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Living My Faith

Out of Context: “Plans to Prosper You”

God has great plans for his people, but they don’t always involve a quick fix to all earthly problems. In the same way, God’s plan to prosper your spiritual life might not be the path you prayed for.

Living My Faith

Flawed but Blessed: How Boldly Can I Pray?

In the strangest scene of Jacob’s story, God appears and wrestles with him for hours. Despite God’s superior strength, “Jake the Snake” refuses to loosen his python grip until God blesses him. After decades of grabbing on to sin, Jacob finally grabs on to God. In the same way, we grip God in prayer, holding on to his promises until he blesses us.

Living My Faith

Flawed but Blessed: How Does Grace Change Me?

While karma is not a Christian teaching, a form of karma exists. The cycle of sin spins every time we give each other what we deserve. Jacob and Laban’s story is proof. Greed and lies spin back and forth, destroying a family. This same destructive cycle happens in our lives and points us to Jacob’s descendant who turned the other cheek on the cross, giving grace to sinners.

Living My Faith

Flawed but Blessed: Is God Here?

After his lies, deceit, and dishonor, Jacob fled for his life and found . . . a forgiving God. Jacob’s dream teaches us a classic truth—there is a way for sinners to be with God. Jesus’ words prove that the same is true for “Jacobs” today. He is the true stairway to heaven!

Living My Faith

Flawed but Blessed: Why Does God Love Liars?

Rebekah, the “godly” wife of Isaac, was willing to deceive her husband to steal a blessing for her favorite child. This story shows us that while parents are to be honored, they are not always to be imitated. We are invited to reflect on the spiritual climate of our homes and remember Jesus, who was willing to disobey the mother who tried to stop his messianic ministry.

Living My Faith

Flawed but Blessed: Why Does God Love Me?

Despite God’s promise to bless Jacob, he hustled his brother. What seemed small started a pattern of behavior that ruined Jacob’s family and nearly destroyed his life. This account warns us of the “small” sins that become a pattern of something greater. Finally, it serves as a contrast with Jesus, who chose to give up his birthright of blessing to sinners like us.

Living My Faith

What if I Don’t Agree With Jesus?

Authority. Jesus’ enemies adored it. They refused to submit to Jesus’ teaching, even when caught in their own duplicity. They missed finding true life because they refused to die to having the last word. Modern Americans face the same dilemma. Will Jesus be the Lord who gets the last word? Or will we cling to our plastic gavels and tell Jesus what to do?