Jacob’s Encounter

We have been walking through the book of Genesis for several months … it’s not a race to the end.  We are enjoying the journey, learning and growing.  I believe this is one of the secrets of contentment in life, enjoying the journey.

Today I was thinking about Jacob.  He is the Jacob of the Abraham, Isaac, Jacob family.  The men that God chose to be the fathers of His people.   Jacob wasn’t really a very nice guy, in the early years of his life.  He lied to his father and deceived him and stole his older brother’s birthright and blessing.  Not so good …

And then one day, he had a personal encounter, or experience with God and things began to change inside of him.  He was actually fleeing from his home, from his brother who wanted to kill him, he had to run for his life; leave all that was familiar and comfortable.

He stopped for the night to rest on this journey and when he fell asleep, God came to him in a dream.  A dream where the heavens opened and angels descended and the Lord God spoke to him.  And the Lord told him good things were to come, that he was a blessed man.  And that encounter changed Jacob’s heart and he made a commitment to God.  (Genesis 25-35)

Now God knew Jacob’s heart, knew he was deceitful … yet God had made a promise to Abraham many years before and Jacob was part of the fulfillment of that promise.  And God didn’t give up on Jacob, simply because Jacob’s actions were not matching God’s plan.

No … God came to Jacob.  And Jacob received him.  And God changed who Jacob was inside.  And God’s promises were fulfilled.

My heart wasn’t so good before I had my own encounter with God.  But God didn’t give up on me.   And now my heart is changing.  Day by day, becoming more like God’s.

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things for His Kingdom.  We see it time and time again throughout history.  Example after example.  Regular men and women who encounter God and He changes them, from the inside out.

So … if you are feeling a little ordinary today … take heart!  You are just the person God is looking to have an encounter with;  to bless and to use to fulfill His purpose for your life!

Who Said It Was Going To Be Easy?

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope.  Hope is the glimmer of light in the blackest of darkness.

As I studied the Word, a scripture popped out at me that brought me hope.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.  (I Peter 5:7-11)

The section that really encouraged me was,  after you have suffered a little while.  

I think, we have the impression that when we are Christians, we won’t have to suffer, that our life is going to be somewhat peachy keen.  (whatever that means?)

But Peter tells us we will suffer, but after we suffer a little while, God will restore us.  The God of the universe, who created all things, will restore us!  Not our pastors, not our spouses, not our children, not our friends.   God will restore us!

  • We have an enemy who wants to kill, steal and destroy us.
  • We have a Savior who wants to restore us.

So my friends, if you are suffering, be encouraged … there is hope!  His name is Jesus!