Friday, January 17, 2014

A Jacob Moment


Today’s Bible readings are Genesis 35:1-36:43, Matthew 12:1-21, Psalm 15:1-5, & Proverbs 3:21-26



 

Genesis 35:9-13
Now that Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again at Bethel. God blessed him, 10 saying, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.” So God renamed him Israel.
11 Then God said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! 12 And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob.

This must have seemed like the greatest promise that anybody had ever made to Jacob. Remember, he was a man who for most of his life had been a wanderer. He never really had a permanent place to call home. He lived on the run from his brother, live as a servant to his father-in-law, later ran from his father-in-law, wandered around after that until God appeared & made him this wonderful promise. It probably seemed like more than could ever be possible.

I have had times in my life when the promise of God was so big that it left me wondering if He could come through. I can remember when I was I prison & God started to speak to my heart that he was going to use me to take His message to the nations. I didn’t know how that would be possible with me being behind a razor wire fence. I remember when God said that He was going to restore all that had been lost in my life. It didn’t seem possible; my wife was divorcing me, my life was a mess, I had nothing.

We all have moments in life when God’s promise seems out of reach.
1.      It’s healing for the person who is terminally ill.
2.      It’s prosperity for the person who is on the verge of bankruptcy.
3.      It is joy for the widow who has just lost her husband of 50 years.
4.      It is peace for the person who has been tormented with abuse.
5.      It is freedom for the person who has struggled with drugs their whole life.

It is not unusual to have times of such great difficulty in front of us that we begin to wonder if there is anybody who could ever save us.

That is why I love today’s text. It is in those times like these that we need a “Jacob Moment”. A “Jacob Moment” is that moment when God speaks & reveals Himself as El-Shaddai—God Almighty!!! A “Jacob Moment is that moment when God reveals Himself as the God that can do the impossible. It is that moment when we see that NOTHING IS TO HARD FOR GOD!!!

We refer to God as the Almighty One without ever giving any thought to the title He has ascribed to Himself. “Almighty” literally means, “having ultimate power”. Think about that, God has the ultimate power. There is nobody or nothing that has more power than Him. We need a fresh revelation of that. We need a “Jacob Moment”.

4 THINGS GOD HAS NEVER SEEN


1.      A mountain that He can’t move.

We will run into barriers in this life. There will be times when we do our best only to find that it wasn’t enough. We are trying to get ahead, trying to get closer to God, trying to breakthrough, & yet right in front of us on the path is a mountain so big that we don’t think is moveable. This is when we usually get weak in faith or just plain frustrated & we give up.
There may be mountains too big for you to move but God has never seen a mountain He can’t move.
Exodus 14:21-22
21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!

Moses was between a rock & a hard place. He had the army of Egypt coming from behind & the Red Sea in front. It looked lie 2 unmovable mountains. That is, until God spoke. The water parted & the army was destroyed. No mountain for God.
              

           2. A storm He cannot calm.

We may have things get crazy in our lives at times. The wind can blow & the waves can crash down on us. It happened to the disciples. They thought they were going to perish in the storm. We have times like that too.

Mark 4:35-40

35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

This was more than they could handle. It left them feeling like Jesus didn’t care. But it was not more than Jesus could handle. He got up & showed them there has never been a storm He couldn’t calm. Peace Be Still!

             3. A sickness He couldn’t heal.

Everybody has heard of a health condition that immediately makes us think the worse. It may be cancer, HIV, leukemia, or maybe a name that has never been heard before, it is said to be INCURABLE. Hope can sink at such a diagnosis. We can sink to the floor in despair. But let me remind you…

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Diseases have names. They may frighten us but they don’t move our Healer! His name is greater. They bow to Him & His authority. He has broken the power of sin, death, & sickness FOREVER!!! That is the gospel.

4.      A sinner He can’t save.

Nobody is beyond the love of God. There are people that we say will never change. You may even have committed some sin that you wonder if God will ever forgive. The answer is yes. There is NO sin that His blood can’t cover. His blood is stronger than:
1.      Your failures.
2.      Your past.
3.      Your greatest sin.

 

Romans 5:20

20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.

It is like the words of an old hymn:

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

I pray for you today. I ask God to give you a “Jacob Moment”. Open our eyes to see you as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.

Pastor Richard Schlotter




1 comment:

Nathan Grooms said...

Remembering Gods promises and that he is able to keep them. I sometimes forget that.