Jacob

You are I AM


Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”

 And God said to Moses,I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:10-14).

God is standing by


It is almost certain that the country will go over the so-called fiscal cliff. Should that happens, many of us will experience significant hardship, especially the poor and the unemployed. Interestingly, this so-called fiscal cliff which everyone is going berserk over, is a list of austerity measures that was meticulously prepared and voted on overwhelmingly by the House and Senate. It is what they wanted all along for the American people. Now, either side is trying to save face by pretending that going over the cliff will be unsuitable for America.

Whatever happens, my friends, I would like to reassure everyone that God is standing near. He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is the same yesterday today and forever. Therefore, if He is the God who provided for the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years, He will provide for us too.

The Lord is my Good Shepherd

The Lord is my Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not require anything.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;

For Thou art with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou anoints my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever

How Strong Is your Faith in Jesus?


Jesus Christ in Capernaum

Jesus Christ in Capernaum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does God always answer your prayers? What do you think is the reason your prayers have not been answered? Many followers of Jesus Christ, including me had to endure periods during their lives when they doubted God. You have found yourself in almost dire straits, and you have prayed for deliverance, but it never happened. It seemed God is so far away and out of your reach.

However, the devil is a liar. God is never more than a prayer away. But, prayer without faith is futile. Subsequent to healing the boy with epilepsy the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked; “Why could we not cast out the demon?” And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief. For verily, I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).

The Faith of the Centurion

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For, I am a man under the authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment” (Matthew 8:5-13).

So it seems lack of faith is the reason most of our prayers go unanswered. Petitioning God is a serious act. It should not be used frivolously. Instead, we should be sincere when we pray and believe that we will receive what we asked God for. However, avoid getting carried away every time you get a headache.

How do you deal with your sordid past?


Atheology ; Jacob fighting the angel, by Delac...

Atheology ; Jacob fighting the angel, by Delacroix inspired the bookcover of traité d’athéologie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creäture: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You have heard the clichés, “What goes around comes around.” And, “Do good and good will follow you.” Like many of us, Jacob wrestled with his sordid past. All the white lies, scheming, and scandalizing came back to haunt him. He tried to run away, yet he could not do so. He was like a spider trapped in its own web of deceit and craftiness. Still, more than anything, Jacob wrestled with God. The Bible tells us that Jacob wrestled with God a whole night along the banks of the Jabbok river. He rolled in the mud of his mistakes, but he was determined to change.

Sick of his past and in desperate need of a fresh start, he met his Redeemer in person. And because Jacob wanted to change so badly, God honored his determination. He gave him a new name (Israel) and a fresh promise. However, Jacob did not leave God’s presence unscathed. God gave him a wrenched hip as a reminder of that mysterious night on the banks of the Jabbok river.

 “And Jacob arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons and crossed over the ford of Jabbok.  He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had.  Then Jacob was left alone, probably to have a quiet talk with God, and an Angel wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.  Now when the angel saw that He did not prevail against Jacob, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of the joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”

However, Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”  So the angel said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.”  And the Angel said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.

 So Jacob called the name of the place Penuel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” The sun rose upon him as he crossed the Penuel, limping because of his hip.  Therefore, to this day, the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank” (Genesis 32:28-32).

Like Jacob, we should unmask our stained hearts and grimy souls and be honest with the One who knows our most secret sins. The result could be refreshing. We know it was for Jacob. After his encounter with God, Jacob was a new man.

Be Still And Know That Jesus Is God


Psalm 46 (NIV)

 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

  The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

  Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

 he burns the shields with fire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The Messiah and the Samaritan woman


Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

The Samaritan woman found Jesus (the Messiah) in an unlikely place (at the side of a well). Her brief but historic meeting with Him would forever change her life. She was so overwhelmed that she left her water jar by the well and went back to the town to spread the good news. “Come; see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”

John chapter 4:7-26, tells us that Jesus was resting by the side of Jacob’s well one day; after a long journey from Judaea to Galilee, when a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

The woman was shocked that a Jew was asking a Samaritan for a drink. Back in those days Jews and Samaritans (Gentiles) did not mix. Gentiles were considered unclean and unrighteous.

The Samaritan woman who was more concerned about tradition than about helping Jesus with a drink of water, said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God (the gift of God is eternal life), and who it is (the Messiah) that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

“I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, He will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am He.”

The moral of the story is; the gospel of Jesus Christ knows no boundaries. It is for anybody who will accept it.

Let God fight your battles


English: Manna reigning from heaven on the Isr...

Image via Wikipedia

“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exodus 14:14)

How blessed you are to have God fight your battles. When God is your defender, you don’t have to argue back, fight back, yell back, or talk back to others.

You don’t need to plan out your arguments to justify your actions. God does not need to use your tongue as His weapon of warfare. Quietness of heart, mind, spirit, and voice will keep you in a place of great peace,

You do not need to defend yourself or justify any of your actions if you are walking in obedience to what God has asked you to do. If your actions are based upon God’s calling in your life, it is justification enough. If what you do is motivated by love, this is reason enough.

Psalm 59 is David’s prayer to God when he faced imminent death at the hands of Saul, Who had sent men to watch David’s house to kill him:

 1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
2 Deliver me from evildoers
and save me from those who are after my blood.

 3 See how they lie in wait for me!
Fierce men conspire against me
for no offense or sin of mine, LORD.
4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
Arise to help me; look on my plight!
5 You, LORD God Almighty,
you who are the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
show no mercy to wicked traitors.[c]

 6 They return at evening,
snarling like dogs,
and prowl about the city.
7 See what they spew from their mouths—
the words from their lips are sharp as swords,
and they think, “Who can hear us?”
8 But you laugh at them, LORD;
you scoff at all those nations.

 9 You are my strength, I watch for you;
you, God, are my fortress,
10 my God on whom I can rely.

   God will go before me
and will let me gloat over those who slander me.
11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,[d]
or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them
and bring them down.
12 For the sins of their mouths,
for the words of their lips,
let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,
13 consume them in your wrath,
consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
that God rules over Jacob.

 14 They return at evening,
snarling like dogs,
and prowl about the city.
15 They wander about for food
and howl if not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.

 17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.