God Keeps His Promises

God promises us redemption, righteousness, new life, freedom from sin and death, justification, His never-failing presence, adoption as His children, deliverance from the anguish and torment of hell, the Spirit with its gifts and fruits, and a new and better life now and for eternity in a new and better body on a new and better earth.

Four things stand out as we look at our Bible reading today. First, God keeps His promises. Second, God develops patience and trust. Third, God reveals His power. And fourth, God accomplishes His purposes.

  • God Keeps His Promises
    • The promise of a son was at first very general and became more and more specific after Abraham’s call. 
      • In the first three recorded instances, for example, God merely promised Abraham many descendants (Gen 12:2; 12:7; 13:16). In the fourth and following instances, however, the promise becomes far more specific: “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son” (Gen 18:10).
    • The birth of Isaac involved much more than parental joy. 
      • His birth meant the fulfillment of God’s promise. In Scripture, it is recorded that God comforted Abraham and Sarah eight times with the promise of a son.
    • Sarah had borne the burden of childlessness for many years, a heavy burden in that culture and at that time. 
      • People must have smiled when they heard that her husband’s name was Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.” He was the father of one son, Ishmael, but that was far from a multitude. 
      • As for Sarah herself, she had never given birth. No words can express her feelings of frustration, hopelessness, and helplessness. 
      • Only another childless woman can know what she went through all those years. But now all of her reproaches were ended, and they were rejoicing and laughing at the arrival of their son. 
    • This childless couple must have discussed the promise nearly every night.
      • I suspect hardly a moment passed without them thinking about it. And, I am sure, most nights they dreamed about the promised child.
    • (Ge 21:1) And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
      • The Hebrew word translated as “gracious” can also be translated as “visited.” The Lord visited with Sarah.
      • After years and years of waiting, the Lord visited with Sarah. And He did for Sarah what He promised (Gen 21:1). 
      • To make sure we don’t miss the point of this sentence, Moses tells us Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age (Gen 21:2).
    • Make no mistake about this: the child to be born to them was the child of the promise.
      • All of God’s wondrous covenant promises to Abraham were bound up in this promised child.
  • God Develops Patience and Trust
    • Way back in the Garden of Eden already God promised that the woman’s seed would crush the serpent (Gen 3:15). 
      • At first, with Eve, it is hoped that Cain is the promised seed who would destroy the serpent. 
      • Remember how Eve thought, hoped, and prayed that Cain whom she brought forth was going to crush the serpent’s head and undo the damage done in the Garden? 
      • When Cain killed Abel, it was discovered Eve was flat out wrong in thinking this.
    • In Genesis 12, it is expected the Lord will fulfill His promise through Abraham.
      •  But the suspense only intensifies. The patriarch jeopardizes his family in Egypt (Gen 12:10-20), fathers a son who will not be his heir (Gen 16), and then finally risks having Sarah bear a son with another man (Gen 20).
      • Just like a good book or movie, you start to think; “Lord, are you ever going to keep your promise of the promised seed?”
    • Do you remember how long Abraham and Sarah waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled? 
      • Twenty-five years they waited. Twenty-five years have passed since Abraham was called by God. It has now been twenty-five years since Abraham and Sarah left Haran.
    • Trusting God’s promises not only gives you a blessing at the end, but it gives you a blessing while you are waiting.
      • Just as athletes develop their skills as they practice hard long before the big event, so God’s children grow in godliness and faith as they wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises.
      • Faith is a journey, and none of us know how long is the journey, where the journey will take us, or what difficulties we will face along the way. 
      • God wants to build our patience and trust, SO He gives us promises.
    • We like the promises that I read first.
      • Redemption, righteousness, new life, freedom from sin and death, justification, His never-failing presence, adoption as His children, deliverance from the anguish and torment of hell, and the like.
      • But we tend to neglect the whole counsel of God. We like the Burger King mentality. Have it your way. Listen!
      • (Jn.15:20.) Jesus said:  They persecuted Him, they ARE going to persecute you. Paul said it like this. (2Ti 3:12) Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
      • (Php 1:29) For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; what about Peters words: (1Pe 3:14) But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.
    • James told why this also is important. 
      • (Jas 1:3-4) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
    • God loves you like you are. But He loves you too much to leave you that way.
      • God is not making you into churchgoers.
      •  He is fashioning you into THE CHURCH by conforming you to the very image of His Son Jesus THE Christ.
    • If you remember, Abraham had problems with trusting God.
      •  At least, he had problems with trusting God completely. He thought, more than once, that God needed his help.
      •  So, instead of trusting in God’s protection, he lied two times about his relationship with Sarah (Gen 12 & 20). So, instead, of trusting in God’s promise about a son, he tried to make a servant his heir (Gen 15:2) and had a son with another woman (Gen 16).
      •  God had to take him over the same hurdles again and again until he learned that God did not need his help. Abraham’s strategies were always getting him into trouble, but God’s faithfulness dug him out each time.
    • How many times don’t we think and act exactly the same as Abraham?
      •  How many times don’t we try to help the Almighty? 
      • God’s promise is that salvation is by grace and through faith but we think we need to earn salvation. 
      • God’s promise is that He builds the church and the kingdom, but we act like it is completely up to us. 
      • God’s promise is that He hears and answers prayer, but we neglect prayer because we think we can do it on our own.
    • Does God have you on the here we go again plan? 
      • Try trusting Him this time.
  • God Reveals His Power
    • (Ge 18:10-11) And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. (11) Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
      • God didn’t just impregnate a woman but listen: (Heb 11:11-12) Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was past age because she judged him faithful who had promised. (12) Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
    • Both Abe and Sarah’s body was not able to produce, carry, and deliver a child. He did the miraculous
      • Remember God’s response to Abraham? (Ge 18:14) Is anything too hard for the LORD? 
  • God Accomplishes His Purposes (Pr 19:21) There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
    • This crazy messed up, mixed-up time that we are living in has not derailed or dismantled God’s plan.
      • God promised Abraham and Sarah a child
    • He did not do things the way we presumed,
      • but He did it spectacularly 
    • God’s still completing His purposes.
      • He has a plan for New Hope. He has a plan for you.
      • (Pr 24:10) If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small
    • We need to remember: (Ge 18:14) Is anything too hard for the LORD? 

Knock, Knock

Covenant Day 2020

Rev. 3:20-21

 

Revelation is a thrilling book full of mystery, miracles, majesty. It tells us what to expect, what to do, and who we can trust. Here in this third chapter as Jesus the Amen, the Faithful and True witness, the beginning of the creation of God, shares the past present and future we see a marvelous characteristic of our Lord.

  • Jesus Knocking:
    • Not just a tap and go knock. Not a rum pa pa bum knock, but a patient determined knock.
      • It shows how devoted Christ is to His creation.
      • It shows how patient he is as He stands outside our heart and knocks.
    • Outside our heart! Not in the things we value, we love, we enjoy. 
      • He is willing to stand outside all the things we put before Him and patiently lovingly persistently knock.
      • It shows those who are willing to look, how much He loves us!
    • When I read this I get the picture of everyday life.
      • Jesus is standing, knocking on our door but the TV is too loud.
      • Jesus is standing, knocking on our door but we’re busy with tending to our possessions. 
      • Jesus is standing, knocking on our door but we are too ashamed for Him to come in and see. 
      • Jesus is standing, knocking on our door but we’re arguing about…
    • Jesus is constantly knocking. Not only for the unbeliever to open their heart but for the believer to declutter their heart.
      • He lovingly, patiently waits and knocks. Giving us plenty of time to answer.
  • Jesus knocks through His word.
    • The BIBLE holds His truth.
      • Our hearts open as we read and study His living word in private devotions. Spending time listening as well as praying.
      • Our heart burns within us as we prepare to gather with His saints and hear the word proclaimed.
      • Our heart is changed as we take in what God has prepared for the body as we serve together the same vision.
  • Jesus knocks through the Holy Spirit.
    • The Holy Spirit is that which guides us in His truth.
      •  Aides us in understanding of His word.
      • Places us in the midst of His people.
    • The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and points to the answer. The only answer for man’s sin problem. JESUS!
  • Jesus knocks through His people. The Church
    • Our primary goal in this life is to live, love and lead a lost world to Jesus.
      •  By the way we live out our lives they should see a difference that points to Jesus.
      • By the way we die to ourselves and love the unlovable they should see Jesus.
      • We should all know how to introduce them to the risen Lord.
    • We work with each other in various ways to be the best we can be for our Lord Christ and King.
      •  As iron sharpens iron.
      • We lift one another up in prayer and support. 
  • Jesus knocks through circumstances.
    • Have you heard any knocking lately?
      • Of course this covid circus, but what about life in general.
      • Relationships, occupation, finance, health.
    • As this covid circus plays out, you will begin to see:
      • Those who were fearful or leaning to a worldly wisdom coming out like Brave Barts never dealing with the truth.
      • Still Jesus knocks.
    • Husbands and wives living pitiful lives. 
      • Fuming, fussing, and fleeing. Unable to agree that their walk with God or the lack thereof is the basis of their self-destruction.
      • Still Jesus Knocks.
    • Workplace woes.
      • Jesus has placed you with who He wants you to be with and where He wants you to be.
      • Yet we whine and whimper wasting precious time that could be used for the King’s glory.
      • Still Jesus Knocks.
    • On our poorest days we here in GOD BLESSED AMERICA are richer than most of the world.
      • Still we deny God’s provision by hoarding, wasting, stealing the very blessing God grants us.
      • Still Jesus knocks.
    • He blesses us with good health.
      • We use it to fulfil our desires, our lust. 
      • We enjoy all the great and wonderful things God has placed on this earth but find we have little time for serving.
      • As this world reminds us it’s not forever, our health deteriorates. We gripe about not feeling like doing anything wishing we had better health so we can SERVE?
      • Still Jesus knocks.
    • Our Lord knows our sinfulness, our filth, our hypocrisies and He patiently, lovingly knocks!
  • I am so grateful for the day the Holy Spirit tuned my ears to hear his knocking on my heart’s door.
    • So loud and clear. Unmistakable was His calling.
      • He empowered me to open the door of my heart and He came in, just as He promised.
      • Though I have failed Him many times, He has never once faltered in His promise.
      •  He has continually loved me, strengthened me.
      • Chastised me because of this love. And lifted me up. 
      • He has carried me not only in tough times but through every time.
      • Because I have learned, I can’t even walk without holding His hand! 
  • In 2013 Jesus moved upon the body of New Hope. He provided and planned away for us to do the unimaginable.
    • It wasn’t that we just have this building. But we have seen Him countless times provide means of continuing His mission here.
      • Even in the midst of adversity, division, apathy, deceitfulness, God has continued to bring sons and daughters to Him. 
      • We have been invited and involved with many different works.
      • But this is important! It is not over!
      • Jesus is still knocking.
  • There is a great promise here in this 21st verse.
    • I believe it is what Paul was referring to when he told Timothy.
      • Ti 2:11-13, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”
    • Today Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart.
      • Are you able to hear it?
      • Are you willing to hear it?
    • It is time for us to rise above the noise and become who Jesus originally intended for us to be.
    • It starts with you!