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|God Blesses and Renames Jacob
Some people believe they are short of money, so they need more. Some believe they are short of time, and they need to have some spare time for themselves. Some believe they are short of love and affection, and they need to find it someplace. I’d say it is all true: we all need some money, some time, and some love. But let me remind you what comes first, what really makes us happy, what supplies all our needs – a blessing. Unless we have a blessing upon our lives, the time, and the money, and the health, and even the love – all those great things, they’ll be in vain. Actually, they can be dangerous, destructive, painful, and useless.
First and foremost we need God’s blessing. Let me remind you how serious is the Bible concerning the blessing issues. We’ve all been through school. But we have to go to the school of schools, to the Bible class, that teaches us the most essential lesson – how to be a blessed person! Bible is very explicit about it. It provides us both with theory, and with some practical examples.
We have a great respect for professionals. In fact, when we need to learn something, to achieve something, we go to professionals.
The same with the blessings. If we really want to be blessed, let’s turn to the top professional. There is one person in the Bible who’s been a professional blessing-catcher, blessing-finder, and blessing-keeper.
You see, the blessings are coming our way all the time, because God is good. There are very few people, however, who can really see, catch, keep, and share their blessings. Otherwise we would live much happier life, we’d exercise much more influence. But we have a huge hole in our pocket, and every time God gives us His blessings, we lose it. God doesn’t want us to loose our blessings any longer. He says “enough is enough”, now, turn to Me, He says, turn to those people who have been able to accommodate My blessings, and learn from them. Learn from Jacob, because he’s been the most blessed man who ever lived.
Yes, as a matter of fact, whenever Jacob is being mentioned in the Bible, be sure there is a story of how he received another blessing from the Lord. Do you want to learn Jacob’s little secrets? Do you want to learn how to catch, keep, and accommodate the blessings that literally surround you?
Somebody could say that Jacob was first of all a lucky guy. He had a good luck. Wrong. He wasn’t lucky at all. Nothing ever came to him by luck, or by chance. Only through the blessing. Look at the very beginning of his story. His mother Rebekah became pregnant with twins. Now, it’s been a matter of luck, who of those twins is going to come out first. Sure enough, he’ll be the lucky one – he will be the first born, he will inherit the family’s reaches, he’ll be the boss, he’ll be in command, even if his brother is born one minute after him. So, from the moment of his birth, Jacob wasn’t the lucky one. As a matter of fact, one could hardly imagine a worst luck then to be so close to be a firstborn, but instead to be born second, grasping his brother’s heel. What a bad luck! One second, one minute earlier, and the life would be so different. Sounds familiar to you? Have you been through something like that? Simply doesn’t have any sense. Bad luck, that’s how we call it.
So, let me formulate the first lesson from the story of Jacob. The blessing is not a luck. It doesn’t come naturally, or by chance.
Now, somebody could say that the blessings have something to do with personality. You know, there are some easy going, gifted, extremely talented people, that fit perfectly into the modern society. They are seemed to born to be happy and blessed. But let me disappoint you: Jacob was nothing like this. On a contrary, he’s been a fellow totally unfit for his time, and for his place. He had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. Now, how many people with a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home do you know who achieved something in this life?
But look at Esay. He was a born leader, a born hunter, he was an outdoorsman. He had a perfect personality to succeed, to be a lucky one. You know, for example, how people in the ancient time would choose the most gifted leaders. I’ll give you one example. When Alexander the Great would chose his best men, his best soldiers, his new commanders out of his people, he would line them up, and then he would go along this line, and when he’d see somebody looking promising, he’d stop, and hit them in the face with his might fist. And then he’d observe their reaction. If the person turns pale, Alexander would continue walking, looking for somebody else. But if the person turned red, it means he was the right person. He had a perfect reaction. He was strong. He was ambitious.
But Esau has already been red. You don’t have to pinch him, or something. He’s been naturally equipped for that life – to be a great personality, a great leader.
Now, that’s a second lesson God is giving us here – if you feel like you are not entitled for many blessings due to your personality, you are all wrong. It has nothing to do with your personality.
So, what is the blessing, after all? How do we get it, if it doesn’t come by luck, or by personality? The story of Jacob has an immediate answer. First and foremost one should believe in blessings, first and foremost one should take the notion of blessings seriously.
Take a look at the story of Jacob purchasing his rights as the firstborn from Esau. He traded it for what? For some lentil stew. Now, it wasn’t such a great price to pay, I agree, but look at other people, look at Esau, for example. For him it’s nothing. You know, most people, even Christians, even Seventh-day Adventists, they don’t really take those matters seriously.
Jacob paid a cheap prize for purchasing his blessings because other people don’t care for it at all. It means nothing to them. Esau wasn’t really dying from starvation. He ate and walked, he was all right. Let me tell you something: we lose our blessings because we don’t really believe that they are FOR REAL. We were taught that if we study good, if we work hard, if we improve our personality, if we have a little bit of luck, we can succeed. That’s exactly what Esau believed. I can’t tell you how real, and how important it is to believe in reality of blessing. Well, we all can say, that we believe it. But the real test, or rather the very first test comes when there is a need to exchange something that is visible and important, some lentil stew, or a few dollars, or some time, or some effort, to exchange it for something that you can’t put into your pocket, or eat, or see, or smell, or touch. It takes a leap of faith to make a first step towards receiving blessings. For Esau everything was clear: there’s always an action, and reaction; you do something, and you get a visible result. Brothers and sisters, remember, that the first step to blessings is not your personality, nor your hardworking. You can work hard all your life – only to see how everything around you is falling apart: your family, your children, your health. The first step toward blessings is through faith if God, and through faith in reality of His blessings. You want to be really blessed? Then give your food, share your money, invest your time into something that wouldn’t produce any immediate result. Don’t expect, don’t reason for any direct outcome. Remember – the blessings are for real. And they come from God, not from you, not from your work, not from the person you’ve been helping to. How much help, or support had Jacob from his brother Esau? Not much, indeed.
Now, let’s move to the next story of Jacob – the story of stealing his brother’s blessings. Well, this isn’t very nice story, I agree. It’s a real forgery. It’s a story of deceit. Nobody’s perfect, remember this. But there is one undeniable thing in this story: Jacob really believed in those things unseen – God’s blessings. He’s taking an enormous risk – what for? He was about to lose his inheritance, his position, his respect, and his very life. For the sake of what? For the sake of something that most people don’t take seriously. For the sake of something most people wouldn’t give a dime. They are ready to exchange it for something real – such as a meal at McDonalds. But Jacob’s greatness starts here – with his believe, that there is something by far greater then what his money could buy.
Next we see Jacob fleeing away from home. It happened to be a great prize that he paid for something he couldn’t touch, something he couldn’t eat, something he couldn’t put into his pocket. The son of rich parents, he’s now going away from his house, penniless, persecuted. But just look at him. Here goes Jacob, with no money and no luggage, with no servants and no extra short. But it doesn’t matter, because he’s been carrying with him something by far greater, although invisible – God’s very blessings. It’s such a pleasure to observe him. One can be sure that this man will be all right. He’ll be more than all right – he’ll be blessed, and those around him will be blessed too. He’s been charged. Charged with God’s blessings, charged with God’s mercy, with God’s help. Every step of the way. Every step of the way. I’d rather be like him, because I know, that there is a future for me, and for my dear ones if I walk with God, if I have His blessings upon me. I’d rather walk poor, to unknown land, to unknown future then hold for my belongings and be without abundant blessings
And there, on the way, the Lord for the first time tells Jacob that he’s being blessed indeed. He tells him so in a dream. Just imagine: Jacob has done so many things, he paid such a dear prize for his blessings, but he never heard from the Lord before. And now – it’s only in a dream. How could one exchange something that is real for something that is so uncertain? Simply because Jacob believed that what we have in our possession is really uncertain, but what we have with God – we have it for real. He had a totally reversed value system – and, if you let me tell so, he had a right value system. People around him – they were all wrong about their priorities. What is really incredible about Jacob is that he wouldn’t be deceived by his neighbors, or his relatives. It is really tempting for us to adopt the value system that is accepted in our society. It’s easy. It’s natural. And it’s wrong, it’s misleading.
Another lesson I learn from Jacob, the blessing-catcher: he’s been able to be thankful to God for everything. Even before he actually received any of those blessings that God promised him, he’s already been grateful. That’s his secret. Let me tell you something: unless you learn how to be grateful, you won’t get too many blessings. No, you won’t. God gives lots and lots of blessings to those who are able rejoice, and be glad, and be thankful for it. If you give you kids a new toy, and all you hear is complains, if you don’t see him or her excited and thankful, I don’t think you are highly motivated to provide you child with some other toys. Even if the child is really asking for it. The same with God. You may ask Him for some toys, but what happens when you finally get it? I tell you what usually happens: we get so much absorbed with this toy, and then we find something to complain about, and then we are trying to protect this toy – we don’t have time to thank God from our heart. And the Lord feels sorry for us, because we are not able to rejoice and to be thankful. So, why would He give you more, if it doesn’t serve you any good? Why would he bless you with some special blessings, if you can’t notice them, anyway, if you can’t give thanks to Him? Jacob was extremely thankful – even before he received something, he’s already been thankful. And for the Lord it is such a pleasure to send blessings for those who know how to appreciate them.
I tell you my little secret – it is not the things and circumstances that make me happy, it is a sense of great gratitude to God that makes me really happy. So, before you get new blessings from the Lord, please, please learn how to be thankful to Him for what you’ve already received.
Now, one more thing about Jacob. The Lord has promised him lots of thing here. And what was Jacob’s immediate reaction? He said: “I’ll give Him a good share of everything He gives me.” Let me tell you something: God gives his blessings only to those, who can share it, who can give. If you don’t know how to give, it won’t be given to you. Learn how to give, and the Lord will give you too.
Just think about it: Jesus Christ said that there are many mansions in His Father’s place. And that He is busy preparing those for us. What are those mansions? Just take a look at some of them. There are thousands of billions of them. They are more magnificent that anything we could imagine. I can’t wait till I go there. But I don’t want to go there alone. It’s boring. The devil will be left alone, confined to this planet, and it will drive him totally crazy. I want people from all over to come and to inhabit those places that God is preparing for us. I want some new and old friends to be there.
We are saved by faith that God’s invisible reality is more real than our meal, then our toys, then our cash. Make a step. Make a leap of faith. Live a real, reach, full, blessed life, life beyond the confines of the miserable limits. Live the life of Jacob!
Psalm 73…Thursday October 13th, 2011
We see in the Psalms the sovereignty of God in all aspects of life along with His faithfulness and God’s covenant with David. We are also made aware that our attitude of worship to God should be continual affecting every area of life
THE LASTING REWARDS OF THE RIGHTEOUS SHOULD CAUSE US TO LIVE HOLY LIVES AND TRUST GOD ABSOLUTELY FOR ALL FUTURE REWARDS
The reality of God’s truth who reaches out to so guide us aright being ever with us so directing us and strengthening us
I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Happiness and hope can be a reality but only when they are based on God not in the things of this world. True reality is in God so we should draw nigh thus responding to the Lord Jesus who desires to fellowship with us in all aspects of life with the comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit sustaining and nourishing us anew.
God has us continually in His hands and He is our security so let us so cling to him and abide steadfast therein
I AM ALWAYS WITH THE LORD…HE HOLDS ME BY MY RIGHT HAND…HE GUIDES ME CONTINUALLY WITH HIS COUNSEL AS I WALK IN THE MANY PATHS OF THIS LIFE AND HE WILL STAY WITH ME UNTIL THE DAY I AM TAKEN UP TO BE WITH HIM IN GLORY. THIS EARTH HAS NOTHING THAT I DESIRE OUTSIDE OF HIM. GOD IS MY STRENGTH AND MY PORTION FOREVER
The eternal rewards of the righteous far outweigh the temporal prosperity of the wicked.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR LIFE WHAT DO YOU SEE?
TROUBLE or OPPORTUNITY?
Develop an eye to see God’s blessing
There is a story of two prisoners with only a small window. Both prisoners spent a great deal of time looking at the window. One saw bars reminding him constantly of the daily dilemma he was in. He consequently became discouraged, bitter, angry and hopeless.
The other prisoner looked thro the window to the stars beyond. Hope welled up in him as he began to think of starting a new life in freedom one day.
We can choose to focus on the bars or on the stars
We all have choices daily
MAY DIVINE WISDOM AFFECT YOUR VALUES IN LIFE WHEREBY YOU PERSEVERE WITH HIS GUIDANCE CATCHING HOLD OF VISIONS THAT HE ALONE WOULD UNFOLD
BE STILL AND TRULY KNOW THE REALITY OF GOD
study by Charlotte October 2011
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