The Promises of God

If God makes a promise, can you depend on it? Does He have the power to carry out what He says He will do? Is His word trustworthy? Those of us who know God will quickly answer yes. We know that God is not only powerful, He is also faithful.

So what about that cold that we’ve been battling for the past two weeks, or what about the glaucoma, the cancer, the emotional issues, the mental hangups? The anxiety. Doesn’t God promise that He will heal all of our diseases? I know of Christians that have been healed, but I also know of those who have gone to their grave with their disease, and even at times, because of it. Why the disconnect? Has God forgotten some while healing others? Why does tragedy strike some who have faith in God while skirting around others?

Before I answer that question (it’s really one question), let’s look at the Scripture to see what it has to say about the promises of God. Here are three things we can say about His promises -

The promises of God a…
To Prep Or Not To Prep

Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (1 Sam 17:40)

David (who would battle and defeat the Philistine mentioned in the scripture above) was a man of faith. His faith rested squarely and solidly on God. Difficult circumstances and situations like the ones we face today can cause us to ponder our faith and what it should look like and act like in times like these. And times like these may cause us to ask questions like this,

"Should I prep for the possible (or certain, some may say) coming demise of our society as we know it?"

"If I gather and stock up on food and supplies, am I showing lack of trust in God? Isn’t He my provider? And what does that mean?"

"Did not God give me two hands and the foresight to prepare? Shouldn’t I use the ability He has given to be ready?"

Or you may already be deci…
We Shall Be Like Him
    The formative years of my faith lived in the 80’s when catch phrases and clever sayings were the preacher’s delight. Maybe they still are. Phrases such as “If He’s not lord of all, He’s not lord at all” and “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” peppered the sermons I heard. I get it, it’s very enjoyable to say clever things, and even more enjoyable to speak truth in a clever way. Unfortunately, not all of the clever sayings that came over the pulpit during that time were true, at least not wholly true.

    One such phrase that I heard preached during my formative years that rang true to me and served as a motivational pry bar in the hands of the preacher was, “You’d better learn to love that person sitting next to you (in church) because you’re going to spend eternity with them.” Was this true? Well, partially, maybe. Perhaps the words of John the apostle can bring some clarification and shed some light on this saying,

Dear friends, now we are children of …
Looking Through the Lens of Guilt

They said to one another, "Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that's why this distress has come on us." (Genesis 42:21)

Guilt can live quietly below the surface of our lives like a simmering soup, gently stewing quietly, its pervasive aroma filling the room. Like a low grade fever, its sometimes forgotten presence breaks the surface when we must exert ourselves or when we are alone with our thoughts. Guilt is one of those things that bends and perverts our sight. It is the enemy of an accurate perspective.

Joseph’s brothers knew guilt. And rightly so. With murderous intent they thew their brother into a pit, and then (in some sort of act of twisted mercy) sold him as a slave to a passing caravan of Ishmaelites. On top of that, they covered up their hateful plot with deception. And thus began a life free from the burden of their br…
In the Hands of a Hungry Pilgrim

Its cover is worn with bent edges
Its pages yellowed with passing time
It smells of age and cellar
Its years beyond mine

In it though a treasure resides
Words of hope and strength and life
From page to page and word to word
Come truths to help and remind

Its resting place seemed its forever home
Until seeking eyes upon it fell
And the thirsty heart felt strength arise
Its page's words a restoring supply

Discarded not, nor left behind
From elder hearts come treasures prized
Not set aside but dearly held
In the hands of a hungry pilgrim

We carry in us, in these earthen vessels, treasure of great worth and value, deposited by the Lord. Like an old book, some of us are wearing with the years and feeling the cricks and cracks of an aging body. But still, the treasure remains. 

We may feel, like an old book, threadbare and tattered, but that does not mean we are not useful in the Master's hands. Our pages may be yellowed and stiff, but let us not lose heart, for the y…
God’s Favor
So Potiphar left all that he owned in Joseph’s care; he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. (Genesis 39:6)

The warden did not bother with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him, and the Lord made everything that he did successful. (Genesis 39:23)
Joseph was undeniably a man on whom the favor of God rested. And who doesn’t want the favor of God in their lives? Some of us have even adopted the angelic proclamation over the Savior’s mother as our own, declaring, “I am blessed and highly favored.” But in our desire for God’s favor, have we also embraced its multi-layered purpose in our lives? Have we thought about, and do we understand, the why behind God’s favor?

Joseph, a Hebrew captive, had been sold as a slave to Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Joseph’s low position was an opportunity for the favor of God to manifest. But trial was at the door waiting for opportunity to manifest as well. And soon, for…
The persistent ramblings of a power-stripped enemy

In his sci-fi book, “Perelandra”, C.S. Lewis portrays the devil as a dead-stare constantly talking man whose arsenal of weapons is his multiplication of words. His tactic is to talk lies from various angles until they seem true; to use different words to say the same untruth until it rings true. It’s an accurate depiction of the schemes of the enemy of our souls and his team of fallen angels.

The truth is, though, God has you on a mission and the enemy will try to stop you from fulfilling that mission by “talking you to death”. And sometimes, like background voices that we stop realizing are there, his constant murmur quietly settles into our environment. But we are not alone in this struggle.

Nehemiah faced a similar struggle in his effort to rebuild the fallen city of Jerusalem, and he took the right tact in dealing with it.
Nehemiah knew the enemy and knew his goal.

Critique, unreasonable expectations, tearing down confidence and raisi…