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Summary: This sermon deals with the times in our lives that we encounter God as He works in our lives and reveals Himself and His will to us, and calls and prepares us for His service.

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"GOD MOMENTS"

Text: Genesis 32:22-32

Preached: at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church

814 Marwood Loop, SE

Bogue Chitto, Mississippi 39629

Introduction-

I think that most of you will understand what I am talking about when I use

the expression-"God Moments," but just in case someone might not understand,

let me explain how I am using this term. To me, "God Moments" are Divine en-

counters that we have wtih God all throughout our lives. God invades our lives

with His presence and power. Sometimes these moments come to us quietly,

and slowly. At other times, they come in a terrific rush, shocking us, and up-

setting our comfort zone, leaving us bewildered, and speechless. I believe that

there are also some "God Moments" that occur in our lives that we overlook,

and don't realize that it was God coming to us until months, or even years

later. I also have come to believe that "God Moments" usually come to us in

one of four possible ways-

(1) redemptive-God comes to us and saves us and changes our nature.

(2) constructive-God begins to make us into who He wants us to be, and for

what He wants us to do.

(3) punitive-God sometimes comes to punish us for doing wrong and fort

disobeying Him.

(4) destructive-God comes to pour out His wrath, because we have forsaken

Him.

As you see in what I have just said, "God Moments" can be either positive,

or negative, either for our good, or for our bad. In the Bible we see that God

came to both saved and lost people, some who ruled nations even, and

either blessed them, or punished them. So, anyone can have a "God

Moment."

Positive "God Moments"

First of all, let's consider Jacob. As you may recall, Jacob was the son of

Isaac and Rebecca. He was their son. The other son was Esau. They were

twins. When they were being born, Esau was born first, and as he was being

born, his brother Jacob grabbed ahold of his heel, thus interpreted later to in-

dicate that he would rule over his older brother, contrary to ususal custom.

We learn that Esau cared nothing for his birthrights, so, when he was hungry

one day, he sold his birthright to his younger brother for a bowl of stew. A lot

went with that birthright, including a special place of blessing, and being in

the line that the Messaih would someday come from. Jacob began as a

"deceitful, trickerster/con-man type" who would try almost anything to get

what he wanted.

Later, in the Bibical story, when Esau was pursuing Jacob, to kill him,

Jacob divided his family into two groups, to try to save at least one, and

was left all alone. In the darkness a figure grabbed him, and began

fighting and wrestling with intensity. Later, the "man" Jacob found him-

self wrestling with turned out to be an angel, and likely not just an angel,

but the Angel of the Covenant, the Lord Jesus Christ, in pre-incarnate

form. At the end the "Angel" changed Jacob's name from "trickster,"

to Israel("Prince with God"). Quite a "God Moment," don't you think!!!

God had changed his nature and his mission in life. He had become a

new man, re-made, and re-fashioned by God for Divine service.

(2) another positive "God Moment". this time in the New Testament. Saul

of Tarsus was "breathing out threatenings" against Christian believers,

and was intent on destroying every Christtian, and the Christian move-

ment. But God had different plans. He encountered Saul (later the

Apostle Paul), and gave him probably the greatest "God Moment"

in the New Testament, except for those our Lord experienced on the

cross, and the empty tomb. Saul was completely turned around

by this "God Moment" and he set out on a new direction. Now he

would no longer persecute Christians, but lead the Christian movement

in the Gentile world, and establish several churches. Christianity's

"worst enemy", had now become her "greatest exponent."

When "God Moments" come to us, we are changed by them. Often,

we are strengthened by them, and led into whatever God wants to

do through our lives.

"God Moments" can also come from a little child's words, or from some

kind act or deed done to us, or from a phone call, or text message, or

perhaps a strong impression to do something, or go somewhere. Let

me share just one personal one like this that I had. I was going to my

church field many years ago, in a small country church "Right Springs,"

or "Springfield," as we called it, and suddenly I felt a strong impression

to stop my car( I had gone about half way to my church field), and so,

I did. I was thinking, "This is crazy!" "Why am I doing this?'" Then,

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