Sermons

Summary: But when you realize that it is God who can rise you up; you suddenly, find yourself ashamed and this could be the reason on why it is hard to be close to Him. You’re thinking that God is hard to convince.

Theme: How to Convince God

Text: Genesis 32: 22-31

Place: FBC Kodiak, Alaska

Date: January 15, 2k6

Intro:

Illus: Three handsome male dogs are walking down the

street when they see a beautiful,

enticing, female Poodle. The three male dogs

fall all over themselves in an effort to

be the one to reach her first, but end up

arriving in front of her at the same time.

The males are speechless before her beauty,

slobbering on themselves and hoping for just a

glance from her in return. Aware of her charms

and her obvious effect on the three suitors,

she decides to be kind and tells them "The

first one who can use the words "liver"

and "cheese" together in an imaginative,

intelligent sentence can go out with me." The

sturdy, muscular black Lab speaks up quickly

and says "I love liver and cheese." "Oh, how

childish," said the Poodle. "That shows no

imagination or intelligence whatsoever." She

turned to the tall, shiny Golden Retriever and

said "How well can you do?" Um. I HATE liver

and cheese," blurts the Golden Retriever.

"My, my," said the Poodle. "I guess it’s

hopeless. That’s just as dumb as the Lab’s

sentence." She then turns to the last of the

three dogs and says, "How about you, little

guy?" The last of the three, tiny in stature,

but big in fame and finesse, is the Taco Bell

Chihuahua. He gives her a smile, a sly wink,

turns to the Golden Retriever and the

Lab and says, "Liver alone. Cheese mine."

Definition: (infinitive verb) means to overcome.

To overcome the doubts of; persuade by

argument; make feel sure.

Background: He was sitting by the campfire, a man approaches and Jacob’s first thought was “this could be one of Esau’s men.” So he wrestled him. Until he knew he’s wrestling with God. And he begins to realize that all these years he has been fighting against God. The wrestling match was the acting out of what has been taking place in Jacob’s life through his years. It has been a role playing of Jacob’s spiritual life.

Have you ever had a crisis, a crossroad in life, not knowing which way to go and knowing that things….. bad things are closing in on you? Different decisions … choices are circling on your mind… giving up or fighting it on…. Dilemma. But at the end… you finally realize that it’s all about God. But when you realize that it is God who can rise you up; you suddenly, find yourself ashamed and this could be the reason on why it is hard to be close to Him. You’re thinking that God is hard to convince.

Prop: How to Convince God!

I. Choose to be Right with God.

No matter what the crossroad in life is, we must

develop the attitude of, "I will not let you go

unless you bless me!"

A. God blesses the one who is willing to

surrender physical effort to God’s power.

II Corinthians 12: 9, “My strength is made

perfect in weakness.”

B. God blesses the one who is willing to pay

any price for God’s blessing.

Jacob was carrying in his body the evidence of

God’s life-changing touch.

II. Leave the Past Behind.

Jacob realized that:

A. God was willing to put the past behind.

No matter what the crisis is, don’t get hung up

on what was happened in the past. Forgive

yourself.

Illus: “There are two ways of covering our

sins: man’s way and God’s way.If you

seek to hide them, they will have a

resurrection sometime; but if you let

the Lord cover them, neither the devil

nor man will ever be able to find them

again.” –D.L. Moody

B. Focus on the present and future and tell

God, "I will not let you go unless you

bless me!’

You may not be able to change things from the

past, but with God’s help, you can change

your present circumstances and the future.

Illus: “A retentive memory may be a good

thing, but the ability to forget is

the true token of greatness.”

– Elbert Hubbard

III. With Everything You Have, Convince God.

- We must be determined to not let go.

Jacob could have looked at the things that were

closing in on him, but instead, he closed in on

God, he was determined, he said, "I will not let

you go unless you bless me!."

Illus: “Our greatest joy is not in

never falling, but rising every

time we fall.” - Confucius

Conclusion:

V 28, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and men and have overcome.” Jacob was a man who had demonstrated power with God through physical weakness. He will limp for the rest of his life. He has prevailed through striving and weeping in prayer, and not letting go. The result was …. a blessing.

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