Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Paul Ratsara
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000485A
00:01 Did you know that you could be a new creation in Christ Jesus?
00:05 The old will be gone and the new will arise
00:09 when you have a personal encounter with God.
00:12 Join us today on Issues and Answers and see how Jacob's
00:16 personal encounter changed him.
00:49 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and once again we welcome you to
00:53 Issues and Answers and once again we are welcoming
00:57 the return of Paul Ratsara, Dr. Paul Ratsara who is
01:01 a pastor, he's also the president of
01:04 The Southern Africa Indian Ocean Division of the
01:08 Seventh-Day Adventist church but more than that
01:10 he is a child of God, who is a man of prayer and he practices
01:17 the presence of God daily, moment by moment.
01:20 Paul, thank you so much for returning
01:23 Very happy to be here. - Oh, I am so happy,
01:26 and you know I love you and I love your precious wife Joanne.
01:30 - Yes. -It is just a joy to have you here.
01:34 Well, we just have to dive into this because I am enjoying this
01:38 study so much. Today we're talking about
01:40 Jacob's encounter with God and how it changed him.
01:45 So we are in Genesis, chapter 28, if you would like to get
01:50 your Bible, you will find as I am finding that Paul is
01:54 leading us...sometimes my eyes will stray down a little bit
01:57 to the next scripture and I am seeing things that I really
02:01 hadn't seen before.
02:02 I am enjoy this so much.
02:04 Yeah, yes, you know the word of God is so amazing,
02:10 that is why it is the "Living Word of God" every time,
02:15 every time we read the Bible.
02:17 God just gives us insight so that we can continue to grow.
02:24 This is the "Living Word of God" and the chapter that we are
02:30 studying, Genesis chapter 28, is very much living.
02:34 And when you read the verses, we can see the
02:41 " Power of the Word of God". - Yes. And the power of God
02:45 to change lives. In Jacob for example, when we studied
02:49 in the past, that he was really in a very bad condition.
02:55 - Yeah, he was kind of a scoundrel wasn't he?
02:57 Yeah, he cheated his father, he cheated his brother,
03:04 and because of that, he was in a difficult situation,
03:08 he had to leave, he had to leave the home...
03:11 That is the only solution that the parents knew and
03:17 because of that he had to run away from his brother
03:23 and he felt that God was no longer with him.
03:28 He was kind of rejected by God, he has done something too bad.
03:33 But the good news is that there is no such thing as a situation
03:40 that God cannot reach. There is no thing that is too
03:45 bad, that God cannot mend. There is no one that is too
03:50 low that God cannot reach and you can see that here in the
03:55 life of Jacob. He felt alone and then God showed him
04:00 the ladder and the engines and himself and God renewed
04:06 His covenant and that was his personal encounter with God
04:11 and he met God personally.
04:16 In the past, God was just a God of Abraham and God of Isaac.
04:23 But now God is the God of Jacob as well. -Amen!
04:29 And we too, we must have God as our personal God.
04:35 In the presence of God...you know when God is our personal
04:39 God, that means He is present in our lives. We are aware of
04:44 His presence and that presence is key when it comes to our
04:49 journey, our spiritual journey.
04:51 Because that presence in an encouraging presence,
04:54 that presence is a sanctifying presence and that presence
04:58 removes fear in our heart and anxiety and that presence
05:05 the building presence, to build.
05:09 And I'm just impressed to say there are some who recognize
05:13 God's presence from weekend to weekend when they go to church,
05:16 but there are many people who think they leave God at church
05:21 and they leave either the Sabbath Day or perhaps
05:25 if the keep Sunday...It's like when they go to work
05:29 suddenly they compartmentalize their lives and God is
05:33 the weekends, but now they try to face the week without Him
05:38 and not recognizing He is with them all the time, just as
05:41 as Jacob...Yea, it is said here and actually the promise
05:47 given to Jacob and we can even read that, it is so encouraging
05:52 because here in verse 15:
05:55 "Behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go."
05:59 Wherever you go, not only during the weekend.
06:02 Wherever you go and I will bring you back to this land and
06:06 he said until you have done what I have spoken to you.
06:11 "I will be with you wherever you go." Wherever we go,
06:15 and whatever we do and wherever we are, God is there.
06:21 God is there and that is our personal God. He is there
06:25 as our Father, He's there as our King and He's there as our
06:30 Savior as well. So that was the experience of Jacob.
06:36 What was the impact of that? The impact of this encounter
06:42 with God. First of all, that changed the life of Jacob.
06:49 That changed the life of Jacob. When you read the remaining
06:54 chapters after this, this was the turning point in the life
06:59 of Jacob. God just changed him, even his name
07:04 was changed to Israel.
07:06 You remember the experience he had that later on you see...
07:11 even before that when you reached the destination and
07:18 he worked with Laban and he was cheated there,
07:22 but God protected him, God blessed him.
07:25 - Yes. So God was truthful to what He said.
07:30 When God said I'll be with you always,
07:32 and when God says something, you better believe it
07:36 because God, God is faithful.
07:40 And He said here, He promises, He said: "I will not leave you
07:46 until I have done what I have spoken to you."
07:51 You see, we have so many promises in the Bible.
07:53 We need to personalize those promises.
07:57 The voice of God spoken to us in the Bible...We need to...
08:03 In fact, I would like to challenge all of us just to
08:07 try to find the promises in the Bible and try to count
08:12 them. How many promises do you have? -Thousands.
08:16 A lot and half this experience.. when you read the promise,
08:22 let's internalize that and let's believe that God, God says it.
08:30 It is not just written, because the Bible is the spoken word
08:36 of God to us. -Yes. - So when you read the Bible,
08:39 we need to read it in such a way as God Himself
08:45 is speaking. He is present and He speaks, and He talks.
08:49 - Yes, and He says My work does not return to me void
08:53 but it will accomplish every- thing for which I sent it.
08:57 God watches over His Word to perform it so every one of these
09:00 promises...You know, I believe very strongly in praying them
09:04 back to God and thanking God for this promise
09:07 and making it personal using first pronoun...
09:10 you know. Thank you Lord that this is what you are going to do
09:12 in my life. And he then...when we have the faith to accept it,
09:17 He's watching over His word to perform it.
09:20 So, He is a God of His word.
09:23 Yeah, we don't lack promises, there are many promises.
09:27 Even His, even His Command- ments... Yes! Are promises of
09:32 what He will do in our life. Definitely, definitely.
09:34 So we don't just have to look at it and say it has to be
09:37 something that just jumps off... Any time He tells us we need to
09:41 do something, if He's telling us not to lie,
09:43 He is going to give you the power not to lie when you are
09:46 in covenant relationship with Him.
09:49 Definitely, that is true.
09:51 So Jacob, through this encounter, personal encounter with God,
09:57 God became his personal God. That changed his life forever.
10:03 He became so mature and he found time to entertain this
10:14 relationship with God. You can see that through the
10:16 Book of Genesis... the change of name, which is very important.
10:23 But God Himself give him the name.
10:25 - Spiritual name, Israel. -Yes, spiritual name, yes you...
10:29 I will call you Israel. And you see throughout the Bible,
10:34 the nation that God, God has called is named after Him.
10:42 He said Israel, and even now we can still have Israel.
10:47 So Jacob, for him, it was finished that night
10:52 or the day before that night and that night for him it was over.
10:56 But God said "NO", it's not over, this is just the beginning
11:01 it's a new beginning for you if you want.
11:03 So for us, God is willing to have always a new beginning
11:08 - Yes. -There's no final thing in God with us.
11:13 He said it's final as long as we accept to be molded by God,
11:19 to be changed by God as our potter, we are the clay.
11:24 - In Lamentations chapter 3, He says His mercies are new
11:28 every morning. -Yes. - So even if we fall flat on our
11:33 face today, as did Jacob, we don't have to run from God,
11:39 all we have to do is to come back to Him and say Lord
11:42 forgive me, and I thank you that your mercies are new
11:45 every morning and empower me today, fill me afresh with your
11:49 Holy Spirit.
11:51 - When you think of that love, God is really a God of love.
11:57 Many times we don't have time to think of this.
12:04 We need to be intentional in thanking God,
12:10 and think of His love. We need to have every day
12:15 a dose of love. You know, it's like a...like food.
12:21 We need not to be starved of love because we have enough
12:26 supply of the God of love. We need to have that love.
12:30 and we need to meditate on the goodness of God,
12:35 the blessing of God. Take time, take time to reflect
12:39 upon what He has done in the past.
12:41 Let's count the blessings of the Lord,
12:43 many times we tend to count all our trials,
12:48 we need not to count all of these trials,
12:51 we need rather to count our blessings.
12:54 - Yes. -Your trials, yes, that the trials I call to prayer
12:59 so that the trials will be changed into testimonies,
13:03 but we need to learn how to praise God.
13:07 But we don't praise God enough. We praise many things,
13:11 praise human beings, but it appears that we are so rare,
13:17 so scarce in praising God. We need to train ourselves,
13:23 we need to ask God, let me... God count the blessings that
13:26 you have done.
13:28 So Jacob, Jacob was blessed by God and he as you know
13:34 he went to Egypt and joined his son Joseph
13:41 with the brothers, and this simple man like Jacob...
13:47 Jacob...Joseph said to his father when they reached Egypt,
13:53 father, let's go and visit Pharaoh, so they went
13:58 and Pharaoh was the most powerful man on earth then
14:03 and look what has happened.
14:06 When you read the Bible, Jacob was not intimidated
14:10 by the presence of this powerful king because he knows personally
14:17 the King of the universe and once he reached that place
14:24 Jacob blessed Pharaoh, he blessed Pharaoh.
14:29 A simple man, a very ordinary man now became an extraordinary
14:36 even blessed the most powerful king on earth during that time.
14:41 When we give our lives to God, even though we are so common,
14:48 even though we are so ordinary, we are ordinary people
14:54 but because of our God, we cease to be ordinary,
15:01 we become extra ordinary because of God.
15:05 So Jacob, he was just an ordinary young man
15:08 but God transformed him into an extra ordinary man.
15:15 If we hand over our lives to God, God will transform us.
15:24 That does not mean that we will not have challenges and
15:27 problems, but we will overcome them and we will navigate them
15:32 because God is with us.
15:34 Yes, Jesus Christ said in this life you will find trouble
15:37 and tribulations but I am with you,
15:39 and that was the experience of Jacob because he had some
15:44 challenges in his life through- out, but all along God just
15:50 helped him to go through this.
15:52 Each one of his trials, each one of his challenges,
15:55 each one of his tribulations actually became his testimony
16:00 later, just as it did with this rock that was the pillow
16:05 for his head, this rock that became an altar.
16:09 Let's go to that now. -Ok. Now, so first of all
16:13 when we encounter God personally God changes us.
16:19 - Yes. -And that is so clear, and the promise of God
16:23 is that we become new creature, - Halleluiah! -we become new.
16:28 The Bible talks about being born again, born again,
16:35 that means we start afresh. You start afresh,
16:38 you press this start button on the computer, ok, let's start.
16:43 Yes, let's start again. So, um, this is like a new start
16:48 for Jacob indeed. So God wants to start all over
16:53 again with us every morning. I like that Shelley,
16:56 every morning God is renewing His covenant with us.
17:02 Now, when we are with God, even the things we do
17:09 cease to be ordinary. Ordinary things can be changed
17:16 into extra ordinary.
17:18 Let's talk about the stone now. - Sure. This stone, you see
17:22 chapter 28, Genesis Chapter 28:11
17:28 said "and He took one of the stones, one of the stones.
17:34 That means it was just an ordinary stone
17:38 in the middle of an hour there before Jacob touched the stone,
17:45 it was just ordinary, there was no meaning.
17:48 Of course it was used by him to be a pillow, that's all
17:53 but could have been another stone because it was just one
17:56 of the stones of that place and put it at his head
18:01 and he laid down in that place to sleep. So ordinary stone.
18:07 Now, before Jacob met God, that stone was just one of the
18:16 stones. But after his encounter with God, let's see
18:22 the result of that.
18:24 Verse 18. Then Jacob rose early in the morning and took
18:31 the stone that he had put at his head. That simple stone...
18:38 one of the stones in the desert and set it up as a pillar
18:42 so, that simple stone in the hands of a child of God
18:49 becomes a pillar, becomes a pillar and poured oil
18:55 on top of it. And then in verse 19, and he called the name
19:01 of that place, "Better", but the name of that
19:04 city had been losed producly.
19:07 Then in verse 22, the same stone, and this stone
19:13 which have said as a pillar, that is a... pillar
19:18 is already good enough.
19:19 Shall be God's house. God's house, simple pillar,
19:27 simple stone became a pillar and became a house of God,
19:35 God's house. What is a lesson that we can draw from this?
19:40 You see, the very moment you are with God, you are a child
19:47 of God. You cease to be ordinary because you are special...
19:53 In Peter it is said that you are special people,
19:59 special, we are special. Yes, we can even read that,
20:04 we can read, it is so beautiful because that really
20:11 reflects what God plans to do for us,
20:18 and that is 1 Peter 2:9, verse 9 and 10 said 1 Peter 2:9,
20:31 and you can read also verse 10.
20:34 "But you are a chosen generation."
20:38 Chosen, it is good to be chosen, chosen generation.
20:42 A royal priest who is chosen and royal.
20:47 That is special, and not only that, a holy nation that is
20:52 separate, separate, set apart.
20:55 His own special people, four words just to describe us,
21:00 you see here, it said you chosen, royal, holy, and special
21:08 people that you may proclaim the presence of Him
21:13 who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
21:18 - And this goes back to what you were saying earlier,
21:21 that we don't praise enough. God has taught me...
21:23 You know when you look at thee order of worship in the
21:27 sanctuary...Enter His gates with Thanksgiving,
21:30 and into His courts with Praise. So as I am praying,
21:33 I always begin with thanksgiving and praise and the interesting
21:38 thing is sometimes I may start to pray and I may be down in the
21:42 mouth, I may be feeling poor pitiful me,
21:45 but when I start with thanksgiving and praise,
21:48 it takes my eyes off my problem onto the Lord and His power
21:53 and everything He has done in my life, and suddenly
21:56 I'm coming to Him. It increases my faith and here's what
22:00 He says. We are all of these things that we may proclaim
22:03 the praises of Him who called us out of darkness. -Yes!
22:06 So when we meet God, when God is our personal God,
22:11 then we are special, we are special because, because of God
22:17 not because of us, but because of God and that means
22:21 we need to live accordingly.
22:25 Whatever we do, it should be for the Glory of God.
22:31 - Yes. -And ah, even the car we drive. It might be...
22:35 It is actually an ordinary car, the same cars as other people
22:40 drive, but because it belongs to us, it belongs to God as well,
22:45 especially it belongs to God and it is special.
22:49 Our spouses must be special, our children must be special,
22:55 they, they...we need to treat them as special because of this
23:02 relationship with God. So our job for example,
23:05 we may have a job, the same job description as maybe our workmate
23:11 but because that job is done by us, by someone chosen by
23:17 God is special, that job is no longer ordinary,
23:20 it becomes an extra ordinary job, we have then
23:25 an extra ordinary life.
23:28 Let me compute with a story if I may, just to illustrate this,
23:36 as a response to this.
23:39 Come with me to France, it happen in France
23:44 and it happened in a classroom with children age thirteen,
23:52 fourteen. There was a boy there who was special,
23:57 so special that the teacher, a lady, was so surprised by
24:04 his behavior. So one day she said to this particular boy,
24:12 she said listen, after class I really would like to talk
24:16 to you because I have something of a question that
24:21 I want to ask, so please stay behind.
24:24 He said yes ma'am. So after class the boy stayed behind
24:32 and sat next to facing the teacher and the teacher said
24:39 you know, I have been a teacher for many years,
24:41 I have a lot of experience, but I have never seen
24:47 a boy like you. You are special.
24:53 You are not ordinary at all. You see, I have never had the
24:58 problem with you, you behave so well that I cannot even
25:02 believe it, you do your homework's, you are doing
25:06 on time, your lessons you know. What is this?
25:11 Can you tell me, what is behind of all of this?
25:15 The boy looked at the teacher. You know madam, as you can see,
25:22 I am not from this country, I'm an immigrant.
25:27 Let me tell you more madam. You see, I come from one of the
25:34 eastern European countries and my father was the king
25:40 but when the Communistic Regime came, they fought us
25:46 they conquered us, my father did everything,
25:51 but one day he called us, my mother and my siblings,
25:56 he said listen, I can see that we are going to lose this war,
26:01 it's just a matter of time, because they are stronger
26:07 than us. So I have a plan, you must run away,
26:14 mother and the siblings. I will stay here
26:18 and continue the fight but you must run away.
26:22 We realize that that was the only solution, it was hard
26:28 madam, but we know our father, he is a wise man,
26:32 he loves us so much and we accept it.
26:37 So he said, I made all the plan then now go,
26:41 but when I went madam, just a few steps, he called me back.
26:46 He said son, come here, and he looked at me and he held my
26:50 shoulder and he said look son, remember wherever you are
26:56 you are not common, you are a royal. -Amen!
27:00 You are a royal, that why madam, I behave like this.
27:06 I am royal, I am royal, I am not common, I cannot behave
27:12 like them. I am different, I am special and that is the
27:17 lesson. When we are with God, when God is in our heart,
27:23 when we met God personally, we are no longer common,
27:28 not because of us but because of God and we need to honor
27:32 God in whatever we do. We need to act accordingly
27:37 and God will give us the strength.
27:40 Thank you so much Paul, once again we've just enjoyed this
27:44 study and we are going to get you to come back at least
27:48 one more time because we are still not through,
27:49 but thank you for the time and what you have shared today.
27:53 For those of you at home, it doesn't matter what you have
27:57 done in the past. If you ever think you are too bad for God,
28:01 all you have to do is read the story of Manasseh,
28:04 Manasseh was such a horrible sinner and yet God
28:09 brought him back and restored the kingdom to him.
28:12 God wants to be your personal God, He wants you to recognize
28:18 His presence in your life day by day and He wants
28:22 personal encounter with you.