Called for Excellence. Genesis 39

September 8, 2021
Series: Joseph
Book: Genesis
Pastor Shine Thomas at City Harvest Assemblies of God Church bangalore

Speaker: Shine Thomas

Bible Passage: Genesis 39


Click for full sermon series on Joseph (Joseph the dreamer)

Introduction: Many people lead a very laid-back life. In other words, they love meritocracy. People work as little as they can, they do not want to attempt anything big. They work when someone is looking at them, but otherwise, they work as little as they can. God has called us for excellence. You may say, “Pastor everyone in my workplace is hardly working.” God does not bless mediocrity; God only blesses excellence. Here is the key, you are called to be excellent. You may be a teacher, a software engineer, a businessman, in the medical profession, working in an office, or a minister of God; God wants you to set the highest standard and excel.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if you are working for the Lord.

Ephesians 6:7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.

God is watching all that we do and we are in turn serving God in our work. Therefore, do it with excellence. Open your Bible to Genesis 39. Joseph is one among many in the Bible who excelled in whatever he did.

Joseph, one of twelve sons of Jacob, was hated by his brothers due to the preferential treatment he received from his aging father. When the brothers finally found Joseph alone, they stripped his robe and put him in an empty well. While they’re having a meal, Judah spots a caravan coming. He said, ‘What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come; let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites.’” Apparently, Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver. This was the average price for a male slave. The terrified teenager has been hoisted out of the pit, handed over to a group of Ishmaelite traders headed for Egypt. Joseph continues to plead with his brothers, yet they wouldn’t listen. Joseph descends from being a favored son, to being a slave. They have engaged in human trafficking.

In Egypt, Joseph was put into the slave market. Potiphar, an Egyptian officer, the captain of the Pharaoh’s bodyguard bought him from the Ishmaelites. That’s a very important position. He is the main guard of the greatest ruler in the ancient world. Joseph is sold once, now sold twice. Joseph now finds himself in a wealthy, prosperous home of a man with a very high position who interacts with the royalty of Egypt. He is gone from a caravan, to a palace.

It doesn’t take long for Potiphar to find out that Joseph is a very, very capable man. In Potiphar’s house Joseph’s goes from being a slave to a manager.

Genesis 39:4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.

Genesis 39:6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. This is how God wants us to excel. Once a project was given for Joseph, there was no reminder needed. He would finish it before time.

Soon Potiphar’s wife gets interested in Joseph and pesters him day-after-day for a physical relationship with him. Joseph refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day when Joseph went to the house to attend his duties, Potiphar’s wife, sensing no one was inside, caught him by his cloak and asked him to come to bed. Joseph left his cloak and ran out of the house.

She presented Joseph’s robe as evidence to Potiphar and charged with him attempted rape. Potiphar discharged Joseph from all duties and put him in prison.

While Joseph was there in the prison God granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. He had something in him that his seniors could note of. Genesis 39:22-23 23So the warden put Joseph in charge in all of those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

What we find in the life of Joseph is that he excelled wherever he went. Whatever happened to him or wherever life took him, he was very positive, very hard work, excelled in everything and had a never give up attitude.

Friends, you may be in a place today that you do not like, life would have taken you from victory to defeat, acceptance to rejection, you may not be happy with what is happening in and around your life. Let me tell you, no matter what has happened to you, you still can excel. You can excel in a foreign land, you can excel in a palace, and you can excel even in prison. We are called for excellence. 2 Corinthians 8:7 But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in the grace of giving.

How did Joseph excel? Now, for the people of the world, excellence is all about themselves – Study well, work hard, and somehow you will climb the ladder of success. I am here to tell you, we believers can excel higher than the people of the world, because we serve a God of excellence. Daniel, Moses, David, Jesus, apostle Paul are great examples who exceled in what they did.

God’s assurance for excellence

God is with us.

Genesis 39:2 The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered.

God is with us and he has called us to prosperity. We have the assurance that God is with us because of which we can excel. It is not our ability; it is God who makes us excel and prosperous.

The fact that God is with us is not only evident to us but others around us. Genesis 39:3 His master saw that the Lord was with him. When you work in the secular field or when a believer is doing a business, the people around can sense and see that God is with us.

Genesis 39:21 But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him, he showed him kindness.

What happens when God is with us?

  1. Success.

Genesis 39:3 His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did. God gives us success in everything we do.

Genesis 39:23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

  1. Favour.

God gives us favor with people.

Genesis 39:21 The Lord was with Joseph, he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.

Genesis 39:20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. Adultery was punishable in Egypt, certainly at that level, by capital punishment. Normally, someone who did that would be executed. The fact that he was not executed may indicate that though Potiphar was angry, he also knew his wife and had greater trust in Joseph. He gave Joseph the benefit of doubt. So, Joseph sent to prison. God gave Joseph favor with people.

This was a part of the prison where those employees who had violated the Pharaoh were placed, Joseph was put in the same prison.

  1. Others are blessed because of us.

Genesis 39:5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned; the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.

God’s assurance to excel you can be seen by your friends and colleagues. Believe it or not, your company is blessed because of you. A believer has God’s favor to excel in all circumstances of life. Once you are in Christ, you have everything in him to succeed, prosper, and excel.

Conclusion: God has called you for excellence. If Joseph can pull through his difficulties and fulfill the dream of his life, it is possible for all of us to excel in every area of our lives. Commit your life, family, career, spiritual life, ministry, and business to God. Tell God, I am not going to be mediocre but I am going to tap on your favor and work for excellence.