Friday, January 13, 2017

A New Name - Israel

The nations will see your righteousness.
World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth.
The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—
a splendid crown in the hand of God.
Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”
or “The Desolate Land.”
Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”
and “The Bride of God,”
for the Lord delights in you
and will claim you as his bride. 
- Isaiah 62:2-4

Genesis 32:24-28
. . . This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
“What is your name?” the man asked.
He replied, “Jacob.”
“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.”

Jacob, alone, filled with fears and distress prays to God.  He wrestles all through the night.  Jacob did not give up.  He wept and sought God's favor - a blessing.  He contended with God and prevailed.  Hosea 12:4,5  "Your name will no longer be Jacob - supplanter, deceiver, over-reacher, but from now on you will be called Israel" - a prince of God, one who strives with God, and God blessed Israel.

Continue to persevere in prayer until the Lord answers.  Don't give up and don't quit - no matter how difficult the situation, no matter the pain.

May I continue to press on and persevere in my prayers!  May hope in You Father God, ignite in me a renewed vitality that only You can give.  As I stand my ground and contend for all you have for our family - the precious promises of new life and blessings, give me grace for the day, and baptize me freshly with Your Holy Spirit.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hesitation or Hope for the Future?

January 7, 2017
Genesis 19:16-17 
When he (Lot) hesitated, the men grasped his hands and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters, and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives!  Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain!  Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"

(But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.)

I'm mindful of Lot's hesitation to leave behind the past and move to a new place - to flee!  With a warning, "Don't look back!"
He didn't seem to pick up on the urgency to leave.  His sons in law thought he was joking.
Obedience to God is necessary for life.  When we hesitate to obey the Lord, it reveals what is in our heart; such as, doubt, indecision, non-commitment, and fear.  Spending too much time thinking about what the angels were saying almost cost Lot his life.
Hesitation is not an option in responding to God.  Looking back can kill!

When God is talking to me about change - don't hesitate.  Obey God immediately when I hear Him and do what He says.  Don't dwell on the past or the way things were.  Looking back can 'sweep me away' . . . there is no future when I dwell in the past.  

Father, what vivid stories in the Bible!  Yes, they really happened that I might learn!  As I journey through Your Word this year, speak to me, that I might take to heart all You want to teach me.  Give me hope for the future!  No turning back!  I press on to the goal - to win the prize of God's high calling, in Jesus Christ my Lord!

Romans 15:4 Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide, we might have hope!