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January 10, 2019
Genesis 32:26-28
Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”  But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

New International Version (NIV)
                “You will know it is God, when all you can do is hold on,” said my wise friend.  We were talking about the future and God’s plans for our lives.  He spoke from a lifetime of serving God and loving God’s people in the church.

              Jacob started life holding on to his brother.  He had managed to win wrestling matches with his brother Esau, his father Isaac and his father in law Laban.  Jacob was undefeated.  On his way home after running away from Laban, he dreaded facing the brother he had twice defrauded.  After sending his family over the Jabbok, he found himself alone. 

               Except he was not alone.  Someone wrestled with Jacob that night, wrenched his hip and then told Jacob to let him go.  Jacob’s response informs our decisions today, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”  The stranger changed Jacob’s name and changed his life.  Jacob believed he had fought with God and survived. 

               Who won the match really?  The Bible doesn’t say.  Jacob walked away with a limp, and a new resolve to walk with God.  “You will know it is God, when all you can do is hold on.”  When God comes to you today, by all means hold on to him.  For the record, he is always holding on to you.

Pray with me:  
Father, we are well aware of the abysmal choices we have made in times gone by.  Facing the consequences of our choices can be so painful.  Thank you for not leaving us alone in our guilt and grief.  Come to us and change us we pray.  We are holding on to you.  You are our only hope.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen. 
This year our Every Day with Jesus readings will follow The Bible Project Read Scripture Plan.  Copies of this reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download 
the app at readscripture.org.  Read through the Bible with us in 2019!
Joyfully, 
Duane 

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