Posts Tagged 'self-image'

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.

Blocking My Own Blessings

a big rock in the road
On Sunday mornings, the adult class that I teach has been working through Steps to Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright. The founder of Campus Crusade, Dr. Bright was pretty influential in my life through his evangelism training materials that I learned to use as a new believer.
A few weeks ago, we were working through God’s Promises and Provisions through Prayer. One of the verses about God’s provision really struck me, and caused me to re-think my views on God’s blessing.
Here it is, Ephesians 1:3 –
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

I’m sure I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this verse, but this time it hit me: the PAST TENSE. Look carefully – God HAS BLESSED US. This is not a promise that God *will* bless us if we follow hard after Him, or that God *might* bless us based on some other condition. This is a DONE DEAL. God HAS blessed us!
This made me think – hard – about what God has already done in us, and what we are doing about it. Do you feel as if you’ve received every spiritual blessing already? I know I sure don’t! And what THAT brings to mind is the question:
If I’ve already been given every spiritual blessing in Christ… what is getting in the way of me actually laying hold of that blessing? How am I blocking my own growth in my spiritual walk?
When I put it that way, I’m convicted. I know very well what things I’m holding on to instead of letting go, and letting God’s blessings actually get through to me.
As we enter this new year of 2014, let’s ask ourselves… and each other: what is holding us back from living the Kingdom life to which God is calling us? What are we clinging to that needs to be released?
I am looking forward to discovering this year just how God is going to move among us. It should be quite an adventure!
Keep Following Jesus – Ed


Pastor Ed Backell

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