Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Life of Joseph #3: Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife: Standing on Principle 

New Message Series: The Life of Joseph

Message

Life of Joseph #3: Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife: Standing on Principle

Genesis 39

“Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  (The Lord’s Prayer). “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can endure it… flee sexual immorality.” (Corinthians) “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who live him.”  (James).
 


Enter into the history of God’s salvation as we listen to the beauty of God’s plan unfolding and put ourselves under the authority of Scripture. 


We pick up the story of Joseph this week in Egypt, a servant of his master Potiphar.  The Lord blesses Joseph in everything he does.  And Potiphar places Joseph in charge of everything in his household.  And in the course of Joseph’s management of all things Potiphar, he amazingly resists the temptations of seduction from Potiphar’s wife.  And in fleeing from her grasp, his robe is stripped off of him.  He is then falsely accused and thrown in prison – stripped of his dignity and employment.  

Yet Joseph again is blessed by the Lord and is given more and more responsibility until he basically holds the keys to the prison in his hands, once again given charge of everything in the prison.    

Again, this story is filled with echoes.  Echoes of Adam and Eve to the fulfillment in Jesus.  Looking forward to entering into the history of God’s salvation as we listen to the beauty of God’s plan unfolding and put ourselves under the authority of Scripture.  

“Word of God speak, would you pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see, your majesty.  To be still and know that you’re in this place, helping me to rest in your holiness…  Word of God speak.”  Yes, the Word of God speaks.    

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Life of Joseph #2: Judah and Tamar: Is this God’s Plan?

New Message Series: The Life of Joseph

Message

Life of Joseph #2: Judah and Tamar: Is this God’s plan?

Genesis 38

This Sunday, we come together to worship God, celebrate communion, and enjoy our monthly fellowship feast.  Bring yourself and some food to worship this Sunday, take a neighbor or two, as we enjoy fellowship in the Lord’s presence. 

We are off and running in our new message series on The Life of Joseph.  Last week we opened with Genesis 37 where a ‘favored’ child runs into some trouble with intense sibling rivalry, leading us to ask the question, “Is this God’s plan?”  In spite of all the human trouble in the story, God does have a plan.

Discerning God’s plan in our lives, much less in the movements of history and culture is a challenging exercise. How difficult is it to understand God’s plan in the everyday happenings of our own lives? 
 


In spite of all the human trouble in the story, God does have a plan.


When it comes to Scripture, seeing God’s unfolding plan is best found in the overarching whole.  The Bible is a history of God’s salvation.  God is in the details and in the grand narrative. We will see again this week that God works in mysterious ways, as we enter into Genesis 38 and 39, the stories of Judah and Tamar and Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife. 

Whether it’s human standing on principle that leads to evasive and proactive action, or human temptation seeking to derail obedience, or injustice done one to another, God has a plan.   

Often, we cannot see God’s plan in the midst of daily life with its oscillating ups and downs. If we are blessed, we can look back in time, to the history and events of our own lives, and see and experience how God has been working all along.  If we are extra blessed, we realize and experience God’s working in our lives in the present.  And sometimes, we hold on to the unknown questions of God’s working in our lives, never fully seeing or experiencing God’s working in our lives in the midst of struggle, until we see him face to face in glory.  All of these things can be true.    

In light of Genesis 37 and 39, we have to wonder how Joseph is doing with his own seeing and experiencing of God’s blessing.  I imagine it would have been tough.  

See you Sunday,
Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

New Message Series: The Life of Joseph

Message

Mother’s Day

The Life of Joseph #1: Joseph: A ‘Chosen’ Child, a Dreamer, and Sibling Rivalry
Genesis 37

Sunday, we begin a message series on The Life of Joseph, from Genesis 37-50. The life of Joseph is embedded in the grand story of God’s redemptive history of salvation for the world and his people.  Sometimes, we have the tendency to view characters in the Bible as moral lessons about ‘how to be, how to act’, ‘what to do, what not to do’, essentially boiled down to ‘be like Joseph’ or ‘don’t be like Joseph.’  Often this misses the mark.  

God’s revelation of himself and his ways revealed in Scripture highlight God’s character and God’s saving ways above all.  God is at work in and through Joseph, his life, his flaws and his faithfulness.  The Bible is a grand story of God’s redemptive working in human history and God created time.  And all of Scripture is pointing forward to Jesus, through whom God’s plan of salvation comes to fruition.
 


All of Scripture is pointing forward to Jesus, through whom God’s plan of salvation comes to fruition.


As we walk through these chapters in Genesis, focusing on the life of Joseph, we will be telescoping out to see how the life of Joseph fits into the grand story of God’s redemptive, historical narrative.  For example, the life of Joseph can’t be separated out from the Creation account, the disobedience of Adam and Eve and resulting curse of sin, the crescendo of sin’s destructive fruit during the time of Lamech, the Flood of God’s judgment and renewal, the Tower of Babel, the calling of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob… and now, for our focus of the next 6 weeks, The Life of Joseph.  Nor can the life of Joseph be set apart from the coming bondage in Egypt, the Exodus, the wilderness experiences, the promised land, the line of Prophets, Priests, and Kings… and of course, it all points to Jesus, the ultimate fulfillment of God’s revelation of salvation.  So we cannot separate the life of Joseph from the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.    

Looking forward to kicking off this new series!  For God’s coming, present, and growing Kingdom within us and in his world, to God be the glory both now and forever,  see you Sunday!

Pastor Mark   

PS: Happy Mother’s Day coming to all of our Mothers in our faith family, and to each of our Mothers!  God’s blessing be upon our Mothers!

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Let’s talk about Faith… and Doubt


Message

Let’s talk about Faith… and Doubt
Hebrews 11: Select Verse

Guest Speaker: Pastor Joy Englesman

Welcome this Sunday to Pastor Joy Englesman. Joy is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church serving people and churches through coaching and consulting in the Rocky Mountain area as well as in a role with Youth for Christ International in Africa developing staff and leaders.

Joy will be bringing us a message on Faith and Doubt highlighting select passages from Hebrews chapter 11. Drawing on God’s word, Joy will explore how believers have come to define faith and doubt. And that to strengthen our faith, we need to be honest with our doubts.

We look forward to worshipping with everyone at Crestview.

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

PATRW: Paul and Sexuality

Message Series: Paul and the Roman World – Engagement of Gospel and Culture

Message
PATRW: Paul and Sexuality
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

Thanks for a fantastic Passion Week Crestview!  From Palm Sunday to Good Friday to our Easter worship and feast, GOD IS GOOD.  This Sunday we wrap our series on Paul and the Roman World: Engaging Gospel and Culture, with the theme Paul and Sexuality

When it comes to the Biblical Worldview on sexuality, it’s good to take the broad overarching view of Scripture.  Sure, there are specifics mentioned all over the Bible on the goodness, the badness, the gone wrongness, and the redemption of our sexuality.  And there are some beautifully helpful, sweeping guiding principles that speak deeply to the gift of sexuality, its boundaries for blessing, and the call to stewardship of it.  So we will touch on a few of them Sunday.  

For example, 1 Thessalonians 4 says, “Each of you should learn how to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.”  Or 1 Corinthians 6, “Flee from sexual immorality.  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own, you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your body.”  and Romans 12, “I urge you brothers and sisters to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship.”  

In the 60’s and 70’s we went through a sexual revolution.  I’d say we are in the throes of another one.  What is God calling us to be, say and do in the midst of our current cultural space?  What is God honoring when it comes to our bodies?  How might the understanding of ‘our bodies not being our own, but belong to God’, be a good place to start?  Incredible implications for living no matter what position, single or married, or stage in life you are in.     

Yes, this is too much to cover in a Sunday message as entire books can be and have been written on human sexuality.  Good thing we have the Good Book and the gift of daily discipleship opportunities both personally and corporately.  It’s a lifelong, ongoing journey, see ya Sunday if not before.   

Pastor Mark