Jacob: Changed by God’s Grace

By Kurt Selles

September 30, 2020

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!

Begin with day one of Jacob: Changed by God’s Grace here or download the full PDF.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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