God’s Gracious Choices: Lessons from the Life of Jacob (2023)

God’s ways are often mysterious to us, but grace is always woven through them.  Jacob was far from perfect, but God still chose him and gave him the name “Israel.” Through his imperfect descendants God would restore His world.  His gracious ways with Jacob therefore inspire us with hope that He will also use us to continue this work.

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Week 1: An Unusual Birth, Genesis 25:21-26, August 20, 2023

As in many other biblical stories, God proves He is the author of life by giving children to a couple not able to bear them naturally. Twins are miraculously born, and God mysteriously chooses the younger son to be His chosen vessel of grace. What does this miraculous choice teach us about God and His gracious ways?

Sermon Notes & Discussion Guide

Week 2: An Unusual Blessing, Genesis 27:25-29, August 27, 2023

The name “Jacob” can mean “supplanter,” and he fits the role by stealing his brother’s inheritance. Why would God allow such injustice, and what does this teach us about God’s gracious blessing?   

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Week 3: An Unusual Dream, Genesis 28:10-15, September 3, 2023

As Jacob journeys to begin his new life, he sees a vision of a heavenly stairway traveled by angels. What does this stairway to heaven have to do with us and the plans God has for our life journey?

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Week 4: An Unusual Family, Genesis 35:22b-26, September 10, 2023

Jacob was not perfect, and neither was his family:  twelve different sons from four different mothers, all living in the same house.  Their lives were as challenging as we might imagine.  But why would God choose this imperfect family to start a new family of God?  What does this teach us about our less than perfect families?

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Week 5: An Unusual Exit, Genesis 31:51-55, September 17, 2023

The path of God’s blessing was not easy for Jacob.  He worked years for it, and still his uncle almost stole his blessing from him, just as he had stolen his brother’s blessing.  God intervenes, however, to ensure that His blessing continues to spread into the world.  What does this teach us about God’s gracious ways in the face of hostile plots and plans?

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Week 6: An Unusual Struggle, Genesis 32:22-30, September 24, 2023

After receiving his blessing, Jacob must make a troublesome journey home, a journey interrupted by an unusual fight with an unusual opponent.  What does this struggle teach us about our struggles, and how God meets us in these struggles?

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