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Friday, March 11, 2011

This I Promise You...

"A promise made is a debt unpaid." ~ Robert Service

During my quiet times, I have chosen to study my way through Genesis - the book of beginnings. The differences between participating in a guided study and exploring the book on my own differ completely! I am having fun traveling through the book at my own pace and searching topics that catch my eye, rather than relying on one author. While I love going through those types of studies, nothing can compare to the excitement of self-discovery!  Right now, I am currently following our patriarch, Abraham. What an amazing man of faith and humanity!

Rather than bore you with details you already know, I want to shift your focus to the covenant between God and Abram. God told him to leave everything he had ever known (at age 75!) and travel to a foreign land, promised, to him and his long line of descendants (Gen.12:2-3,7). This is the first mention of a covenant, an oath or promise, if you will, between God and Abram. If you continue on through the book, God reminds Abram two more times of His promise in Genesis 13:14-17 and Genesis 15:5,18. I don't know about you, but I certainly need to be reminded of God's promises every once in a while, if not daily!

At this point, we are given three separate accounts of God's covenant, but many years have passed and God's word has yet to be fulfilled. How can promises about Abram's descendants being "as many as the stars in the sky" ever come true if Abram and Sarai never conceived a child? I assume you know the story - Abram took matters into his own hands and slept with his wife's maidservant, who bore him a son. But this was not the promised child. As only a loving Father can, God reminds Abram of the covenant again, (Gen. 17.)

How many times would God have to say to Abram, "This is my covenant with you..." and remind him of His promise? Abram was carnal, as are we, and when we do not receive the benefits immediately, it is hard to believe the promise will ever make an appearance.

Let's take a look at some promises in the Bible God directed toward believers...

1. He will return.
Remember the first time He made this promise? In Acts 1, Jesus told them His disciples He would come back. That was almost 2,000 years ago! Do you still believe He will keep His word?

2. He will forgive us.
We are all sinners by nature, and will continue to sin as long as we live in this world, but our salvation keeps us from being controlled by our sin. 1 John 1:9 reminds us that if we confess our sins to Him, He will forgive us. Do you truly believe in that freedom?

3. He will never leave us or forsake us.
There are times when we all feel abandoned, and it is hard to imagine God still being there. But He is. We have His promise (Heb. 13:5). Do you trust He has never left your side?

Perhaps we do not truly believe in these promises because we have often been the recipient of broken ones. By friends, family, and even in the most sacred of earthly covenants - our marriage. It is hard to trust God will never forsake you when your husband or best friend does. But it is impossible for Him to go back on His word. He has always fulfilled what He has promised, the Old Testament proves that time and time again.

I would love to fill up this comment section with His promises to us, His children. There's nothing more sweet than to be reminded of these promises, as we are apt to become like Abraham and forget during difficult circumstances. What promises have carried you through the dark valleys?


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