Verse for Today: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Genesis 35:10 – God said to Jacob, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So He named him Israel.
God’s dealings with his choice servants are not based on their past failures, defeats and losses, but on possibilities and prospects in the future. In His grace, God forgives our past and in His mercy, He works in our future to turn our lives into great accomplishments for Him with eternal implications. Jacob was a true supplanter who took his destiny into his own hands and secured blessings from his father and wealth from the business of his father-in-law. He put good use of his powerful legs to run away twice to escape his situations. He had conflicts with his and in-laws. He had a family of twelve children and their four mothers in a highly conflicting spiritual environment. But God in His grace forgave Jacob of his past failures, conflicts and worldly wisdom as he tried to be smart on his own accord. His past life as a schemer and cheater was put behind him by God and opened a new chapter in his life by changing his name from Jacob to Israel which meant ‘prince with God’. As a prince he was to become a ruler and the head of a clan of twelve tribes of Israel. As the prince with God, one day he will be the great grandfather of the King of kings who is the Prince of Peace. In God’s foreknowledge, the great grandfather of the Prince of Peace and King of kings must be at least be a prince and hence the change of his name. It gives us hope to see that just as in the case of Jacob, our God can change our name, character and destiny to re-build us to be what He wants us to be.
Dear friend, are you dwelling on the failures, defeats and losses in your past life and do you think that it has taken away your usefulness to God? Do you feel distressed about the stigma attached to you because of your past sins of commission and omission? But if you confess your failures to God, He will forgive you in His grace and rewrite your life as He did for Jacob. You will have to meet God at your Peniel and allow Him to break and remold you as He did in the case of Jacob. At Peniel God wiped away the past life of Jacob as a schemer and made him a person who would become a blessing even to heathen emperors like Pharaoh. When God recreated his life, Jacob’s life became a platform from which God rewrote the entire course of the earth and the world. Today God speaks to us through His new naming ceremony for Jacob that we do not need to wallow over our past failures and sins, but hand our lives over to God to break us, rebuild and remold us to become fit instruments in His hands to accomplish His purpose in the world. As we become new creation through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, we will become salt and light for the people around us to experience and taste God’s love. We do not need to lead a defeatist life and dwell in our past failures, but must emerge from it victorious because of the futuristic implications of our salvation. Great possibilities and prospects await us as God takes control of our lives. Thus we can look into the unknown future where God will roll out His plan for us a day at a time.
John 1:42 – Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which when translated, is Peter)
Thought for Today
Our new name as ‘God’s child’ with new character and prospects will give us a new beginning for new possibilities for God’s glory.
Prayer for Today
Lord: Help me to surrender myself for you to build me up and make me a blessing. Amen!