Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Promises of God

The second principle that Sarah Young indicates in the devotional reading I read the other day from her book, Jesus Calling states that by knowing the promises of the Bible we will know that with Jesus we can get through everything. This is yet another thing I was not familiar with before I began to attend church here in the United States at New Bedford Evangelical Presbyterian under the guidance of our Pastor Doug Runyan.

Back in Panama, I do remember singing at Mass a song in Spanish that translates into English as something like: “the promises of God are mine/”Las promesas del Señor mías son.” But I don’t recall ever really thinking through the meaning of the words I sang. God’s promises are mine? What promises?

Beyond the Lord’s Prayer and Mary’s Song of Praise found in Luke 1: 46-55 it is safe to say I never memorized Scripture. Honestly, I never really spent much time in the Bible at all. I had a Bible, and I did pursue every opportunity I could to join any kind of study I could find while still living in Panama, but those were few and far in between (especially far! I remember having to ride a couple of buses to a not so safe neighborhood once a week to attend a pretty serious Bible study. Now that I think about it, it was more like a lecture type of class with not much room for personal meditation or listening to God’s voice speaking to us, straight to us, through His Word…not even sure I had my Bible with me at those classes, to tell you the truth…)

Anyway, my point is that I was not very well acquainted with God’s promises found in Scripture. The problem with that is…well… if I don’t know His promises, how could I then claim them as mine?

If I don’t know God’s promises, how could I know He is Faithful?

If I never heard about God’s love, how would I ever know He loves me?

If I never read about Jesus and His Sacrifice, how would I ever know I am saved?

Then, where do I learn about God’s promises?

Well…the way to know His promises is to know His Word. And the way to know His Word is by reading it in the Bible, by studying it in small groups, by listening to teachers expressing their insights, by meditating on it ourselves, by making it our guide and our light.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 
 Psalm 119: 105

Our journey through Scripture marks the discovery of our source of truth and of our fountain of strength. Reading the Word and committing it to memory will be like arming ourselves before we go to battle so once in it; we have the weapons we need to fight. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

The Word is the Light. The Word is the Sword. The Word has always been. The Word will always be.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome. 
 John 1: 1-5

Therefore, knowing the Word is how we know His promises. This is how the promises sustain us in times of trial. This is how we make His promises ours. This is how we stand on the Promises of God

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,

When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,

By the living Word of God I shall prevail,

Standing on the promises of God.

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