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congratulations to Rina Renthlei Mate from India for winning the Sermon Challenge! Read Rina Renthlei Mate's sermon below!

 

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Short Sermon

 

DIVINE DISCIPLINE
(Genesis 32:22-25)
By Rina Renthlei Mate from India


The Scripture passages for this meditation is taken from the book of Genesis 32:22-30 which tells about the story of Jacob wrestling with God. Indeed, it  is pertinent to say that the story of Jacob wrestling with God is one of the greatest historical and theological accounts of the relationship of humans and the Almighty in the pages of Scripture. In these verses, we see that how God disciplined Jacob's self-life and how Jacob responded that God's action?
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Here, the Divine aim was to overcome Jacob's self-life and the resistance was only overpowered by Divine action. We also see that when Jacob realized his helplessness, he ceased to strive and began to cling to God. Then, blessings came to him like a new character, a new power and a new experience and then, followed gratitude. The story brings before us a striking contrast of the human and the Divine, and reveals the way in which the human is met, overcome and blessed by the Divine. Now, let us take a closer look at the text.
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In these verses, we see that God's wrestling match with Jacob was not a dream or vision. Jacob's opponent was the Angel of the Lord. It was a physical fight with physical injury inflicted on Jacob, and yet there were obvious spiritual lessons impressed on him through this unforgettable experience. Even, we see that Jacob had sent ahead his elaborate gift of hundreds of animals to please his brother Esau. Some preachers develop this text as a fine example of wrestling all night in prayer with God. Obviously, God could have crippled Jacob in the first minute of this contest in order to bring Jacob to the end of his self-dependence.  When God finally wanted to, HE just touched Jacob's hip and Jacob felt excruciating pain as his hip was wrenched. So, God's breaking process reveals to us the power of our flesh. Jacob learned the lesson in that night. Jacob was finally subdued in the wrestling match. He had now no other choice except to cling to God. Remember, God wanted Jacob to confess not just his name, but his character.
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Only after Jacob acknowledged the Lord could bless him, then he began to submit himself to God and asked His blessing. Part of the process of knowing God involves knowing ourselves. Until God reveals the power of our sinful nature, we tend to think that we're not so bad, we even depend more on ourselves than on Him. Before, the Lord touched and crippled him, Jacob probably thought that the fight was pretty evenly matched. But, then in one light touch, the Lord wiped Jacob out. Likewise, sometimes God breaks us and we feel it's not necessary. Remember, God sees what we don't see and He knows what's best for us. There are no shortcut to receive God's blessing. Jacob suffered loss, but he won because he followed the hard path that God laid out. We, therefore, need to follow the way of God, and then we will receive the blessings of God in our life, family, work place and wherever we set our foot.
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Indeed, these passages of the Scripture set before us a picture of the Lord God subduing the proud, sinful flesh of his believing people by His almighty grace. It is the object of a wrestler to bring his opponent down, to pin him to the ground, to render him helpless. So, God wrestled Jacob to pin him down, to conquer his spirit, to subdue his flesh, to render him helpless and worthless creature he was. Therefore, God's purpose in all our trials are to make us strong in grace and strong in faith; and the way HE make us to know and recognize our weakness, just like what happened in Jacob's life
 
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Jokes
 
Joke 1
A middle-aged woman has a heart attack and is taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she has a near death experience. During that experience she sees God and asks if this is it. God says no and explains that she has another 30 years to live.
      
      Upon her recovery she decides to just stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, etc. She even has someone come in and change her hair color. She figures since she's got another 30 years she might as well make the most of it.
      
      She walks out of the hospital after the last operation and is killed by an ambulance speeding by. She arrives in front of God and complains, "I thought you said I had another 30 years.
God replies, "I didn't recognize you."
 
 
 
Joke 2
 A much loved-minister of God once carried a secret burden of long- past sin deep in his heart. He had committed the sin many years before, during his Bible school training. No one knew what he had done, but they did know he had repented. Even so, he had suffered years of remorse over the incident without any sense of God's forgiveness.
      
      A woman in his church deeply loved God and claimed to have visions in which Jesus Christ spoke to her. The minister, skeptical of her claims, asked her, "The next time you speak to the Lord, would you please ask Him what sin your minister committed while he was in Bible school." The woman kindly agreed.
      
      When she came to the church a few days later the minister asked, "Did He visit you?" She said, "Yes."
      
      "And did you ask Him what sin I committed?"
      
      "Yes, I asked Him," she replied
      
      "Well, what did He say?" 
       
    "He said, 'I don't remember
 
Joke 2
A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer when all of a sudden he said aloud, "Lord grant me one wish". The sky clouded and a booming voice said, "Because you have tried to be faithful I will grant you one wish." The man said, "Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want to."
      
      The Lord answered, "Your request is very materialistic. Think of the logistics of that kind of undertaking; the supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific; the concrete and steel it would take. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time to think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify me".
      
      The man thought for a long time and finally said, "Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know what they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say 'nothing', and how I can make a woman truly happy?"
      
      After a few minutes God said, "How many lanes do you want on that bridge

 

 

 

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