Alumni Bible Study

A Bible study initially set up for alumni of the Senior Sunday School Class at the First United Methodist Church of Lufkin, Texas. It is our hope and our prayer that this study touches the hearts of those who participate and helps spread the love and grace of Our Lord and God. All who want to learn more about God are welcome

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Location: lufkin, Texas, United States

I am a Christian family man, Lay Pastor and writer from Deep East Texas. I love life, and I enjoy working with young people. I have published two books; "A Small Mind Among Tall Trees" and "God If You Are Not Too Busy, Can You Give Me a Hand". If you want to obtain a copy drop me an e-mail or go to or barnesand . I have been a salesman, cowman and athlete in my past. I still have a strong sense of humor and am not afraid to use it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Genesis 32:22-32

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go- Fight- Win. Amen.
Jacob Wrestles With God
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
27 The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.
28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, [
a] because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."
29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, [
b] saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, [
c] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.

Genesis 32:28 Israel means he struggles with God .
Genesis 32:30 Peniel means face of God .
Genesis 32:31 Hebrew Penuel , a variant of Peniel
I like the title of these passages. "Jacob Wrestles With God." How human are these words? Jacob moves all of his stuff across the river, but stays behind. He wrestles with some stranger there all night. I do not know if this is God himself, or an Angel or what, the scriptures do not say.
You have to admire Jacob’s persistence, he never quit. The struggle ended with the stranger touching Jacobs hip and dis-locating it. Still, Jacob had him in a hold. The stranger had to "tap out," and then blessed Jacob. He then changed his name to Israel-meaning "he struggles with God."
I wrestle with God almost everyday! I try to get God to see things my way, and convince him that things would be easier if he wouldn’t ask so much from me. I wonder why I am not successful in all the things I want to do, and ask why God lets the world run as it does. It is a constant struggle.
We are not alone, we all struggle with God, our faith and how God works in our lives. Jacob fought hard, all night, and still God prevailed. He was lucky, he realized God spared him in 32:30. Remember, things worth having are worth fighting for. If you struggle with God over faith, you are saying your faith is worth fighting for, and you are right. It is through these struggles that we become stronger and more dedicated. Sometimes, like Jacob, we get scarred in the fight. These are the scars of our faith, and these are our reminders of our relationship with God.
Prayer- Lord, Never give up on me. Even if I struggle with the Truth and you wishes, I love You and desire to be with you-always. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Relax, have a good holiday. Try not to fight God.


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