When they hit a patient with those paddles on Chicago Med, they almost always get that heart going again. My EMT friends tell me that it’s a lot tougher in real life, and it’s even tougher to resuscitate a church that’s gone into cardiac arrest. One of my pastor friends has been at it for over five years now and is beginning to see evidence of life. The strongest encouragement he is getting is from two young pastors working at his side. And instead of resisting their enthusiasm, strength, and new ideas, my friend is cheering them on. He’s rare. Older pastors can become jealous of the young bucks coming on and try to shut them down.
As we’ve seen, Stephen went from serving tables to performing signs and wonders. He was the hot new leader in the Jesus movement and as he stood before the Sanhedrin, he knew that just as the religious leadership had crucified Jesus because they were jealous of His mass appeal, he was facing the same green monster. Look at how he used the Joseph story in their Scriptures to subtlety remind them that jealousy was not a character trait for the good guys in the Story.
“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him into Egypt, but God was with him. He rescued him from all of his trials and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, King of Egypt. The King installed him ruler over Egypt and over his entire house.
Now a famine struck the entire land of Egypt and Canaan bringing great suffering. Our fathers could not find food, and when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers for their first visit. On the second visit Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers and even Pharaoh found out that Joseph had reconnected with his family.
Joseph sent for Jacob, his father, and all his relatives, seventy-five in all. Then Jacob went down to Egypt where both he and our fathers died. And their bodies were transferred to Shechem and buried in the tomb Abraham purchased from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain amount of silver.” Acts 7:9-16
Joseph was not sold into Egypt because he was an arrogant, tattletale teen. He was the good guy in the Story. His brothers were the bad guys and the reason they sold Joseph into slavery was because of their jealousy, not because he needed discipline in slavery and then in prison in Egypt. Go back and check out the details of the story for yourself in Genesis 37.
LORD, I pray for my friend today to have special wisdom from your Spirit as he mentors the two young pastors working with him. Thanks for his example and guide me as I mentor younger pastors as well. Destroy any seeds of jealousy before they take root.
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