Sermon outline: This is an abbreviated outline with the complete sermon downloadable at the bottom of the post.
Text: Genesis 37:1–11
Title: Planned Preparations
Introduction: Much of Joseph’s early life consisted of God preparing him for what was to come. There was certainly a storm brewing on Joseph’s horizon, and the preparations to handle that storm were essential.
I. Growing Discernment
I took a piece of plastic clay,
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pursued it still,
It moved and yielded at my will.
It came of age when days were past,
And the piece of clay was hard at last,
The form I gave it, it still bore,
But I could change it no more.
I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded it with power and art,
A young child’s soft and yielding heart.
I came again when years were gone,
It was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress wore,
And I could change him never more.—Anonymous
Joseph was certainly like that piece of clay. Before he could wind up in the house of Pharaoh, he must first find himself spinning on the Potter’s wheel.
II. Gracious Dress
III. Glorious Dreams
Conclusion: Joseph was learning to discern—he would need this when pressured to conform to Egypt and to conceal potential wrong-doing.
He was willing to be different—he didn’t see his position as a favored son as a curse but as a blessing.
He was ready to dream—this would sustain him through some very difficult and challenging times.
All of these things were planned preparations from the hand of a knowing God. If you look at the struggles and challenges in your life as anything less than His “planned preparations” you will find yourself continually bitter, frustrated with your circumstances, and failing to dream.
Has God given you a “dream”? Then keep dreaming, keep praying, keep living with an eager anticipation of eventual fulfillment. Your day, like Joseph’s, will come.