Scripture Reference: Genesis 25, Genesis 26, Genesis 27, Genesis 28, Genesis 29, Genesis 30, Genesis 31, Genesis 32, 1 John 3:2-3
Jacob: Seeking Significance Through PowerRev. Philip Miller | January 22, 2023
Scripture Reference: Genesis 25, Genesis 26, Genesis 27, Genesis 28, Genesis 29, Genesis 30, Genesis 31, Genesis 32, 1 John 3:2-3
Selected highlights from this sermon
Jacob built his identity around gaining significance through power. He was a schemer who controlled and manipulated others to become successful and the recognized leader of the family.
Pastor Miller takes us through the life Jacob. We’ll make three stops along the way: Jacob’s upbringing, his sojourning, and his homecoming. Finally, at the age of 97, for the first time in his life, Jacob cries out to God for help. And what does God do? God wounds Jacob’s body to mend his soul.
Description/One Line: The true significance our souls long for comes not through power, but through frailty; not through control, but through surrender; not through strength, but through weakness.
Well, welcome back to Identity Traps. We’re looking at nine ways we lose ourselves and the one way that Jesus makes us whole. We’re talking about identity, and it turns out that at the root of identity are three deep needs.
We all need a sense of self that gives us:
- Significance. We need to know that we matter,
- Security. We need to know that we’re safe, and
- Satisfaction. We need to know that we’re fulfilled.
And God made us, we’re learning in this series, to find those deep identity needs met in Him, but instead we look to everything else other than God. We look to people, we look for their approval and their acceptance to try to find our significance, security, and satisfaction. We look to power, status, control to try to feed those needs. We look to possessions (Look at all this stuff I’ve got.) to try to shore up ourselves. Instead of looking to our Father, and Creator, to know who we are as children of God, we look to ourselves and to the creation and find ourselves living as orphans in the universe, fending for ourselves.
And at first, that orphan-hearted life is something we can’t avoid. We have to do it because our sin has separated us from God and we are estranged from Him as our Father.
But then Jesus came. The good news of the Gospel: Jesus came to rescue us. He dies in our place for our sake, bearing all of our sin and shame, our broken identities, upon Himself, and rises again to offer us a new identity in Him, His own righteous identity, pleasing before the Father so that by grace, through faith in Christ, we have a new identity as children of God. We are restored (don’t you see?) to our created identity. We are children of God. And this identity that is now ours in Christ, as children of God, is our past, present, and future reality if we believe in Jesus Christ. We are children of God already. That is our standing in Christ. We are justified in Him. It is our growing reality day by day as we walk by the Spirit. It is our sanctified reality, and it will one day be fully ours in glory when we see Jesus face-to-face. When we see Him as He is we will know ourselves for who we truly are. That will be our glorification.
1 John 3:2-3 says it beautifully: “Beloved, we are God’s children now (That’s our present reality.) and what we will be has not yet appeared (So we are waiting for the fullness.) but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies (present tense) himself as he is pure.”
This process, right here, right now, of purification, sanctification, growing in Christlikeness happens increasingly as we remember who our Father is so that we may remember who we in fact are so that we can learn to act like ourselves.
So in this series we are looking at nine different Bible characters who each fall into one of these nine permutations of orphan-hearted identity traps. And then each of these characters will discover the grace of God and learn to live in their true identity as His beloved children. We’re praying that as we look at these lives we will resonate with one or two of these, and then in seeing their own transformation we will realize what our own transformation might look like.
So today we’re going to look at Jacob’s identity trap which is seeking significance through power. Seeking significance through power! Jacob was the grandson of Abraham and the father of Joseph that we looked at last time. So you have Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and then Joseph. We’re going back to Jacob today, a little rewind. And Jacob’s story is a powerful look at the deep identity transformation that God wants to do in each and every one of our lives. And so it’s really important for us to lean in this morning.
We’re going to be looking at Genesis 25 to Genesis 32, and to sort our thoughts out we’re going to look at Jacob’s upbringing, Jacob’s sojourning, and Jacob’s homecoming. Jacob’s upbringing, sojourning, and homecoming. That’s our plan for this morning.
Would you bow your heads? Let’s pray together as we turn to God’s Holy Word.
Father, we gather this morning in great need, in great weakness, helplessness, asking that you will do what only you can do, that you would change us by the power of your Holy Spirit. Would you do a deep work in our life and our soul, in our identities this morning? We pray this in the matchless name of Jesus. Amen. Amen.
So first of all, Jacob’s upbringing, his upbringing. Jacob’s story actually begins even before he was born. Isaac and Rebekah were married and they conceived twins, and their names were Jacob and (Does anybody know the other one?) Esau: Jacob and Esau. And in the womb, Rebecca felt something weird. She felt them wrestling and struggling with one another in the womb, didn’t know what was going on. Maybe she thought she was having a miscarriage or something. She prays to God and asks Him what on Earth is happening, and this is what He said in Genesis 25:23: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples within you shall be divided. The one shall be stronger than the other. The older shall serve the younger.”
So sure enough, when her time to give birth comes, the first child comes out strong and hairy and red (red-headed), and she calls him Esau, which means red. Okay? And the second one comes out clinging to Esau’s heel with his hands like trying to...like “Get back in here; I’m coming out first.” Okay? And so she names him Jacob, which means heel-grabber, schemer, conniver, like he’ll do anything to get ahead in life.
So these are the brothers. And as they grow up, there’s lots of sibling rivalry. Esau becomes his father’s favorite. Isaac, the dad, loves wild game, and so Esau becomes this skilled hunter. He’s an outdoorsman. He’s a man’s man. You know, he’s brawny and he has chest hair, and shops at Cabela’s, you know, that sort of thing. (laughter)
And Jacob is a mama’s boy, okay? He stays at home. He keeps his hands clean. He enjoys culinary arts, and he’s thoughtful and sensitive. So you get the picture here, okay? And Jacob grows up with this prophecy hanging over his head. One of the boys will be stronger than the other. Which one is that? Esau. Esau’s the strong one, and the older will serve the younger. Esau’s the older one. Esau, the strong one, will in fact serve Jacob, the younger one. So this prophecy is hanging over Jacob’s and Esau’s lives. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Now, years go by and one day Esau comes in from a long day of working in the fields. He’s exhausted, he’s starving, and Jacob has a stew on, and Esau smells it, and he wanted it so bad. He stomach was rumbling.
Genesis 25:31-33: “Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright now.’ Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is my birthright to me?’ Jacob said, ‘Swear it to me now.’ So he swore it to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.”
And the “birthright” is a little opaque to us. These were the days of primogeniture where the oldest child was given a double inheritance from the father by rights of birth, and so Esau here concedes his double inheritance when his father dies for a bowl of stew.
Now, wait a minute! What is going on? You see Jacob’s been waiting for this moment. He knows Esau. He knows he’s grumpy and impulsive when he’s “hangry,” and when he comes back from the fields, he’ll do almost anything to grab a meal. And Jacob exploits his brother and cheats him out of his inheritance.
That’s bad, right? But it’s nothing to what Jacob did later. Isaac, the father, as he ages, his eyes didn’t work so well, and one day he calls Esau in and says, “I want you to go hunting and bring back some of my favorite game. I want you to prepare it the way I love it because today I’m going to give you the blessing as my first-born son. I’m going to give you the blessing of the first-born.”
You say, “What is the blessing of the first-born?” Well, it was a unique blessing that was given to the oldest child to assume the role of patriarch within the family. So this means it is a blessing that confers leadership upon Esau’s life over his entire family, including his brothers and sisters, which included Jacob.
So off into the woods, Esau heads out to get this meal. Rebekah (Mom) overhears the plan and schemes with Jacob, her favorite. They decide to cook a meal and put Esau’s clothing on Jacob so he’s got his musk (sniffs), you know. Rebekah puts goat hair on Jacob’s arms, hands, and neck so that he’ll feel like Esau. Have you ever felt goat hair? It’s nasty. It is wiry and coarse and prickly. So Esau is one hairy dude. He’s like a human Brillo pad, okay?
So now Jacob sneaks in with his food and his adornment now to fool Isaac. Genesis 27:18-27: “And so he went in to his father and said, ‘My father.’ And he said, ‘Here I am. Who are you, my son?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau, your first-born. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat my game, that your soul may bless me.’ But Isaac said to his son, ‘How is it that you have found it so quicky, my son?’ He answered, ‘Because the Lord your God granted me success.’ (Hoo Hoo, this is interesting.) Then Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Please come near me that I might feel you, my son, and know whether you are really my son, Esau, or not.’ So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are the hands of Esau,’ and he did not recognize him because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands, so he blessed him and said, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ and he answered, ‘I am.’ Then he said, ‘Bring it near to me that I might eat some of my son’s game and bless you.’ So he brought it to him and he ate, and brought him wine and he drank, and his father, Isaac, said to him, ‘Come near me, and kiss me, my son.’ So he came near and kissed him, and Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him.”
So Jacob, not Esau, receives the blessing of the first-born.
Now, just for a moment, how old do you think Jacob is when he pulls this stunt? If you had to guess, how old do you think he is? Just shout out a number. How old? 40, 30, 15, 18!
He’s 76 years old! (laughter) Seventy-six years old! This is messed up. Okay? Super messed up!
Esau is furious. Jacob cheated him out of his inheritance. Now he has cheated him out of his blessing, and in Genesis 27:41 this is what we read: “Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself ‘The days of mourning for my father are approaching and then I will kill my brother Jacob.’”
So Jacob flees from home, fearing for his life, and he goes to the only place he can think. He goes to stay with his crazy uncle Laban. But on the way Jacob will encounter God in a dream. God appeared in a dream to Isaac and renewed with him the covenant that he had made with his grandfather, Abraham, and with his father, Isaac. He now makes the covenant with Jacob. And when Jacob awakes he calls the place Bethel, the House of God, and he sets up a stone to mark the spot.
And then Jacob says this, very interesting, Genesis 28:20-22: “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.’”
Now, this is unbelievable, isn’t it? Do you see what he is doing? He’s bargaining with God. He’s bargaining. “If you are with me, if you keep me as I go, if you give me bread and clothing, if you bring me back home in peace, then, I’ll tell you what, you can be my God. This place can be your house, and I’ll give you ten percent of my stuff.” Who says that? This is so audacious. Jacob’s like, “Look, just because you’re the God of Abraham and the God of my father, Isaac, doesn’t mean I’m going to take you as my God. You’re going to have to prove yourself. I’ll tell you what, God, I’ll give you an audition. Let’s see how you do.”
Now, at this point, we have enough to gain a sense of Jacob’s identity trap. Jacob wants significance, doesn’t he? He wants significance. He wants to be recognized as the leader of his family. He wants to be successful and prosperous. He wants the favor and blessing of God on his life. He wants to be at the top. And how will he go about getting this significance? What’s his chosen strategy? Power! Power! He’s scheming. He’s conniving. He is controlling. He is manipulating, isn’t he?
Jacob’s identity is built around gaining significance through power. Jacob is going to grab significance by the throat and make sure he gets it no matter what. He’s not going to leave it up to chance and he’s not going to leave it up to God either. Jacob is going to power his way to the significance he thinks he deserves. That’s Jacob’s upbringing, okay? His upbringing!
Now let’s look at his sojourning. Having enraged Esau, Jacob now flees to go live with Uncle Laban, who decides he’ll give him a job. And it turns out that Laban is just as conniving and crafty and scheming and manipulative as Jacob is. Look at this.
Genesis 29. I’m going to look at a variety of verses here. “Then Laban said to Jacob, ‘Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? I’m going to pay you. Tell me, what shall your wages be?’ Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for your youngest daughter, Rachel.’ Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; so stay with me.’ Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him as but a few days because of the love he had for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me my wife that I may go into her, for my time is completed.’ So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. But in the evening he took his daughter, Leah, and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, ‘What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?’ Laban said, ‘It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Complete the week of this one (the honeymoon), and we will give you the other also in return for serving another seven years.’ Jacob did so and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. And so Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.”
Now, obviously very, very messed up. Yes? Okay, so many levels of messed up here. Okay? It’s a polygamous society. This is obviously really goofy, but do you see the ironic, tragic twist to all of this? Think about it. When was the last time we saw someone deceived in a tent, in the dark where one of the parties had weak eyes, and where there was a false identity switch? When was the last time we saw that? The last time Jacob was the deceiver. This time he’s deceived. Don’t you see? Jacob is getting a taste of his own medicine. The schemer has been scammed. And notice the sting of Laban’s words. “It is not so done in our country to give the younger before the first-born.” Ho ho ho! “In our country the younger doesn’t usurp the first-born.” There’s no mistaking his words, is there? You see the ironic comeuppance that’s happening here. Jacob finds himself now insignificant and powerless in the face of Laban’s manipulation and scheming. Jacob finds himself insignificant, powerless in the face of Laban’s manipulation and scheming. Do you see this? His strategy for identity is unraveling. He’s been thwarted and frustrated. He’s been beaten at his very own game. Building a life of significance through power only works until someone more powerful comes along. And Jacob has finally met his match in Laban. Do you see that?
Now, Jacob and Laban are going to go several more rounds (chuckles) with one another, trying to scheme and connive and best one another, and Jacob always seems to come out on top. He grows wealthier and wealthier at Laban’s expense, and after 20 years he’s worn out his welcome. Tensions are running high, and so God appears to him and tells him to go back to the land his fathers.
We’ve seen his upbringing, his sojourning, and now let’s look at Jacob’s homecoming, his homecoming. Genesis 31:3: “Then the LORD said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.’” So now at 97 years of age, Jacob returns to Canaan, to the Land of Promise, the land of the covenant. Notice it’s capital LORD. This is the covenant-keeping God who is inviting him back into the covenant land of promise.
But Jacob remembers why he left. He remembers the fury in Esau’s eyes. It’s been 21 years. The question is how strong a grudge has Esau been holding. So Jacob, as he approaches the land, sends messengers ahead of him, some of his servants, to alert Esau to his presence, that he’s coming back, and to gauge Esau’s reaction. And so the report comes back and they say, “Esau is coming to meet you, and there are 400 men with him.”
Jacob blows a gasket! That’s in the Hebrew here. (laughter) He blows a gasket because this is a small army, and Jacob realizes he’s in deep trouble. And watch this. In desperation Jacob cries out to God for help for the first time in his 97-year-old life.
Genesis 32:9-12: “And Jacob said, ‘O God of my father, Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac, O Lord, who said to me, “Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,” I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan River, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, “I will surely do you good and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.”’”
You know, they say there are no atheists in the foxhole, right? And Jacob, all of a sudden, gets really religious. He’s in trouble and he cries out to God. Notice that he cries out to the God of his father, Abraham, and the God of his father, Isaac, but he does not yet claim God for himself. Very important. And yet his tone is different from Bethel. Instead of demanding that God prove Himself, he says, “I am not worthy of the least of the deeds of steadfast love and all of the faithfulness you’ve shown to your servant.” And he begs, “Please, please deliver me from Esau, for I fear him.”
Do you see? Something is happening to Jacob. He’s afraid. He’s scared. He’s in a crisis, and he’s starting to sound almost humble, isn’t he? And yet the schemer in Jacob is still alive, so he decides he’s going to send a series of gifts to Esau, herds of animals, wave after wave in sequence. He does this to butter up Esau (Maybe he’ll treat him better.) but also to encumber Esau. He’s got all these animals to take care of. That’s a big chore. It’s going to slow Esau up. And it’s going to prevent a sneak attack. You can’t sneak up when you’ve got a whole herd of cattle with you. You can’t sneak up on anybody. And this way, if there is a fight, Jacob’s going to be more nimble. So you see Jacob’s still working the angles here. He’s still trying to manipulate the outcomes. He’s still trying to use power to get ahead in life, but all that is about to change.
Genesis 32:22-24: “The same night he arose and took his two wives, hie two female servants, his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.”
So Jacob makes this strategic crossing of the stream to put the water course between himself and Esau. He sent his family first, and he’ll join them shortly, and here he is all alone. He’s stressed, he’s worried. He’s done everything he can to kind of weasel his way out of this mess, but deep down he knows it’s not enough. He’s outmatched, he’s outnumbered, he’s out of options.
And then, out of nowhere he’s ambushed in the night. This wrestling match ensues and this 97-year old man is now wrestling with everything he’s got. And they wrestle, these two, all night, not because Jacob’s so strong (He’s 97-years old.) but because God is wearing him down to the very end of his strength.
Friends, God is wrestling Jacob to the end of himself, but Jacob is self-reliant to the core. He doesn’t back down. You hit him, he hits back harder. He doesn’t get mad. He gets even. And Jacob is a tough old bird, and he won’t admit defeat.
Genesis 32:25: “And when the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.” Jacob won’t give in. And so finally God flexes His strength, and with a simple touch, wrenches his hip right out of the socket. And friends, God wounds Jacob’s body to mend his soul. God wounds Jacob’s body to mend his soul. God wrenches his hip to bring Jacob to the very end of himself, to bring him to a place of weakness and brokenness and powerlessness. And as Jacob lays there, defeated, wounded, helpless, powerless, and he can’t wrestle anymore, he still won’t let go. He won’t let go of the God-man.
Genesis 32:26-28: “Then He said, ‘Let me go, for the day has broken.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ And He said to him, ‘What’s your name?’ and he said, ‘Jacob.’ And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.’”
So Jacob knows he’s been bested here. And he knows this is some sort of supernatural being because his hip was wrenched out with just a touch, but even in defeat, Jacob is still working the angles. Do you see this? He’s still trying to stay on top. He’s trying to stay in control. “I won’t let you leave unless you bless me.” And friends, Jacob wants God’s blessings on his own terms, you see, but God will not be manipulated. God will not be manipulated. That’s why God changes his name. Naming is the right of superiors. Parents name their kids. Kids name their stuffed animals, right?
God changes Jacob’s name, and friends, Jacob submits to the name change. This is huge. He finally submits. He finally yields. God says, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, “heel-grabber,” “cheater.” That’s not your identity anymore. Your new name will be Israel, for you have striven with God and with man and you have prevailed.” Israel means “God-striver,” “God-striver.” What a great name is that! God-striver! And there’s ambiguity in the name itself in the Hebrew. It’s unclear in the name who the subject is and who the object is, so the question is, “Is it Jacob who strives with God, because that’s certainly been his past? He’s been striving and wrestling and grasping, or is it God who strives for Jacob? Is it God who strives for Jacob, which is what Jacob desperately needs if he’s going to have any future, any life? He needs God as his defender, his protector, his power.
See, in the name of “Israel” is an invitation. Will Jacob keep striving with God, grasping for power, or will he finally surrender, trusting God to strive powerfully on his behalf? That’s the question.
Genesis 32:29: “Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him.” Jacob is not quite ready. The heel-grabber makes one final attempt to balance the scales. He asks for his victor’s name, presumably so he could change his name. “You change my name, now I’m going to change your name, God.” (laughs) But God won’t play his game. He skirts the question, asking why, and then, friends, God blesses Jacob. Helpless, broken, weak, powerless Jacob is finally blessed by God.
Genesis 32:30-32: “So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.’ The sun rose upon him as he passed Penial, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.”
Jacob calls this place Peniel, the face of God, and as the sun rises Jacob sets out and he’s limping. He’s limping. And friends, Jacob’s limp is grace. Jacob’s limp is grace because as Jacob limps his way toward Esau, he can’t fight, he can’t flee. He can only limp. Limp and trust! Limp and trust!
Friends, the birthright, the blessings, the future, Jacob’s own life, his family, all of it is beyond his control at this moment. He is powerless to do a thing. Do you see that? And with every flinching step, Jacob discovers, “I am weak, but He is strong. I am inadequate but He is sufficient. I am powerless but He is powerful.” And friends, Jacob limps into his transformed identity as he now finds significance in surrendering to God. Do you see that?
And God comes through for Jacob. God will strive for Israel. And a miraculous thing happens. Esau welcomes Jacob home with open arms because God has gone before Jacob. And from this day on, God is not just the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, but He is the God of Jacob, the God of Israel. And Jacob learns that he can only inherit the blessings of God, not through power but through frailty; not through control, but through surrender; not through strength, but through weakness; not by striving, but by grace.
Jacob discovers the truth of what the apostle Paul says when he writes, “For when I am weak, then I am strong, for His power is made perfect in weakness.” See in this moment Jacob learns that instead of living as an orphan, trying to use power to make himself significant in life, there is a significance that can only be received by the grace of God. The very blessings that Jacob strived so hard to obtain through manipulation, power, and control, God intended to give to him as a gift of grace that would be received in childlike faith. And as Jacob’s orphan heart is coming to the very end of himself, friends, right here Israel’s childlike trust is coming to life. It took a wrenched hip to align his soul. It took brokenness to make him whole. It took surrender to finally have significance. Do you see that?
And friends, the significance our souls desperately need is found in surrendering ourselves to our Father.
Friends, do you realize that in Jesus Christ, your heavenly Father has crowned you with glory and honor. He has seated you with Christ in the heavenly places. He has adopted you as a son and daughter forever. He has given you an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, that is kept in heaven for you. And you don’t have to scheme. You don’t have to manipulate. You don’t have to strive, or endeavor, or grasp after all these blessings of God. In fact, if you do, you will never have them. These blessings of God can only be received as gifts of grace, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The true significance our souls long for comes not through power but through frailty, not through control but surrender, not through strength but weakness, not through striving but by grace.
Friends, true significance comes through childlike trust, for His power is made perfect in weakness, and when I am weak, then I am strong. So if you want an identity that is chock-full of significance, remember this.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.
Father, teach us to root our souls, our identity, in you, to remember there’s no higher calling, no greater honor, no more substantive significance in our lives than that which you give us by grace, to call us sons and daughters, to freely give this identity that we freely receive through the mercy of Jesus. Thank you that Jesus came to make all of this possible. We could never be children of God if it weren’t for Jesus and His substitutionary atonement on the cross. And now that you have declared us your children, and we know one day we will be your children in glory, by your Holy Spirit help us to live as your children right here, right now, to find the deep significance of our souls, met in the reality of our childlike trust in who you are, that reminds us who we are, so we can lives like ourselves. Because Jesus loves us.
We are weak. He is strong.
We pray this in His matchless name, Amen.