cropped-rose-4.gifHebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)”

Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”

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Webster defines the word “promise” as a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified; a legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act or something that is promised.

We’re told over and over again in the Scriptures that God’s promises never fail because He who promised is faithful and God’s promises are something He always keeps. Psalm 89:34 says, “I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered” and 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Whether it’s a CEO, professor, doctor, mayor, parent, teacher, student, our children or those who hold a public office, we all have difficulty following through on the promises we make. Maybe an unforeseen string of events or new information changed the person’s mind about the wisdom of their original statement. Special-interest groups may exert pressure, making sure they get what was promised, while less influential people seem to get lost in the crowd.

It’s a good thing God isn’t like us. So often we find ourselves failing in our promises to Him (even born-again believers in Christ). We even ignore or challenge His commands. We give in to our sinful nature and do the very things we know we ought not to do. Or worse yet, we choose not to do that which we are expected to do and we often doubt Him and His Word. Even doing those things doesn’t change His love toward us. 

But when we follow the Lord with all our heart, He will be faithful to keep His promises to us as with Joshua, Moses, and Abraham. If anyone had reason to wonder if God could or would keep His promises, it was Abraham. God had promised them a child even though they both were over 90 years old. They had their child that God had promised them and it couldn’t have happened without divine intervention.

We have a hope that is based on the trustworthy promises of God. Thus, our future is secure because He has always proven Himself to be as good as His Word. Search the Scriptures diligently and claim the promises of God. Promises truly are the hope of the heart, and God always keeps His word. Our strength for the present and our hope for the future aren’t based on the stability of our own perseverance but on the faithful and eternal promises of God, our Creator.

If you’re a child of God, having accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). We need to hold on to God’s promises, which are woven throughout His Eternal Word; however, we cannot twist them to suit our own desire.

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There are many, many promises of God in Scripture, but more importantly do you believe them to be God’s promises, and not merely printed words on a piece of paper, or simply the assumptions of imperfect humans? Because they are the promises from God, you can hold on to them with the utmost assurance that what He says will most certainly be accomplished. In each promise, God pledges that something will (or will not) be done or given or come to pass.

These are not flippant, casual promises such as we often make; these promises of God are rock-solid, unequivocal commitments made by God Himself. Because God is faithful, the recipients of the divine promises can have full assurance that what God has pledged will indeed be realized (Numbers 23:19). Here are just a few of the promises that God has made:

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– PROMISES OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT –

God promised to bless Abraham and, through his descendants, the whole world (Genesis 12:2–3). This promise, called the Abrahamic Covenant, pointed to the coming Messiah for whom Abraham looked (John 8:56); God promised Israel to be their God and make them His people (Leviticus 26:12–13). Old Testament history is packed with examples of God fulfilling this promise.

God promised that if we search for Him, we will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29). He is not playing hard-to-get. “Our God is near us whenever we pray to him” (Deuteronomy 4:7); God promised protection for His children (Psalm 121). He was the vigilant watchman over all Israel. God promised that His love will never fail (1 Chronicles 16:34). He is faithful in every way.

God promised Israel that their sin could be forgiven, their prosperity restored, and their nation healed (2 Chronicles 7:14). Repentance opened the road to fellowship and blessing; God, under the terms of the Mosaic Covenant, promised prosperity to Israel for obedience and destruction for disobedience (Deuteronomy 30:15–18). Unfortunately, Israel eventually chose to disobey, and the nation was destroyed by Assyria and Babylon; God promised blessing for all who will delight themselves in His Word (Psalm 1:1–3). Simple faith has its rewards.

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– PROMISES OF GOD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT-

God promised salvation to all who believe in His Son (Romans 1:16–17). There is no greater blessing than the free gift of God’s salvation; God promised that all things will work out for good for His children (Romans 8:28). This is the broader picture that keeps us from being dismayed by present circumstances.; od promised comfort in our trials (2 Corinthians 1:3–4). He has a plan, and one day we will be able to share the comfort we receive.

God promised new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Salvation is the beginning of a brand-new existence; God promised every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Whereas, in the Old Testament, Israel had the promise of physical blessing, the church today has been promised spiritual blessings “in the heavenly realms.” Our inheritance is reserved for us (1 Peter 1:4).

God promised to finish the work He started in us (Philippians 1:6). God does nothing in half measures. He started the work in us, and He will be sure to complete it; God promised peace when we pray (Philippians 4:6–7). His peace is protection. It will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.” God promised to supply our needs (Matthew 6:33Philippians 4:19). Not that we get everything we want, but our needs will be taken care of. We are more valuable than the birds, and our Heavenly Father feeds them (Matthew 6:26).

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– JESUS’ PROMISES IN THE GOSPELS –

Jesus promised rest (Matthew 11:28–30). Burdens are lifted at Calvary; Jesus promised abundant life to those who follow Him (John 10:10). Following Jesus brings us more spiritual fulfillment than we could have anticipated. We leave boring behind; Jesus promised eternal life to those who trust Him (John 4:14). The Good Shepherd also promised to hold us securely: “No one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

Jesus promised His disciples power from on high (Acts 1:8). In this power, they “turned the world upside down”; (Acts 17:6); Jesus promised that He will return for us (John 14:2–3). From then on, we will be with Him always; There are many more promises of God that could be listed. All of them find their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ, “the radiance of God’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3). “No matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

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– KING SOLOMON-

1 Kings 3:14, “If you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments … then I will lengthen your days”. A young man was rebelling against his parents. When he lost his job and his girlfriend, he complained that god was being unfair. He didn’t think the Lord was being very loving or was giving him the help, He promised in the Bible. What he didn’t realize was that Jesus promised a sense of His love and presence only to those who keep His commandments (John 14:21-24; 15:9-14).

We read in 1 Kings 3 that God was pleased when Solomon valued “an understanding heart” over wealth, honor, and long life (vs. 9-11). So, God promised the king those blessings in addition to the wisdom he requested (vs. 12-14). But Solomon, who was 20 when he became king, died at the relatively young age of 60 (11:42). What happened to the promise of long life? Remember, a condition was connected to it: “If you walk in My ways” (3:14). Because Solomon “did not fully follow the LORD” (11:6), God did not give him long life.

If you are God’s child by faith in His Son, He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Yet, you can still expect His loving discipline if you disobey Him (12:5-11). In such times you can turn to His promise to forgive when you confess your sins (1 John 1:9). We need to hold on to god’s promises, but don’t twist them. Take God’s promises to heart, but never take them for granted.

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– THE SON –

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart, and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.” The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. “Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.” The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home; he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?” There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.” But the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?” Another voice shouted angrily, “We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!” But still the auctioneer continued, “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. “We have $10, who will bid $20?” “Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.” “$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?” The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD FOR $10!”

A man sitting on the second row shouted, “Now, let’s get on with the collection!” The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, the auction is over.” “What about the paintings?” “I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!”

God gave his Son 2000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, “The Son, the Son, who’ll take the Son?” Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.- Author Unknown-

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CLOSING THOUGHTS:


Could you improve on a masterpiece? Imagine that you’re walking through the museum in Paris, and as you approach the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, would you think about taking a palette and brushes and touching up the painting? Maybe putting some more color in her cheeks or perhaps changing her nose just a little? “Why, that’s ridiculous!” you say. Over 500 years the Mona Lisa has been considered one of the greatest artistic works of all time. How absurd to think we could add anything to this masterpiece!

Yet, that’s what many people try to do with God’s masterpiece of salvation through Jesus Christ. They think they must improve on it with some work of their own. But that masterpiece was completed when Jesus said; “It is finished,” while hanging on the cross. Then He proved that His work of redemption was done when He rose from the dead. So, when you hear that Jesus paid the price for your sin and that you don’t have to do anything to merit God’s grace, do you think?

(1) It’s too good to be true?
(2) There’s something I must do to earn it?

(3) We can do nothing to earn our salvation, because we are saved by grace and by grace alone.

(4) Our redemption is a gift from God. However, our part is to acknowledge our sinfulness and inability to save ourselves, by putting our trust in Jesus, believing that He died on the cross for our sins. God has provided salvation for you, that’s His part, receiving it by faith, that’s ours.

(5) The question that remains, “Have you done your part in accepting His gift of redemption?”

(6) If so, Praise the LORD, but if not, I would urge you to trust Him today, this very hour, because the next hour may be your last, for we don’t know when death will knock at the heart of our door!

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Jesus Christ endured the agony of the cross so we could enjoy the glory of Heaven.