Summary: God makes promises to us that we can count on. However, there are conditions attached to promises. This lesson deals with some of God's promises to be present with us -- including our part of the process.
1. Parental Love
After a divorce, a mom was left to bring up her teenage daughter. She was becoming increasingly rebellious. One night the police called to ask her to get her daughter from the police station, because she’d been arrested for drunk driving.
Not a word was spoken between them until the next afternoon, when mom broke the tension by giving her daughter a little gift-wrapped box. She opened it and found a small rock. Rolling her eyes she said, "What’s this for?" Her mom said, "Look underneath." She took the rock and as she read it, her eyes filled with tears. She got up, walked across the room and gave her mom a big hug.
You see, on the card mom had written, “This rock is more than two million years old - and that’s how long it will take before I give up on you!”
2. Unconditional, Persevering aspects of God to us:
b. In spite of us as:
• Adam and Eve
• Saul of Tarsus
• Adulterous Woman
• You and Me
3. God has made us his heirs according to his dependable promises – Galatians 3.27-29
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
4. God makes us promises on which we can depend – 2 Peter 1.3-4
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.
5. Yet, these promises have conditions attached
I. A Foretaste of the Forever Presence (Hebrews 13.1-6)
Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never fail you nor forsake you.” 6 Hence we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?” (a quote from Psalm 118.7)
A. God Seeks Our Presence
3. Israel in wilderness – Pillars; Tabernacle
4. Yeshua (Jesus) – John 1.14
5. HS – IN us
B. There are Strings Attached
Brotherly Love; Hospitality; Compassion (prisoners/Ill); Morality; Contentment ($)
C. The Result – vv. 5-6
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never fail you nor forsake you.” 6 Hence we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?” (a quote from Psalm 118.7)
2. Powerful Confidence from God
D. If God is “absent” is it God or me?
[Older couple riding in pick-up; wife complains that she used to sit right next to husband when younger, now apart; Husband – “I haven’t moved.”
II. A Presence in Proclamation (Matthew 28.18-20)
A. Irony – He is returning to the Father but will also be with them
B. His Invitation – Make Disciples
Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it over to Joshua. Joshua gave it over to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets gave it over to the Men of the Great Assembly. They [the Men of the Great Assembly] would always say these three things: Be cautious in judgment. Make many disciples. And make a safety fence around the Torah. [Pirkei Avot 1.1]
1. Prudent in Judgment – how and where to go; literally “as you go” – wisdom is necessary to keep from “casting pearls before swine.”
2. Making disciples
3. Fence for Torah – teach what I have taught you; he tore down incorrect teachings (as Sabbath)
1. His authority – gained by DBR, not compromise (Matthew 4)
2. Continued presence – HS/Word – based on faithfulness
In the Spring of 1924, Jack Sundine was a four-year-old kid, standing in a line with his father inside the White House, waiting to meet President Calvin Coolidge. As they neared him, Jack noticed that he said something to each visitor as they shook hands. Soon, the thrilling moment arrived. Jack put his small hand into the President’s. Then the President said words Jack will always remember: “Move along.”