plan spouse, family, devotions time.
Write a short family mission's statement laying down your goals for your family this year.
|QUALITY TIME CALENDAR|
|Spouse||Friday night date ?|
|Children||Saturday morning 1/2 hour collective prayer time||Special Saturday family outing|
|Child 1||Monday soccer practice|
|Child 2||Tuesday basketball practice|
|Prayer||6 to 6:30 am|
|Bible Reading||9-9:30 pm|
|WRITE YOUR OWN|