Discipline – Gospel in Life


Tim Keller |  June 22, 2003

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  • God the Father
  • Redemption
  • God's Love
Genesis 42:1-9; 45:1-9
RS 160-3

Genesis 42:1–9; 45:1–9

The story of Joseph is about how God can turn things around. Joseph went from being a slave to the second most powerful man in Egypt, using his position to protect his family and his people from hunger. The story shows us that God is always at work, even when we don’t see Him, and it makes us think about how God works and what He can do.

1. What is God doing?

Joseph and his brothers didn’t have the best upbringing, but God was like the perfect dad to them, using “paideia” or loving discipline to help them grow. This kind of discipline isn’t about punishment, but about helping us become better people. When we read Romans 8:28, it reminds us that God can use even the hard things in life to make us more like Jesus, if we trust Him and look inside ourselves.

2. How is God doing it?

When Joseph deals with his brothers, he combines honesty with kindness. He makes them see their mistakes, but also gives them hope. His goal isn’t just to say “I forgive you,” but to help them heal and become better. This is like what God does for us: He accepts us and forgives us, then uses our problems to help us heal and grow from the inside out.

3. Why can God do it?

God’s love for us is so deep, it led Jesus to die for us on the cross. This bridges the gap between us and God. We can’t make this change in ourselves, no matter how hard we try or how much we do. Instead, we should see our struggles as chances to grow, like muscles growing stronger in the gym. Even when things are hard, God is still working out His plan, as we see in Joseph’s life. This shows us that even our problems can help us fulfill our purpose, and that God has a sense of humor. We should thank Him for His love and guidance, even when times are tough.



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