Waynedale United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Jan 24, 2016 Sermon

“Dreams”
Genesis 37:1 – 11
Ted Jansen  January 24, 2016  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        Joseph’s journey was a path that he did not choose but was used by God for a unique purpose.  We discover four special gifts that Joseph was given in his life.  As we look at these four I want to focus on one gift, the gift of dreams.      
a.)        Joseph was given a special coat.  This was given to him by his father because he was the youngest child of Jacob.  It was a special ornamental coat, perhaps with many colors.  Joseph appreciated being surrounded in this coat.  He knew that he was loved by his father. 
            You are clothed by a Father who loves you.  May the many colors that surround your life be God’s gift to you to enjoy.  Be loved.     
b)         Joseph was given a special gift of having dreams and discerning dreams.  God gave this to Joseph, though it was a gift that he might not have understood.  Joseph shared his dreams readily and quickly.    
You have been given dreams within you by God.  There are things inside your spirit, soul, mind, heart that are trying to be expressed.  The dreams that are a part of your life can be new and real at any age or stage.  We read in Acts that when the Spirit of God comes “your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17)  All ages will dream.   
c.)        Joseph was given a special gift of leadership.  We read in Genesis 41 that God had placed Joseph in Egypt (after he was sold by his brothers) in a place of leadership.  A famine was coming and Joseph realized ahead of time in a dream that he needed to hold on to the grain to be able to feed people during the famine.  Joseph was able to care for Egypt as well as Jacob’s family because he led the people to prepare.     
You have spiritual gifts that are to be used for the Lord.  Do you know your spiritual gift?  Are you using it?  As you understand the needs in your family, in your church, in this community, may your gifts be used to help the Kingdom of God.   
d.)        Joseph was given a special gift of faith in God.  Joseph was sold as a slave and grew up in a foreign land.  He did not hold this against his brothers.  Though Joseph was not liked by his brothers and endured hardship, prison, false accusation, and all sorts of suffering he had faith and trust in God.  Joseph was not bitter or unforgiving towards his brothers.  This was because of his faith in God.     
You are invited to express your faith in God in times that are tough to have faith.  We dare to believe that God is working things out for good in our lives.  There have been times in my life when I have believed that “if God was really paying attention to me my life would be better!”  Can I have faith that is right where I am today in the place that God needs me?  Joseph had faith!    
            Let us focus on Joseph’s dreams and how our dreams are a part of life.   
 
2.)        Joseph had two dreams that he shared with his brothers and his family that are in Genesis 37:5 – 9.  Joseph’s first dream was about a field and his brother’s sheaves of grain all bowing down to Joseph’s sheave of grain.  The brothers did not like the dream or Joseph when they heard this.     
            Joseph had another dream about the sun, moon and eleven stars that were all bowing down to him.  When Jacob, Joseph’s father, heard this dream he rebuked Joseph and said, do you think your brother and mother and I will bow down to you?  (Genesis 37:10)  
            This dream caused his brothers to be jealous and not like him.  The brothers did not understand the dreams of Joseph.
            We read these words in verse 11, “His brothers were jealous of him, but, his father kept the matter in mind.”  Jacob, Joseph’s father, kept this idea of Joseph and his dreams in his mind.
Do you remember what happened to Jacob years ago when he was on a journey?  He had a dream.  Jacob’s dream was of stairs, angels, and God.   When Jacob woke up from the dream he knew that the Lord was present.   Jacob knew that dreams are a part of life and can come from God.  
 
3.)        Did anyone have a dream that they can remember?  Sometimes we can remember them and sometimes we cannot.   They are interesting. What do we know about dreams?  Here is some basic information about dreams that I discovered.      
            We all have dreams.  We might have 3, 5 or up to 7 dreams each night.  We generally have dreams during our REM sleep.  REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is the deepest type of sleep.  This type of sleep is when our brains are active as our body rests.  When we dream all sorts of thoughts, ideas, concepts, people, etc. come together and are expressed in our dreams.  Some people have tried to analyze dreams and what they mean.   
            In Christian history dreams were acknowledged as important and vital.  Then when rational thought became popular some Christians, like Martin Luther, believed that since dreams were not rational and could not be controlled that dreams were evil.  People thought that the devil could interject evil thoughts while you were sleeping and these would be your dreams.  Dreams could not be chosen, therefore they were of the devil.  Today there is still a sense of mystery but openness that God can speak to us in our dreams.    
            Dreams can be when you are asleep but they can also be when you are awake and you let your mind wander to the future.  When someone is accused of daydreaming, this is seen as a negative thing.  Yet, we all realize that we need dreamers in our lives.    
 
4.)        A few dreamers came to mind who envisioned a different future.  Bill Gates was a dreamer.  He dreamed of a world of computer software.  Steve Jobs was a dreamer.  He envisioned communication and listening devices that were different.  Mark Zuckerberg was a dreamer.  He dreamed of a world of connecting people together and sharing life.   Henry Ford was a dreamer.  He dreamed of automobiles that could be used by the masses.  Alexander Fleming was a dreamer.  He dreamed of a world where people could be healthy and treated with a medicine he developed called Penicillin.   Orville and Wilbur Wright were dreamers.  They dreamed of a world where people could fly.  Who are some other women and men that were dreamers? 
 
5.)        Dreams are images, stories, stirrings, feelings, sounds, that we experience in our spirit.  A dream can transform and touch lives.   
            Dreams can be public or private.   (We might feel led to share them or to hold them.)
            Dreams can be known when we are awake or when we are asleep. 
            Dreams can be things we pursue, or we need to pause and consider them.
            Dreams can cause us to listen more, or to lead more. 
            Dreams can be personal, or they can be impersonal. 
            Dreams can be specific and they can be general. 
            Dreams can focus on the future or they paint a picture of our past. 
            Dreams can give us hope for tomorrow or they can discourage us if we believe we are bound by our past.     
 
6.)        Martin Luther King preached a message called, “I have a dream” in 1963.  It is a powerful message about justice and the dream he had of all God’s children living together.    
            Martin Luther King had a compelling dream that caused him to move out of his own comfort to see his dream become real.  I wonder what he would think of our racial relationships today, some 53 years after he gave that speech.  Would he still have the dream if he was alive?       
             
7.)        Joseph was a dreamer.  His dreams became reality in his life. Joseph endured a lot of hardships yet he kept dreams alive. 
            What did Joseph do to keep his dreams alive?  I believe he remembered his coat and the father that loved him.  He continued to use his gifts where he was living. He had a strong faith in God in each step of his journey.  
 
8.)        What are your dreams?  Where is God intersecting your life with the plans of the Kingdom of heaven?  What stirrings of the Holy Spirit are being awakened in you? 
            As you think about your dreams be prepared for some new dreams.  Find a place that is dark, empty, and void.  Be still and allow your spirit to rest.  Be open to a message, a dream, a plan, a goal, a stirring of your spirit by the Holy Spirit.    
            When you get a dream from God enjoy it, and empower your dream.  Share your dream with others and let it surround you at first.  Then let the dreams of your life lead you. 
 
9.)        Did you know that you are here in this physical place, this sanctuary, because of a dream of some people?  This congregation started in 1903.  When did God’s dream start for this church?  Was it in 1902?  1901?  1900?  Who was the first dreamer?  At the beginning there was nothing, nothing but an idea, a concept, a plan, a dream for a congregation. 
            One person dreamed, then another person dreamed, then another person dreamed and the idea/dream had a life of its own. 
Soon a group of people were dreaming God’s dream together and a congregation was formed. We thank God for the dreamers of this congregation over 113 years ago!     
 
10.)      It is time to dream again.  Let the dreams for this congregation and this ministry be held in our heart and mind.  It is time to dream again … about your life, your faith, your family, your children, your grandchildren your future.  Let the dreams stir you!
            Can you dream of people who are drawing closer to God as they read scripture?  Can you dream of people who are getting closer to the Lord through Christian teaching?  Can you dream a dream about this church becoming a Prayer Center in our community?  Can you dream of a place and a people where needs are being prayed for?  Can you dream about miraculous answers to prayer?  Can you dream of a church that is financially healthy, spiritually healthy and relationally healthy?  Can you dream of a church that is filled with broken people who find healing, hope and love in their heart?     
            It is time to dream again.  Close your eyes so you are not looking at anything.  This allows your spirit to be open to a song, a word, an image…  Let your spirit hear the dream from the Holy Spirit about your journey and future.  Dream… Dream… Dream…