Online Worship for Trinity Twelve, Sunday August 22, 2021
August, 22, 2021 Trinity Twelve
Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
In the name of Christ, Who is our immediate and all-encompassing access to our Heavenly Father, Dear fellow redeemed. . .
Christ Gives You Access to the Father
What would you give to have access to the President of the United States. Anything you wanted, you could bring it to him and he would make it happen. To some people that would be the greatest opportunity in the world and they would give up everything to have it. What about you? Wouldn’t that be an opportunity of a lifetime? While it may seem like it is a wonderful opportunity, consider this: Though the President is very powerful, there is a limit to his power. He cannot give you all the money in the national reserve, he cannot make laws that you want, or take out laws that you don’t want. Most importantly of all, even the President isn’t powerful enough to change the sinful state you and I are in. He is no better at helping towards our salvation than we can do on our own.
What would you give to have access to the Someone even more powerful than the President? How about the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. It is within His power to give you anything in this world. Scripture says, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)” There is nothing He cannot give you. Most importantly He can change that sinful state we are in. He can restore us spiritually from being dead in our sins, to living children of Him. There is only one problem. There is nothing you own, or good quality within yourself that you can trade to gain this access to God. The only access point is perfection. In our text today we learn that because of Christ, we are given unlimited access to the Father.
It is hard to picture the distress Jacob was experiencing at this moment in our text. He has to go away from his father and mother, and from his birthright. Esau had such hatred for him that he wanted to kill Jacob. He left with nothing. No servants, no livestock, no supplies, but only the clothes on his back and his staff in his hand. He had just gained everything he could want. He found a way to get the birthright from Esau, and he and his mother devised the plan to gain the blessing from Isaac. He did all of this, and for what? Loneliness, fear, and a loss of everything he thought he worked so hard for? These thoughts may have dominated the mind of Jacob to such a great extent that while on his journey, he didn’t even notice that the sun had come down. He just happened to come upon a place with many stones and he had no other choice but to make camp in this spot. Another sign of Jacob’s mental distress could be the fact that he could fall right to sleep while using a stone as a pillow.
Why did Jacob feel this way? Did he not know that God had promised to bless him and be with him? He most certainly did. But consider Jacob’s actions that were revealed in chapters 25 and 27. God promised that He would give Jacob the blessings of the firstborn even though he was younger than Esau. Instead of taking God at His word, Jacob took matters into his own hands. Instead of “God will provide;” it became “I must do this.” He felt that he must control his own fate and this is where it got him - sleeping on a stone all alone.
How often do you find yourself in a similar situation as Jacob? There are a multitude of decisions we have to make on a daily basis. Some are minor, but others may drastically change the course of our lives. How do you handle those decisions? As Christians, it should be obvious that we ought to spend time in prayer. We should use our unlimited access to God and ask for His help and blessing on our decisions. But that’s not what often happens. If we have mastered one thing, it’s making excuses. “I don’t have the time, I need to decide this right now. It’s too small for God to care. It’s not that big of a deal, I can handle it myself.” Sound familiar? Many times these are the actions we take without even thinking about it. While it may not seem like that big of a deal, it is. Whether it is a small decision or a life-changing decision, God directs us to go to Him for help. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” There is a reason this is written in Scripture. God knows you better than you know yourself. He knows that your sinful flesh is itching to take the wheel and control your lives. It starts small. Satan will tempt you to not “bother God” with something small and take the matter into your own hands. He builds upon that, and before long, he is tempting you to say the same thing when faced with bigger decisions. Satan is never satisfied getting you to fall into a small temptation. His goal is the destruction of your spiritual life. He wants you to turn to yourself for all your answers, especially concerning your salvation.. ” “I’ll do what I want now and repent later.” “God just doesn’t want me to have fun, so I’ll do what I think is right.” The goal of Satan was the same for Jacob as it is for you and me today, namely, the loss of your soul.
God knew Jacob was facing these temptations from Satan. He knew he was distressed and lonely and scared. Although Jacob felt like he was alone, God shows him that he wasn’t. God reminds him to Whom he should turn for help. Verses 13-14, “And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” God identifies Himself using the personal name Jehovah and as the God of Abraham and Isaac. All the stories Jacob’s father and grandfather passed on to him about their lives, this was the same God that was with them through it all. He then reiterates the same promise He gave to Abraham and Isaac. The numerous descendants, the filling of the world, and most importantly the Promised Savior. This is primarily what Jacob needed to hear. He needed to be reminded that the Gospel, the good news of the Savior from his sins, was meant for him and would even come from his own descendants. Jacob was distressed, he knew what he did was wrong, and he was feeling the effect of the Law on his heart. God restored him by the Gospel promise reminding him where he needs to turn to for help. God even shows Jacob how he is to gain access to God for help - the ladder. Jesus interprets what the ladder is for us in John 1:51. He says, ““Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” He is the ladder that allows all who put their faith in Him to have access to the Heavenly Father. This included Jacob. Because Jacob had faith in the promised Savior, God also gave him the promise in verse 15, “15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” This promise would carry Jacob throughout the rest of his life. Yes, he still sinned and messed up, but God brought him back to this promise. He was with Jacob and was always there to call him to repentance with the Law, and restore him with the blessed promise of Christ.
You too have access to the Heavenly Father. Jacob’s faith had to look forward in time believing that Jesus would come, live a perfect life, die on the cross, and rise again. Your faith has the absolute privilege of looking back in time. Christ has fulfilled the Law perfectly on your account. God’s punishment that your sins and mine deserve to receive, He has already suffered that on the cross. Jesus, the Son of God has risen from the dead to seal the deal and confirm that your sins stand forgiven by God. The ladder to the Father is open for you. With Christ by your side, you can go to the Heavenly Father as a little child would go to his or her father to ask for help. It doesn’t matter if it is a monumental decision, or the smallest request. God will hear you and will answer you in a manner that is best for you.
God’s promise to Jacob in verse 15 extends also to you today. He has a plan and a purpose for your life on this earth and He will be with you until it is completed. God has repeated this promise throughout Scripture: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”, Jeremiah 1:19 “They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”, Hebrews 13:5-6 “ Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”, Romans 8:31-32 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” There are many more. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who promised to never leave them or forsake them and Who promised to bless them; He is the same God who is present with us this morning. He has never failed to be with you and protect you. He has never failed to hear your prayers, great or small. He is the greatest Father, Friend, and Confidant you could ever wish for. And you have unlimited access to Him because of Christ.