Summary: Part one of a series on the life of Jacob

Your New Name

Dying to Self, Part One

If you have your bible, turn to Genesis chapter 32.

We’re starting a new series today,

based on the life of Jacob.

Gen 32:22 TNIV

That night Jacob got up and took his two wives,

By the way, we’ll deal with that in a couple weeks…

his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone,

This is when God will do some of his best work in your life,

when you’re left alone.

When the distractions are gone,

away from the opinions of people,

and even from the comfort of those you love.

That’s when God can touch you in the deepest places,

Gen 32:24-26

and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27 The man asked him, "What is your name?"

I think that’s kind of funny,

because they’ve been wrestling all night,

but they haven’t even been introduced.

"Jacob," he answered. 28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with human beings, and have overcome."

Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.

I’m calling this new series, “Dying To Self.”

I’m sure most of you have heard of

the cultural phenomenon known as the selfie,

If you’ve been living in a cave for the last couple years,

and aren’t aware,

a selfie is a picture you take of yourself,

usually using a cell phone,

and then you post it online,

I read that there are over 1 million selfies posted worldwide, each day.

Now let me assure you,

the reason for that series title is not

a church campaign urging everyone to delete all your

facebook, instagram and twitter accounts.

I’m not going to spend the next several weeks

admonishing you not to post

pictures of yourself on the treadmill,

or a status update about what you just ordered from Starbucks,

or an adorable collage of your cat in different poses

with scripture verses overlaid

and hashtagged, Holy Kitty.

Hopefully we’ll go much deeper than that.

But I want to use the selfie,

as kind of a symbol

of the conflict that all of us experience.

It’s the conflict between who we really are,

and how we’d like to appear.

the conflict between who we really are,

and how we’d like others to perceive us.

the conflict between who we really are,

and who we think we’re supposed to be.

The goal is for us to let go of

who we think we’re supposed to be,

so we can be who we really are

who we were created to be, by God.

So we’re going to spend several weeks

looking at the life of Jacob,

because Jacob spent much of his life,

trying to figure out who he really was,

and he made a lot of the same mistakes

that you and I make.

So lets go back to Genesis 32, the passage I just read.

Jacob is in a wrestling match at night,

he’s not yet sure who he’s wrestling,

but he knows its gotta be someone powerful,

and he is not gonna quit till he gets a blessing.

Now, this isn’t the first time

we see Jacob wrestling, in scripture,

in fact the very first time we see Jacob in the Bible,

he’s wrestling, and he hasn’t even been born yet.

Gen 25:21-26 NLT

Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac's prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. 22 But the two children struggled with each other in her womb.

She goes for her sonogram,

and they’re hooking all the wires up to her,

smearing the slimy stuff on her belly,

and the technician stops and says,

wait a minute, this is really weird,

you’ve gotta see this,

first, you’re having twins,

and second, they’re already going at it,

they’re already wrestling,

in fact, one of them is doing a body slam right now,

So Rebekah says something

that every mother has said at some point, with her kids,

"Why is this happening to me?" she asked.

The babies aren’t even born yet,

and she’s already gone from,

God please let me have a baby,

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