Thursday, 11 August 2016

On the way to the Palace 5

When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”-Genesis 37:4-5  

Joseph was given a coat of many colours by his father as a symbol of love  but provoked hatred amongst his brothers . After Joseph received the coat, the next thing that Moses tells us is the fact that he had a dream. Some translations say that he had a special dream. Although they could not speak a kind word to him, Joseph did not hesitate to tell them about his dreams. The man on the way to the Palace is one who is not bullied by the reactions of others to the blessings he receives He did not just tell someone but his eleven brothers and we cannot really blame him for telling his brothers who understandably may have been the only family he had. But telling the brothers about the dream shows something else that is worth emulating. The man on the way to the Palace must be sensitive to recognize divine communications and leading. He is a man who can recognize the hand of the supernatural in the natural everyday life.

The response of his brothers cause many commentators to blame Joseph for their reaction to him but to be honest, to take on such a guilt is unnecessary. The man on the way to the Palace must not allow the enemy to put unnecessary guilt as regarding the responses of others to our dreams. There will be various responses to our dreams and the fact that people are family members does not mean they will necessarily applaud our dreams.

It is not every direction that will come in the form of dreams and it is important for us to differentiate between a good idea and a God given dream. In the era of so many motivational speakers, it is quite plausible to be deceived especially as some Scriptures such as Philippians 4 ;13 could be used out of context with the implication that as long as we can think of something, we can do it. But even if we can do it and it is something good, the real question to ask is “is this a God dream or a good dream?.  David wanted to build a temple to honour God (and this was a great idea). He told Nathan the Prophet who assured him that it was alright to do so but before Nathan left the courts of the Palace, he received a message  from God saying that he would raise a son of David to build him a house (1 Chronicles 28:3;  2 Samuel 7 ).

In summary, the man on the way to the Palace is one that is not bullied by the reaction of others to his blessings neither will he take om unnecessary guilt, he is sensitive and recognizes divine leadings being  a man who is not content to pursue a good  dream only but a God dream.

In His Service,
Grace Tom-Lawyer,

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

On the way to the Palace 4-Joseph's family

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of manycolours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. Genesis 3:3-4Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

Suddenly Moses the writer of Genesis  shifts the attention again to Jacob and gives us a reason for why he loved his eleventh son above the others.Some translations interpret this verse differently and some Hebrew scholars say that the original writings actually convey the fact that this love was moved by the fact that Joseph operated under a wisdom that was beyond his age. In other words, he was the kind of young man that made his earthly father proud. This has also been supported by the fact that there was still another son born after him.The man on the way to the Palace is one that is endowed with wisdom and surely one that makes his father proud.

 Joseph was a favoured son and matters were made worse for him   especially as his father flaunted his special love for him  by giving him a coat of many colours. When I was much younger, I imagined  this coat as having the several different colours of the rainbow  but much study now has corrected my error.Commentators say that this coat was unlike what was worn by the everyday worker as it reaches to the ankles and wrists. This kind of coat was worn by  heir apparent and royalty. Since the Bible tells us that Joseph worked,Joseph probably wore the coat at least once  a week but everytime he  wore the coat, he provoked envy. The reality of life is that not everyone is going to applaud our blessings. This is not to excuse Jacob for bad parenting as it is not right for parents to show favouritism in the family and considering his own particular household, he was just adding fuel to the already brewing fire of hostility, hatred and jealousy.

Another point to draw from here though is the fact that Jacob’s love for his son made him give something .We can give without loving(1 Corintians 13:3) but cannot love without giving (John 3:16) and  giving  does not have always have to be cash(1 John 3;16).

"Then they hated him and could not speak peaceably with him" Genesis 37:4b

If Joseph’s brothers were in any doubt of where their father’s affection lay, they had all doubts cleared when Jacob presented the coat of many colours to Joseph. Sometimes people hate us for reasons that cannot be helped and the man on the way to the palace is not  bullied by the feelings of others  towards his blessings.Some people walk around with their feelings on their sleeves and expect everyone else to acknowledge them.However, we have to love people enough to say “if you do not want to be happy, there is not much I can do about that as I can see it is your choice to be miserable but I will not join you to be”. 
But this is a good time to also examine ourselves, perhaps for  some of the people we are not getting along with, the issue may be that they have something we desire.This unfortunately may be the real reason we do not like them.If we believe that all good and perfect things come from above, then we should be ready to ask God who is the source(James 1:17)

Unlike the brothers of Joseph who so much desired a love their father was unable to give, we have a heavenly father who is able to love each one of us  and is capable of meeting our desires(Romans 8:32). The Message).There is no need to hate people because of their blessings, all we have to do is to ask, yes, ask God(Matthew 7:7) who delights to give(Psalms 84:11). 

In His Service,
Grace Tom-Lawyer.

"On the Way to the Palace" is still on  broadcast every Saturday @11am on Peace&Joy Radio .

Monday, 1 August 2016

On the Way to the Palace 3-Knowing Joseph

Genesis 37

37 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren;  

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

Jacob’s son Joseph was now seventeen years old. His job, along with his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah, was to shepherd his father’s flocks. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things they were doing. Genesis 37;2 Today's Living Bible.(TLB)

The records of the genealogy of Jacob started with Joseph his eleventh son rather than with Reuben the first son. Although they were both sons in the house, the choices they made affected their destinies. Joseph on the way to the Palace  made several choices and had several attributes that we can emulate to get to our own palace.
One of the first things we notice about Joseph is the fact that the Bible introduces him to us by stating that he is a teenager, being seventeen years old which means quite a lot in our days. Joseph had all the rights to the teenage years but as youthful as he was, he still had the call of God in  his life. Unlike Moses who was called at the age of eighty Joseph was seventeen and what a life worthy of emulation because the next thing we see about him is the fact that he is a worker . He was tending sheep and not lazying about .Neither was his youth an excuse for irresponsibility. He reminds me of Timothy, Apostle Paul’s protégée whom he left to take care of the Church at Ephesus. Paul later told Timothy in to let no man despise him because of his age, rather he should prove himself

It does not matter how young or how old we are, the younger the better though as it helps us get on the right track early in life and avoid some needless troubes.Age is no barrier for the man on the way to the Palace  and it is best if like the Psalmist, we can say …”Early will I seek thee”(Psalms 63:1).

The second thing we note is that the man on the way to the Palace is a worker. All through the Bible, I have seen that God uses busy people, people who are actually doing something. Some of them come from such a wie spectrum- shepherds, fishermen, doctors, taxcollectors,lawyers, traders but there was hardly anybody God called who was not already doing something. Sometimes what they may be doing physically could be likened to their divine assignment and sometimes the physical assignment was a subtype of what they had been called to do divinely but not one of these people did nothing. God always uses people who are doing something and the reward for work done well in the kingdom is more work”( Matthew 25:14-30 , Luke 16:10  )So if you are on the way to the palace and you are currently doing nothing, then there is a need to reassess.

The third thing from that verse is the fact that he was keeping sheep with his step brothers nd that says something else about this young man .Joseph was able to work with others and like most job adverts would say “wanted – a team Player.Let us not fail to take into cognisance the fact that these were his step brothers who were much older in an environment that was far from friendly.

The fourth point from that verse  is a fact that I would state is a bit controversial. Varying translations and commentators seem to disagree on the translation with some people translating the verse as Joseph brought a bad report about his brothers and making it to appear he was tale bearing while some other translations and commentators favour a translation paraphrased to mean that Joseph called a spade a spade and told his father the bad things the brothers were doing. I do favour the latter interpretation considering what we know of Joseph later and would say that being in a position where he had to report his elder brothers would not have been too easy on Joseph himself and from there , I would conclude that the man on the way to the Palace is one who is not trying to be politically correct. If something is not good, he can say so, He is not into the many shades of grey.

In conclusion today, the man on the way to the Palace is one that is not hindered by age, is a man who is a worker and a team player and definitely is  someone is not trying to be politically correct.

Remain in His Service,

Grace Tom-Lawyer

This series (On the Way to the Palace #OTW2TP) still continues.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

On the Way to the Palace 2-Who is Joseph?

Although the promotion  of Joseph to the Palace is often portrayed as a sudden event, and an overnight miracle, close  examination of the Scriptures show that Joseph had been on a journey of preparation long  before ever   getting to the Palace.

 The very first lesson I would like to point out from Joseph’s story  is there is a period of preparation before we can get to the Palace and  this preparation differs for different people and   palaces..There is a programme of preparation for everyone of us, depending on the work we have been called to do. Preparation is a sign that we believe what God has spoken concerning us.
It is imperative to reiterate that different individuals will have different journeys and preparations to the Palace. This is clearly seen from Scriptures in the lives of Esther &David who eventually became Queen Esther ( Esther 2:1-18) and King David ( 2 Samuel 5:1-5 ) .

For us to fully appreciate the journey of Joseph to the Palace and draw life lessons from it, we would need to do  a little background  check of his family and the  various circumstances that surrounded his life which no doubt had influence on him. Most times, just a little peep behind the scenes is enough to cure us from the blindness that most times breeds criticism of others.

Joseph happened to be the first fruit of a love that waited long for expression. His father Jacob loved his mother(Rachael) at first sight and worked seven years  for her(Genesis 29:1-20)  but was tricked into marrying her elder sister and made to work a total of fourteen years for the woman he really loved (Genesis  29:21-30). Although he paid such a great price and eventually married her, his home was far from a bed of roses. There is a certain level of wickedness that happens when a man marries a woman and her friend but for a man to marry a woman and her sister is to invite hell and her demons to reside in his home with unending drama. Just think of the irony of cousins being step brothers/sisters and an auntie being a step mother! To worsen the whole situation, Rachael (being the younger of the sisters &the woman Jacob really loved) was barren for a long time Jacob’s home was full of jealousy, strife and all the ills that go with polygamy, Several children were born by her sister and even their maids, before we are told that God remembered her  and gave her a son whom she called Jacob saying “May he add another “. God remembered Rachael and barrenness was no longer an issue (Gen 30:22-24)
It was at this point that Jacob decided to leave his father in law whom he had served under stringent conditions(Genesis 30:25-26). It was like a new zest in life but I am glad that Jacob eventually decided to return back to the land of promise .It is never too late to take a step in the right direction,

But the decision of Jacob to return was met with several tragedies along the way. Indeed  a choice to return to the right path will not necessarily elude us from trouble. Even Jesus promised his disciples trouble and much more (John 16:33).The tragedies that plagued Jacob included the rape of his only daughter mentioned in the Bible –Dinah(Genesis 34:1-4 ),the death of Deborah( Genesis 35 :6-15 ).the death of his beloved wife during childbirth to the second son(  Genesis 35:16-20  ) and ,incest within his family (Genesis 35:21-22) .

It is in the light of all these that Genesis 37 opens. The introduction of the genealogy of Jacob however does not follow  the traditional  reckoning with the firstborn Reuben , rather it was with Joseph, the eleventh son because his life was one that fulfilled purpose. In the words of the late Pastor Tayo Adeyemi of the New Wine Church ,London, “the length of years you lived is not important ,it is what you did that is most important .What makes life meaningful is filling life with meaning“.

Joseph was the eleventh son but one to be reckoned with at all levels and we would begin to examine his life in the next post .

Remain in His Service,

Grace Tom-Lawyer.

Friday, 22 July 2016

On the Way to the Palace

"Jacob’s son Joseph was now seventeen years old. His job, along with his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah, was to shepherd his father’s flocks. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things they were doing."-Genesis 37:2 TLB Today's Living Bible

Today, I would like us to begin with a series that I have been teaching on the Radio for over a month now. I have decided to share these truths using this forum also as I believe we all learn differently and while some would prefer to read through, others may be more akin towards visual /audio learning  and maybe because I love to write, I am biased towards write ups  as it affords me the pleasure of reading.Going through my previous notes, I must adnit that  the Holy Spirit  has shed  further  light on this series as I began to teach it as compared to when I  originally studied it privately two years ago.

I was going through a particular difficult period in my life and was beginning to examine again the book of Genesis with the aim of getting to the encouraging story of Joseph(Romans 15:4). There are some   scenes  in the story of Joseph that evoke the same reaction every time I read(Potiphar’s wife- Genesis 39:2-20 ) .I  especially love when this young man was reunited with this father Jacob and how he wept when he kissed his father(Genesis 46:29). I must admit that severally whenever I come to that part of the story, I end up crying with Joseph. The tears fail to take a gentle stride as they  seem to be in a race  to outrun   each other in a protest for the many years   Jacob had ended up crying over a lie (Genesis 37:31-35).

Joseph’s story  (Genesis 37-49) is  one that leaves us with genuine admiration  for his integrity and sense of purpose. He is one of the few Bible characters that we struggle to find fault with. Some commentators in their respect for him parallel his life with that of Jesus ; they both seemed to have  suffered hatred, rejection, they were both sold by  their loved ones and so much more.

However  in these series, I would like us to look at the life of Joseph as a prototype of the kind of life we should emulate if we want to get to the Palace which is hopefully where we all want to get to .Some  sermons erroneously  portray Joseph’s promotion as  an overnight success and leave us   with the impression that he attended a Special Next Level Anointing Service or that he sowed  a Breakthrough  seed from the prison the night before and suddenly , the next day, he became the second in  command to Pharoah( Genesis 40:40-41). This however was not the case

I believe that you  would receive  fresh insights in this story as I did  and will very much love to hear from you. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will show you further things that we can all learn from. Do not hesitate to share your comments here or on our page on FacebookFeasting at the Table

I also invite you to join me on Peace& &Joy Radio(Online or via Tune In App) every Saturday @11am for “Feasting at the Table”  aka F.A.T and subsequent rebroadcast on Tuesdays &Sundays @7pm.

Remain in His Service 
Grace Tom-Lawyer.
Ps-.I  am indebted also to the works of several Bible commentators such as  F.B. Meyer, W.H.Griffith Thomas, Sewyln Hughes Charles Swindoll , and several others .

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A Special Invitation

Dear Wonderful Readers,

We are just a week away from a Programme I feel very compelled to invite you to join in and really look forward to seeing you in "The Fragrance of His Presence"

Ministering will be Rev&Rev Mrs Samson Ajetomobi of Men of Isacchar Vision
Date :July 7-10,2016 (11-6pm)
Venue:New Covenant Church,Manchester. M12 4QW

It promises to be a time of refreshing in God;s presence.

Also please note that the series "On the Way to the Palace" will be continuing , We are looking at the life of Joseph @Feasting at the Table
Time:11-12pm Every Saturday
Station:Peace&Joy Online Radio  or Download TuneIn

Grace Tom-Lawyer