January 16

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“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” (Genesis 32:28 NLT).

From: January 16, 2019

A NEW NAME AND A NEW IDENTITY

Jacob got a new name after wrestling all night with God. The name “Jacob” means “grasping the heel” or “pulling the leg.” It was given to him because he was born grasping his twin brother Esau’s heel at birth. Perhaps we get the cliche, “you’re pulling my leg,” from the story of Jacob tricking his brother out of his birthright and blessing.
 
But God changed his name to “Israel,” which means “one who prevailed with God.” God gave Jacob a new name and a new identity. He went from being the schemer to the spiritual founder of the 12 tribes of Israel. Along with his new name, God caused him to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Ironically, God pulled Jacob’s leg until it popped out of joint. From that day forward, Jacob began to learn to lean on God rather than his own scheming.
 
PRAYER: Lord, thank you that you gave us a new name and a new identity when you saved us. We are no longer far from You but near. We are no longer strangers but sons. Help us to put off the old nature and to continually put on the new, which is ours in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen.

“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:27-28 NLT).

From: January 16, 2018

THE SON REVEALS AND CALLS
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, has been given “everything.” Whatever belongs to the Father belongs to Jesus. Jesus is the One who makes the first move towards us, choosing to reveal the Father to us. Then, Jesus is the One who calls us to “come unto” Him.
 
If you hear the Son’s call, then come. Come and find rest for your souls. Come and truly know the Father through Jesus, the Son.

“Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land” (Genesis 34:30 NKJV).

From: January 16, 2017

Simeon and Levi were Jacob’s second and third sons. They were born to his wife Leah. When it was reported that their sister Dinah had been sexually violated by Shechem the Hivite, the prince of that country, they were furious. Even though Shechem came to them with his father Hamor, offering to pay a dowry and make things right. They schemed for revenge and ultimately killed every man in the city, taking their wives, children and possessions as plunder. Jacob never forgot the violence of Simeon and Levi. In his last words to his sons from his death bed, he described these two brothers together as “instruments of cruelty” (Gen. 49:5-7), prophesying that they would be scattered in Israel. And so they were, the tribe of Simeon was enveloped by the land of Judah. And the tribe of Levi was given to God as priests and scattered throughout the cities of Israel. In a story like this it is difficult to find the moral or the meaning. It is even more difficult to see God in it. Yet, this was the people that God chose to make His own, the nation to which would be born the Messiah, the Son of God.

“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:28 ESV)

From: January 16, 2016

After a sleepless night wrestling with God, Jacob went to bed with one name and woke up with a another one. Instead of the name “Jacob,” a name that came from his grasping his twin brother Esau’s heel at birth, (Perhaps we get the phrase “you’re pulling my leg” from this), his name became “Israel” (“one who prevailed with God”). God gave Jacob a new identity. He went from being the schemer to the spiritual founder of the twelve tribes of Israel. Along with his new name, God caused him to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Ironically, God “pulled Jacob’s leg” until it popped out of joint. From that day forward, Jacob began to learn to lean on God rather than his own effort.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)

From: January 16, 2015

Jesus offered this invitation in the context of talking about access to the Father. He had just said that no one knows the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. This is similar to Jesus describing Himself as the only way to God as He did in John’s gospel (John 14:6). In this context, Jesus invites those who are heavy with laboring to find God, or to please God with their works, to come to Him instead and make Him their Master (“Take My yoke”), resting their souls in Him. The invitation to take His “yoke” (An implement for putting an ox into service pulling a plow) is an invitation to come under His Lordship, becoming His servant. This is Christ’s offer of a great exchange. Exchange your hard and impossible work to please God for His finished work on your behalf. Therein, you will find “rest” (sabbath) for your soul. Have you accepted this invitation?

“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:28)

From: January 16, 2013

Jacob got a new name after wrestling all night with God. Instead of the name “Jacob,” a name that came from his grasping his twin brother Esau’s heel at birth, (Perhaps we get the phrase “you’re pulling my leg” from this), his name became “Israel,” one who prevailed with God. God gave Jacob a new identity. He went from being the schemer to the spiritual founder of the 12 tribes of Israel. Along with his new name, God caused him to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Ironically, God pulled Jacob’s leg until it popped out of joint. From that day forward, Jacob began to learn to lean on God rather than his own scheming.