Summary: Part Two of three sermons based on how we can enjoy the practical presence of God in our daily lives
GOD’S PRESENCE IN PRACTICE.
PART TWO - THE COMMITMENT
Last Sunday Morning we gave our attention to
THE CONDITION attached to the promise that we will be looking at this morning. If we have worked through the requirements clearly seen in the Word of God, then we will be able to claim the fulfilment of the promise for ourselves.
What a wonderful God we have who is willing to pledge His word to us. Never hesitate to turn to the Lord and say ‘you said’; that is, if He did say it! To do this we need to know what God has said! On a personal note, I am always pleased when people take me at my word! If I am pleased, then I feel sure that the Lord is pleased when we believe what He says! So let us look at this wonderful truth that God has made us a promise, bound by His Word!
First of all I want to look at THE COMMITMENT that the Lord makes in the promise; and to help us do this, please look with me first of all at THE STATEMENT that is made!
1. THE STATEMENT
because God has said, [NIV]
We have a very important matter just here. ‘God has said’. But you will note that it says ‘because God has said’. The reason we can claim this is not because we would like it, or it would be good, but because God has said it. Do we know what God has said? The source for learning what God has said is God’s Word – the Bible. Over the years I have heard people make some strange statements about what they believe God had said, and when asked where God said it they are unable to give a source. Sometimes it has been what other people have said! We can think God said it, or even wish God said it, but the only way we can claim the promise is if God actually said it! So we see that there is a great need to read and study the Word of God for ourselves. Please do not make a claim on what someone else has stated that ‘God has said’. We need to have first-hand knowledge of what God said, and it is there for us to discover in His Word!
There is a simple way to do this, and that is to follow the example of the Christians at Berea.
Acts 17:11 The Jews proved more sympathetic than those in Thessalonica, for they accepted the message most eagerly and studied the scriptures every day to see if what they were now being told were true. [Philips]
They wanted to be able to place their faith on the Word of God, not the word of Paul! I feel sure they were glad that Paul pointed them in the right direction, but they were able to discover for themselves what was true. This is a vital reality. Godly leaders are needed to lead us into truth, but our faith must be based on what the Lord says in His Word. If we do that then it becomes effective in our lives. The Apostle Paul encouraged the Colossian believers to let the Word live in them.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word spoken by Christ (the Messiah) have its home in your hearts and minds and dwell in you in all its richness. [Amp]
We can only let it live in us if we know what it says, and have made it a part of ourselves.
Can we rely on God’s Word? I pose the question simply because much doubt is thrown on the Word of God these days. So can we trust it?
Psalm 19 has a lot to say about the Word of God, I shall use just one verse from that Psalm;
Psalm 19:7 The Law of the Lord is perfect; it gives us new life. His teachings last forever, and they give wisdom to ordinary people. [CEV]
So the Psalmist claims that the Word of God can be relied on.
It is also good to see that the Apostles also make the same claim. Take note of what Paul says to the Corinthian believers,
I Corinthians 9:9 God . . . is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
We need to really know, and believe verses like that for it shows just what the Lord wants to do with us – take us into partnership with His Son!
We can totally rely on the Word of God, simply because it is an eternal Word – it does not change with changing situations. Peter declares this
1Peter 1:25 The word of the Lord stands for ever.”