Summary: God’s promises are sure. This youth devotion deals with how we can count on God.
The Eternal Promise
Several years ago, I was sitting in my living room chair reading the paper when my six year old daughter Karen asked me to take her shopping. I really wasn’t in the mood for a mall crawl with a six year old, so I told her I was busy and didn’t have any money for shopping anyway. She didn’t whine about it or complain. She laid there on the floor and after awhile she brought me this piece of paper with the following written on it: “I promise to take my daughter shopping when I have the time and money.” And then there was a line for me to sign. I laughed, took her pencil and signed my name. Several weeks later I was sitting around watching TV and Karen asked me what I was doing. “Nothing much, why” I answered. “Do you have any money?” she asked. “Yes…why, what do you need?” “I want to go shopping”, she said. “Honey, I really don’t want to go to the mall, I’ll take you some other time.” “Did you write this?....
If you think about it, a promise is a contract. Whether written or given verbally, a promise is a contract between at least two parties. You are the promisor or the promisee.
God has given us many promises. If God makes you a promise, you can rest assured that He will keep it.
Many of us have made promises to God and forgotten them almost as quickly as we made them.
I want to spend a few minutes talking about the promise of God mentioned in the New Testament. The promise mentioned in many of the epistles of the New Testament is that we share in the promise made to Abraham to be God’s chosen people.
Paul gives us a detail of how the promise made through the law is shared to us through God’s Grace in Romans chapters 4 and 9. We see it again in Galatians chapters 3 and 4. I want to focus on just one verse found in Ephesians 3.
6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
Paul writes of this promise as a mystery. Perhaps a better way to phrase it is, “The unexpected reality is”…., or “the real shocker is”…
The promise was given to Abraham and ultimately to Israel. We became joint heirs with Israel through Christ.
We were strangers to God. Orphaned children if you will. Through Christ, we were adopted into the family of God according to Eph. 1:5. It’s like being a scraggly looking mutt at the dog pound expecting to be ignored and forgotten only to be taken in by the nicest home in the neighborhood.
What a tremendous promise! God didn’t promise us a perfect, trouble free life. He didn’t promise us that everyone would like us. He promised us that we would be His own. God will not break that promise.
12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
The promise was signed with the blood of Christ.
I said earlier that a promise was like a contract between at least two parties. God has done His part of the contract. He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life according to John 3:15. In that verse we see our part of the agreement – we must believe in Jesus.
What do we mean “believe in Jesus”? It’s not enough that you believe that Jesus is who He says He is, the “Son of God”. The Bible says that the devils believe and tremble. You must believe in His sacrificial work on the cross. There’s a lot of theology that goes with that – it means accepting that you are a sinner and totally incapable of gaining God’s acceptance on your own. It means believing that Jesus left the glory of heaven and came to earth as a man, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and was put to death as our eternal atonement for sin. It means believing that He did all that just for you, and that by accepting His sacrifice and by confessing your need for forgiveness of sin, you can be adopted into this wonderful promise.
Do you need God? Is there a special need that only He can meet today? Then look to Him and ask – “Did You write this?”