Faithlife Sermons

A Title Match

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Genesis 32:22-32

I. Introduction:

Names are funny things. We pour over books full of names to find just the right one to fit our children. As Children, we look for a new name to be called if do not like the one we have been given. Sometimes, we are given a nick name by our friends or enemies and they stick to us like labels, whether we want them to or not. Ugly names can be thrown at us like weapons, to hurt and to wound. Who hasn’t felt their sting on playgrounds or been attacked with them in an argument. Like a hand grenade, they come and blow up our emotions. Sweet names are blown across whispering lips. Names like honey, or darling, caressing us and inviting us to draw near. Names communicate. Names describe. Names define. That is why when Jacob cheated Esau out of Isaac’s blessing Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob”? (Meaning supplanter or displacer, a trickster, cheater, or con-man). Jacob Cheated Esau out of his blessing by first stealing his name. Isaac, blinded by age and unable to see the son whom he is about to bless asks “Who is it?” Jacob then tells him that he is Esau. Such tricks are not possible with God, however. God knows who is in his presence. God knows our true name.

Thematic Sentence: As we meet God face to face, we see ourselves for who we really are and find grace to become who we are meant to be, and grace to overcome.

II.      Put Yourself in Jacob’s Corner: The Looming Situation

A.      The One He Cheated Threatens His Posterity

B.      The One He Cheated Threatens His Prosperity

C.      The One He Cheated Threatens His Property

III.   Engage Yourself in Jacob’s Contest: The Lively Struggle

A.      Wrestling One on One

B.      Wrestling a Worthy Opponent

C.      Wrestling with Determination

D.      Wrestling for the Prize

IV.    Give Up Yourself in Jacob’s Confession: The Liberated Self

A.      His True Self: The Mask Removed

B.      His New Self: The Name Change

C.      His New Title: The Winner Proclaimed

V.      Brace Yourself for Jacob’s Consequence:  The Lasting Souvenir

A.      Marked for Life: His Trophy

B.      Marking the Spot: His Tale

C.      Memorialized by Subsequent Generations: His Tribute

VI.    Conclusion:

What is your name? Do you need a new name? God sees us for who we are. Labels attached by ourselves or others fall away in the presence of God, and we are fooling ourselves of we call ourselves by any other name that that which he gives us. As God looks at you today, what name are you wearing? Are you willing to wrestle with him for a new one? But beware. If you do, you may never be the same again.

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