Jim Graff: Life has areas that we have to rule over if we want to reign – Victoria Advocate

Jim Graff: Life has areas that we have to rule over if we want to reign - Victoria Advocate

I recently set a goal to lose 10 pounds. And my wife is always on board to help. Let me explain.

I was home studying on Saturday not long ago and got hungry. My wife usually makes me a healthy snack but she got busy working upstairs.

So, I decided to make one myself. I found some crackers and loaded them with butter and strawberry jam. It was one of my favorite snacks as a kid.

Just as I’m about to take a bite, I heard the pitter patter of her steps. She took one look at the mile high butter and I knew I was in trouble. My snack quickly turned into a plate of crackers and hummus.

She reminded me that, “faith without work is dead.” And as much as I didn’t like it, I knew she was right.

Fulfilling dreams isn’t easy. Life has areas that we have to rule over if we want to reign. In scripture, we find five crowns God calls us to wear. Crowns represent authority we’ve been given. Joseph was a man in the Bible who wore his crowns well. He chose to reign and saw God’s reward. Let’s learn how.

Joseph was his father’s favorite and had a coat to prove it. Scholars believe it was because he was to be the next spiritual leader of his family. But this didn’t make it easy on Joseph.

His brothers hated him and sold him into slavery in Egypt. Betrayal, anger, disappointment and loneliness were emotions he had to fight through to fulfill God’s plan. But he did. Paul reminds us that ruling over our flesh is necessary to gain God’s win. And when we do, we receive a lasting crown — one that’s eternal.

Joseph also stayed the course in a culture that brought opposition. He was accused of doing wrong even when he did right. But he didn’t give up and God prospered him. Culture will bring pressure to all of us, but God’s way always wins. And how we handle opposition will influence us and our world. For all who live with consecrated faith, God promises a crown of life.

From the palace to prison — but Joseph wasn’t alone. God was working in him and for him.

And Joseph trusted that. God helped him interpret dreams and find favor with Pharoah. He eventually became ruler over all Egypt. Choosing faith over fear, prayer over panic and courage over compromise keeps God working. There’s a crown of victory for those who persevere under pressure.

God blessed Joseph like he did, so he could save people — even his own family. And they were no angels. But Joseph forgave and kept working for their good.

Kind of like God does with us. Our imperfections provide opportunities for us to keep believing in and helping each other grow. There’s a crown of glory for all who help mature others in God.

Joseph never stopped fearing God and he finished strong. And we can too. For all who keep the faith and don’t quit, there’s a crown of righteousness — where God eternally rewards us. Reigning well causes us to be rewarded well — that’s no fairy tale. Because “His is the Kingdom, power and glory forever. Amen.”

Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit myffc.com.

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About the Author: Eugene Berry