Waynedale United Methodist Church
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Jan 17, 2016 Sermon

 
“Our Journey of Faith”
Genesis 28:10 – 22
Ted Jansen  January 17, 2016  Waynedale UMC
 
(My message was based on these thoughts, though not in this order.)
 
1.)        I invite you to consider your journey.  Where have you traveled in your physical life, in your spiritual life, in your financial life, in your relational life? 
            This message is geared for someone, right now, who might need to make some decision about your journey.        
 
2.)        Jacob, we discover in Genesis 28, is on a journey.   He is leaving the familiar to a place that is unfamiliar.  He travels by himself and I am sure has all sorts of feelings, ideas, experiences, and questions. He is heading into his future. 
 
3.)        We head into our future each day and each day can be a new path that we take.  Is there anyone here that is heading into the future with some major decisions?  This message might be the reason you are here this morning.  May the Lord open your heart and may you listen. 
 
4.)        “Surely the Lord was in this place.”  (Genesis 28:16)  Those are the words that Jacob spoke when he woke up from a dream.  He was in a new land, he was into his future and he had fallen asleep, tired and exhausted from his journey.  Surely the Lord was in this place.    
Lanny Wolfe wrote a song that is based on that scripture.  There are a few verses and the chorus that we have in our hymnal. 
Let us sing that chorus.  “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.  I can feel His mighty power and His grace.  I can hear the brush of angel’s wings.  I see glory on each face.  Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.” 
 
5.)        Jacob knew that the Lord was with him.  Jacob had experienced the Lord’s presence in a dream.  Jacob said that it was awesome and it caused him to be afraid.  When Jacob experienced the divine it was a combination of wow and woe!     
            We can experience the Lord’s presence.  We can know that God is with us in many ways and in many experiences.  There have been times in my own life that I have known God speaking to me or showing me a sign.     
In our faith and in our head we believe that Jesus was physically resurrected.  We believe that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, the day that the church was born.  We believe in the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  We can know in our spirit the Spirit of God, which is the Lord’s presence right now.    
 
6.)        Jacob was moved and transformed by this experience that he let it all soak in to his spirit.  Genesis 28:18 tells us that the next morning Jacob took the rock that he had been sleeping on and poured oil on it and marked that area as a holy place.  
            Jacob did even more than that.  Jacob gave his heart anew to the God who he had experienced in that place and in that way.  He shared a vow that if God would be with him on his journey that Jacob would give a tenth of all he had to God.  This experience touched Jacob deeply that he was willing to give God resources, a tenth, to show his heart to God.    
            We realize that Jacob’s experience with God in a dream and the words of faith and the vow were to shape his life and his journey.  
            You can read the rest of Jacob’s story in Genesis 29 and following.    
 
7.)        The play, “Man of La Mancha,” is about a play and a man, Don Quixote, who goes on a journey.  It is a foolish type of journey but Don Quixote has a sense of nobility in his travels.  The song, “The Impossible Dream,” is the inspirational song that leads Don Quixote to continue on his journey. 
            This popular play is about a man who, in the midst of his “foolish” journey, transforms other people along the way.    
           
8.)        Do you know that someone might say of you that at times it appears that you have taken a foolish, or interesting path in your life?  As you tell your story to someone and you reflect on where you have gone you might consider it different.  We all have chances to tell stories of our journey to other people. 
 
9.)        Where does your journey find its expression of faith?  Where are your moments of beginning, of struggles, of being re-directed, of having your faith affirmed again in a way that is unique to you?   
            I believe that there is someone here that is looking for a sign, a symbol, a song, a reason to move ahead with a decision on your journey that you need.   
 
10.)      I want us to sing ‘Surely the Presence of the Lord.” 
I want you to know that the Lord is God and He has a plan for you, a path for you to follow.  I invite you to take a journey like Jacob did.  Take one step into your future, ask the Lord to speak to you, perhaps in your dreams. 
Reflect on what God speaks to you and shows you.  Let a day or some time confirm God’s message and then do something to signify that God was with you.