Jacob: Changed by God’s Grace
Some stories are engaging, while others fail to pull us in. A plot—with plenty of twists and turns—can carry a story, but even plots are powerless if the characters are flat. As readers and listeners, we’re drawn to characters who develop over time. Their backgrounds and scars matter. What they’ve done and where they’re from are who they become.
Jacob is a three-dimensional, fascinating character in the true story of the Bible. Not many people would have liked him very much if we had met him early in his life. He was cunning, manipulative, and crafty. He acted out of self-interest rather than caring for others. But God still loved him. The book of Genesis shows how God pursued and softened Jacob’s heart until he eventually understood that God’s blessing comes by grace alone.
That truth changed Jacob’s attitude toward God and others. And that’s a lesson we all need to learn. Our own challenges and sins may not be the same as Jacob’s, but they are just as much in need of Christ’s transforming power. We all deeply need the assurance that God will save us. And by his grace, all who believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as Savior will be changed to enjoy a full life with him forever.
October’s author, Joel Vande Werken, has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have four young children. As you read the Today devotions this month, may you be refreshed, refocused, and renewed in God’s Word!