The Context of the Life of Joseph

As we begin our series “The Life of Joseph: God’s Sovereignty in Our Suffering” from Genesis 37-50, I cannot emphasize how important it is for us to understand the context in which Joseph’s life takes place. Certainly, we must pay attention to both the historical context of Genesis and the relational/familial context of the generations of Abraham’s family. We also must not miss the covenantal context of God’s work to bring forth blessing to all the nations through Abraham’s seed. I appreciate the way that this video on the second half of Genesis from The Bible Project helps us grasp the context of all these aspects together.

Descending [Life of Joseph, part 1]

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church we began a new series “The Life of Joseph: God’s Sovereignty in Our Suffering” by looking at the beginnings of Joseph’s story in Genesis 37.  Joseph’s story begins with dreams, parental favoritism, and family tensions. His father’s favorite son, Joseph quickly finds the disagreements with his brothers boiling over into his faked murder and sale into slavery. What do you do when everyone seems to turn against you?

You can view the message video and sermon outline for this message below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast. Also, join in with our daily devotional that accompanies this series during Lent.

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The Life of Joseph: God’s Sovereignty in Our Suffering

This weekend at Eastbrook Church we begin a new series entitled “The Life of Joseph: God’s Sovereignty in Our Suffering.” As we trace the life of Joseph in Genesis, we get a glimpse of how God is at work in our lives. We can grapple with how we respond in faith through the ups and downs of life. We all face troubles in life, but God is at work in the midst of those troubles, even if He seems hidden. In this Lenten journey, we will explore themes of faith, suffering, God’s hiddenness and God’s sovereignty from the life of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. Read more background to the life of Joseph here.

Along with the weekend messages, I want to invite you to join a 40-day devotional journey. You can find out more about how to access that devotional in print or electronically here.

February 14 – “The Cross in Shadows

February 17/18 – “Descending” (Genesis 37:1-36)

February 24/25 “Caught” (Genesis 39:1-20)

March 3/4 – “Lost and Found” (Genesis 40:1-41:57)

March 10/11 – “Open Wounds” (Genesis 42:1-44:34)

March 17/18 – “Reconciliation” (Genesis 45:1-46:34)

March 24/25 – “Blessing and Rescue” (Genesis 47:1-50:26)

The Cross in Shadows

This is my message from our “Journey to the Cross” worship service on February 14, 2018. This begins a journey with the life of Joseph at Eastbrook Church throughout Lent both in our weekend sermon series and through a daily devotional.


Coventry Cathedral cross.jpg

In the book of Genesis, we read about the creation of the world, of the overwhelming flood in the time of Noah, and the life stories of the first fathers and mothers of our faith. When you read their stories, you quickly realize that there are many things we can hold up as strengths and more than a few things we see as weaknesses. Still, again and again, God uses their flawed human lives to display His strength, infusing His grace into their frailty, and shedding His light into the midst of the dark places in their lives and the world.

One of the most notable stories is that of Joseph. Joseph is the son of Jacob and Rachel, and the great-grandson of Abraham and Sarah. In Joseph’s life, as told in Genesis, chapter 37-50, we not only see someone go through the ups and downs of life, but also develop a deeper life with God in the midst of it.

At times Joseph seems to bring suffering down upon himself, while at other times he endures unjust suffering. Throughout his story, he interacts with characters who are for him – like his father and the king of Egypt – and others who are against him – like his brothers and a woman who falsely accuses him. Throughout Joseph’s life, God is at work, sometimes readily visible and at other times apparently hidden.

Over these next six weeks, we are going to journey with Joseph in our weekend sermon series and through a daily devotional. As we walk with Joseph we will see again and again that God uses flawed Joseph to display God’s strength, that God infuses His grace into Joseph’s frailty, all the while shedding divine light into the midst of dark places.

Near the end of his life, Joseph responds to some of those who brought suffering upon him with words of great depth:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)

It is good to consider this question: how do we become people who can speak like Joseph does there?Read More »

Multiplied Joy

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church I concluded our series “Unshackled: Joy Beyond Circumstances” on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians. I took us through the last section of the letter, Philippians 4:4-23, where Paul draws together some final exhortations and personal reflections. This section has some of the most well-known verses in the entire letter, which makes it both a delight and a challenge to preach in its context.

You can view the video and sermon outline of this message, “Multiplied Joy,” below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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