March 2020: The Joseph Way
Last month we shared together in unconditional love. We recognized that God loves us and we should extend that love to others. This month, we will focus on a demonstration of that unconditional love.
**Note: You do not, unless you so desire, have to respond to this letter**
March: The Joseph Way
Monthly Focus: Showing Unconditional love
Key Verses: Galatians 13:4-8a; Ephesians 4:32
Memory Verse: Luke 6:31
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
You may have never heard the story of Joseph from the Old Testament. He was the baby brother of a descendant of Jesus’ who was loved deeply by his father Jacob (also referred to as Israel, because God changed his name). Although well loved by his Father, he was hated by his elder brothers. He experienced the ultimate betrayal as his brothers hate almost cost him his life. His brothers plotted against him and desired to kill him. They reasoned and decided to throw him in a pit, and later removed him from the pit to sell him into slavery. They returned a ripped, blood-stain coat to their father with a lie about him being overtaken by a large animal. It cost him a lot of turmoil and strife, along with an eventful set-up that left him second in command to the king (Genesis 37- 45).
Isn’t that amazing?! What men meant for evil, God used for good! That’s exciting news to know! No matter what we go through, God can always use it for our good because we love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
But that’s a side point. The Joseph way we’re discussing is the example he gave us in loving those that intentionally did him wrong. Joseph was in command over all King Pharaoh had in a time of famine in the land. Though his brothers plotted against him, they had to unknowingly come to him for the fate of their families. Can you imagine having to love in such a situation? Loving others the Joseph Way takes a few key elements that we’re going to break down so you can apply them to your own life.
Forgiveness – Joseph had to forgive his brothers for the wrong they did. There’s no way he could operate in that level of love and hold on to the offense of his brothers. Not only did he have to forgive, he couldn’t keep a record of the wrong.
Kindness – Joseph had to show kindness to his brothers. He could’ve been harsh, rude, belittling, and took any other passive aggressive behavior towards treating his brothers. Instead, he chose to show kindness and generosity towards his brothers.
Humility – Joseph acted in humility towards his brothers. He could’ve revealed who he was and boasted about his position and his possessions. He could’ve puffed up in pride and looked down on his brothers and treated them as less than because he had been elevated.
These are the main components of the The Joseph Way. He was able to demonstrate unconditional love in a way that communicated to his brothers there were forgiven, loved, and welcomed. But what about you? Who can you demonstrate The Joseph Way to this month? How can you be better at demonstrating unconditional love to those who you love, and to those who are not as easy to love?
Here are some noteworthy verses for your learning and reflection.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.