Dream Realization The T Factor
Sermon Summary
This message is the final message in a series on Joseph, who was one of Jacob’s 12 sons. Joseph had been given a dream by God when he was only seventeen years of age and now, in his late thirties, the dream is coming true. God’s dream for Joseph was certainly for Joseph, but it was not only for Joseph. The dream also had implications for his family, his homeland, as well as surrounding nations like Egypt. In other words, a large part of Joseph’s dream was used of God to save his family from starvation. Another huge part of the dream was to save the lives of thousands if not millions of Egyptians. The moral of the story for us today is that God’s dream has not changed. He still desires to save lives and he works through His people to do so. The Bible is very clear that God’s dream for any individual is also designed to build His Kingdom by saving the lives of others. This is true spiritually as we share the good news of God’s forgiveness through Christ, but is also true physically as Christians are involved in helping feed, clothe, and shelter those in need. Kevin Stratton, a missionary aviation pilot gave a perfect example of this as he shared a live testimony about his work in supplying missionaries in Haiti and The Dominican Republic.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. What were your thoughts as you listened to mission pilot Kevin Stratton share his story?

2. Did you realize the number of missionaries our denomination supports at home and around the world was so large? And then there are specialty missionaries like Kevin who work with groups like Missionary Flights International. While all of us can’t go, we can help send others, like Kevin, through our faithfulness to share our God-given blessings. Can you think of a little thing you could do to give a little extra towards the support of folks like Kevin? Discuss your thoughts. (Hint: One Smoothie a week instead of two, would equal around 20.00 a month or 240.00 per year, garage sale for missions, etc) Your turn!
2 Cor 8:12  For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
2 Cor 8:13  Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.
2 Cor 8:14  At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,
2 Cor 8:15  as it is written: "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little."

3. Have you ever considered how God’s dream for you might include something bigger than you and could potentially touch the lives of people you don’t even know? Why or why not?
2 Corinthians 5:17-20a
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

4. Joseph’s coat of many colors was stained by the blood of a goat to lead his father to believe he had been killed. Jesus’ clothing was stained by the blood of the lamb, his own blood and He literally died. However, He rose again. Baptism paints a beautiful picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Baptism is not what saves a person, but it is a very important step in declaring a person’s intent to leave their old life behind and live a new life for Christ! It is a first step towards including others in God’s dream for you by showing them what Jesus did for you on the Cross and how it has changed you on the inside. Share a little bit of your story of life change with us.
Romans 6:4-11
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin —
7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.


Full Sermon Notes

Dream Realization: The T Factor

God is so good!! Teaching our children to be excited about God and His love for them is a huge part of our mission here at Northshore Church. We want to transform worship, people and the world, but if we don't reach our children, the transformation ends with our generation. And it is my prayer that the leaders of Northshore Church never, ever forget, that God's dream is not just for us or our children, but for the world! In other words, not much has changed since the days of Joseph and his coat of many colors. God gave Joseph an amazing dream and vision. However, that dream was not just for Joseph or his family. God's dream for Joseph included the nation of Israel, the foreign  nation of Egypt and other nations as well. In the past weeks we've talked about Joseph's God-given dreams and how they collided with reality! Let's recap the dreamer's story.

Joseph's brothers hated him and sold him into slavery. "Let's see how your dream of greatness works out for you now!" Joseph was then sold by the slave traders to an Egyptian named Potiphar. Joseph could have just given in to the dream killers of depression and despair, but not Joseph! In spite of his circumstances, he worked hard for Potiphar and was put in charge of the entire household. Later, Potiphar's wife made advances toward Joseph and when he refused, Potiphar's wife accused him of a terrible crime and Potiphar in his anger had Joseph imprisoned.

Talk about a dream killer. Joseph, however, works hard again, earning the warden's deep respect, and Joseph becomes the chief trustee. At some point two of Pharaoh's closest aids offended Pharaoh and were imprisoned. Joseph was put in charge of them as well. Later they both had disturbing dreams and Joseph interprets them. The dreams came true just as Joseph had predicted and the cup-bearer was supposed to tell Pharaoh about Joseph's plight, but he forgot for two years. Joseph endured so much, but continued to trust God! Later, Pharaoh has a couple of bad dreams no one can interpret. The Cup Bearer remembers Joseph and Pharaoh has Joseph brought from prison. Joseph interprets the dreams and Pharaoh is so impressed he makes Joseph his right hand man, second in command only to him!

The first part of Pharaoh's dream comes true and there are seven years of amazing harvest. Joseph instructs each town to build storage facilities and to set aside a portion of the crops each year. They do so. Later a severe famine begins. It will last seven years, but just two years into the famine. Joseph's family who lived in Canaan, ran out of food and his brothers were sent to buy food from Egypt. It's an amazing story of how Joseph's dreams he had when he was only seventeen years old, were now coming true.
If you missed the last few weeks of this series, thanks to the hard work of some amazing volunteers, you can go back and listen or watch on the website. Or you can read the story yourself in the book of Genesis.

I've already mentioned, God had used the dream, not only for Joseph, but for Joseph's family as well. But the dream was even bigger than Joseph's family. It had to do with God's plans for the nation of Israel, and His hopes to even reach out to the Egyptians. Listen to these words in Gen. 41

Genesis 41:53-57
53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end,
54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.
55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”
56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt.
57 And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world.

This is such an amazing passage of Scripture! Not only had Joseph's God-given dream come true, the interpretation Joseph had given concerning Pharaoh's dreams was now coming true. And because of Joseph's wisdom to set aside and store food during the seven good years, there was plenty to go around during the seven years of famine! So here you have a little Hebrew boy, one of twelve brothers, who God uses to literally save thousands, if not millions of lives. Joseph had a dream that he would some day be a great leader, but I'm sure there were many times he had his doubts.

Was it just a dream? No! God had a plan, and that plan was for Joseph to be used of God to save lives during the famine, but there were deeper implications. Do you realize what a big deal it was for the Egyptian people to cry out to Pharaoh and for Pharaoh to instruct them to go to Joseph? Pharaoh was considered a god to the Egyptian people, and yet he tells them to turn to a Hebrew named Joseph. This brings us to the T Factor of Joseph's God-given dream. It wasn't just about Joseph, the U  factor (YOU), or his family, the W factor (WE),  it was about the T factor (THEY)!
 

Joseph never forgot the T factor. Years later, after his father Jacob, also known as Israel, passed away, Joseph reminds his brothers of the T factor. Listen...

Genesis 50:15-21
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?”
16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died:
17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father. ” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. ” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

"Saving many lives!" God's mission hasn't changed! God has given Northshore Church a dream, a mission, a vision! We seek to transform worship, people and the world. We desire to raise up a healthy church that will impact the north shore and ultimately the world with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ! We do this in many ways. One way is by supporting missionaries through our gifts to the cooperative program of the Southern Baptist Convention.

A portion of our tithes an offerings each week go to support 4,810 foreign missionaries and more than 5,000 missionaries serving in the U.S., Canada, and the U.S. territories. We also support other missionaries through our Christmas Giving Catalogue. One of those missionaries is here this morning. Kevin Stratton, a Missionary Aviation Pilot with Missionary Flights International. They fly missionaries and supplies to Haiti and The Dominican Republic several times each week.

I've asked Kevin to come this morning and share with us. He can relate to Joseph in several ways. He's a dreamer also, and God uses him every week for the saving of many lives! Kevin, come share with us.

(Kevin’s testimony can be heard on the podcast or the video cast on the website)

What a powerful testimony! Now do you see just how important it is for us be on mission for Christ? It's real people we are supporting with our tithes, offerings, and special gifts like the Christmas giving catalogue. It's real people, real lives they are saving! Now, let me make another connection for you. Jacob lost his son for 22 years. He thought Joseph had been killed. Twenty two years was a terrible loss, but that loss ended up saving Jacob, his sons, their wives, and his grandchildren!

There was once another Father who lost His Son in order to save lives. But actually, He didn't lose Him, He sent Him! Listen...

John 3:16-17
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

And by the way, Jesus was very much a willing participant. Saving lives was his mission! Listen...

John 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

And how did He do it? Well, remember Joseph's coat of many colors. His brothers slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood to make it appear he had died. Jesus' Robe was stained with the blood of a Lamb, The perfect Lamb of God, His very own blood.

And Jesus really did die! Why, was this necessary?

Hebrews 9:11-14
11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.
14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

And what does serving the Living God look like? Well, it has to do with the T Factor. We are supposed to care about those who Jesus died to save. They should matter to us. It's not just about you and me, but it's also about them!

2 Corinthians 5:14-21
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Wouldn't it be beautiful, if we had some way to paint a picture of what Jesus did for us on the Cross and how we are now clothed in the righteousness of God and are a new creation, because the old has gone and the new has come? Wouldn't that be a master piece? Well, I'm excited to tell you there is a way to paint that picture. It's through the waters of baptism. And we have some folks coming this morning to do this. As they make their way to the front, let me explain. You see, water doesn't wash away our sins, it's the blood of Jesus that takes away sin. Baptism is a beautiful way to show this. It is a reenactment of the Crucifixion.

When you step into the water it is a picture of Jesus stepping into this world and onto the cross to die for your sins. When you go under, it is a picture of the burial of Jesus. When you come up, it is a picture of Jesus' resurrection from the grave!

But it is also an outward expression of an inward experience! It is our public profession of faith in Jesus as our Savior. It is a picture of how we have buried our old selfish way of life, and have been raised to walk a new life in Christ. God's Word says it best...

Romans 6:4-11
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin —
7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.