Saturday, March 31, 2012

On Promises

There's only one thing you ever need to know. In life, in death, only one thing matters. Jesus. This isn't a matter of opinion, it's not just a point of view. This is fact. The only thing you ever need to know is Jesus. If you don't have Him, you will have nothing at all.

As I was going through part of Genesis this week I found myself completely astounded by God's promises. I'll start with this:

"The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised."
-Genesis 21:1

Sarah's condition was completely impossible to the power of men. She was baren and in no way capable of giving Abraham a child that would one day make him the father to many nations. Seriously... impossible. But our God isn't restricted in power like men. Our God is a God whose abilities are greater than our incapabilities. I love how plainly and beautifully faithful the Lord is. It is as simple as saying, "and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised" yet it was as complex as having a completely baren woman bear a child that would one day become many nations. Our God is not a God of broken promises nor is he a God who promises more than he can do. Our God is a God who is faithful to fulfill.

So I started making a list of the promises I find in Jesus. I made the list so I could remember these things are fulfilled and in the fulfillment of these promises, what more could I need? Here is a small portion of my list. Make your own. Include Provider, Sustainer, Counselor, etc.

Jesus is Savior. What more could I need?
Jesus loves me. What more could I need?
Jesus is my shepherd. What more could I need?
Jesus has brought me life and life abundantly. What more could I need?

So good are the promises of the Lord. But wait, there's more. Jump forward a chapter.

"He said, 'Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.'"
- Genesis 22:2

Isaac wasn't just a son that Abraham loved, but Isaac was his only son, the son whom all of the promises of God's covenant hinged on. If Abraham was to father many nations, Isaac was going to be the vessel through which that was fulfilled. Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it best when he said, "Abraham must learn that the promise does not depend on Isaac, but on God alone." So God's covenant didn't hinge on Abraham's only son, it hinged on God.

We too must learn to rely on God and his faithfulness instead of putting our hope and faith in the things that God has promised. It is only by direct hope and faith in Jesus that we can truly have joy in His promises. He promises life and life abundantly, so put your faith and hope in Him, rely on Him to fulfill that promise and so he shall. To put your hope and faith in having life and having it abundantly will disappoint you because life isn't going to fulfill you. Having life abundantly isn't going to fulfill you. Jesus is going to fulfill you and if you can be fulfilled by Him, THEN you will have life and have it abundantly. You can't cut Jesus out and expect to partake in the joy of those promises. The promises are fulfilled through Jesus and through Him alone.

Jesus is our salvation. It's only by him that we can embrace His promises.

When thinking on the promises made to you by God, remember that they only rely on God and not your circumstance or situation. Remember that it's only in Jesus that you receive those promises.

You must think about how great and awesome Jesus is and promises flow from that. You look straight at Jesus and so have the promises.

You set your eyes on Jesus and so partake in promises.
You set your eyes on the promises and also Jesus.

Jesus is priority. He is first. He is only. The end.

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