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Posts Tagged ‘1 Kings 8:56’

After Obedience

June 20th, 2013

“When you have done the will of God you will receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36 NIV.

God’s will is forever aligned with His promises, purpose, and providence.

My thoughts and comments today are about “after obedience.”

Naturally, most of us are impatient. People want what they want sooner rather than later. People are a lot more interested in receiving what they want than in doing what they should. Success in the first is very much dependent on attention to the latter. Do what you should; that precedes all other good. When you do what you should, you receive what is promised. That’s the way it works in life, and that’s the way it works in your faith.

Spiritual life is neither sourced nor sustained by your efforts, but neither is it apart from your righteous works of faith. James said, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead [without life-giving ability]. Show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:17-18 NKJV. Salvation is by grace alone, undeserved and unearned. “For it is by grace you have been saved . . not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV. James addresses everyday life, which follows His work of grace. God created you for righteous works, “. . which [He] prepared in advance.” Realize your calling and destiny is possible only by God working in and through you.

Time and effort are wasted trying to earn something from God; instead, concentrate on knowing and doing God’s will, while trusting God to fulfill His “. . exceedingly great and precious promises.” Read 2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV. There are many promises in the Bible, every one sure and eternal. The Bible provides a simple qualification, “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that [after] you have done the will of God you will receive what He has promised.” Hebrews 10:36 NIV. You cannot omit the qualifying words, “. . [after] you have done the will of God . .”

God’s promises always relate to His will and timing, before an individual’s desire or momentary need. The verse referenced above was written to specific people facing suffering and persecution. In their difficult situation, they were to rest in God’s will and trust His promises. Observe the context for each promise. It is over simplistic to presume any and all promises are just yours for the asking whenever you choose.

Who has not read a wonderful promise in God’s Word and claimed it as their own, then been confused if the promise seems not to be fulfilled in the way or time they desired? Is God unfaithful to His promise? Or to you? I think not! Nor will He be. “There has not failed one word of all His good promise.” 1 Kings 8:56 NKJV. God’s will is forever aligned with His promises, purpose, and providence, in general to all as well as individually to you.

Your focus is personal submission to the primacy of God’s will, with loving embrace of His wisdom always – “that you may prove [for yourself] what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.” See Romans 12:1-2 NKJV. “Those who through faith and patience inherit the promises,” find His will perfect, His ways superior, His timing impeccable. Hebrews 6:12 NKJV.

My prayer for you this day is that you are faithful to God and find Him faithful to you.

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Promise Keepers

April 5th, 2013

“Fully convinced that what [God] promised He was also able to do.” Romans 4:21 NKJV.

A person of character will do as they say, whatever effort or sacrifice is required.

My thoughts and comments today are about “promise keepers.”

Advertisers and marketers make promises manufacturers don’t fulfill. Advertising notoriously leaves people skeptical. The hype is better than the reality. That should not be true of us. People make promises too – husbands and wives, parents and kids, bosses and employees, citizens and governments, businesses and customers – but promises are more easily made than kept. Expect more of yourself. If there is a problem about keeping promises, intention is not usually the cause. Intentions usually exceed abilities. Sometimes there are reasons a promise is not kept, sometimes excuses.

Broken promises devalue your words; each time a promise is broken, words mean less to more people. My Dad measured a man by his word. “A man is only as good as His word,” he believed. A person of character will do exactly as they say, whatever the effort or sacrifice required. The Bible makes it simple, “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.” James 5:12 NKJV. Be clear with your words; be true to your word. Better to promise less and deliver more. When a promise is kept, be gracious. When unable to honor your word, be honest and explain.

If that is true of promises made to other people, how much more should a person be sincere and diligent about their promises to God? “So when you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through . . Keep all the promises you make to Him. It is better to say nothing than to promise something that you don’t follow through on. In such cases, your mouth is making you sin.” Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 NLT.

Consider how God guards and values His words. “So is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 NIV. Abraham is an interesting study. Read Romans 4:17-22 NKJV. God made a promise that Abraham would be, “a father of nations with descendants as the stars of the Heavens and sands of the sea.” But then time passed. What was first unlikely was soon impossible by natural means. By every evidence, the time had passed; the promise failed. But God does not fail, neither do His words. Solomon declared, “There has not failed one word of all His good promise.” 1 Kings 8:56 NKJV.

Abraham weighed the facts – his and Sarah’s age and incapacity – but believed the truth. His assurance was in God’s ability, not his own. “Abraham . . in the presence of Him whom he believed – God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did – who contrary to hope, in hope believed . . He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what [God] had promised He was also able to perform.” Read Hebrews 11:8-12/17-19 NIV. Fully convinced. What would that look like for you?

Trust must be placed upon the incomparable ability and inviolable integrity of the One who promises, even more than in the promise itself. That is a notable distinction. And the ultimate sum of it all is this: “This is what He promised us – even eternal life.” 1 John 2:25. God is a Promise Keeper!

My prayer for you today is: hold fast the promises He speaks within your heart.

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