Two Praying Women

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” – Luke 18:14

snobbish woman

She walked into the sanctuary and straight to the front pew where she stood facing the altar.  With her head held high and her eyes closed, she prayed to the Lord thus, “Heavenly Father, I thank You that I’m an upstanding member of society, an active Board of Trustee member of Liberty University and I donate generously to worthy causes such as Education and the Arts.  I’m not a gossip.  I don’t drink or smoke or spend money foolishly.  I am a godly woman with a godly husband and children.  I’m thankful that I’m not like other people who claim they are Christians but their lifestyle says otherwise. 

“I take pride in how I look and how I conduct myself and am an example for the young women in the church.  I’m grateful that I’m not like that woman over there who is making such a spectacle of herself.  I can hardly hear myself think.  Why do people think that they should cry out when they are praying.  Praying quietly and circumspectly is more reverent and acceptable to God.  Lord, I’m very thankful that I’m nothing like her.  The way she is dressed is disgraceful. Anyway, Lord, it’s not for me to criticize others.  You know the heart.  You know mine–that it is devoted to Your service.”

After she finished praying, she walked past the pew and after casting a censorious glance in the other woman’s direction, she left the sanctuary.

black-woman-praying

The young African American woman, kneeling with hands clasped tightly and eyes squeezed shut continued to cry out, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”  She poured out her heart to Him, asking Him to forgive her of all her sins and to have mercy on her.  The impassioned pleas made through tears lasted for several minutes.  Then, she blessed herself and stood up.

Her demeanor was different.  There was a calm look on her face.  She smiled as she wiped the tears away.  She walked out of the sanctuary in bitter spirits.  She knew that God heard and answered her prayer.  She was forgiven.

Sometimes, we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others and deceiving ourselves into thinking that we are better than them. Yet, if we were to compare ourselves to God, we would recognize that we are all sinners in need of His mercy.  Like the tax collector, we must acknowledge that we are sinners in need of God’s grace.  It is the repentant sinner who is justified in His eyes not those who trust in their own righteousness.

Source:  Business Insider

What is Lacking

The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” – Matthew 19:20

39cb98148e122885e37f25fb6b1994c4All week I got this nagging sense that God was trying to tell me something.  I have been racking my brains trying to figure out what it is.  Finally, I decided to pray about it.  And after I did, a couple of days later, I was impressed to read Matthew 19:16-30.

I opened my Bible and turned to that part of the Gospel and read about the rich young man who asked Jesus what he must do to get eternal life.  When I finished reading it, I asked God, “Lord, what do I lack?”

He said.  “Your desire to please me.”

“But, I read my Bible everyday, I pray three times a day, I go to church every Sunday and I’m the leader for the Men’s Ministry and I help to feed the homeless every other week.  I share the Gospel with people.  I don’t drink or smoke and I have abstained from sex.  I’m waiting until I get married.  How am I not pleasing you?” I was upset now.  I have done all of these things and He’s not satisfied?

“Yes, you have done all of these things but your lack has to do with your secular work.  You are not working as if you are working for Me.”

“Lord, I’m no longer happy at this job.  The new manager is impossible to work with.  I got offered a new job.  The salary is more and I know that I will get along with that manager.  I can buy a townhouse and trade in my car for a better one.  Lord, You can’t expect me to remain in a job where I’m miserable.”

“I want you to stay right where you are.  I will work things out for your good.  Trust Me.  Work as if you are working for Me and not for your manager.”

My heart was heavy.  I wanted to leave that job so badly and take the other one but I didn’t want to end up like the rich young man who turned down Jesus’ invitation to follow Him because of wealth.  How could anyone give up eternal life for wealth which is temporary and which they can’t take with them when they die?  No, I didn’t want to make a mistake I would possibly regret for the rest of my life.  I sighed.  “Okay, Lord, you win.  I’ll stay at my job.”

I stayed at my job and about a month later, the manager left for some inexplicable reason and was replaced by a woman I used to work with years ago at another firm.  She and I always got along very well so I was happy that she was my new manager.  Still, I work heartily as though I were working for the Lord.  I thanked Him for His goodness and faithfulness toward me after I asked Him to forgive me for not giving Him my best on the job.

You will be pleased to know that when my manager was promoted to Director, I got her job.  This means that I’m earning a bigger salary now–much more than what I would have earned from the other job.  And, I’m engaged to be married.  My fiancee joined the department last year around the same time I would have left.  When we are married, we will move into a townhouse and when we have a family, I will trade in my car for a bigger one.  Yes, God is good.

Like the rich young man, ask God what is lacking in your life and be prepared to make the necessary changes.  Don’t let money or possessions, personal gain or relationships prevent you from completely committing yourself to God.

We Are All Slaves

“We are all slaves,” Todd declared and Marsha stared at him.

black girl in white blouse“What do you mean by that?”  she wondered.

“It’s what my pastor said last week.”

“Where did he get that information from?”

“The Bible, of course.  It’s in chapter six of Romans, verses twenty to twenty-two.  We are either slaves of sin or slaves of God.  We serve one or other other.  We serve sin when we allow it to control our bodies, making us commit immoral acts.”

What sort of immoral acts?”

“Adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality, lesbianism and fornication.”

“What’s fornication?”

“It’s sex outside of marriage.  It can be between two people who aren’t married to each other or between two unmarried people.”

“Oh.”  She turned away so that he wouldn’t see the expression on her face.

“But, sin isn’t just about sexual immorality.  There’s spiritual immorality as well.”

“What happens to a person who is a slave to sin?”

“Romans 6:16 says that obeying sin leads to death.  Doesn’t your church teach you these things?”

She shook her head.  “No.”

“Why don’t you leave that church and come to mine?”

She turned to face him.  “Leave the Catholic Church?” she exclaimed.  “How could I?  I was born and raised a Catholic.  Why should I leave the church just because Father Montgomery hasn’t taught us what’s in Romans 6?  He might one of these days, you know.”

“I used to be a Catholic but I left because I realized that they were teaching what wasn’t in the Bible and the sex scandals–”

Marsha glared at him.  “I’m sick and tired of people attacking the church.”

“Why are you getting so upset?” Todd asked.  “I’m not attacking the church.  All I’m saying is that it needs to address the and rid itself of the sex scandals.  I’m sure that if you or someone you knew were a victim, you would feel differently.  You would want justice.  The church is supposed to be a place where people should feel safe.”

“I have to go,” she muttered.  “I’ll see you tomorrow at school.”  She turned and walked away before he could say anything.

As he headed home, he felt impressed to pray for her.

padre2

Father Montgomery finished saying his prayer in the chapel, blessed himself and rose to his feet.  Next he went to the confessional to listen to three people make confessions.  By the time he left the parish, it was almost six o’clock.  He let himself into the abandoned mansion.   When he first visited it, he ventured down into the secret room, called a “priest hole” where Catholic clergy hid from their Protestant hunters.  Anti-Catholicism was rampant when Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne in 1558.  He tried to imagine what it would have been like to spend any amount of time there.  It made him think of the Jews who were hidden by well meaning citizens so that they could escape the concentration camps and ultimately, death.

It was in the Master’s bedroom where Marsha waited for him.  It was still furnished.  The furniture was old but still in good condition, natural light streamed through the large windows and the bed was still functional.  She was sitting at the edge of the bed, hands on lap when he walked in.  He knew right away that something was wrong.  “What’s the matter?” he asked as he sat down beside her.

“I ran into Todd on my way home from church this morning.”

He frowned.  “Who’s Todd?”

“He’s a boy from school.”

“Tell me what happened when you ran into him this morning.”

“He told me that we are all slaves.  Slaves to sin or slaves to God.  His pastor read this in chapter six of Romans.  I don’t want to be a slave to sin because it leads to death.”

“Marsha, you aren’t a slave of sin.  Such talk is foolishness.”

“But what about us?  Aren’t we sinning against God?”

He put his arm around her shoulders.  “It isn’t sin when two people love each other.  I love you and you love me, don’t you?”

“Yes, but–”

“Then, we aren’t sinning.  We are in a monogamous relationship.  We aren’t unequally yoked.  We share the same faith and believe in the same God.”

“Todd said that the church teaches things that aren’t in the Bible.”

“Do you trust me, Marsha?”

“Yes.”

“I would never mislead you or the rest of the flock.  What I teach is sound doctrine approved by God Himself.  Now, let’s not worry any more about what Todd or anyone else who has misguided views about our Church and its teachings.”  He gently pushed her back on to the bed and began to kiss her passionately.

Even as she surrendered to him, at the back of her mind, a small still voice was telling her that this was wrong but, as usual, she let her heart rule her head.

It was love for Eve which made Adam sin against God.  Don’t let love blind you to God’s truth.  It is by the constant obeying of His Word that we are delivered from sin.  Don’t be a slave to sin which leads to death but a slave to God which leads to eternal life.

Sources:  Atlas Obscura; Flickr

Being True to Yourself

7653_t_1e9aa193-50be-4e07-8006-a69bcab56527“Lyndon, a group of us are going out for drinks after work.  Would you like to join us?” Jane asked him as he stopped by her desk to give her a brown envelope he wanted her to give to the mailman when he made his afternoon rounds.

“No thanks.  I already have plans for this evening.”

“Oh, yes, The Nutcracker Suite.”

Leela walked up just then.  “The Nutcracker Suite.  Is that the name of one of those fancy hotel rooms?  Is she anyone we know?”

Jane tried hard to keep a straight face while Lyndon’s face turned beet red.  He gave Leela as withering look as he muttered, “It’s the name of a ballet.”  Then he did an about turn and strode off, his back straight as s rod.

As soon as he was out of earshot, Jane doubled over with laughter.  “Why do you let him think that you’re ignorant when it comes to the Arts and the finer things in life?” She asked when she stopped laughing.

Leela shrugged.  “I enjoy getting a rise out of him.”

“You like him, don’t you?”

“A lot of good it does me.  It’s obvious that he can’t stand me.”

“Well, what do you expect?  You’re always teasing him.  If you want him to like you have to try a different approach.  You know what some of his interests are, talk to him about them.”

“All right.  I’ll do that.  I’ll pass on going for drinks.  I think I will stay here at the office and do a little extra work.”

Jane gave her a knowing look.  “Good for you.”

Leela smiled and went back to her cubicle.  As soon as five o’clock arrived and everyone had left, she got up from her desk.  She headed straight for Lyndon’s office.  His door was opened so after a knock on the door to let him know that she was there, she walked over to his desk.  He looked up from what he was doing and she could tell from the expression on his face that he wasn’t at all pleased to see her.

“I would like to finish this report before I leave,” he said.

“I won’t take up much of your time,” she said as she sat down opposite him.  “I came to apologize.”

His eyebrows rose.  “Apologize?”

“Yes, for my remark about The Nutcracker Suite.  I was just pulling your leg.  I know that it’s a ballet.  I’ve seen it twice.  It’s one of my favorite ballets.  My other two favorites are Giselle and Swan LakeSwan Lake was Tchaikovsky’s first ballet.”

She had his attention now.  “You know your ballet,” he remarked.

“I’m not only a big fan of ballet but opera as well.  I love La Traviata,La Bohème, Rigoletto, Tosca and The Marriage of Figaro.”

“That’s a very impressive list.  What about Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and the Barber of Seville?”

“I’ve always wanted to see those as well as Aida but never got the chance.”

“I hope you get the opportunity to see them.  They are masterpieces.  Tell me, what else do you enjoy?”

“Well, I enjoy good books such as Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lolita, Anna Karenina and Beloved by Toni Morrison.  And as far as plays go, I love anything by Henrik Ibsen.  I think he was a male feminist.”

Lydon smiled.  “I suppose you’re right about that.  In A Doll’s House, he was basically saying that Nora didn’t have to remain as her husband’s “doll,” but that she can be independent.  What about other works from other playwrights like Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Eugene O’Neill?”

She shrugged.  “I have read all of their plays but I’m more partial to William Shakespeare, Ibsen and Chekhov.”

“Are you familiar with August Strindberg?”

She shook her head.  “No.  Is he a playwright?”

“Yes.  He has written several plays.  I have a volume with five of his plays in it–The Father, Miss Julie, The Dance of Death, A Dream Play and The Ghost Sonata.  I could lend the volume to you if you like.”

Leela smiled.  “I would like that very much.  Thanks, Lyndon.”

“Tell me something.  Why do you give the impression that you’re not cultured?  Why do you come across as if you don’t know the difference between Art and the Arts.”

qLBb61ET_t“I’ve discovered that although men may like the idea of dating a smart woman, they don’t actually want to date one.  I’ve been dumped by several men because I was too smart.  I like to have intellectual and philosophical discussions but that was a big turn off for them.  They wanted to talk about sports, music, money, fitness, television and movies, clothes, work, food, travel, cars and guy things.  I don’t have a problem talking about these things but not all the time.  The minute I bring up something that interests me, they either change the subject or signal for the check.  And I don’t hear from them again.  One guy even said to me that he wants to wake up in the morning next to beauty not brains.  So, my solution to my dating problem was to pretend that I wasn’t all that smart and it worked.  I had no trouble getting and keeping dates.  Then, one night when I was lying in bed, I remembered what Polonius said to his son, Laertes before he left for Paris.”

“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

“Yes.  That was very good advice and I decided to take it.  So, at the moment, I’m not dating anyone.”

“Not all men are intimidated by smart women.  I’m not.  And I think it’s important that we don’t diminish ourselves to please others.  Besides, it was God who blessed you with an intelligent mind.”

“Yes, He did.  Lyndon, I should leave now.  I don’t want to keep you from your date.”

“Actually, it isn’t a date.  I’m taking my niece.  It’s her birthday and she has always wanted to see The Nutcracker.”

“Oh.  You’re taking your niece.”  Leela was relieved.  “What a great birthday present.  She must be so excited.  She will love the ballet and so will you.”

“Yes, I’m sure we will.”

Leela stood up.  “Have a good evening and weekend.  I’ll see you on Monday.”

He stood up too.  “Leela, are you busy tomorrow evening?”

She shook her head.  “No.”

“How-how would you like to have dinner with me at the Les Enfants de Boheme?”

“I’d like that very much.”

He smiled.  “Good.  I’ll pick you up at your place at seven.”

She wrote down her address and phone number on the notepad on his desk.  “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow.”  He watched as she walked out of his office before he went behind the desk again and sat down.  He was looking forward to their date.  Finally, he had found a woman right up his alley.

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”– Frederick Douglass

Sources:  Literary Devices; Huffington Post; ListVerse; Udiscover Music; The Talko; Develop Good Habits

Run to God

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;  the righteous run into it and are safe – Proverbs 18:10, MEV

alicia-petresc-759634-unsplash-gradient-map-reverse-1248x832

When my son was a toddler and he got scared, he used to run to me.  I would pick him up in my arms and hold him, saying soothing words to him, until he was no longer afraid.  God wants us to run to Him whenever we are afraid of, or fearful or troubled by something.  He will speak to our fears and worries until they go away.

What is troubling you today?  Why don’t you run to God?  Let Him hold you in His everlasting arms until you are no longer troubled.

The Arrangement

He stood there on the grassy mound, looking down at the river as it surged towards the old bridge.  The sun felt warm on his face and a gentle breeze caressed his hair.  It was a glorious day and this was his favorite place to come every morning.  It was where he felt closest to God and to nature.  It was quiet, except for the sounds of the water and the birds.  It reminded him of his home in Inistioge, a small village in County Kilkenny, Ireland.  He used to love sit on the hill and watch the River Nore as it swept under the 18th-century stone bridge.  There and this place were a far cry from Johannesburg where he met Zendaya.

She had left Zimbabwe after losing her job at a supermarket and taken the long and difficult journey to Johannesburg, to escape homelessness and hunger in her country.   She walked into a church in downtown Johannesburg and joined a long line of people waiting for shelter and food.  He was visiting Father Botha at the time and when he saw her, he felt impressed to help her.  He arranged to provide her with room and board at the parish in exchange for doing the housekeeping and cooking at the clergy house where he lived.  It was an arrangement which seemed to be working out very nicely.

Life here in Cape Town was very tranquil. Never before in all of his forty-six years had he ever felt such peace and contentment as he did at that moment.  In the distance, he heard the peal of the church bell. It was time to head back.

Zendaya stood at the bedroom window which faced the road.  She saw him leave.  He was going to the river.  She knew that was where he went every morning because she followed him there once.  He didn’t see her.  She kept at a safe distance and watched him as he stood close to the edge, his back to her, looking down.  It was so peaceful up there.  Not a sound except the breeze rustling the leaves and the rushing water below. And then there were the birds always whistling and chirping as if they were sharing news with one another.

Yes, up there it was paradise.  Up there one felt close to God and could forget about their troubles.  If only she could forget…She started when she heard the church bell.  She hadn’t realized that she had been standing there that long.  He would be on his way back now.  Moving away from the window, she finished cleaning.

2a080176204afb47b35de94846cb5dcd--guildIt was after the midday Mass and he was on his way to the rectory to change into his black cassock when he heard Sister Hughes call out to him.  He stopped and turned as she quickly approached him.

“Father O’Reilly, there’s a young man here to see you.”

An inquiring look came over his face.  “Sister Hughes, did this young man tell you the reason for his visit?”

“He said he wanted to talk to you about Zendaya.”

“Zendaya?”

“Yes”

“I wonder what business he has with her.”

“He’s waiting in reception.  Shall I send him to your office?”

“Oh, yes, yes, Sister Hughes.  Please send him into my office in about five minutes.”

He excused himself and walked briskly to his office.  He went over to the desk and sat down, his brow furrowed.  What did this man want with Zendaya?

Five minutes later Sister Hughes appeared again but this time, with a tall, lanky African man in his mid-twenties.  “Come in,” he invited, standing up.  “Sister Hughes, please see that we are not disturbed.”

“Yes, Father O’Reilly.”  She left and closed the door behind her.

“Please have a seat,” Father O’Reilly told the young man in English.  “What is your name?” he asked after they both sat down.

“Anesu Munashe,” he replied.

The name sounded familiar to him.  He knew he had heard it before but where?  “Sister Hughes mentioned that you wanted to talk to me about Zendaya.  Are you any relation to her?”

Anesu shook his head.  “No.  We are not related.”

“Then, what is your business with her?”

“We are engaged to be married.”

Father O’Reilly’s eyebrows arched.  “Engaged?  She never mentioned that.”

“We got engaged last year.”

“How did you know that she was here in Cape Town?”

“Father Botha told me.  I rented a car and drove here.”

“It’s a very long drive from Johannesburg to Cape Town.”

“Yes, it is but after being separated from Zendaya for months, the hours seemed like minutes in comparison.  I came to take her with me.”

“Where do you plan on taking her?”

“To my uncle’s house in Cape St. Francis where we will stay until we get married.”

Father O’Reilly took a deep breath and said with a heavy sigh, “I’m afraid I have bad news for you.”

“What?” Anesu asked, looking alarmed.

“Your fiancée left here a few days ago and we have no idea where she is—”

“Left?” he exclaimed.  “But that doesn’t make any sense.  Why would she leave?”

“I don’t know.  When she didn’t show up for breakfast on Tuesday morning, one of the Sisters went to her room and found it empty.  She was gone.  We notified the police immediately but so far, we haven’t heard anything.  You can’t imagine how distressed we all are.  We have all been praying that she will come back.”

Anesu stood up.  “Maybe she went back to Johannesburg,” he said. “I will go there.”

Father O’Reilly stood up, his expression one of deep regret.  “I’m so sorry,” he said.  “I feel as though this were my fault, after all she was my responsibility…”

“It’s not your fault, Father.  Thank you for your time.”

Father O’Reilly shook his hand.  “God be with you.”

“Thank you, Father.”

Father O’Reilly opened the door and watched him as he walked away.  Then, he returned to his desk to finish his work.

It was later in the day when Sister Hughes popped into his office.  “Was the young man able to see Zendaya?”

He shook his head.  “He was called away on urgent business, I’m afraid.  I told him that he was welcome to come and visit her at any time.”

“Who was he?”

“A family friend.”

“How did he find out that she was here?”

“Father Botha told him.”

“Shall I tell Zendaya that her friend was here?”

“No, Sister Hughes.  I will tell her myself.”

“Very well, Father O’Reilly.”  She withdrew.

Hours, later after he had dinner, he walked over to the nondescript building which was the convent.  It was after nine and the place was quiet.  She was sitting by the window when he let himself in.  After closing the door, he strode across the room and stood beside the chair but she didn’t look up.

“You had a visitor,” he informed her tersely.

She looked up then.  “Who?”614full-kai-newman2

“Your fiancé.  Why didn’t you tell me that you were engaged?”

“Anesu was here?” she asked and saw his eyes narrow.

“Yes.  He found out where you were and came to see you.”

“What did you say to him?” she asked warily, rising to her feet.

“I told him that you left.  He said that he was going to find you.”

“What if he comes back here?”

“He won’t.  I made sure of that.”

“I wish he hadn’t come here.”

“Are you still going to marry him?”

“I don’t know.”

“You can’t marry him, Zendaya.  You don’t love him.”

“How do you know that?” she demanded, agitated because he was right.

“You wouldn’t be with me if you did.”  His eyes fell on the book of African poetry lying on the chair she had just vacated and picked it up.  “Now I remember why his name was so familiar to me,” he said as he flipped through the pages.  “He gave you this.”

“Yes.  It was his first book of poetry and he dedicated it to me.”

He turned to the front of the book where the autograph was and read it aloud, To my dear Zendaya, you were my inspiration for these poems so I dedicate this book to you.  Many of the words written are tokens of my deep love and appreciation for you, my beautiful, Nubian princess.  Eternally yours, Anesu.  He wanted to rip it up into pieces but instead he closed it.  “I’ll hang on to this,” he said, slipping it into the pocket of his cassock.

“Why?” she asked.  “You know that you’re not going to read it.”

“I want to remove every trace of him from your room and your life.  I don’t want anything around here that would remind you of him.  You belong to me, Zendaya.  I won’t share you with him or anyone else.” He moved closer to her, his eyes intent on her bent head.  When she raised it to look up at him, he saw the expression on her face.  “I know you resent me but you can’t deny that you want me as much as I want you.”  He couldn’t hide his desire for her which was like an unquenchable fire.  It was written all over his flushed face.

She closed her eyes in despair as she felt her body respond to him.  He was right.  He filled her with a longing she couldn’t fight and even now as he pulled her towards him, she didn’t resist.  She couldn’t resist, although her mind screamed at her that this was wrong.  He was a man of the cloth.  She knew she ought to stop what was about to happen but when she felt his lips on hers, it was her undoing.  Blindly, she reached up and clutched his head, her nails digging into his scalp as she kissed him back.

Anesu never made her feel this way.  She knew that in the morning she was going to hate herself for what she was doing to him.  What she had been doing to him ever since she met Father O’Reilly and the first night he came to her room.  Now as he disrobed them both and then carried her over to the bed, all thoughts of Anesu fled from her mind.

Meanwhile, Anesu drove back into town, his mind in turmoil.  Something wasn’t right.  He knew Zendaya as well as he knew himself and it didn’t make sense that she would just disappear like that.   He decided that he would go to the police station in the morning and make some inquiries before driving all the way back to Johannesburg.

Next is The Visitor.

Source:  Skyscanner

How to Claim A Promise From God

2 Peter 3:8-13

praying over Bible

This reading brings to mind Abraham.  God had promised him that he would have a son and the numbers of stars would be how large his generation would be.  Abraham could claim this promise.  This promise of a son met Abraham’s nee.  He would have an heir.  It was in submission to God’s will that he had a son from whom God’s people would be created.  It would honour God because from Abraham would come the generation that Jesus would be born of.  Jesus is a descendant of David who was a descendant of Abraham’s.  (Matthew 1:17)

This promise did not contradict God’s word.  He promised Abraham that He would make him a great nation and that He would bless him and make his name great.  Abraham’s spiritual growth as well as Sarah’s increased as a result of God keeping His promise.  God’s blessing here was intentional.  He wanted to create a nation that He would establish a covenant with and be their God.  From this nation will come kings like David, Israel’s greatest king.  God promised that members of David’s family would rule a kingdom that lasts forever. (2 Samuel 7:1-16, Psalm 132:11-12)  Jesus was born from the family of David.  He is the “Son of David” who will rule God’s kingdom forever.  (Luke 1:31-33, Acts 2:22-36 and Romans 1:1-4)

We are all descendants of Abraham. (Galatians 3:29) who believe in Jesus.  God fulfilled His promise to Abraham.  Through Moses, He brought the Israelites out of Egypt and to the land, which He swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as their heritage.  He remembered His covenant with the three patriarchs. (Exodus 6:8).  As Solomon pointed out, God kept all His promises.  He never went back on His word or failed to fulfill any of them. (1 Kings 8:56)

When God makes a promise, it is our responsibility to trust that He will fulfill it when the timing is right.  We have to have faith in His ability to fulfill His promises and keep our focus on Him.  We should never turn away from Him because we are tired of waiting for Him to bless us. Abraham and Sarah were well advanced in age when they had Isaac.  David’s faith in God never wavered—not even when he was suffering or when he lost his sons.  God promised him that he would give him an offspring who would build a temple for Him and whose throne would be established forever.  Shortly after their son died, Bathsheba gave birth to Solomon whom God loved (2 Samuel 12:24).

How do we claim a promise from God?  Simple.  We ask in faith and wait in faith, trusting that He will come through for us because of who He is.  He is faithful and unchanging.  We can stand on His promises because like His Word, they accomplish what He sent them to do.  They don’t return to Him void.  God made a promise to Abraham and Abraham obtained that promise after he had patiently endured (Hebrews 6:13, 15).  Likewise, we patiently wait on the Lord to fulfill His promises to us and in time we will obtain them.  As the psalmist encourages us to, “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14).