I grew up with 4 older brothers who, in my opinion as a kid, were bigger than life. If they said it, I believed it period! They were my heroes and they knew it. The stuff that they would “talk me into” was amazing. They once convinced me that I could parachute off our roof (2nd floor) with a bed sheet. Let’s just say that the law of gravity is ABSOLUTELY TRUE!
I fell and I fell hard. The promise of the parachute wasn't very reliable. The reality of this and life is simple…A promise is only as reliable as the one who makes it. This is why it would have been smarter for me to focus on my brothers and their motives (which was to have fun), versus what they asked me to do.
Think about the scenes from scripture we have looked at so far and consider what we have learned about God. From the very beginning, God was Lord over all creation. He created it good and when it came to us, it was very good. He put mankind in the perfect environment without need for anything. The promise of His care and protection was as reliable as it could ever be. Yet, man decided they would trust in God and His promises, which led to separation.
Still, God demonstrated His faithfulness, even with man’s repeated unfaithfulness. He went to Adam and Eve even after they failed to trust Him. He warned Cain even before He committed murder and expressed the promise of His acceptance. Yet, Cain gave into the sin and the rebellion that was once crouched at his door but suddenly invaded his life. What was God’s response to Cain’s rebellion? Grace and love even in the judgment of the sin.
Then we see Noah and the rainbow. The rainbow was the symbol of God’s promise to never again destroy all living things with a flood, even though people’s thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood. The Rainbow is the opportunity for all creation to remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature.
Remember God’s promise to Abram. God committed to make him a great nation and bless all the families of the earth through him…a man who was old and without a child. Yet, we will discover later in the story that one of his descendants fulfills this promise. We were asked this week to consider this idea of PROMISES as it relates to God. The question was asked like this…
“What would my relationship with God be like if I believed everything He promised would come true?”
What do you think??? Do you believe that? Let me share a secret with you that I learned a few years ago from a wise man named Charles that might help you as you consider it. He taught me that the Bible has only two types of promises. Before I tell you the types lets make sure we know what I mean by a PROMISE. A promise is a spoken or written commitment to preform a certain act or to refrain from doing something.
In the Bible, here are the two types of promises the Lord makes:
CONDITIONAL – This type of promise is subject to certain mandates.
Romans 10:9 offers us the promise of salvation but it is conditional upon faith in Jesus Christ. This is key for us in our belief because there is a tendency for us to question or become disappointed in God because we think He’s not keeping His promise to us. The problem with this isn't God’s faithfulness but our understanding.
Remember that desiring something and believing God will do it doesn't always mean He’s promised it to us. Sometimes the hindrance or delay isn't God – it is us. Just like sin separated Adam and Eve in the garden – it separates us and can create barriers in our relationships.
Remember what I said at the beginning… A promise is only as reliable as the one who makes it. Consider so far what we have learned about God in the story…His character and His ability to make a promise and keep it. I would say we have learned He is both willing and powerful enough. He is truthful and faithful. He is gracious and loving. He is powerful and unchangeable. He cares for us and wants to provide for us. So I ask you again… “What would my relationship with God be like if I believed everything He promised would come true!”
Find a promise today in God’s story and claim it! If there are any conditions, do it and trust that He will do what He says He will do. If it is unconditional, make sure you see who it is for and what its for and claim it as well. May not be for you but for someone else. God loves you and He loves me – trust it!
Hope to see you this weekend as we live life and gather together as family to celebrate the promises of God! Be there and invite a friend!