You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘God’s promises’ tag.



Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. Isaiah 46:10

Be Still.2.1.16I’m an idea person, but not much on planning. That’s why I rely heavily on people who can think of the details needed for a project. The reason is obvious. Ideas are great. They are the stuff that made this nation great. But not thinking through the details on how to make something happen can be disastrous.

I have a friend who is a drama director at a local high school. I admire his ability to get his young actors and actresses to perform a variety of plays from mysteries to musicals and comedies. The thing I admire most about him though is his attention to detail. He’ll add a line here or there, or have a person move in just a certain way to add emphasis to a scene. His productions are almost always excellent, but even with all his planning and direction, things go wrong. A prop may be forgotten; a cue missed; a technological failure and more can all add up to a less than perfect performance. Sometimes those failures go unnoticed by the audience, other times they are obvious.

So it goes with life. No matter how hard we try to make the perfect meal, write the perfect blog post, present the perfect lesson or sermon, something always seems to go wrong. All of us are much more likely to act with confidence if we can be assured we will succeed at our endeavor. The more confidence we have in the outcome, the more likely we are to move forward.

In Old Testament times, military leaders would often inquire of God as to whether or not they should go to battle against a particular enemy. If God said go, they went with a full assurance that victory would be there’s. If they were told to hold back and make peace, they knew to act wisely in negotiating a peace. The underlying motivation for their actions was knowing God was on their side.

There are many times in each of our lives when we face difficult decisions regarding our relationships, careers, and other events. As believers in the Lord of the universe we can come with confidence to seek his wisdom because we know his plans have always…that’s right ALWAYS come true. The real beauty of that is that he will guide you in the best way and if failure does come, he’ll help you through that too.

PRAYER: Father God, I think one of the things I appreciate the most about you is the fact that I can trust you to do and be exactly what you say. With you by my side I can move confidently knowing you will walk with me through success and failure. Thank you for your guidance through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.


stonesTell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:7

My aunt died recently and I was given the honor of leading ‘Celebration of Life’ service for this dear, godly woman. As I heard the news about her passing it suddenly occurred to me that my aunt was the youngest child of my grandparents. Each of my grandparent’s three children died in their birth order. More importantly, I thought about the fact that an era had passed.

It doesn’t seem to matter how old you are, when your parents die you feel like an orphan. Whether you are 15 or 50 you wonder, “What will I do now without mom and dad?” Now, my grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles from that side of the family were gone, with only memories to fall back on.

One wonders if the Israelites felt the same way as they crossed the Jordan River and entered the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The stones they gathered from the Jordan River became a memorial to remind them of God’s promises.

The stones the leaders of the 12 tribes gathered that day were far more than rocks. Each of those stones was a story. Stories of being held captive, abused and feeling abandoned by God.  Stories of watching as, one by one, their parents and grandparents died in the wilderness. Stories of fear, confusion, doubt and grief.

As instructed, the leaders took those stones, those stories as it were, and made them into a monument. A monument to remind the Israelites and their children of the struggles in their past. But that pile of rocks meant one more thing that we must remember in our lives. That pile of stories spoke loudly and clearly the message that God delivers on His promises.

There will be times in our life when we are filled with grief, despair, confusion and anger. There will be times in our lives when we are under physical, emotional or spiritual attack. There will be times in our lives when we will feel completely abandoned by God. There will be times in our lives when we feel we have failed so badly that there is no hope.

That’s when each of us must look at those piles of stones and remind ourselves that God delivers on his promises. There was another ‘pile of stones’ that we look to for this reassurance. That ‘pile of stones’ so to speak is called Golgotha. It held the cross of our Lord and Savior and reminds us once again, that God delivers on his promises.

Each of us is building a memorial for those behind us. May we be building stones of remembrance to lead our children and our children’s children to the promises of God’s deliverance through Jesus Christ. May they be able to say about us that in spite of our failures and in spite of our shortcomings, we showed them the path of deliverance.

The ARC and at many other camps and retreat centers offer us the opportunity to ‘come away and rest’ awhile. It’s often during these times of solitude that we are able to step back and reflect on the stories of our own lives and re-energize ourselves to make a difference in the lives of those around us.

What stones [stories] of remembrance are you building for those coming behind you?

PRAYER: Father God. I praise you for the promises you have fulfilled in my lifetime. Forgive me for forgetting to notice the many ways you deliver me daily. Forgive me for the times my lifestyle has been rebellious. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit to be building stones of remembrance that will guide those who follow me to you. In Jesus name, Amen.


They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

Have you ever sat and listened to someone share their passion? I’m not talking about the boring person who goes into a tirade about some issue. I’m talking about the person who is so passionate about something that their words bring life to their topic.

You sit and listen to them and are so enraptured by their words that you lose all track of time. Even if you aren’t personally interested whatever it is they are talking about, their verbal and non-verbal communication mesmerizes you to the point where your entire attitude changes.

I had that once in a small way. A professor I had was so passionate about his class that I left forever changed in my attitude about it. The class? Political Science, believe it or not! I took the class as an elective because it was at the time and day I could attend. I had no interest whatsoever in Political Science. I don’t remember the professor’s name. I don’t even remember what year I took the class. What I do remember is leaving the class with not only a new appreciation for the topic, but even considered running for local office!

Passionate people breed passion in others. It’s no wonder then, that when Jesus appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus he instilled passion in them for God. He talked about Moses. He talked about Elijah and Daniel. He smiled as he reflected on the life of David. And why not? He walked with those men. He watched them grow in faith. He felt the pain of their failure and rejoiced in their victories. When Jesus talked about these men, he wasn’t just talking about stories. He was talking about friends of his.

I imagine when Jesus talks about us he is just as passionate. Sure, we fail. Some of us fail miserably. We rebel almost daily. We worry when he says don’t worry. We get angry when he says trust. We get lonely when he says he is with us always. While we grumble and live in defeat he looks on us with pride and, yep, you guessed it, PASSION.

If you didn’t know me and Jesus was talking to you about me, once he was finished talking you’d be passionate about me. Why? Not because I’m something special in your eyes, but because I’m something special in Jesus’ eyes. When you’ve been with Jesus you can’t help but feel passionate about life.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for being passionate about me. I confess to you that I don’t feel like I’m much to be passionate about. But I’m thankful that you love me so much. I ask that you would empower me to be so passionate about you that my passion will breed passion for you in those I meet. In your name, Amen.

 


“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:3 (NLT)

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a member of one of those exclusive Country Clubs? You know the kind. Expensive, fancy cars packing the parking lot. Valets making sure you don’t have to bother with parking your car, or going to find it. Great food. Well kept gardens complete with pools. Beautiful scenery. Excellent service always delivered with a smile and a Mr. or Ms.  and, of course, red carpet treatment.

Most of us will never experience that kind of treatment. We wouldn’t meet the entrance qualifications, or wouldn’t have the money it would take to purchase those benefits. At least not in this world.

That’s not the case in God’s Kingdom. In God’s kingdom it’s the poor who are elevated because they are the ones who are most aware of their need for God.

It’s the person who constantly struggles with life who is uplifted because they know how much they need God’s grace.

It’s those who suffer the injustice of broken relationships, addictions and persecution who will feel the warmth of Jesus’ arms as they endure the pain of life.

It’s those who are merciful to those who mistreat them or don’t deserve their generosity that are clothed in the satisfaction only Christ can give. Satisfaction in knowing someone is better because they gave.

It is those who give up their own rights to make sure the rights of others are protected that enjoy the peace that passes all understanding.

The elite Country Club has a long list of qualifications. God has one: Love me and in so doing love yourself and others.

The elite Country Club has membership dues that need to be paid. God paid your dues through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The elite Country Club offers many benefits to make your life comfortable while on earth. God promises and eternal life in heaven with Him, free of pain and heartache, and all because of Jesus.

Because of Jesus you meet the qualifications, the membership dues have been paid, and the benefits will last for eternity.

PRAYER: Holy God. I thank you for the promises of blessings far above what the world offers. There are so many times I feel insecure. So many times I worry. So many times I feel completely inadequate for the task before me. Thank you for Jesus and the comfort, forgiveness and hope for eternity I have in Him. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

 


Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:14 (NLT)

You can’t do it. You know you can’t. It’s impossible. You’ve tried before and failed and you’ll fail again. Why bother to try? You really need to be more realistic about your abilities. You’ve prayed about it. You’ve done everything right and it hasn’t happened. Why not just give it up now. Move on. That’s one dream that was never meant to be.

We’ve heard it all before. Those voices that remind us that we’ve failed. Those not-so-gentle reminders that we’ve fallen short of our potential or expectations. We’ve wasted yet another opportunity for success. We haven’t measured up, we don’t measure up, and since it seems to be a pattern, we probably don’t have much of a chance to measure up in the foreseeable future.

Words of gloom and doom can come from the expected sources; the people who seem to have as their goal in life to be our enemies regardless of how we try to live in peace with them. These remarks can come from those who are so-called friends but are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s especially painful when they preface their remarks with “I’m telling you this in Christian love”. (Yeah, right. I can feel the love oozing from your pores.) Even parents are guilty of the destructive tongue, those who are supposed to nurture us and care for us.

Some people should be given the benefit of the doubt I suppose. Their intentions may be noble; it’s just their method that has the diplomacy of a fox gone wild in the chicken coop. Well intentioned attacks are still attacks!

But the most painful voice we hear, the most destructive one that has the most impact on us is the voice that comes from within. We are often our worst critic. We are the ones that can do the most damage to our own possibilities. I can imagine Sarah’s frustration when God said she’d have a baby. She’d heard God promise this before but the promise had long been drowned out by the women at the well who constantly asked “So, you pregnant yet?” It wasn’t always a verbal question, but there was no denying it was there.

The words ricocheted from one side of her skull to the other. “Is nothing to hard for the Lord? No, of course not. But where’s my baby?” Then one day it happened. There were stirrings inside her that she’d never felt before but longed for since she was a young woman. A few months later the midwife handed her a little pink bundle of God’s fulfilled promise!

Never give up. Never listen to the voices of the nay Sayers and the speakers of gloom and doom. Your Heavenly Father, the God of the universe, Creator of the seen and the unseen, loves you. God’s promises may come in ways we don’t expect, but they will come. His promises may take longer than we’d like, but they always come in his perfect time.

Never stop believing in God’s ability to give you the victory you desire. Never give up on you. Losing faith in yourself will keep you from the blessings God so earnestly wants to give you.

PRAYER: Father God, all my life I’ve been running from the voices that tell me ‘I can’t’. Some of those words have come from people I loved and trusted the most. Their words have left a gaping wound in my soul. Some of those words have come from me. I ask that you would fill the wound in my soul with your love and forgiveness. Empower me to believe that your word is true and your promises will be fulfilled in your time. Grant me the patience to wait. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,945 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • Rising to Excellence
    From our series, "On This We Stand." Each part of the Body is gifted and needed if the body is to function effectively.
  • Opportunity is Knocking
    From our series, "On This We Stand." Our foundation and our joy should be the motivation for action!
  • The Source of Joy
    From our series, "On This We Stand." The strength of the body of Christ lies in unity
  • Got Milk?
    From our series, "On This We Stand", God’s word is our sole source of direction for life.
  • When we pray power is unleashed
    From our series, "When We Pray", The power of prayer is unleashed when the church focuses on God's work and not the problems that attack it.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Twitter Updates

Archives

June 2017
S M T W T F S
« May    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: