NO! From the beginning of time, God has never broken a promise! However, this is not what we are used to in our human world, because people break promises all the time. We start learning this at a very early age, because parents unintentionally do it a lot.
Johnny, “Mommy, can we please go to the park?”
Johnny, “Mommy, can we please go to the park?”
Mom,” We’ll see.”
Johnny, “Mommy, can we please go to the park?”
Mom, “I said we’ll try!”
Johnny, “Mommy, can we please, please, please go to the park?”
Moms, “Yes, just stop asking!”
Mom, “Yes, Johnny, I promise. Now go find something to do.”
Time to go the park and Johnny is all ready with ball and glove in hand. Shoes on the wrong feet and a smile from ear to ear.
Johnny, “Let’s go mommy.”
Mommy, “Oh Johnny, I am so sorry; mommy forgot that Susan was coming over tonight. We will have to go to the park on another day.”
And the pattern begins! By the time we are adults we have learned the art of making and breaking promises. As well as, we have learned that we can’t trust a promise, because they get broken. Then before we know it words are just words and our wedding vows don’t really mean anything. We are promising to be faithful and to love through the worst and best of life, but when it gets really hard we often forget those promises and bail. What about our promise at baptism to make Jesus Lord of our life, our entire life? Did we really think that one through or just make an emotional decision? Is this really a big deal? After all everybody makes promises and then breaks them. It’s just the way of the world, right?
I believe that because of how flippant we are with making and breaking promises, it really hurts us in our ability to believe God’s promises. Being able to believe God’s promises effects our faith tremendously and without faith it is impossible to please God! (Hebrews 11:6)
I.) God’s got it!
A). Matthew 6:25-30
1). God takes care of the birds of the air.
2). He created each flower that we see and don’t see.
3). God knows exactly what are needs are.
4). He will provide for us.
*Take a moment and let this absorb. Our Father, the Creator of the universe takes care of the birds and all creatures. He even decides what color a wild flower will be! If He is that detailed with the non-human things of this world, don’t you think He is involved in the details of our life as well?
B). Psalm 37:1-40
1). Vs 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
a). God will give you the desires of your heart.
2). Vs 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
a). God is the best defense attorney we could ever ask for.
3). Vs 24……though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
4). Vs 28 For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.
a). God is always faithful and will never forsake you.
5). Vs 39-40 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
a). God is your fortress.
*I also think it is important here to throw this thought out there;
Because God is the perfect parent, He always knows best! So let’s say that you are giving Him your all and not getting the desires of your heart, why not? There were things that my kids desired and as a mom, I always wanted to please them and make them happy, but not everything they desired was good for them. If God doesn’t give us something that we desire, we need to trust that He knows best and sees the big picture!
C). Acts 36-40
1). Vs 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
a). God promises salvation for the first century Christians, for us, our grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and on and on and on as many generations are to come!
II). Is anything required of us to receive God’s promises?
*One of my goals in doing this study is to help us see that most of God’s promises come with an expectation from us in order to receive His promise. I see to many people that only focus on the promise and leave out the expectation. Again God is a perfect parent and even in our imperfection we teach our kids that with gifts come responsibilities or expectations. So why do we change the standard when it comes to God parenting us and have an attitude as if God owes us? Do you enjoy being around a child that has been given everything with no expectations from them? You know exactly what I am talking about, the ungrateful spoiled brat that has no sense of gratitude whatsoever. No one enjoys being around someone like that! Well guess what? Neither does God.
I have had many people argue this point by saying that God expects nothing from us. That He just gives because He loves us so much and that is how He is. Yes, God loves us more than we will ever be able to truly comprehend and yes, He gives because that is who He is. However, I disagree that He has no expectations from us. I realize that I am taking a huge risk here in that some of you reading this might get very upset with me. I plead with you to keep an open mind and continue to read this study and especially spend time studying the scriptures.
A). Matthew 6:25-34
*As we looked earlier, God promises to take care of our daily needs. What are the expectations from God, for us?
1). Vs 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
a). Seek first His Kingdom!
b). Seek first His righteousness!
* Another translation, Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33 NLT) and one more, “But put God’s kingdom first. Do what he wants you to do. Then all of those things will also be given to you. (Matthew 6:33 NIRV) Okay please correct me if I am wrong, but in every one of these versions God is telling us to seek or go after his kingdom and his righteousness (what is pleasing to him) and then He will meet our daily means.
Many times throughout my kids childhood they would want to go do something special and I would layout my expectations that needed to happen first. Such as, we will go to the park as soon as all of your rooms are clean. If they chose not to clean their room, then we did not go to the park. Yes, you may get your driving permit as long as your grades are kept up. Yes, you can get your drivers license as long as your conduct shows me that you will be responsible and that when you tell me you will be somewhere, that is where you will be.
1). Vs 3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
2). Vs 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
3). Vs 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
4). Vs 7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
5). Vs 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
6). Vs 27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.
7). Vs 34 Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
8). Vs 40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
*Trust, do good, delight in God, commit your way to God, be still, be patient, trust, refrain from anger, turn from wrath, do not fret, turn from evil, do good, hope in God, and keep His ways! Does this describe you? Would others describe you this way? Take some time and look up the definitions of this list above. Really dig into what it means to God to turn away from evil. It’s a lot more than just not committing murder.
C). Acts 36-40
* This is the beginning of God’s church. Read all of chapter 1 & 2 to get the whole picture. Peter just got through sharing about Jesus with these people and their response was, “Please tell us what to do!”
1). Vs 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
* Yes, I believe whole heartedly that salvation is a gift from God and there is nothing anyone can do to earn it! Let’s not confuse works with obedience. Works is what I do to earn a paycheck. Obedience is abiding by the expectations.
God says to repent. The Greek word is Metanoia, which literally means to change one’s mind! This takes action on my part. What do I need to change my mind from? Well I have to study and pray to find out what God expects me to change my mind about and then do it.
Then God says to get baptized. The Greek word for baptize is Baptizo, which means to immerse. Read all the different conversions in the book of Acts. I want to go record saying, that it also takes faith to receive salvation and it is ultimately through our faith at the time of baptism that we are saved, Colossians 2:12
God also expects us to count the cost prior to making a lifelong commitment to Him, Luke 14:25-35. He is not looking for a flippant, emotional response from us! There is so much to be said on this subject, but in keeping with my commitment to you, this is only meant to be an appetizer.
I pray that you will dig in and develop your own convictions!
Father God, Thank you for always having time for us and for loving us in such an amazing detailed way. Thank you for never breaking your promises to us! Thank you for being the perfect parent to each of us and for treating us with love, patience and grace. Thank you for being a’ Just’ God and for never changing your standard. Thank you for giving us, you’re written words in book form for us to have at our fingertips. In John 12:48, you tell us that it is your very Word, the Bible that will be our judge. This shows me that you want a relationship with all of us, because you made it so easy for us to know how to live our lives, so we can please you and fulfill your expectations for us and ultimately spend eternity with you! Father, please help our hearts to be soft and moldable. Please help us to seek out your words and not settle for what others have taught us. Help us to be humble, willing to have a change of mind and actions. Help us to not hold you to our standards, but instead hold ourselves to your standard! In Jesus precious name I pray, amen!
Other Scriptures to study.
Look at what the promise is and then look at what is required of you. Matthew 7:7-12; Jeremiah 29:8-11; Psalm 50:14-15; James 4:7; Psalm 103:13-18; John 14:12-21 Take these scriptures and read the whole chapter or even the whole book and ask yourself; What is the promise? What is the expectation?
Disclaimers; *I am not a Bible scholar. Actually, I do not claim to be much of a scholar of anything. The only degree I have is from the school of hard knocks!
*This is in no way an exhaustive study on God’s promises, it is meant to only be an appetizer. *The purpose of this study is to challenge us to get into the Word and deepen our convictions on what God does promise us and what does God expect from us. If only one of you does this, mission accomplished.
May we always give glory to God for everything!