October 20

The Promises of God

Hebrews 10:22-23

Our heavenly Father has made many promises in the Bible. But there is confusion among Christians about which verses we can claim as a definite commitment from God. Three questions are useful in evaluating whether divine promises apply to our own situation:

1. Is this promise limited to a specific person or circumstance, or does it apply to all believers? For example, the pledge made to Abraham and Sarah about giving birth to a child (Gen. 18:10) is restricted to them, whereas Hebrews 13:5 contains a guarantee to all Christians that Jesus will be with them forever.

2. Are we asking the Lord to meet a need or a desire? A need is something that we must have in order for God to complete His work in our lives. A desire is something we want for satisfaction or enjoyment. If we lose our job, then an essential—an incoming wage—is missing. But if we want a new position for personal reasons, it's a desire.

3. Before fulfilling a promise, does the Lord require some action on our part? Proverbs 3:5-6 is a conditional promise, which pledges God's direction on the basis of our trust in Him. On the other hand, Jesus' assurance of His presence with believers (Heb. 13:5) is unconditional; it does not depend on anything we do.

By evaluating Scripture on the basis of these questions, we will know which promises apply to our situation. What confidence we'll have in asking our Lord to fulfill them in our lives. For, as 1 Corinthians 1:20 (niv) says, "No matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ." 

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Some days it seems as if a spirit of anger is permeating the entire world. News stories of violence, road rage, and international discord fill the airwaves. If that were not enough, our families are also being torn apart by unresolved conflicts. Where do we turn for peace in this angry world? 
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.