Message: Hopeful Faithfulness in Prison
Preacher: Tim Gillespie*
Reflection: Sam Millen
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Ame Fowler
Live Beyond: Chelsea Mensink
Live Purpose: Emily Ellis
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
*The guest speaker at Boulder Church on Sabbath, July 13, is choosing to preach on a different topic. If you would like to engage with a sermon that corresponds to the Daily Walk, you may watch Tim Gillespie preach about Joseph online.
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Genesis 41:41-49 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Two months ago, when travelling to a graduation on the other side of the country, my roommate insisted I take the bed. He was happy to sleep on the floor. It was a noble gesture, and I couldn’t convince him to switch (although I must admit, I didn’t try very hard!). His recent retirement as a commodore in the United States Navy made this sleeping arrangement even more remarkable. Now a vice president of product development in the corporate world, this guy slept in a walk-in closet, while I had a large comfortable bed. He had risen through the ranks as an accomplished fighter pilot, with 500 aircraft carrier landings (I don’t even have one!), and ended his distinguished military career a year ago, just shy of an admiral ranking. As I observed him over multiple days of events, I noted he consistently volunteered to park vehicles so the rest of the group wouldn’t have far to walk, and he always held the doors for everyone. I finally told him, based on everything I had witnessed, that he was the epitome of a servant leader. He smiled sheepishly (the humble guy he is) and told me the best leadership class he took at the National War College was taught by an army chaplain, and the theme was servant leadership.
Jesus was a servant leader. In John 13, Jesus told His bewildered disciples:
You call me “Teacher” and “Lord,” and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. (Verses 13-17)
Joseph was a good servant, the best servant he could be. I believe this prepared him to become the best leader he could be. Like my roommate, and ultimately, just like Jesus, Joseph was a servant leader.
Recalibrate: Whom do you admire the most in a leadership position? What makes him or her a good leader?
Respond: Today, send a note of encouragement to someone in a leadership position. (I sent an email thanking the general manager at the resort where I work part time. Today I needed help with an overwhelming situation, and he was there instantly.)
Research: Read Philippians 2:1-11.
Remember: “So the king said to Joseph, ‘God has shown you all this. There is no one as wise and understanding as you are’” (Genesis 41:39, ICB).
Sam Millen is the pastor at Anacortes Adventist Fellowship in Washington State. After living in five countries on three continents (and five states), he feels at home on Orcas Island with his wife and three kids.
With your child, make a game of doing the stuff around your home that needs to be done. Do the cushions need to go on the couch? Let’s pick them up together. Do the clothes need to be folded? Let’s do that together. Does the dishwasher need to be emptied? Let’s do that together. Know that whatever you have to do today, God is saying, “Let's do this together!”
Have you ever been given a bunch of candy for Christmas or Easter? Do you eat it all at once? Or save some for another day? Think about how God helped Joseph plan for the famine. Joseph made sure the people started storing food right away. They gathered so much food that they stopped counting it! Pour some Cheerios into a bowl and count them. Get a piece of string or yarn and make a chain with them. Think about God providing food for all of Egypt and its neighbors. Think about some things you are thankful for and say “thank you” to Jesus.
When Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, it was all about a horrible famine that was coming in seven years. But Joseph had a brilliant plan to save the people of Egypt and anyone in the surrounding lands. He had a great idea because he listened so closely to God’s quiet voice. And Joseph made sure everyone knew that his amazing idea was from God.
It is easy to take credit for anything great we say or do. We want people to think we are talented, wise, kind, and amazing. But anything we do is because God gave us those gifts and we need to remember to give Him credit and thank Him for them. He will bless us far beyond what we can imagine. What is one of your talents that you can credit as a gift from God?
It is so interesting how quickly people can turn against you. Haven’t you noticed how one day people can be treating you well and then almost in an instant they ignore you and pretend like you aren’t there? I’ve had this happen to me a few times and it is quite awkward. Bottom line is that people are unpredictable, and Joseph experienced this when he was in Egypt. He went from slave to trusted household servant to prisoner—and then from prisoner to second highest in the kingdom. But through it all, he decided to keep God at the center of his life. He chose to find his completeness in who God was instead of in what other people were saying or doing to him. I think this is a good lesson for us because people will say all sorts of things about us or will act indifferent to us one day and welcome us with open arms the next. That is why it is so important that we get our worth and value from God alone. How do we do that? Spend some time claiming verses in the Bible that talk about identity in Christ and believe that what God is saying about you is true! No one else can make you feel content and happy; that is something only God can do.
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development for ages 0-17. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
Ame Fowler has fifteen years of youth and children’s ministry experience and has served as a leader with TOP kids. She and her husband enjoy ministry through coffee, and live in Chattanooga, TN.
Chelsea Mensink serves as the family ministries director at Crosswalk Church in Redlands, California. She is a delightful and talented children’s pastor who just oozes fun and love like a squished Twinkie.
Emily Ellis is a junior studying theology at Walla Walla University and interning at the Eastgate Seventh-day Adventist Church.