Saturday, April 24, 2010

Potiphar’s House Blessed By Joseph’s Presence

By Odon Bulamba (5th July 2002)

Genesis 39: 1-6. We can see by reading these verses that Joseph was in another country, a country foreign to his mother tongue and away from his family. He had no friends, no parents and no belongings; it was just him and His God.

As Christians we are also pilgrims on this earth, and God is our witness to everything we do. We know that our physical parents are like close friends to us, but one day we might have to leave them.

By grace Potiphar had great joy with Joseph in his house. Why did Potiphar buy Joseph? When you buy someone to work in your house you have to feed them, clothe them and find them somewhere to sleep, so before buying a servant or slave you must consider all these things. Potiphar accepted to buy Joseph and support him all his life.

How many times as Christians have we decided to take someone’s life on our account? How many times have we helped with people’s needs? You might not be able to give them financial support but there is something you can do, that is pray for them, visit them and comfort them, and there are many other ways to share the load. Many people think that it is not their job or calling and they think it belongs to someone else.

One day I talked with a friend who said to me, “I have a friend that wants to live with Michael because where my friend lives is not good, and I wanted to ask you if we could send him to Michael’s place because Michael accepts everyone”. So why does this brother ask Michael and not others? Why don’t we have 5 minutes to pray for others?

The Bible says that Potiphar was a man Pharaoh trusted, so what does trust mean? Who can be trusted? Can you trust a thief? Can you trust a murderer? Can you trust a drug-addict? No, because you are not sure that this person can be responsible for his actions, so you trust someone when you know the person is able to look after himself.
Pharaoh trusted Potiphar. How many times do Christians doubt each other? How many times do you doubt when people tell you something? Do you trust what they are saying? As Christians we must know how to trust others, but above all we must trust God and for God to trust us.

Who did God trust in the Bible? Abraham and David? So what about you today does God trust you? Do you know if God trusts you in what you are doing on this earth? If not what are the obstacles from God trusting you? What are the responsibilities that God gave you? If God trusts you, He will give you something.

When I was a scout I had a friend who use to specialize in stealing chickens, and every time we felt like chicken we would send him to steal one. We could trust him to do the job but it was an evil trust. Sometimes as Christians we encourage our brothers or children to do evil. We must be careful and know how to trust each other. It is like a parent who suspects their child smokes. When the father comes home from work and smells cigarette, he instantly thinks it is his child. But what if it was his wife, or maybe it was a visitor. Because he trusts his thoughts he starts judging his child. We must be careful with our thoughts and really think before we speak.

The Bible says that everything Joseph did in Potiphar’s house was successful, so do you think Joseph succeeded when he was taken away from his family? As human beings we go through hard times, but God calls these hard times a success for us. We might find it hard physically but in God’s eyes He sees success. We might be tortured, judged, or condemned, but God sees it as an accomplishment. So when we go through a hard time we must not complain but we must glorify God for it because later you will see the fruit.

Many husbands complain about their wives and many wives complain about their husbands, often they say it is hard to live with her, but I tell you that this is success. Keep praying without complaining and turn your eyes towards God, for He is God and He will do something.

When Joseph was living in Potiphar’s house Potiphar saw something different, why? Because Joseph was with God and God was with Joseph. Everywhere we go, even if we are the guests, if God is with us we will make a difference, but if God is not with us we will not make a difference.

A few weeks ago I visited a nightclub for 10 minutes. What people were doing they wouldn’t dare to do it in front of their parents. The young people were proud of drinking and dancing with each other, but I found someone who was quietly observing others. She was about 16 years old and I went up to her and said “hello, why don’t you drink alcohol?” She said, “no I don’t do that, someone invited me here but he is over there doing stuff”. So I asked her if she smoked but she said she couldn’t stand the smell of it.

Many people are Christians but they do things like pagans, and today it is hard to discern between pagans and Christians. Joseph made a difference, so why don’t we make a difference in everything we do? Paul said it is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me, so if Jesus lives in you, why can’t Jesus be seen? Christians today look like the devil to the point that people want to flee from them.

The only consequence Potiphar had when living with Joseph was happiness, so do we give joy to those we live with, or do we bring hatred and slander into their lives? The Bible says that joy is the fruit of the spirit, if you don’t show joy you show the opposite, so what is the opposite to joy? Sadness. One day I was really joyful so I decided to visit a family who I hadn’t seen for some time. I knocked on the door and the wife answered, we said hello to each other but she looked at me as if I had killed her husband. I looked at her and asked if she had a problem but she denied it. From here my joy disappeared. I asked myself what evil have I done to her? Is there a problem in this family? So I left.

As Christians we cross the same situation, when we have a problem we let others know. If you have a problem with your husband fix it up, if you have a problem with your children deal with it, but don’t show your visitors that there are problems. Try to sort out your problems with the people you live with and joy will be with you. If you bring joy into someone’s life you will be a great friend, and considered valuable in his heart, but if you steal a person’s joy you’ll lose room in their heart and it will be a sad situation. If you add to much chilli in your meal and your child eats it, be sure that he will cry, and because you cannot take out the flavor, you have to find a solution because a child needs to eat. It is the same thing when you break people’s hearts, and it is the same thing when you shock people with what you say. Adding too much spice will destroy the meal and it will be ruined. But praise God for grace because we can fix the problem by forgiving and forgetting the past and starting something new for the future.

Potiphar loved Joseph and he trusted Joseph with his goods, so what do you take care of in the kingdom of God? What do you control in your life? Do you control your tongue? Do you control your soul? Do you control your good and evil actions? Do you control your behavior? Do you control your money? Do you control the chairs in your house? What do you and don’t you control in your life? If you have never thought about it you better start. We all have cars and every 6 months we have to get a warrant of fitness, and if something is wrong with your car you will not get it, so why don’t we have a warrant of fitness for our souls or lives? It is better to have a warrant of fitness for our souls because we don’t have to pay any money; all you have to do is just sit alone at night and think about what you did during your day. If you were with Peter or Patrick ask yourself, what evil have I done and what good have I done with them? Then weigh things up, if it is against Kelly pick up the phone and explain to her that what you did was not good, and with Jesus’ love ask her to forgive you. Then you will start to a new relationship.

Because of Joseph the entire country was prosperous, so do you think prosperity is in your family because of you? Doing the little things in life Joseph with God’s presence was lifted up high in Egyptian society. At Hamilton’s immigration center there is an old lady who is a receptionist, when you go there be sure that you will waste 20 minutes because she is lower than a turtle. When your English is sick you achieve nothing, so you try the next day hoping she won’t be there. Because of her presence some people feel uncomfortable. Do people feel comfortable with us when we visit friends?

There was a lady from University who invited me over to her place. By looking at her garden you would think it was a zoo that had been neglected. So with courage I knocked on the door and she opened it, I looked inside and it was horrible. She was marking our work on the table that had smelly clothes on it and dirty dishes that looked like they had been sitting there for days. I felt sick and uncomfortable in her house. Because I was a student I had no right to tell her to do this and that, if I told her that her house was a mess, what do you think she would do? She would fail me. In these situations we must think before acting. If someone has a dirty bed, go and buy a new one for her because our actions will speak instead of our mouths. This is the problem with Christians today; we are ready to speak but not ready to act so we must learn good actions before speaking.

Because of Joseph’s actions the country benefited a lot. Joseph controlled everything in Potiphar’s house; from his children to his servants. Joseph could do and say anything for the glory of God. What about you, how many times do you talk about other people’s children except your own? We are always willing to control other people’s houses except our own. When you are able to control your own house, only then can you help or control other houses. When you give birth to a child in Zaire this child doesn’t belong to you but the nation, and if your child does something wrong your neighbor has the right to punish the child.

As Christians today we always want to protect our children from evil. If someone tells you that your child did this and that you say, I will deal with it when I get home. But when you get home you think about what this person has said and you say to yourself they should mind their own business. Once the child reaches 15 or 16 years of age the parents will not be able to control them anymore.

There was a mother driving in town one day and her daughter was in the back seat kissing a guy, the mother looked at the daughter but she ignored her. The mother took courage to speak to her but the daughter gave her the fingers. Do you think if this child were taught from childhood she would have done that to her mother? I don’t think so. Sometimes we protect our children like eggs, if there is a danger of sin or that egg breaks we will pay for it. When you smoke it is not only you at risk, but people around you are also at risk of becoming sick. If you don’t bring your children up well your neighbors will know, you may tell them your child is good but remember that they have eyes and a brain. So let us live like Joseph in Potiphar’s house so it can be a blessing to others and a good ground to bear fruit. Let us forget about everything around us and turn our eyes towards God and we will see what God will do.

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