Posts Tagged 'life struggle'

Gems from Genesis: God Is Willing To Wrestle

Gems from Genesis: God Is Willing To Wrestle Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 32:22-31

The story is told of a scrawny kid in a small school with no wrestling program. He asked a football coach to enter him into regional matches, and the kid won every match because he wouldn’t let go. At the end of the season, this kid gets to state, and faces the two-time state champ. He’s about to get pinned; the coach can’t look. Next thing you know, the kid won! Coach asked how: kids says “that guy had me twisted like a pretzel, and I never give up. I saw a big toe, and bit into it with all my strength. Coach, it’s amazing what you can do when you BITE YOUR OWN TOE!”
Some reactions are surprising!

When God Shows Up…

Respond To The Struggle ~ Genesis 32:22-31

  • 27 Jacob says his name, grasper/deceiver; DON’T HIDE TRUTH
  • The Lord didn’t ask the question in order to get information, because He certainly knew Jacob’s name and that Jacob had the reputation of being a schemer and a deceiver. “What is your name?” meant, “Are you going to continue living up to your name, deceiving yourself and others; or will you admit what you are and let Me change you?” In the Bible, receiving a new name signifies making a new beginning. {Warren W. Wiersbe – Be Authentic (Genesis 25-20)}

Submit to God’s Changing You

  • 28 God changes our name; LIVE IN THE NEW YOU
  • One result of this meeting with God is that Jacob’s name is changed to Israel, which in the explanation given is connected with a Hebrew verb meaning “to contend with, strive.” As with Abraham in chapter 17, a new name indicates a new destiny. {Baker Commentary}
  • This applies to YOU as well: Isaiah 62 promises that God’s people will get a new name, and Revelation 2 confirms it: God knows your old name, but loves you enough to change it (and you)

Admit Who God Is To You

1 Peter 2:9 says:
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

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Lent: Our Struggle

Lent: Our Struggle Sermon Audio Here

Romans 8:6-11

When your engine making weird noises, or your computer is behaving strangely, or there’s a sudden change in health status; It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on internally!

Why Is The Spiritual Life A Struggle?

We’re Stuck With Two States ~ Romans 8:6-8

  • v6 “mind of the flesh” to live according to that state; “mind of the Spirit” to live in the state of the Spirit
  • v7 description of the meat-minded: hostile/OPPOSED; it wants its OWN way, not God’s, and it CAN’T choose God on its own!
  • v8 NOT merely “controlled by” but IN THE FLESH; there’s no separation. We do NOT have a neutral nature that is somehow influenced by a bad fleshly side and a good godly side

we are either living led by the Spirit, or we are quite literally meat-heads

We’re Settled By One Spirit ~ Romans 8:9

  • v9 IF the Spirit lives in you, you aren’t “of the flesh”; Spirit brings life and peace to the spiritually dead (God breathed the Spirit-becomes a living soul); CONVERSELY, if the life lived isn’t of the Spirit, that means the Spirit isn’t present = meat-minded

If a person can’t live led by the Spirit, they’re lost

We’re Saved To Serve Forever ~ Romans 8:10-11

  • v10 NOTE: your body is dead because of sin whether you have the Spirit or not; all flesh dies. The point Paul makes here is that even though your meat-tent will pass away, what is YOU, your SELF, doesn’t need to: when you allow the Spirit to make Your life His HOME, He brings you to life, KEEPS you alive, and produces His righteousness IN you to show you it works
  • v11 God’s Spirit OVERRIDES death; we no longer need fear it, because we will live THROUGH/PAST it; our bodies will still fade, but they are merely temporary dwelling places for our SELVES which have been joined to the Spirit. And since the Spirit (our roommate in us) will live forever, so will we!

Ezekiel 37:14~ I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'”

God DESIRES to bring us to life: but we have to receive what He gives on His terms so we know HE is at work, not us.


Pastor Ed Backell

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