Crossroads Connection for the Week of November 10
 
 
 
Article #1
 

Why Do You Ask My Name?

By Norman Brown — Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Scripture Reading: Genesis 32:22-32

Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
Genesis 32:29

A strange wrestling match took place one night at the Jabbok River. Jacob had been preparing to meet with his twin brother, Esau, on the next day. It would be Jacob’s first visit with Esau since running away after stealing his brother’s birthright (Genesis 27).

But on this night, Jacob wrestled in the dark with someone he couldn’t see. We aren’t told much about this wrestler, but we know he struggled with Jacob till dawn, and their match ended as a draw until the opponent wrenched Jacob’s hip.

Jacob held on, though, saying, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And the wrestler gave Jacob a new name, Israel, which means “he struggles with God.” This name fit Jacob well, for he had a long history of struggling to choose right from wrong (see Genesis 27-35). It was often difficult for Jacob to try to live God’s way.

Like Jacob, we too struggle with God. And yet, despite trying to go our own way, we are blessed. God comes to bless us who have tried to scheme our way into life’s blessings. He confronts us, but instead of giving us what we deserve, he grants salvation and life.

Jacob ended up with a limp from his encounter. Do we have scars from our wrestling with God? Maybe not visible ones, but we know there is One who bears the scars of laying down his life for us: the Lord and Savior, Jesus (John 20:24-29). Do you know him?

Lord Jesus, thank you for fighting to redeem and restore us to be all you have called us to be. Amen. 



 


Article 2

 
 


 




In His Name

 

 By Greg Laurie

“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.”

—Malachi 3:16

Do you notice when people use your name? I can be out somewhere with my son, Jonathan, and he’ll say “Dad . . . Dad!” but I won’t respond. Then he’ll say, “Greg Laurie!” and I’ll immediately turn around. If you say my name, you’ll get a response.

In the same way, when you say the name of Jesus, He will respond. He pays attention when we speak His name.

People use the name of Jesus all the time, and sadly, sometimes they use it in profanity. Why is that? Because even in their twisted way, nonbelievers are acknowledging there is power in the name of Jesus.

When we gather for worship, the Lord is listening. When we initiate a conversation about Jesus, the Lord is eavesdropping. He wants to know what we’re saying.

Malachi 3:16 tells us, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name” (NKJV).

The phrase “listened and heard” means to prick the ears or to listen more carefully. Not only does God listen, but He notices as well. And He will reward us for every act of faithfulness.

Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (NLT).

God takes notice of everything you’ve done. Maybe you haven’t received the thanks you deserve or that pat on the back. But the Lord is watching. The Lord is keeping a record. And one day He will reward you for every sacrificial act, every gift you gave, and everything you did in the name of Jesus. 


   
 
Article #3
 

Do You Need a Breakthrough?

"...while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, 'Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding'" (Dan 9:21-22).

There are times in our lives when we simply need a breakthrough from God. Maybe you need a new job or a breakthrough in your finances, direction on a big business deal, or maybe physical healing from an illness. Sometimes we need to hear from God directly for situations in our lives.

Daniel was seeking God to understand why the nation had been in captivity for 70 years. He began to fast and pray. At the end of this time an angel of the Lord appeared to him. It is clear the angel came to Daniel because of his fasting and prayer and his seeking God for answers.

The prophet Jeremiah says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer 29:13). The problem with most of us is we are unwilling to seek God for the answers. Seeking God requires an intentional focus that may require prayer and fasting.

Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ said, "I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world. The longer I fasted, the more I sensed the presence of the Lord. The Holy Spirit refreshed my soul and spirit, and I experienced the joy of the Lord as seldom before. Biblical truths leaped at me from the pages of God's Word. My faith soared as I humbled myself and cried out to God and rejoiced in His presence."*

Do you need a breakthrough? Consider committing to a time of fasting and prayer.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
 
Article #4
 
 

 

Hitherto…

Samuel took a stone… and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
1 Samuel 7:12

On January 1, 1805, missionary Henry Martyn wrote in his journal, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped me. It is now about five years since God stopped me in the career of worldliness, and turned me from the paths of sin: three years and a half since I turned to the Lord with all my heart; and a little more than two years since he enabled me to devote myself to his service as a Missionary. My progress of late has become slower than it had been; yet I can truly say, that in the course of this time, every successive year, every successive week, has been happier than the former. From many dangerous snares hath the Lord preserved me. In spite of all my inward rebellion, he hath carried on his work in my heart; and in spite of all my unbelieving fears, he hath given me a hope full of immortality.”[1]

 


Recommended Reading:
1 Samuel 7:1-12

What a great testimony, and it is our testimony too! Our progress isn’t always as rapid as we’d like, but every year, month, and day is sweeter with Jesus than the one before. The Lord who was with you and helped you in the past is there for you today!

The same grace and long-suffering, the same wisdom and power, that have brought me so far, will bring me on.
Henry Martyn

[1] John Sargent, Memoir of the Rev. Henry Martyn, B.D.: Late Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and Chaplain to the Honourable East India Company (New York: N. Bongs and T. Mason, 1824), 76.