Are You A Wrestler?

“But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

~ Genesis 32:26

This verse is found in that unique passage of Scripture where it is said Jacob wrestles with God (Gen. 32:22-28). In this text we learn Jacob gains an advantage in the struggle and as he holds on tightly, he insists on the “man” giving him a blessing before Jacob will let him go. And we learn towards the end that Jacob does in fact receive his blessing because he has “struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed” (vs.28). Sometimes it seems God wants us to wrestle Him for His blessing and favor. It is as if we are telling God “Your goodness toward me is worth fighting for”. Therefore, if you aren’t experiencing God’s favor in your life right now, hold Him tight, and don’t let go till you discover His grace.

~ apl

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I Am Unworthy

“I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant.”

~ Genesis 32:10

This was the sum of Jacob’s prayer when he considered all that the Lord God had done for him. Jacob had been the recipient of his father’s blessing and all the riches and favor of God fell upon him. His prayerful response to this outpouring of God’s benevolence upon his life left him with a keen sense of his own unworthiness of God’s kindness and faithfulness to him. It is when we comprehend with our whole being the true nature of our own unworthiness before God of His kindness and faithfulness to His servants that we come to really understand and truly experience His grace in our humbled life.

~ apl

Two Ears, One Mouth

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”

~ Proverbs 10:19

There used to be a popular old adage that said God created us with two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we speak. In a day and age where through social media and the like everyone feels the need to have a “voice”, let us remember the Scriptural wisdom of guarding our speech and restraining our lips. Because of our sinful hearts, the more the mouth speaks, the more prone it is to speak sinfully. There is godly wisdom in silence. Let us speak only when it will be edifying for others and pleasing to the Lord (Col. 4:6).

~ apl

The Brink of The Pit

“The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance; he that will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit.”

~ Thomas Brooks

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, guide me away from the edge of sin to safer and greener pastures close to you. Keep me from stumbling and falling by Thy sweet mercy and strong grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Heart of Humility

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

~ Philippians 2:3

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, grant me a heart of humility which will always cause me to esteem others better than myself. Help me to be like Jesus, who came not to be served, but to love and serve others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

An Unfinished Work

“[B]eing confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

~ Philippians 1:6

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, my eternal hope and everlasting confidence lies solely in You and Your Beloved Son that You will finish the gracious work of salvation You have begun in me. Thank you for Your tender mercy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Christ, Our Messiah

And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God!”

~ John 1:36

The Jews had long sought the coming Messiah. And a “lamb” in the Jewish culture had a deep, rich and symbolic meaning that symbolized the one who would come as their Deliverer. The promised Messiah would be likened to one who is “like a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Is. 53:6-7). When John the Baptist declares to the world “Behold the Lamb of God”, those there that day understood that John was saying here’s our Messiah, here’s our Deliverer, here’s the one who has been promised to save and deliver us, Jesus – the Messiah – the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

Like the blood of the lamb that was used during Passover as a covering on the lintel and doorposts over the homes of the Hebrews in Egypt to protect them from God’s vengeance, so the blood of Christ, our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7), the Lamb of God, is the sinner’s covering from God’s just indignation against our sin. God sees us, not in ourselves, not in our own righteousness, nor according to our good deeds (as if there were any), but rather God looks at the faithful through the sacrificial blood of the Lamb, through Christ our Messiah.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Jesus, thank You for offering Yourself as my Passover. Though I deserve the punishment for my sins, by Your grace I am passed over and enjoy the blessings of knowing You as my Covering. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Of Pure Grace

“[T]here is nothing in us or done by us at any stage of our earthly development because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only “when we believe,” it is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live… It is always, on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest. There is never anything that we are or have or do that can take His place or that take a place along with Him. We are always unworthy, and all that we have or do of good is always of pure grace.”

~ B.B. Warfield

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, thank You for accepting this humble sinner for Christ’s sake. His love and sacrifice are the only sufficient grounds for my salvation. Help me to always cling to Christ. In Jesus name, amen.

Endless Possibilities

“[F]or with God all things are possible.”

~ Mark 10:27b

This verse is the summum bonum of the Christian’s hope. Hidden deep in the truth of these seven little words is the greatest treasures of the Lord. Here lies the key that unlocks the power, glory and love of the living God – with Him all things are possible! There is no trial too great nor petition too small that God cannot affect. Nothing stays His hand. No need goes unnoticed. With God every concern can be comforted, every affliction assuaged, and every trepidation tamed. The real question is: Do we believe it? Does our faith carry us to the sure arms of a strong God with whom all things are possible? Do you rest in the assurance of this truth as one who belongs to Him? May we experience the hope, grace and love of the God of all things.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Jesus, may I take my every care and concern to You for in You lies all the grace, power and majesty of God to guide and strengthen m all my days. In Jesus’ name, amen.