Can Anyone Win Against God?

“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome” (Genesis 32: 28, NIV). So said the “man” who wrestled with Jacob.

How could Jacob win against God? Maybe God let him win. Or maybe the victory was Jacob overcoming his own stubbornness of doing his own way instead of submitting to God’s ways.

I struggle myself sometimes with that submission. I tend to try to manipulate people or circumstances to make things turn out the way I think they should. Maybe I’ve even tried at times to manipulate God.

I’m so glad that You, God, won’t allow that! You are sovereign, all wise, good, and faithful. Your plans are always better than mine. Sometimes I forget.

(Image from Pinterest)

A hymn from my childhood by Eliza E. Hewitt (Verse 3):

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Spirit divine;“ All that thou hast to My keeping resign; Grace more abounding is Mine to impart—Make full surrender and give Me thy heart.”

(Lyrics from Timeless Truths https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Give_Me_Thy_Heart/ )
(A trio sings the hymn on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgv7cvnyaIg )

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Perfect Words

Your Words are perfect, Lord—flawless, pure, absolute, and true. They tell me of Your love and about who You are. They lead me in right paths and will bring me home to You when it is the right time. Therefore, I will bow before You and humbly receive the spiritual nourishment, the knowledge, and the guidance of Your Word. (James 1:21)

I come to Your Word for refuge from the lies of the enemy.

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

Proverbs 30:5 NIV

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Put Away Anger

When my anger flares up because someone offends me, maybe I could humble myself and remember that You, Lord, are God. No one and nothing, whether high or low or near or far or spiritual or physical, compares to You.

Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, You are more powerful and glorious than 10 billion times 10 billion suns. I can’t imagine Your greatness. Teach me to fear You alone because You alone are the life-giving God. You poured Your infinite power and wisdom and love into the body of Jesus (Colossians 2:9)!

The person who offended me and I are mere human beings, while from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. I will quiet my soul and trust You to make things right in Your view and in Your time.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (Proverbs 19:23 NIV)

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Trust Jesus Start to Finish

Jesus, You are the author and finisher of my faith. As You begin Your work in me, You teach me to set my mind on things above and on the Holy Spirit. You empower me to end a mind set on what I want or what might please others.

You start my mind remembering what I need to remember, such as Your mercy, forgiveness, and love which extends all the way to Calvary. You are the author of the sound mind that forgets what You have forgotten like forgiven sin carried away at the cross and the shame of imperfections which are covered by Your love.

(Verse graphic from (Pinterest.)

Lord, You have begun a good work in me and will continue it until the day of Your return when I will see You face to face and will be like You.

I could never thank You or praise You enough for all Your works. Let Your name be glorified forever and ever. Amen!

Hebrews 12:2 “[Looking] unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….”

Philippians 1:6 “[Being] confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

(Scripture quotes are from the New King James Version.)

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Sing Praises to Our King

1 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
2 How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!

In these times of turmoil, Lord, how good it is to remember Your sovereignty!

6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.

I will sing praises when I count my blessings because every good gift I have comes from You.

I know I need to sing praises when I encounter trouble because You are refining my character, but too often I forget to do that. Please help me, Holy Spirit!

When I see the trees and rocks and flowers and animals, I will sing praises to You, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Our hearts rejoice and sing praises when we remember Your unending love and Your mighty power.

7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.

I will sing praise to You because You are Sovereign God and King of all.

8 God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted.

(From Psalm 47 NIV) (Underline emphasis mine.)

What a good reminder this psalm is to me when I’m tempted to anger or discouragement over national and world events! The kings of the earth belong to God, and God reigns over the nations. I can trust Him no matter what happens.

(Psalm 47:1 picture from Pinterest)

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Regret Syndrome

“Do you suffer from regret syndrome?” the pastor asked.

“Well, now that you mention it, I probably do,” I thought. I’ve struggled with regret for many years. Am I the only one?

A few weeks ago, I decided I’d fooled around with regret long enough. I imagined coming to a stop sign with “Nailed to the Cross” printed on it in the middle of the road.

I wrote, “Every time I’m tempted to go back to regret, I can think, ‘That one was nailed to the cross too. I don’t have to go down “Regret Road” anymore. I can get back to following Jesus.”

But what about actions I just wish I could go back and change—not necessarily sins? Perhaps I’m forgetting that God works even those things into His plans and purposes for good.

So when some old sin or foolish deed flashes into my mind, the old me might say, “Shame on me!” But the new me, transformed by Christ, would question, “What? Did that one slip out when the rest were nailed to the cross?” and that new-in-Christ me would sing for joy because of the truth of Colossians 2:13-14: “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” New Living Translation

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Amazing!

Lord God, You know me—who I am inside. You know where I am and what’s going on around me. You also know these things about the past and the future.

Amazing Knowledge!

Holy God, Your everlasting love surrounds and upholds me. You protect me and grant me shelter. You gave Your Son who gave Himself willingly to the cross, so my sins could be carried away from me as far as the east is from the west.

Amazing Grace!

Merciful God, You take me by the hand and lead me where I should go.

Amazing Love!

Savior God, You give me eternal life. No one can ever take me away from You.

Amazing Joy!

Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” NIV

Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” NIV

John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.” New Living Translation

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A Jubilant June Thanksgiving

The blue-violet blooms along the fence first caught my eye,
And milk-white blossoms splattered the green weeds around them.

I found a bunch of bright golden black-eyed Susans nearby.

And look! A puff of pink wild roses.

Fragrant white-crowned yarrow marches beside the road
While tumbling water clatters through the rocky roadside ditch.

Thank You, Lord, for these beauties attending my morning walk
On this cloudy day in June.
This visual feast—Your gift to me—eases my weariness from yesterday’s disappointments.
My faltering faith leaps to life again as I remember Your presence and love.
All praise and thanks belong to You, God.
Let heaven and earth, all people and all creation give
Glory and honor to You, O Lord our God! Amen.

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1 PETER #14: AN ETHNICITY OF HOLINESS

Here is the second sermon by Pastor Tom that I’m reblogging:

Clear Bible

Photo by Angela Roma on Pexels.com

Jesus is the way of salvation, the only way. Every other path is doomed to keep a person separated from the goodness of God. If you reject Jesus, there are severe natural consequences – even more severe than rejecting gravity at the top of a cliff.

But rejecting Jesus is not the only possibility. Even those who once rejected him have the opportunity to turn back (that is, repent) and receive him, as long as they are still drawing breath. For those who do receive him, the consequences are wonderful: we are specially selected children, we are inducted into the priest-order of King Jesus, we are an ethnicity of holiness, and God’s specially-obtained people.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

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1 PETER #13: THE ROCK-HARD TRUTH

Dear Journal Jottings Friends,
I’m hoping to get a post of my own out later in the week Meanwhile, I’m reblogging a couple of great sermons by Pastor Tom who always makes the Bible clear. Here’s the first:

Clear Bible

Photo by Angelo Duranti on Pexels.com

Many people, both past and present, recognize that Christianity has been a greater force for good in this world than any other religion or worldview. But some people want to have the benefits of Christianity without the difficult, almost embarrassing, business of actually entrusting their lives to Jesus Christ. That is, they want to stop short of having faith. However, Jesus’ chief apostle, Peter, presents us with something we in the modern world seem to hate: a binary choice. Jesus is the cornerstone, the foundation upon which everything depends. Those who trust in him will not be put to shame. Those who reject him will find themselves destroyed by that rejection. To be a Christian is to trust Jesus. Without that, there is no Christianity.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button: To download, right click on the link (or do whatever…

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