Introduction So my name is Joshua Mayes, and I’m super grateful to be here with you this morning, I serve here in Broward Church as a singles leader and I serve alongside Chanel and Chris Palmer and Camile and Bailey, who are some amazing brothers and sisters. When I thought about my life, I couldn’t… See more
So my name is Joshua Mayes, and I’m super grateful to be here with you this morning, I serve here in Broward Church as a singles leader and I serve alongside Chanel and Chris Palmer and Camile and Bailey, who are some amazing brothers and sisters.
When I thought about my life, I couldn’t imagine myself being up here speaking for me, it truly shows God’s work in my life because growing up, my family used to go to church, but I didn’t really feel like we were living out the scriptures. By the time I was in middle school, I decided that it wasn’t something I wanted to be part of my life. When I was in high school, I just stopped believing in God completely. So when I got to college, my life was full of sin. I did not love God or I have a small belief in him. I wanted nothing to do with religion.
See, many things happen between those moments of me living a life of sin and becoming a Christian. I didn’t have a plan or a thought or vision to be with God, but God had a plan to have a relationship with me.
Everyone is on a different journey, even if they don’t have the same background as me.
Through God’s word, we can see that he wants everyone at some point to choose him and to trust him so that they can receive his plan of promises. See, God is the ultimate visionary and the ultimate planner. He’s so creative that he spoke light into existence, but he’s so detailed that he designed the atom. And don’t you ever wonder what God’s plan and vision is for you? Don’t you ever wonder why you went through all the things that you went through or why or what you should be expecting in the future? Don’t you ever wonder if there’s something that God wants you to do specifically see these characteristics of vision and planning carry over into God’s word?
Every book in the Bible, every word, every moment is powerful and detailed, adding up to something larger. There are 66 books that show God’s interaction with mankind, interaction through creation, reconciliation and even instructions until the day of judgment. In his word, and with the characters, we can see that God had a vision and a plan for each of those people who decided to trust in him and to follow him.
Now God is faithful, but the only way to fully embrace God’s faithfulness is to fully embrace him. So today, we’re going to be looking at a man that through ups and downs, slavery and riches, decided to trust in God. Let’s go to Hebrews 11, verse 22.
Today we’re going to be talking about Joseph, who honestly is an amazing character in the Bible. But I don’t fully understand or I didn’t fully understand why would they put this as his big act of faith? So we’re going to look at it.
“By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.”
This placement was so interesting because you see other people in this same chapter and they have things like this:.
By faith, Noah built an ark, right? By faith, Abraham inherited the promised land and by faith Sarah had a son when she was bearing.
So I’m just confused, because if you read through Joseph’s story, there’s times where he’s enslaved, but yet he keeps his faith. There’s times that he’s betrayed by people, yet he keeps his faith. He even interprets dreams, what a miracle.
He keeps his faith.
Why of all the things that the scriptures say that Joseph’s BIG act of faith is this?
But to find this out, we need to break down this passage together. So let’s start here.
“By faith, even when his end was new,” says NIV. But there’s another translation here, it says “It was by faith that Joseph when he was about to die…” (NLT)
See, now this part of scripture is a major reflection on Joseph’s life.
Imagine that even on your deathbed, will you be thinking about glorifying God, even in the face of life’s final obstacle, Joseph still had trust in God to keep with his faith. And Joseph was no stranger to trials and traumatic events while having a relationship with God, but by faith, Joseph knew that he can overcome his obstacles in life and by faith we can endure through trials in our lives. Now, this is a list of some of the things that Joseph faced, right?
He was sold into slavery by his brothers. And not only that, as he was being sold, he was pleading, imagine sitting there, 11 of your brothers, you’re pleading for your life and they still decide to give you over for only 20 shekels.
To be honest, I didn’t do the calculation, but it does not sound like a lot for a brother. So many of us have our own lists like this. Things that have dragged us down, that have hurt our feelings have brought us despair, anxiety, doubt. Maybe some of us are going through a hardship right now that we feel will never end.
See, Joseph is a character that can relate to us in some way, shape or form.
One of the amazing things about Joseph was his posture. Joseph’s posture was always to be obedient and to serve God, and this never changed about Joseph.
What is your posture towards God when you go through trials?
Do you ask God, why why is this happening to me or do you ask God, what can I do about this? Do you ask God, how did this happen? Why is this happening to me or do you ask God, what can I learn from this? Because the truth is, just because it isn’t easy, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t with you.
When things are not easy, this is when we actually need to trust God the most and and invest in his plan the most, when it feels like your circumstances are a hopeless one, when you feel like things are just too tough, you need to learn to fight with faith.
So I’m going to show us a small video here. It’s about a girl and she’s in the worst of circumstances when it comes to running track. I mean, not unless there’s another video where the person doesn’t come back at all, but little spoiler alert. But it’s truly amazing to see the way that she continues to run. This race now is going to have a big arrow over her. She’s about the fourth person in line. And for most of the race, you’re not going to even see her, which is crazy.
So here we g0:
We have this race. They’re handing off the batons and you see this girl in the purple. She’s first, right? She’s running. They’re going around the arc. This is a 400 meter sprint going on right here. So, again, the girl that we’re actually going to be looking for is still not even in the frame. She’s still nowhere to be seen.
And in life, it could feel this way, it can feel like we’re not even in the race sometimes. Like we’re not fighting hard enough or something just isn’t working out for us. You actually catch a glimpse of her for like two seconds right there and then she’s gone. You probably didn’t even catch it.
So they’re running. They have about 200 more meters to go. This girl is being over lapped by the yellow.
Don’t be that girl, but just continue to watch what happens to you when this girl gives her all. Again, Red Arrow, you see her passing. Here we go, passes one, keeps running, keeps stride, keeps the form, keeps running, keeps the stride, keeps the form, keeps running, keeps running.
But on a serious note, this girl gave her all look at the end of her race. Look at what she had to overcome.
Like, realistically speaking, I know we’re talking about failure, but realistically, I used to run. I don’t run anymore. I got a bad knee.
I don’t think of anything, you know, if someone’s handing me this baton and sometimes in life we’re just in a hard place. Sometimes it can feel like we’re in a hopeless place, like you’re grabbing the baton, a trial or something is coming on to you and you feel like, wow, really?
What can I even do?
But instead of complaining, this girl did not give up. Imagine if she was someone who is in a spiritual race. We would say that she has some die hard faith, right? I mean, look how she finished all out face on the ground, teammates surrounding her.
And this could be us right in heaven. This could be us where we finally just get there and then the angels and God comes, “I’m so proud of you, my good and faithful servant.”
But you need to learn how to fight and have faith.
A world changing faith is a faith that perseveres through death.
And because Joseph had this intense faith, he was able to be someone that the world was not worthy of for most of us in our life.
Life is a marathon. And in 1st Corinthians 9, verse 24 to 27, Paul makes an analogy between a runner and someone running a spiritual race.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and making it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
See, even through our ups and downs, when we get handed the baton in a bad spot, we need to evaluate what we’re running for.
What is our prize that we’re running for?
Through all of this hardship, slavery and imprisonment, Joseph ended up being the second command in all of Egypt. He had a high position of status and fame and the end of his life, he wasn’t consumed by this. He wasn’t like, I want to stay here.
Joseph wanted more. He wanted God’s plan for his life. He wanted God’s promise and overall he wanted God’s dream.
See, when we have dreams, we begin to think and to plan, right? We go on YouTube, we watch all the videos that we can. You write down notes. You might call up your friends and try to brainstorm and think of different things together. Right. I mean, I know I love dreaming. I love going after them. I love pursuing it. And God had a dream for his people. God had a dream for Israel. And this dream was to one day take them out of Egypt into the promised land. And the crazy thing about this is that this promise was made to Abraham back in Genesis 12.
And we know that in between chapters, sometimes it could be like 50, 40, 100 years. It could be a long time.
In Genesis 50, even though Joseph wasn’t there for that promise to Abraham, he still had faith in God and still decided to trust that promise. So let’s go back to Hebrews 11, verse 22, so we can dissect the rest of it.
“So in the face of this hardship, Joseph decided to talk about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and he gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.”
See? This scripture becomes so much deeper now that we know Joseph. Though he experienced so much pain in his life. Though he experienced so much hardship, he decided to push on and continue his race until he was finished, just like the faceplant of the girl.
The reason why he decided to continue to push through all of those things was because he had God’s dream in mind. And this is how we can tell, right? Because Joseph went from slavery to second in command of one of the greatest countries of all time.
But yet he could have said anything to them, right? You’ve got to give them advice about how to be a better servant so you can climb up the ranks, or he could have gave them advice about pushing through or he could give this advice about having wealth or having integrity.
But instead, he decided to talk about God’s plan and he wanted to put God’s plan in their mind for them to desire that the most so they can push through for what was real.
Despite all of our trials and tribulations, God has a plan.
And through his plan, he refines us and directs us into the way that he wants us to go.
“Then Joseph said this to his brothers, ‘Please come closer to me.’ And they came closer, and he said, ‘I’m your brother, Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. And now, do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land for two years and there are still five years in which there would be neither ploughing nor harvesting.
God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God. And he has made me a father to Pharaoh and Lord over his household and ruler over all of Egypt. Hurry up and go to my father and say to him, ‘Thus your son Joseph, God has made me Lord of all Egypt, come down to me and do not do it.'”
See Joseph knew that even though it was hard, God never left.
Joseph knew that even if it was a hopeless situation, God had a plan and God used his trials for this plan.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our own good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
So there are tons of parents who from birth, they want to groom their kids into becoming the world’s greatest athlete. We have tennis players, football players that as their kid was growing up, they would place them into different trainings and different things so that they could become the best.
And the scriptures compares comparing fatherhood and motherhood to parenthood of people to God.
And it’s making this point that God is actually preparing us for holiness. God is preparing us for righteousness. But why would God even want to do that? He could do anything that he wanted.
But the answer is that God has a bigger plan for us.
Seeing these two scriptures right here, it says that God has a bigger plan for us.
But the bigger plan isn’t that you’re going to go to the NBA or have that financial security that you always been looking for, even though those are some things that could happen in your life.
But God’s plan for you, his big plan is for you to be saved and for everyone else to be saved. See, Joseph wanted his bones to be buried in the promised land because he wanted to be saved. See, this was Joseph’s overall dream. And compared to most of our dreams, let’s say it’s getting a car or having a career or relationship, you name it.
Just think, what is the first thing that comes to your mind, what is your biggest dream now? Would you say that your biggest dream is God’s biggest dream? Someone asked me this and they showed me, John, 17, verse 3 and asked, “Josh, what’s your biggest dream?” I said, “it’s to have a successful business and take care of my family.”
But then he challenged me with this scripture:.
“Now this is eternal life; that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
The man who was challenging me said, “Josh, this should be your biggest dream, having eternal life, because what more could you gain from here?”
And this is a scary thought to start thinking that my biggest dream would become heaven, and this is not for me to nullify or push away people’s dreams, to stifle your ideas. It’s not that I don’t continue to dream, continue to build, continue to do things for God, continue to grow.
But as you do so remember or think about the end goal, right?
How would your life change if eternal life was your biggest dream?
How would your choices change? How would your dating relationship changed? How would your marriage, or your career change if having eternal life was your biggest dream?
See, for Joseph, it almost seemed easy because he thought that God was faithful through all of his things that he’s been through. He continued to see that God was with him, but do you see God is faithful?
See thinking that God is faithful is easy, it’s easy to have a head knowledge, but to live and to do it, to believe it down to your bones. That’s another level. See, this is actually the biggest struggle for me and my faith, the biggest struggle for me and my faith is seeing God as faithful.
Because sometimes when I go to make choices in my life, I’m like, all right, what would be the butterfly effect of all the things that happen? How would this play out in a couple of years? How would this play out down the road? How will this affect this person or not?
And it’s hard for me to even choose because I know that there’s this thing where God has a will and I have a will. So it’s hard for me to see faithfulness through all of that. So, for example, I was planning a trip to go to Brazil.
I have a girlfriend that lives in Brazil. She’s amazing. Her name is Bea, and we planned for a trip i June for me to visit her. And this was my birthday and our anniversary.
And I bought this in the beginning of the year. So we thought COVID would have simmered down by this time and we’d be good to go. So I was like, you know, I’m just going to have faith. I’m going to believe. I bought my tickets, I got a suitcase. And, you know, if you’re buying like a suitcase is real, you’re going, you know, so I bought this suitcase now.
10 days before I go ahead and give the airline a call and like, hey, is my flight good to go? And they’re like, yeah, you got a green light, you should be good.
Then I find there’s a travel ban to going to Brazil, but yet this travel ban is a little bit before like the actual flight. So I still have this sliver of hope to continue to go and spend this time with her.
But then I call again a few days before the flight. And they said. Sorry, your flight has been canceled.
And I was like, wow, I thought I did everything, you know, I didn’t doubt, I had people praying for me.
These moments reassure me that things in this life are not what I should put my faith in.
“Joseph says to his brothers, ‘I’m about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land, as he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’.
And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, ‘God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones out from this place.’ So Joseph died at the age of 110. And after they embalmed him and he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.”
So Joseph says this twice, right? He says that God will surely come to your aid.
He says this two times, I don’t think that’s an accident.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to really believe in and put our bones in faithfulness to God. For example, this is something I heard online and I thought it was great.
Some of you may be a boss or a manager or some type of leader where you delegate things to people. You entrust people to do things. So you know that there’s some people that would do things excellently and then there’s some people you’ll have to follow up with them later or even maybe you have friends and family that you you call them and they’ll be there for you when car breaks down. You need some money, whatever it may be. You need a place to stay, you call them. And you know, they’re going to come through for you. But sometimes we can see God as the so-so when we ask him or when we decide to follow him, we see his faithfulness as so-so.
We need to learn how to change our mind and have faith, as Joseph did, that even on his deathbed, he decided to trust God because sometimes we can expect more faithfulness from people than we can expect from God.
Sometimes you can have more confidence, more hope, more assurance in people than we do for God. I’m not saying that you’re going to achieve all your plans and your dreams or that you’ll get that ticket to Brazil.
I’m just saying that God will come to your aid and you hope you become more holy so that you can succeed. And what really matters? So after this sermon, if it was your first step in trusting God or if it’s your one millionth time, remember that it’s a continuous journey. As long as your heart is still beating and there is breath in your lungs, there’s more to the story. So with that, I hope that this encourages you to have faith that perseveres, to start dreaming about God’s dream and to always remember that he is faithful.
God. Oh, my God.
My God, Aloni is Meraki is my salvation, and I got my forger’s, I will never be shaken. My God. My God alone, he is my Iraq, he is my salvation, my God is my fortress, I will never be shaken. My God.
Lord is my rock, my salvation alone is my fortress, never be shaken, alone is my rock, my salvation is my approach has never been shaken. Lord is my rock and my salvation alone is my fortress. I’ll never be shaken. Oh, yes. My rock. My salvation. Oh, yes, my fortress.
I’ll never be shaken. I’ll never be shaken. I’ll never be safe.
In the south.
Things I saw coming to.
It’s really moving, listening to songs that remind us about how important it is that our hope is not misplaced, and especially when we have the opportunity to listen to some of the most talented people that we have in our fellowship. And I really hope that after Joshua’s sermon and after listening to that song, that your hope really would be placed only in God, not in people, that your hope would not be placed in the dreams of this life, but that your hope would be placed in eternal things. And I can tell you that for me and for my family, this is something that, as Josh said, this is something that we have had to do, not just intellectually, but we’ve actually had to do in practice. And so actually, for all of us, I just want to say a very big thank you to those that have been praying for us, those who have been generous, anybody who has really supported us in a really tough time. I just want to say thank you. I want to pass it over now to Tom Haddaway, who is going to give a brief message about the special offering. And so I’m going to go ahead and hand it off to Tom.
Good morning, my church family. My name is Tom Haddaway. I’m so deeply privileged to serve as one of the elders here in Broward. I got to tell you, I’m struggling big time. I, I miss being with you guys. I miss the opportunity to just to sit next to you to give you a hug. The other day, my granddaughter, who serves and serves my granddaughter, who attends Broward Christian Academy, sometimes gets a ride home with her grandma, Mamie Mary. And the other day when she went to the office to see Mama and get a ride home. She bumped into Sean Davis. Sean Davis also works here in the administration and in her and Sean have a special relationship. Sean used to play music for her and when she would come to visit, he would never buy the hands and dance with her like a little princess.
Sean is a prince to me.
Well, we can’t do that in covid-19. So now the social distance and they give each other virtual hugs and she grabs herself tight and she just squiggles a little bit.
And that’s what I want to do for you. I want to just hug each one of you and let you know how much I miss you. And I’m waiting for the day when we can come back together and be family right here in this building and worship God.
This morning, I want to briefly talk to you about special missions. This is the season of special missions. Some of you may say, well, what is special missions? Well, I’m glad you asked. A special mission is really a time where we get together as a church and we give to help our brothers and sisters in the international field. We’ve been asked as Florida churches to help out in South America, the southern coast of South America, as well as our Caribbean brothers and sisters closer to home here. That money is crucial to them. And so when we pull together to do this special mission season, usually it started in May. But because of covid, we’ve pushed back and we’re going to have our big day celebration by September 9th.
Some of you have already given some of you are struggling to figure out how you can give this year some of your thinking. What amount do I give? Well, last year we gave 10 times. And so that’s the ask this year, 10 times, 10 times a week, a contribution. Now, no, this isn’t in place. A weekly contribution.
This is an addition to it.
So it is a sacrifice, but it’s a worthy sacrifice because the churches that we support, we support them with that money by having evangelists, some Cantlay for their own. So we help support them by supporting their evangelist, some which I think is the lifeblood to our future of the church as campus ministries and some churches need the money just to be able to afford to come together and meet.
So we can think, man, times are tough.
Money’s tight, but I tell you, here in America, we are blessed in so many more ways than our brothers sisters are in other countries. So, yes, we’re asking for a sacrifice, but it’s a worthy sacrifice. It’s a sacrifice that makes a difference. First, Timothy, two, three.
It’s pleasing to God that all men come to know the truth.
We’re able to help them with that, with these finances. If you have questions about it, feel free to call the office, talk to anyone on staff, call the elders and we could talk to him further about it. There’ll be more announcements about how this funding helps these churches.
We thank you so much. God bless.
I’m really grateful for Tom and his leadership. Tom is their whole family actually are really great friends and just really loving people who have supported Andre and I for so long.
And I’m just really grateful for their service here in Broward. I also want to give you a heads up that right after our services, right after nine o’clock service and before our late service, we have an opportunity for anybody who might be looking for some answers about the Bible, about Jesus, about God. Maybe you just want to ask a curious question in a safe place. And that’s the Discover class. And so those take place right after our nine o’clock service at ten, twenty, five, ten thirty. And you can look for that on the resources page in on the Broad Church website. One last reminder here about the worship night that’s taking place again here at the building. And I know so many of us are looking forward to that. We know that some some maybe kind of tough weather is on the way here. And we don’t know exactly if that’s going to hit us or if it may not hit us. But please just be in prayer about how you can be ready for this, both physically and faithfully, and maybe be thinking about those who are in in your geographic area, your community groups, and just making sure that everybody is all set for this event come what may.
One last thing before we let you go. I wanted to say that we’re going to have a service for Andre’s mom, my mother in law, Gloria, here, and that’s actually going to be today. And it’s going to be at three o’clock. If you’re interested in joining, just know that the service will be in Spanish. But we’ll put some information in the chat. I think we have a couple of people that will be putting that in the chat. And then also, if you are part of the realm, if you can just go to Rome, connect and look for information there under that heading again, I just want to say thank you from my family, from all of us as family. We are really grateful that you joined us here today. And we just hope that, you know, like Josh said, that you will really live faithfully looking after the great example of Joseph. So take that with you this week and we hope to see you Friday no matter when it is. We’ll see you soon.