Summary: The Laughter – Genesis chapter 21 verses 1-8 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1). Two General Truths to Remember About God's Promises:
• (1a). God is in no hurry:
• (1b). God never forgets or retracts his word.
(2). Three Guide-lines Concerning God's Promises:
• (2a). Is the promise universal in scope?
• (2b). Is the promise personal in nature?
• (2c). Is the promise conditional?
(3). Abraham & Sarah: Faith & Promise (vs 1-8):
• (3a). God Fulfils His Promise (vs 1-3).
• (3b). God’s Timing is Perfect (vs 2).
• (3c). God’s Power is Unlimited (vs 5-7):
• (3d). God Has a Plan and a Purpose (vs 1-8).
• Where there's a will (There's an Insight into the Deceased)
• Here are a few actual examples from peoples Last Wills & Testament.
• William Shakespeare Died: 1616:
• He decreed that his wife Anne Hathaway receive his “second best bed”.
• (Not sure who got the best one!)
• Herr Tausch, of Langen, in the province of Hesse,
• Wrote the shortest will ever conceived: "Vse zene."
• The Czech words meant "All to wife."
• In 2004 the famously Leona Helmsley, the original Queen of Mean;
• Left instructions for much of her $4.5bn fortune to be spent caring for dogs,
• Which included $12 million. Yes, $12 million. to her dog Trouble.
• Robert Louis Stevenson, in 1891 that Annie Ide,
• The 12 year old daughter of Henry Clay Ide, the US Commissioner to Samoa,
• Where RLS he was living at the time,
• Was unhappy that her birthday fell on Christmas Day,
• So he bequeathed his birthday (13th November) to her.
• She was the allowed to assume that date as her own birthday,
• On the occasion that he no longer had use for it.
• The comedian Jack Benny was a proper romantic (take note Shakespeare),
• He bequeathed and left provision to Mary Livingstone his wife of 47 years,
• He left provision for a local florist to deliver one long stemmed rose to Mary,
• Every day until she died.
• Being that she lasted another decade that’s a whole lot of roses.
• TRANSITION: A last will and testament is the legal document,
• By which you promise to benefit others on your death.
• I would say they are legally binding promises.
• Now the God of the Bible makes promises and he keeps his promises!
• What he says he will do, he will do!
There are four words that every Christian should never forget:
• 'God keeps his word'.
• He will not tell us one thing and do another!
• He will never use the expression that we often use;
• "Oh well, promises are meant to be broken".
• God traffics in truth!
• God keeps his word, always!!!
(1). Two truths to remember about God's promises:
(1A). God is in no hurry:
• Remember that God doesn't operate on our time tables:
• He isn't ruled by wristwatches or by a filofax diary, his promises are timeless.
• Twice a year we change time.... well our watches anyway.
• We put them forward or backward by one hour.
• A reminder that the whole of our lives revolve around time.
• But God doesn't operate in the realm of the clock:
• He is not restricted to a calendar or a diary - God is in no hurry!
• In fact the Bible teaches that the promises of God:
• Are fulfilled more by our obedience,
• Than by our calendars.
(1B). God never forgets or retracts his word.
• Someone did the math and figured there are 7,474 promises in the Bible.
• If you don't believe me, have a read and check them out!
• There is an old gospel chores that says:
• "Every promise in the book is mine"
• It may be a nice chorus, but it is very bad theology!
If God makes a promise it will be done:
• But note a caution:
• Not all of the Bible's promises are applicable to all people.
• This is an inspired book, not a magical book.
• So you need to handle it correctly.
(2). Three guide-lines concerning God's promises:
(2a). Is the promise universal in scope?
• A promise is universal when words like;
• 'Whoever' or 'Anyone' are used in the scripture passage.
• Romans chapter 10 verse 13:
• "WHOEVER will call on the name of the Lord will be saved".
• Such promises are held out to anyone, anytime, anywhere;
• Who is willing to follow this advice.
(2b). Is the promise personal in nature?
• Many Bible promises are given to someone else,
• They are not necessarily meant for you.
• Remember the incident in Joshua chapter 6.