Bridge Church - Clarksville, Tennessee

Message Notes from today’s message…

In primitive times, each name told a story.  Part of that story had to do with where someone had been.
Names revealed roots!

Part of that story had to do with where someone was going.  Names revealed destinies.

In the Book of Genesis in the Bible, we are introduced to Jacob.  His name meant, “Holder of the heel.”  It revealed his roots.  He was a twin.  He was born less than a minute after his older brother.  His hand was holding on to his brother’s heel!

His name also revealed his destiny.  “Heel grabber” implies the tripping up of another.  A form of deception.  And he lived up to his name.

At times he was the deceiver.  He deceived his twin and barely escaped with his life.

At times he was deceived.  He was deceived by his father-in-law.  And after a falling-out, it was time to escape again.

Even with all the successes in life he had experienced, not even time and accolades could change the fact that he was “holder of the heel.”

As he prepared to return home and face the consequences of deceiving his brother, he spent an evening alone, apart from his family…

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.  Genesis 32:24-27


He refused to let go of God’s messenger until God blessed him…and changed him.

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”  Genesis 32:28

When God changed him, he gave him a new name.  The man known as Jacob would from that point on be known as Israel.  Israel means “God contended,” or “wrestled with God.”

Names changed when stories changed

Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon. Genesis 32:29-32

For the rest of his life, Israel would limp around and introduce himself as “Wrestled with God and Survived!”  That was one bad dude.

Regardless of who you have been, when God touches your life, you are changed.  From that point on, you are who God says you are.  Your name is what God says your name is.

Years later, Jesus said…

To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.  Revelation 2:17
What is you name?  
Not the name you have had, but the name God has given you.
What is your new name?  Forgiven?  Mercy?  Survivor?  Free?
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