Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

Genesis 39:1-12

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.

Message Notes

1. Excellence shines in the most difficult times.

Excellence doesn’t change with circumstances. Excellence doesn’t make exceptions.

I find it easy to be motivated to do my best when everything is right. The real test is when everything is going against me.

Col 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

2. God blesses what we give him.

Psalm 90:17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.

3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.

Joseph in the most difficult of times continued to do what was right and God was able to bless his obedience.

3. Excellence doesn’t require applause.

8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

Excellence can never be the slave to approval.

We oftentimes gauge or progress by how many people are applauding us.

When we are committed to a life of excellence we have to be able to transition the silent moments.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

  1. Give your definition of excellence.
  2. What does excellence look like in your job?
  3. Are you less motivated to pursue excellence when things are tough?
  4. Give some examples of work that God can bless.
  5. Is the pursuit of excellence easier when people are applauding?
  6. Have you ever had to transition the silence or disapproval of others to pursue excellence?