Message From Matt | January 25, 2019

Wrestlemania! 

You might find this hard to believe, but when I was younger,  loved Iwatching wrestling!  Not the real wrestling but the fake stuff from the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).  I grew up watching it on Saturday mornings and loved Dick the Bruiser, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Ricky the Dragon Steamboat!  I liked the WWF so much that when I was 19 years old I bought a 3rd row ticket to the 1992 Wrestlemania event at the Hoosier Dome in downtown Indy.  There I was, as close to the action as possible, watching some of my favorites beat up on each other and try to finish off their opponent with their finishing move!  One of those moves was the “figure four leg lock” that was the signature finishing move of Ric Flair.   This move wouldn’t last long, supposedly because the pain was too great, and those that were in it would eventually “tap out”!  But again, that stuff was fake!  

What about Jacob wrestling with Jesus in Genesis 32?  That wrestling match was the real deal and it lasted all throughout the night!  

I can only imagine how worn out Jacob had to be and the result was that Jacob walked the rest of his life with a limp…but he survived (he was preserved – Genesis 32:30)!

The result of that all night match didn’t end up with Jacob winning a championship belt, but it was the culmination of a 20 year process of breaking Jacob from his sinful behaviors!  

Remember, Jacob was a deceiver!  Jacob was a liar!  Jacob played favorites!  Jacob was following in his family’s sin patterns (strongholds) but enough was enough…it was time to change!  

When Jacob wrestled with Jesus, Jesus easily could have won!  But, He had a greater purpose!  His purpose was for Jacob to repent…and he did!  

Jacob realized that the life of deceiving was not what it was cracked up to be and through the pain of being deceived and the night of wrestling, he was a changed man!  In fact, his name would be changed and his fellowship with his brother that he robbed would soon be restored!  Jacob repented!  He changed his mind – he changed his direction!  

When we have been going the wrong way in life, God is merciful and gracious enough to allow things to happen in our life to get us to the point of repentance. It is because God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4) that He allows us the ability to repent instead of chastising us to the full extent that we deserve!  Repentance is a great thing:

Repentance brings refreshing (Acts 3:19)!
Repentance is given by the goodness of God! (Romans 2:4)!
Repentance is a gift (Acts 11:18)! 

If you’re living apart from God – repent!  It is God’s gift to us and the best way to start living for God again!    Repentance is changing our mind about our sin and turning back to God’s way!