Posts Tagged ‘God’s Promises’

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THANKFUL FOR THE PORTION

November 27, 2020

"First Thanksgiving at Plymouth," Jeannie Brownscombe, 1914

“We give thanks this day for the abundance that we have been given” is a prayer many will have spoken this Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving, many feelings will be expressed of heartfelt gratitude for friends and family, provision and providence, wellness and well-being.  Yet, there is no distinction between the warm feelings of gratitude when the thankful have abundance filling every corner of the treasure room of their hearts.

All can know appreciation when plates are full and seats are all filled.

Yet, what is the basis for thankfulness when all is not sufficient?  Do we fake it? Do we pretend to be thankful even when we are inwardly dissatisfied?  Do we rationalize the sufficiency of the insufficient based upon a relative scale with others?

I read of Jesus’ thankfulness for five loaves and two fishes.  Was he really thankful for what was clearly insufficient?  Jesus thanked God for a meal to feed one or maybe two, which left 4,998 (plus families).  Jesus was thankful when all the whole was missing.

This year, many will have a portion but the whole will be missing.

At my family’s table, a chair will be empty and the family missing a father.
At my Wife’s table, a chair will be empty and the family missing a mother.
At my Cousin’s table, a chair will be empty and the family missing an uncle.
At Brother’s table, the chair of my Sister-in-Law will be filled but the grief of cancer’s curse colors all with feelings of finality.
Our table will be divided. Family members isolated in smaller groups amongst various homes.  Our tables will not be whole.  They will be portions.

How are we to be thankful in a year such as this?

Jesus was thankful for what was insufficient for the need.  He was not thankful for a couple fish and several loaves.  He was thankful for a God that was sufficient for all needs regardless of the portions.  This year the portions are not sufficient for many.  This year most are not celebrating with the whole.

Gratitude in the whole is not an act of righteousness.  Anyone can be thankful in abundance.  This year we have an opportunity to practice the thankfulness of Jesus.  We can be truly thankful, because God can either make the insufficient sufficient or He can make us content under the wing of our sovereign, all-sufficient, savior.

Thankfulness is an act of Faith.  Our thankfulness should not rest upon the visible but on the invisible and what is to come.  Our thankfulness should reside upon the truth that there will be a day when all are together, and the table is full with our Lord at its head.

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INHERITANCE

July 13, 2020

I will give you a treasure. It will be your inheritance.

These words, inheritance and treasure, receive their significance in the reality of the allocations. The mind can rationalize throughout the period of promise while treasure remains intangible.

All inheritors hope in the promise while all remains a promise. What happens on the day the promise is fulfilled, when hope becomes reality; when deeds are issued and seekers become the bequeathed?

Allocated assets enter balance sheets. Future net earnings are calulated. Improvements determine based upon their return on investments. Fortunes are made in these declarations of allocations. Yet, not all land is the same; not all fortunes are equal. The inheritances will be different.

The differences do not matter while they remain a promise. Something is better than nothing lasts until something become something.

The satisfaction of the heart is tested when comparison becomes unavoidable. It seems the greatest test resides with those examined with intangible promises while others are scheduling meetings with their accountants.

The mind can reason that God is better. He is a treasure, a pearl of great price, better than anything the world can offer. The tangible inheritors might even agree.

What does the heart believe when others take up residence in the land you have walked through, the possessions you have fought for, the assets you have suffered for.

The balance sheets will quantify the comparison between tangible and that which is not.

  • What if the Baptists received Wall Street, New York City and all the businesses that call it home;
  • The Episcopals got Google, Apple, and all of Silicon Valley;
  • The Methodists got Amazon, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest;
  • The Lutherans got all the resources of Texas,
  • While the Presbyterians received Alaska?

On and on, the allocations go but you are told that these fortunes are not yours to hold. Your inheritance is God. How would your mind value the allocations as the balance sheets are told?

Would your reasoning, God is a treasure surpassing all earthly wealth, determine that you received the most valuable of all inheritance? How will your contentment weather the reality of others taking possession of their new wealth?

Our eyes are so quick to turn evil to the generosity of God. Our chameleon hearts change rapidly when confronted by God’s unequal gifts.

Has God done us wrong by giving as our gift, Himself?

Perhaps, we have been set apart, holy unto Him; spared from that which God knows will corrupt.

Have you ever considered that prosperity absent holiness is never a gift? Wealth in unrighteousness is always a curse.

Our inheritance does not come in this world. We are like the tribe of Levi, content in the best of inheritance!

https://soundfaith.com/logos-media-share/514827

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“SECULAR SKEPTIC BUT NOT UNIVERSALLY SKEPTICAL” – Nov. 16

November 16, 2015

“And  we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”  Hebrews 6:11-12

I watched the most recent Republican Presidential Debate on FOX Business News with my son.

At one point during the debate, he asked me what I thought about the candidates.  I grumbled some affirmation regarding the candidate’s sound-bite solutions but mixed in my reservations as to whether any of them will actually fulfill their promises.

“I’m skeptical” was the conclusion of a decidedly negative lament on my doubts associated with the promises of leading candidates.  To which, my son commented on the fact that I am the most skeptical person he knows.  While, I had selected that particular word.  It made me a little circumspect when I heard it used as an adjective to my character.

Granted, my son hasn’t been around very many skeptical people; we homeschool after all.  Yet, I recoiled at being a skeptic in my son’s eyes due to the negative association that comes with that word.  I was concerned by what I might be patterning for him.

Skeptical is defined as not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations.  Based on this definition, I am a skeptic, particularly of politicians.  I am not easily convinced by charismatic talk of how a candidate is going to make America better.  I have doubts and reservations regarding the grand promises of those seeking political office because I have seen so few of those promises fulfilled.

In fact, I probably have gone beyond mere skepticism into full political cynicism.  Cynical is defined as distrusting or disparaging the motives of others.  In general, I distrust the motives of all politicians of both parties.  My cynicism has come from years of being lied to or mislead by those in political office especially if that office is in Washington, DC.

Therefore, as I listen to candidates make their promises I am overwhelmed with an equal sentiment of skepticism and cynicism.

Skeptical – I doubt whether they have or can obtain the political ability to actually do what they say.
Cynical – I question whether their words are mere semantics formulated for an election-day victory.

Politicians in America have earned the skepticism and cynicism of the US voter.  I wish more voters would think critically of what candidates are selling and hold them accountable to their promises.  Yet, I have lost my optimism of the political process.

Years of broken pledges have fouled my political optimism with the contaminated water stored up in the reservoirs of campaign promises.

I am not pessimistic but realistic.
I am a secular skeptic but not universally skeptical.
I am a humanistic cynic but not celestially cynical.

I want to pattern for my son that it is important to think critically about all promises that are dependent upon the ability and will of the one making the promise.  That is why I am skeptical and cynical of all politicians in their ability and will to keep their promises.

I desire my son to follow this same example of critical thinking and apply what the Bible teaches about God’s character to what He promises.

God’s character is why I am not universally skeptical.

“Ah, Lord God!  It is you who has made the heavens and the earth
by your great power and by your outstretched arm!
Nothing is too hard for you.”  Jeremiah 32:17

God has the ability to keep any promise that He makes.  If God has the ability to create this world and all that is in it, then there is not a promise in the Bible that is beyond His omniscient, omnipotent power.

God’s character is why I am not celestially cynical.

“Anyone who does not love does not know God,
because God is love.”  1 John 4:8

God proved His love for us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might live through him.  If God proved His love by giving His Son so that I can have eternal life, then there is not a promise in the Bible made with questionable motives.

With God, all skepticism can end because He can do everything He says.

With God, all cynicism can end because He has proven His motivation.

With God, we can have full assurance of hope in every promise that He has made.

“Prayer irrigates the fields of life with the waters
which are stored up in the reservoirs of promise.”
~ C. H. Spurgeon

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the promises that you have made in the Bible.   Thank you for revealing yourself to us so that we can have confidence in all your promises  Lord, give me a full assurance of hope to the end.  Father, grant that same assurance to my son and daughter.  Help them to see mankind for who we are and You for who You are.  Help us not to be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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QUOTE (Andrew Murray) – May 9

May 9, 2014

Andrew Murray (minister)

“The Lord gave the wonderful promise of the free use of His Name with the Father in conjunction with doing His works. The disciple who lives only for Jesus’ work and Kingdom, for His will and honor, will be given the power to appropriate the promise. Anyone grasping the promise only when he wants something very special for himself will be disappointed, because he is making Jesus the servant of his own comfort. But whoever wants to pray the effective prayer of faith because he needs it for the work of the Master will learn it, because he has made himself the servant of his Lord’s interests.”
~ Andrew Murray

In honor of Andrew Murray, South African Pastor and writer, who was born on this day in 1828.

Resources:
May 9 – Today in Christian History
Andrew Murray > Quotes

 

 

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