Sermon: God is There With You – July 23, 2017

Guest speaker–John Parker.

Like so many of the people God uses to complete his perfect plan, Jacob is far from perfect. Esau, Isaac’s first born, “despised” his birthright and Jacob trades a bowl of soup for Esau’s birthright. Later, Rebekah covers Jacob’s arms and the back of his neck with sheepskin to deceive Jacob’s father, Isaac, into believing that Jacob is actually his brother Esau and Isaac pronounces the Abrahamic blessing over Jacob. But, because Jacob is steadfast in his faith in God and God’s promises, Jacob is blessed by God with the same blessing that was said over Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham. But, the blessing does not come right away. In today’s passage, Jacob is in the wilderness and has a dream in which God pronounces the Abrahamic blessing over Jacob and assures Jacob that wherever he goes, God will be there with him. God says that he will be with him and will not leave him throughout all of Jacob’s wanderings, even until Jacob returns to his homeland.  Jacob maintains his faith for over 14 years as he labors for Laban to earn the right to marry first Leah and then Rachael before returning to Canaan.

The message for us is timeless giving us courage and perseverance to follow God’s will no matter what we face:

  1. Whatever you have done, wherever you have been, there is nothing too big that God will not forgive you. Consequently, there is nothing too big such that God cannot use you. God has a plan for your life. Whatever you have done and wherever you have been, God has a fantastic plan for your life.
  2. When you are given a birthright or blessing you can take it to the bank. This promise will not expire, it will not bounce. But you can give it away. Do not … Do not be like Esau and sell your birthright for a bowl of soup. Hold onto to your blessing. Pursue your blessing. Forget about the short term temptation to go get a BigMac … it’s not worth it.  Don’t trade your permanent  birthright for a temporary comfort like a bowl of soup.
  3. God will always be there for you. When God gives you a call, He doesn’t just send you on your way. But also, the blessing does not come the very next day. God has ordered your steps and He will be with you every step of the way … From Canaan, out to the wilderness to Laban, work for all those years, then back out to the wilderness returning to Canaan. God is there with you, will always be there for you, and will never leave you nor forsake you. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, never stop, never give up, God is there with you. God’s blessing comes in God’s time and the blessing is much bigger and much better than you could have imagined.
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