preacherpen

The Promises of God are Sure – Part 2

In A Christian Life, Sermons, The Pastor's Blog on March 26, 2009 at 10:36 PM

There have been several positive responses to the first part of this two-part message. It is encouraging to know how the Lord blesses people as we faithfully preach the eternal word of God. You must know this fact: God honors his word, and blesses those who call on him by faith.

In order to understand where we are, let us continue from 2 Corinthians 1. All scripture is from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise stated. For the sake of clarity, I would like to quote the foundational scriptures again:

8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, [2] of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

It is plain to see by now how much the Lord loves us. God uses situations in our lives to help us grow and mature. God has no pleasure in his children remaining weak in faith, never becoming powerful men and women of God. We must not become so satisfied with our Christian walk that we sit in our easy chairs and quit pressing forward in the name of the Lord.

  • I Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
  • Hebrews 6:1-4 1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.

In case you haven’t heard yet, God loves you.Time will not permit, nor is it in the scope of this message to convince you of the depths of God’s love. Know this one thing, though, God is not the figment of man’s wild imagination; he is eternally God, there is on one else like him. Look at the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:14-21:

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family [3] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Here is the crux of the whole matter, which is found in 2 Corinthians 1:20:

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

Did you really catch what Paul said? He plainly declares all God’s promises are yes in the Lord. Many people have the idea God will only grant us things we need and never anything we want. That’s not what the word of God teaches at all. Look at Luke 17:6, which declares: “And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

There are four wonderful blessings God grants to the believer in verses 21-22. These blessings are ours because God establishes his promises to those who believe in him. Understand, we receive these blessings by faith, just like we receive anything else the Lord wants to give us. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. [5]

He establishes us in the faith. One of the most powerful chapters in the word of God is Hebrews 11. It describes the Rollcall of Faith – people who lived their lives by the faith of God. Ordinary people called on God, and they expressed their faith in the Lord in extraordinary ways.

The epistle of James describes how people should direct their lives in faith. Look carefully at the following scriptures:

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good [1] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

For further study, look at Genesis 22 for the incredible story of Abraham, and Joshua 2 for the story of Rahab. I believe your eyes will be opened when you see the faith these two incredible people had. It should give us incentive to put our complete faith in the Lord – his promises are sure!

He anoints us with power. What incredible power God promised to those who believe! Power to walk with him, power to preach his eternal word, power to witness of life. Thank God for this wonderful gift.

  • Luke 24:49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
  • Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  • Acts 5:12-16 12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
  • 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to [1] his own glory and excellence, [2]
He seals us with the stamp of ownership. I am so thankful I belong to God. I don’t even belong to myself any more; the Lord purchased me with the blood of his Son, Jesus Christ.  I am his, and he is mine. Friend, there is nothing more important than for us to know who we belong to. Thank God forever, I am saved by the power of God through faith in the blood of Christ.

  • Ephesians 1:13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [4] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [5] to the praise of his glory.
  • Romans 8:16-24 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
Now, get this down into your spirits and make sure it becomes real to you. If God owns me, it is his responsibility to take care of me. You don’t expect your neighbor to take care of your car tuneups, do you? You don’t believe your best friend should come into town and maintain your home. The reason is simple, you own your car and house, and it’s no one’s responsibility but yours to care for them.
  • Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
  • Matthew 6:25-34 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [7] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
He gives us the spirit of sonship. We do not join the family, we are born into it through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. We are born into the family of God from above; it is a supernatural birth granted to all who call on the name of the Lord for salvation. Thank God for his mercy and grace. Because of it, all who cry out to God for salvation are granted this most marvelous gift.
  • Romans 8:14-15 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [5] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
  • Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
  • Ephesians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us [2] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

I hope you realize one thing – The Promises of God are Sure!

  1. What you write is very true, Ron. I have been in (still there actually) a place where I find it very hard to keep my faith. I have had my fair share of struggles, some of which you know about already. I have tried to keep my spirits up, but it is hard when I have watched my wife suffer the way she has with her condition. What makes it even harder is the fact that I know God could speak the word and she would be healed completely. I have watched him do it before and why he does not do it now is beyond me. I am afraid I am not doing so good a job at keeping the faith.

    Thanks for sharing both of these articles.

    • Larry,
      We don’t always know why things happen, and why our needs, wants and desires are not always immediately met; what we must do is continue in faith, believing God. It is not always easy, but it is always right.

      My intention was not to paint a pretty picture; rather, it was to paint a realistic one. If anyone knew what it was like to suffer, the Apostle Paul was at least near the top of the list. He was an incredible man. When I look at his life and what he went through in order to preach the gospel of Christ, it’s not hard to take courage and go on another day.

      Yes, Larry, I know some of the struggles you have, and am grateful for the opportunity to pray for you and your family. One thing I can say without reservation – God is faithful. We may not always see it, but the fact is true, nonetheless.

      Be blessed today, Larry. Look to Jesus and let your faith soar like never before.

  2. From the page: “If God owns me, it is his responsibility to take care of me.”

    My thoughts: Could you send a copy of your post to President Obama. I think he has it backwords.

    Thanks again for another great post.

    BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • Dominique,
      He wouldn’t know what to do with that statement. First of all, he would likely talk about inheriting our problems from someone else; secondly, he’d figure out a way to add the burden of his care onto our shoulders.

      I’m so thankful we don’t look to man for our salvation. As the scriptures declare, the arm of flesh will fail us, but God won’t.

  3. I wish I could scrounge up a mustard seed size faith today. Deserts and valleys are unpleasant, and our family has been in this dry place for much longer than I ever thought.

    Thanks Ron for your faithfulness and for reminding us of God’s promises … even if we don’t feel them.

    • Kerry,
      You are not alone in your battles, trials, deserts and valleys. The Lord has not forsaken you and your family, nor will he. Oh, how I wish you had been in our services yesterday! The power of God was in the house, and God showed himself in a mighty way.

      Let me just let you know what the Lord impressed to tell my people last night, and it has to do with Elisha and his servant, Gehazi. The story is found in II Kings 6, and it details the faithfulness of God in terrible situations. Note how the angels of God were there all the time; Elisha prayed his servant’s eyes would be opened in order to see what Elisha knew. Pay particular attention to v17.

      Horses and Chariots of Fire

      8 Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.

      11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

      15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 19 And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.

      20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” 22 He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.

      Don’t give up; hold on to God and he will see you through. May I encourage you to find strength in the power of God’s word? Be blessed.

  4. Thank you Preacher for your article.

    I attended Bibletech2009 in Seattle this past weekend, and there was certainly much talk about Mark Driscoll. and what he has done in the Seattle area. For any of your readers that wish to see the “Face Off” video, Mars Hill Church has it on their web site.

    http://www.marshillchurch.org/

    • Thank you, Paul, for dropping by this little slice of the internet. Yes, the Face-Off was quite interesting, and I saw it again on the ABC site. Come back again, and bring people with you.

      I’m pretty sure your comment was meant for the post “A Dangerous Question – Does Satan Exist?”, but since I don’t know how to move it over to that post, this is as good a place as any.

      Again, thank you for your comment.

  5. Preacher,

    You are so right – I hit the wrong button.

    Anyhow, below is a link to the speakers at this year’s Bibletech2009 in Seattle last weekend. It was hosted by Logos in Bellingham, Washington. Logos did a fine job, and the link below should contain mp3 files of the speakers at this year’s conference as well as at last year’s. Logos had promised to have the 2009 speaker’s files up by Friday, 4-3-2009, but they still aren’t up – maybe later this weekend.

    119 paid attendees, plus about 20 Logos employees. Met and had several discussions with Rick Meyers, owner/author of e-Sword. Keep an eye out for what Rick is about to announce. Pretty neat.

    http://www.bibletechconference.com/speakers.htm

    Paul

    • Paul,
      Thanks for the verification. Your adventure seems quite interesting, and it would have been good to be there.

      Thanks for the link; I will definitely have to check it out later.

      Another thing you mentioned piqued my interest, and that is talking with Rick Meyers. I would love to discuss a few things with him myself. Seeing how easily e-Sword runs using WINE in Linux, I wish he would talk with the folks at WORDsearch and let them know how he obtained that interoperability. I’ve sent several e-mails to Randy Beck, president of WORDsearch, and he seems to be uninterested in getting that wonderful program working in a Linux environment.

      Another thing I would like to see is the ability to add modules from the Dake Reference Library into e-Sword; that would be cool beyond words. Let me quit rambling.

  6. Preacher,

    I don’t think Rick will ever make the Dake Reference Library available as a free item for e-Sword, since it is for sale at a premium price on several distribution sites. You might try twisting the arm of estudysource.com. Try sending Phil Stoner there an email with some polite begging. Rick gets a commission from estudysource sales that run on e-Sword. Phil’s email address is:

    phil@estudysource.com

    Also, if you are not on the e-Sword forum, check it out at:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eSword/messages

    The moderator is Jonathon Blake. Jonathon was also in Seattle and is a straight shooter as well.

    In addition:

    http://www.e-sword-users.org/users/index.php

    might be of interest. Can’t vouch for the owner though.

    Rick also has e-Sword live at:

    http://live.e-sword.net/app/

    and I have been trying to talk Rick into adding a tab on e-Sword to take a user straight there as well.

    Stay dry.

    Paul

    • Paul,
      Once again you’ve outdone yourself. There are plenty of links to check out, and I will later. Thanks.

      I am a registered DRL user, and would gladly pay for a Linux version of the same; I can’t imagine any company leaving a whole segment of society out of the Bible study loop, but that’s what’s going on with WORDsearch. It makes sense to me for Dake and e-Sword to get together in order to form a workable relationship.

      Again, thanks for your comments.

  7. Preacher,

    Here’s the link to the wrap-up on Bibletech2009.

    http://blog.logos.com/archives/2009/04/bibletech2009_round_up.html

    Paul

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: