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Joseph Shows Love - Younger Student
In February, lots of people celebrate Valentine’s Day! Some people show friends or family love with candy, cards, or other things. Today, we will discover Bible facts about Joseph who showed his love to his family even though his family had treated him badly.
In Genesis 37, we learn about a boy named Joseph. He was kind of a tattle-tale who liked to brag. Added to that, his daddy, Jacob, treated Joseph better than all of Joseph’s brothers.
Joseph’s older brothers “hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.” Gen. 37:4b
When Joseph was 17, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave! He would have to go far away to Egypt with people he didn’t know!
Joseph had to go through some very difficult times in Egypt. In fact, Joseph even had to go to prison for a while even though he hadn’t done anything wrong. In time, through God’s blessings, Joseph became the second most important person in the entire country of Egypt.
About 20 years later, the only food in the whole area was in Egypt, and Joseph was in charge of deciding who would get the food.
Joseph’s brothers needed food. They went to Egypt and were brought to Joseph. Joseph knew who they were, but Joseph looked very different. His brothers didn’t recognize him.
Joseph could have gotten back at his brothers by refusing to sell them food. Instead, Joseph decided to show love to his brothers. Joseph made sure that his brothers had food. Joseph also brought all of his family to Egypt and made sure they had everything they needed.
Joseph loved his brothers very much. Did you know that God loves you even more than Joseph loved his brothers? It’s true. God loves us as if we are his children because that is what we are.
1 John 3:1a See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called
children of God; and so we are.
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Love? - Older Student
When we hear “LOVE,” we often think of holding hands, a fluttery feeling in our hearts, etc. However, the Bible usually talks about love being something we do, not something we feel.
The Bible says, “let us not love in word or talk but in deed [doing stuff] and in truth” (1 John 3:18b).
We are all okay with doing nice things for our friends, but Jesus says we should also, “Love [our] enemies” (Matt. 5:43). What!? Does Jesus know how totally annoying some people are? Does Jesus expect us to show kindness to people who are mean to us?
Jesus had brothers and sisters, so he probably understands about annoying people. Added to that, Jesus was killed on the cross, and he didn’t even do anything bad! Just before he was killed, “Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1b).
Should we continue to spend time with someone who hurts us? Absolutely not. You can love your enemies from a distance by praying for them. When Saul was trying to hurt David, God helped David escape and stay away from Saul (1 Sam. 19).
Most of our “enemies” aren’t really harming us. God isn’t telling us that we have to be best friends with them, but we are to do our best to be kind to them.
1 Cor. 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all
things, endures all things.
You may think you can’t possibly love some people. You’re right. None of us are strong enough to pray for and/or be kind to certain folks by ourselves, but we can do the impossible with God’s power.
Lastly, WHY love our enemies? Umm, God says to love enemies, but we also benefit from being kind to our enemies. Praying for those who have done wrong helps us to let go of some of the anger and hurt, which makes our lives better. Believe it or not, sometimes, you might be able to work out the problem and have another friend.
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