Theology of a Promise

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God is a promiser by nature.
God Keeps all His promises.

God Keeps all His promises.

I’m never going to think about the Christian life in the same way again after this study.
The Christian life is about God’s promises and our faith in what He said He will do. In our walk with Christ} we need to keep going-keep loving, serving, obeying-until we get what God promised. We don’t have all He promised yet. In fact, we don’t have even the smallest fraction of it. There is so much yet to come. So press on and wait in faith, and someday He’ll fulfill all He said He would do.
You and I may have the most noble of intentions but our best promise means, I want to; I intend to; I’ll try my best. But we all know that only time will tell. It’s not like that with God. When God promises, He’s not saying, I’ll try. He means, I can and I will!
Who else can say that? A well-intentioned homebuyer takes out a loan, but he or she may not make good on it. The bank tries to insure the loan, but as we’ve learned in our country, even large financial institutions can’t always come through on what they’ve committed to do.
I’m embarrassed every time I hear through the grapevine that another preacher has been exposed as a failure and a phony. I’m saddened every time I hear in the news about the latest police scam or politician’s moral collapse. People charged with the trust to serve the public make all kinds of Promises, but they don’t always keep them.
In our first “Theology of a Promise” we looked at Hebrews 6:17-18 and learned that God is a Promiser by nature and that His character and His Word will never change. A few verses earlier in Hebrews 6, the writer encouraged us in our walk with Christ: “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (vv.11-12).
How often do you feel sluggish in your faith? Are you in a sluggish season right now?
Is the spark and passion you used to have replaced by lethargy and apathy? ‘That’s not what God wants for you, says Hebrews 6:12. He wants you to be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Covenants and Conditions

Before we go on, we need a bit of context about those promises. The next verse, Hebrews 6:13, reads, “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself.”
The Bible contains two kinds of promises, sometimes called “covenants.” A conditional covenant includes your part and God’s part. I do my part, then God does His part. The Mosaic covenant in Exodus 19-24 was an example of a conditional promise. God said, If you obey Me, you’ll be blessed. If you disobey, you’ll be judged.
An unconditional covenant involves only God. He carries the weight of both parties. God says, I’m going to make this promise on My character alone. You don’t have to do anything. There are no conditions we need to meet for this promise to be realized.
The Abrahamic covenant in Genesis 12 was an unconditional covenant. God chose a people for Himself while only the future father of the nation was there to witness God’s promise.
A covenant is a serious commitment. The word covenant actually means “to make a cut.” In the Old Testament, the two parties involved in the covenant had a ceremony. They took a sacrificial animal, killed it, and cut it in half the long way. Then they separated the animal on the ground, stood between the two halves, shook hands, and swore that whatever they had committed to would be done, sealing the deal.
When God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham, He went through the whole ceremony by Himself. He put Abraham to sleep and stood alone between the pieces of the sacrificial animals. He was stating that He would fulfill this commitment no matter what Abraham did. You can read Genesis 15 to see how this jaw-dropping event went down.Genesis 15:17 picks up at the end of the ceremony: “When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land.”
Regardless of what Abraham would do, God said, “I will give you the land, and I will bless you, and multiply you.”
Back to Hebrews 6. God’s unconditional promise is what is being talked about here. When it came time to seal the deal, God didn’t have anyone greater than himself to swear by, so Hebrews 6:13 says He swore by His own character!
Then He said, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you” (v.14). Abraham hung on to the promise, walking patiently in faith, and verse 15 says he received it: “And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise:’ This example is used again in greater detail in Hebrews 11:8-19.

God does not forget

Let’s look once more at Hebrews 6:17: “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath.” These purposes, the promises that God has made, cannot change. He guaranteed them with two unchangeable things: His character and His Word. It’s outside our human makeup for us to even imagine “unchangeable.”
We’ve never experienced anything so secure and solid. We instinctively know that Jesus was speaking the truth when He said, “Heaven and earth will pass away;’ but we are prone to wonder whether He really meant the second part, “but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). No one but God can make a claim like that-and keep it! Unchangeable words from an unchangeable God: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
One of the things that Bev and my girls tease me about is that I forget stuff. This is not one of my better characteristics. Fortunately; God is nothing like that. He forgets nothing and does not change. He’s a Rock. When God says something, you can be sure He’ll do it. When God fulfilled His promise to Abraham, He included you in that promise too. Galatians 3:29 says that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise:’ You’re in on all of this.

God cannot lie

We’ve already been over the next passage several times, but it’s so important, let’s take another run at it: “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:17-18).
God is truth! He invented truth, and everything about Him is truth. It’s not simply hard for God to lie-that would be an issue of validity. It’s not unlikely that God would lie-that would be a matter of probability. It is impossible for God to lie-that’s an aspect of God’s inviolable attributes-one of the things God cannot and therefore will not do.
Think of all of the reasons why people lie. Even if God could lie, He would have no motivation. He can gain nothing by lying. Everything He wants to have happen happens. All He says is true. He’s afraid of nothing. He’s right about everything. He’s God!
Satan, as the ultimate antithesis of God, is a liar. John 8:44 says, “[Satan] is a liar and the father of lies: , He cannot tell the truth. Not one time has he even mentioned the truth to you unless it was wrapped in a deceptive lie. That was the tactic he used with Jesus when they met in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11). The devil quoted Scripture to Jesus but only
to twist it for his manipulative purposes. Satan is the worst liar, while God is the ultimate truth teller. You can’t count on anything Satan tells you; but you can rest the full weight of your life on God’s Word.

God is not fickle

I read of a of a pastor who said, “When I was a young youth pastor in Canada, there was this guy in our church who decided he was going on a mission project. It was a pretty ambitious plan, but we all chipped in and raised his support. Our church consisted of around 150 people, so sending someone to Africa was a huge deal.
Weeks went by as he packed his stuff in trunks and sent it on ahead. We bought him this special one-way ticket. On Send-off-Sunday we gathered around him and prayed over him and told him how much we loved and believed in him. After the service, we went down to “fellowship hall” (the basement) and had a big luncheon together. We embraced and cried and told him, “God’s going to use you, and “off you go.”’ Someone took him to the airport in the afternoon.
Well, Sunday night service came around and we were back at church again. And guess who was there? Our missionary! “What are you doing here?”
“Oh!” he said, “when I found out how much people love me, I just couldn’t go!” And he never did. He said he was going to go. He raised money to go. We prayed over him to go. Someone took him to the airport, but he changed his mind! Crazy!
We smile at that now; but the story does remind us that we’re fickle. We get fired up and say ”I’m going to do this or go here,” and, “This is what matters to me:’ But later we say, “Forget about that; now it’s this:’ Fickle! But God is not like that. God does not waver or change His mind. Joshua 23:14 reminds us, “Not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.”
Some of our promises are Yes, but some are also We’ll see, or I’ll try hard, and even I really hope so. Some of our promises become, I forgot. But God knows what He said. He can’t lie and it will never slip His mind. He’ll deliver, on time, every time.
Take a deep breath and take this to heart: God has nothing to do with broken promises. When He says, I promise} mark it down-it’s going to happen. God keeps His promises.
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God’s Promises – Take it to Heart

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Take it to Heart
God’s promises are an assurance God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.
Ask yourself the following questions, pausing after each to consider your answer. Consider pulling out a notebook and writing your answers.

In what ways do
What is the fear?
What can God do about the thing(s)

I struggle with fear?I fear?

Is that the reason I sometimes feel so far from God when I need Him most because

I don’t believe He can handle what I fear?JJ game in my mind? What if I lose my job, What if she leaves me, What if! fail … ?
In what ways do I play the “What if …

Does fear ever factor into my decisions?
Receive this by faith. Take a moment and scan back over your life this week. Think of the places you’ve been. Think of what you thought about or stressed over. Is that too hard for God? “‘ The LORD your God is with you wherever you go;’ God told Joshua (Joshua 1:9). With that concept taken to heart, what do you have to fear?I now walk by faith until God’s promises are realized in my life?

Know by Heart

Deuteronomy 31:6

“‘Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Which of the concepts covered in this promise spoke directly to my fears?
How can

I can’t do that because what if “xyz” happens?