Posts Tagged promises

I Dare You!

Psalm 12: 6            Passion Translation

For every word God speaks is sure and every promise pure. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.

Oh, if we only believed this. Wouldn’t life be different? The truth of the matter, sorrowfully, is that most Christians aren’t really believers. We believe in Jesus but not necessarily all his words. This is lamentable, but you know what, this is something we can change individually and globally.

Today’s psalm is a song of David, I think you might hear his voice in this verse. He trusted God. He believed in Him. Not only did he believe in God but even more importantly, he believed God. David believed that whatever God said was true and sure, that there was no way it could not come to pass. He believed that ever promise of God was yes and amen to him, that it was undeniable. He believed in the purity of God’s promises and every word which proceeded from the mouth of God. And David’s belief had no choice but to manifest in his life. You see, what we believe is what we will manifest.

The heathen know this. Why don’t we? They know that what the heart believes will become reality. And they are right. That is the way God made this realm to operate. It’s not a big secret. David has told you right here that all of God’s words are absolute truth. Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you,” (Mark 11: 24). Or think on this from Mark 11: 23 as recorded in the God’s Word Translation, “I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him.” What you believe is reality. Period. That is really a huge statement and yet so easily read over. Let me say it this way, if you will teach and train yourself to take God’s word, and yes, even God Himself, at face value, then all that He has said will be your reality. What you believe is the truth you will live. Actually, the life you are living right now is that which you have believed in the past. If you want to up your game, believe bigger. God said that He was willing and able to do above and beyond all that you are able to imagine (Ephesians 3: 20). So . . . think bigger. Take Him at His word.

How can you teach yourself to believe God? You must commune with Him. There really is no other way. David learned to walk with God daily. He invested himself in the relationship. The more you come to know Yahweh personally, the more you will believe Him, the more you will believe His word with your heart, not only your mind. We have to learn to hang out with God more.

The other thing we should all do is to press our friends to become believers. It is a pain to be around me sometimes but when my Christian friends say something totally unbiblical, I nudge them, even correct them, if the truth were told. Why should I let my friends wallow in lies and deceit? I cannot. There are those, however, that I can’t teach, can’t train, can’t move. The veil of their Christianity is just too thin, and it may tear. You do have to leave those people where they are no matter how it pains you. Your committed friends though, hold them accountable for their words and beliefs and invite them to hold you accountable.

Let’s do this. Let’s push each other and ourselves to become Davidic believers, people who trust the Lord our God at least as much as David did. Maybe we could even believe God in the same fashion as Abraham whose belief was accounted as righteousness by God. Believe God. Take Him at His word. I dare you!

When is Now

Mark 10: 29 – 30

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses, and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Love, no matter whom it is for, includes sacrifice. Maturity requires that we subjugate our relentless self-pursuits in favor of caring for those we love. Sacrifice, though, has a reward. Every time we sow into another person, the seed produces a harvest.

Peter told Jesus, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You,” (Mark 10: 28). Jesus made it clear, though, that they had not actually sacrificed anything because God would repay a hundredfold. We cannot out give God, for whatever we give up for His sake or the sake of the gospel, He will repay a hundred times over.

The question I have is, do we believe this? It is a little hard to believe, isn’t it? This dialogue is actually set up in verse 27 where Jesus told them, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” You are hurting our brains here Jesus. It is interesting that Peter’s retort was a declaration of their holiness and sacrifice. Jesus answers saying all this will be returned to you and more besides and our brains just run off the rail. It is hard enough to even begin to wrap our heads around all things being possible but when Jesus brings the “all things” down to earth and closer to our sphere of reality, the impossible looms even larger. How is God going to give us all that Jesus promises in this passage?

One of the ways people have dealt with their inability to believe is to cast all of the blessing into the “age to come” as if our God has reserved all of the good things He is for heaven. If we truly believe God is omnipotent, why would He limit His goodness to heaven? Is He just unable to extend His blessing to earth? Jesus makes it abundantly clear, though, that he was not talking about the great by and by when we are all together in heaven. First, he uses the word “now.” In anyone’s lexicon the word now means now. It is not a complicated idea. Jesus also said, “in the present age.” How can that mean anything but now in the age in which we are living, our present, not our future. You have to be a contortionist to twist these words into “everything awaits us in heaven” and “it is not for us here on the earth.”

It seems, though, that a great many people easily latch onto and believe part of today’s verse. They will proudly claim that they suffer persecutions in the name of Jesus and for the sake of the gospel. They can believe for persecutions but not the hundred-fold return on seed. Why is that? Are not both in the same sentence? How is it that we can believe God for calamity but not for blessing? Who is our God, anyway? Or, who do we make Him out to be?

Jesus is the blessing. God did not send him here to condemn our lives but rather to save them. He is shalom, perfect peace, everything in perfect working order, nothing missing. That is who he is so if Jesus is in your life, then his peace, which is nothing missing, nothing broken, should also be in your life. If there is a broken part of your life, take it to Jesus and ask him why. Learn to receive the hundred-fold from him. Don’t deny Jesus for that is what it is when we confound his words, cloaking them in unbelief. Live to Jesus and receive his words with joy and faith.

Covenant Keeper

Deuteronomy 8: 18

But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

The book of Deuteronomy is Moses’ swan song, if you will. The Israelites were poised on the banks of the Jordan, ready to cross over into the promised land. This marks the end of Moses’ ministry and life. This book also represents a contract, or covenant, between God and His people. You can see that in the language of today’s verse. God reminds His people of the promises He made them and which He desires to see fulfilled in their lives.

God means to confirm His promises and His covenant to us as well. Every day we have the opportunity to cross over from the desert into the land of promise and Father wants us receive the benefits of His promises as a confirmation to all people that He is an awesome God. He wishes to bless us at least as much as we desire to have blessing flow through our lives.

At what point, though, did it become taboo to expect God to keep His word regarding wealth? The language is perfectly clear in this passage that God, Himself, is giving us power to make wealth. Sure, His design is that we do that, not in our own strength but, in unity with Him, but it is through this display of His goodness that all people will see His glory.

We have a role in this, though. We must first believe that it is God’s will to make wealth in our lives. Second, if we don’t receive this promise or its fruit, then God will appear to be an oath breaker.

For many years the church has wallowed in the false piety of poverty. We have charged God with the guilt of our sicknesses and with every other misfortune of life. The church has made excuses for failure rather than stand on God’s living Word and demand that He perform His Word. However, there is new life in the church. Believers are emerging and demanding the fullness of the gospel. They are investing their hearts, faith and even their money in the promises of God. They are living in expectation and belief and they will see their God. He has waited for a people who will believe Him and trust Him. That is us.

Let’s turn our believers and receivers to full power expecting our Father to show up and show out. The ancient Israelites certainly had no more than we, and yet look at the promise God made them. Read the twenty-eighth chapter and see the expectation level we should have. Let’s fulfill our destinies and allow the Father to confirm His Word to us.

Better Promises

Hebrews 7: 22, 8: 6

Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

Hopefully you read yesterday’s devotional on the plan, or the covenant, of blessing we have under the Abrahamic Covenant. If you did you may well ask how there can be a better covenant or one enacted on better promises. The covenant of blessing was pretty huge and encompassing if you ask me. None the less, God was not satisfied with that covenant. He wanted more and better for us.

For many of us there was one major problem with the previous covenant. It was a promise to Israel, not to the gentiles so that was one important way God improved the deal. Through Jesus, we also became eligible for all of the promises under the Old Covenant. Obviously, Jesus brought a lot of benefits to us through his life, death, sacrifice and resurrection. He broke the power of hell over us and took away the sting of death. We were lost and he found us. We are redeemed, sanctified, justified, saved and restored. There is nothing in the whole Kingdom of God forbidden to us now. All of God’s thoughts and wisdom are ours. Every blessing has been poured out on all the children of earth. Sin has been cleaned away and we now stand boldly in the throne room of God unmarred by the stain of sin. Jesus did that for us. We were unable but because of his delivering grace, we have now been adopted into the family of God. We are truly and factually the children of Yahweh, Jehovah God. All He has, He has bequeathed to us. No longer are we limited to earthly blessings, the assets of heaven are now ours because of Jesus. So, yeah, he improved the covenant. It was fabulously good before but now it is off the scale wonderful.

How great is our God and glorious all His good deeds to His children. May all of His purposes be fulfilled in the earth and all of His beloved draw unto Him with great gladness.

Recovery

Psalm 35: 26 – 28          NIV

May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.

It has taken three days to share with you the insight and emotional outpouring of David which is found in the 35th Psalm. I wanted to give you this psalm because I know that we all have been in David’s shoes emotionally.

One of the key points we can glean from this passage is that David knew his Bible. In this passage he essentially prayed Genesis 12: 3 which reads, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.” It is always wise to pray the promises God has already given us. Where there is a passage which relates to our circumstance then we already know God’s will. In this case, all we have to do is line up our prayer with the promise God has already given.

The other point which I think is key is to notice how David ends this Psalm. He was certainly in great distress and poured out his heart to God but when he gets to the end he has reached the point of declaring God’s greatness. That is one of the keys to David’s success and to his great relationship with God. There are other psalms wherein David begins with a recitation of his troubles but always at the end he has laid his problem at the throne of God and taken up his instrument to sing praises to the Most High. This is a very valuable lesson. It is acceptable to lament your woes. It is okay to tell God your troubles and your feelings, but do not end your conversation there. Keep communicating with God until you reach the praise and thanksgiving stage. Keep praying until your trust in His saving grace has returned to you. Remember too, that our New Testament instruction from Jesus is to pray for our tormentors. Their actions will return to them because of the bad seed they have sown. However, we now have the power and authority to even save them from themselves because in Jesus we can pray for their healing and a reversal of their fortunes. It certainly is not the easiest thing in the world to do but we have Jesus, and in him all things are possible, even praying for our enemies.

Shipping is Free

2 Samuel 22: 31                NLT

“God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
I want to look, this week, at how we walk in the blessings of God. If God has blessed us, if the Word is true then why don’t our lives look more blessed than they sometimes do? This question has plagued me personally and professionally for years but I believe I am beginning to have a revelation into the answer. I would like to use a couple of personal illustrations to demonstrate how we can live in the promises of God and even how a blessed person can miss them.
Last week I was fortunate to get to go bike riding several days. On Saturday I went for a fairly long ride over new territory. I was psyched to go to this new place and spent time Friday getting my water, food and clothes ready for a long day of cycling. I missed one preparation step though and I paid for it. I forgot to pray.
Now, how does a minister of the gospel forget to pray? I have my own theories on that but it is really bad. You see, God has made me many promises. In fact, every single promise that He ever made to anyone is mine if I choose because God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10: 34) which means that He does not show favoritism. What He has ever done for anyone else He will also do for me or for you. Therefore, every promise in the Bible is mine.
Now then, today’s verse, along with many others, tells us that God is a shield for all who look to Him for protection. His promise has been tested and proven true. How can it be, then, that I fell on my Saturday ride and scraped up my elbow? Where was my protection from God? Why did my bubble of protection not keep me unscathed? As I am sure you have discerned, the protection never settled on me because I never prayed. I never received that promise. Today’s verse says that, “God is a shield for all who look to him for protection.” Well duh, I never looked to Him for protection. I just jumped on my bike and took off in the power of my might. What an idiot! Don’t copy me. Cover yourself, clothe yourself every day in God’s protective power. 
 
God isn’t assumptive or controlling. He has given you and me authority and decision making power. He says, “Okay, here is a protective shield. Put it on if you choose.” We have autonomy. That autonomy has a price though. We have decision making power, and that is great, but it also means that His promises are not automatic. They are all activated by our choices. This is how a friend of mine explains it, “We wait for something to happen, or be handed to us, rather than working hard and reaching for things ourselves. It’s like lying on the sofa, asking for someone to bring us a drink. IT’S IN THE KITCHEN, GET UP AND GET IT!!!!! God’s blessing are there, within our power to have, we are just too lazy to get them.” I think this friend has a revelation. God has already stocked the refrigerator with all the drinks we could ever want or need. We have only to go open the door and take what we want.

All of God’s promises are yea and Amen (2 Corinthians 1: 20) which means that He has already said “Yes.” However, we have a role to play. We must appropriate these blessings for ourselves. The warehouse is stocked; it is full. Now just write out your requisition form and have what you need and want shipped to you. Shipping is free.

All Paths

Psalm 25: 10


All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. 
You may notice that many of God’s promises have a condition precedent or a prerequisite. Let me help you understand this. God isn’t really conditioning His promises. He is actually explaining to you how the Kingdom of God works. If I wanted to teach a person how to do something I might say something like, “If you do this, you will get this result.” That is what God is attempting to explain to us; He is teaching us how to operate Kingdom Principles in order to get everything we need and want. 
 
When you apply this insight to today’s verse you perhaps come away with a deeper understanding of how to work with God to find your way to His paths of truth and lovingkindness. And think of it, for those who keep His covenant, all paths lead to truth and lovingkindness. Isn’t that exciting?
Now you may be asking yourself what His covenant and testimonies are so that you can be sure you are walking in them. Well, here is some good news. That is what I give you daily. My job is to show you God’s principles, His ways and even His covenant. You just apply them and reap the rewards.
One small caveat though, don’t try to do any of this on your own. As you see a principle, immediately go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to walk you through it. That is His job. We all have our part to do. You are not on your own.
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