Salvation Comes With Trust

Woman Kneeling By Cross Shadow

“Salvation that comes from trusting Christ-which is the message we preach-is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.”

“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.   As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives his riches to all who ask for them.   For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:8-15)

“But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” (Romans 10:16).

Reading what the apostle Paul wrote brings this scenario to mind.  A cure for cancer is found.  This is great news for the medical profession.   Right away the story is on the news and in the newspapers.  Press conferences are set up.  The message is, “We have found the cure for cancer.  All you have to do is take this medicine and you will be cured.”  Some people believe and they take the medicine and they are cured while others refuse to believe that it is true.  They don’t want to get their hopes up.  So, they continue to live with the disease rather than take the cure.

So, it is with many people.  Many times they have been exposed to the Gospel but they refuse to believe it.  They question the authenticity of the Bible and they have trouble believing that God exists because they feel that if He did He wouldn’t allow such terrible things to be happening in the world.  Many don’t believe that the Messiah came.

In Jesus’ day, many did not believe that God sent him or that He was the Son of God.  They refused to listen.  Jesus said to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me.  For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me.   I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness.  If anyone hears me and doesn’t obey me, I am not his judge-for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.  But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the Day of Judgment by the truth I have spoken.  I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me gave me his own instructions as to what I should say.  And I know his instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say!” (John 12:44-50).

When people reject the messenger, they are really rejecting the one who sent the message.  When we refuse to listen to someone talk to us about God, we are not hurting that person, we are hurting God.  We are not rejecting that person, we are rejecting God.  Jesus told the Pharisees, “Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you.  For I have come to you representing my Father, and you refuse to welcome me, even though you readily accept others who represent only themselves.  No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from God alone” (John 5:41-44).

Salvation comes with trust. I thought of the story of the bronze serpent in the wilderness.  The people were bitten by poisonous serpents and they cried out to Moses, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.”  Moses prayed for them.  God told him to make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to the top of a pole.  “Those who are bitten will live if they simply look at it.”

So, Moses made the snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole.  Whenever those who were bitten looked at the bronze snake they recovered.  They trusted and they were saved.   They believed that looking at the snake would save them and it did.  How many of us would want to look at a replica of the thing that is attacking us? Jesus speaks of this same incident.   “And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life” (John 3:14, 15).  Jesus’ pole was the cross and all those who look to it will find salvation.

Just as He sent the apostles and Paul out to share the Good News with their communities and people around the world, Jesus is sending His people to do the same today.  Will we ask the same question as the prophet Isaiah, “Lord, who has believed our message?”

Salvation is the result of faith which comes from listening to this message of good news-the Good News about Christ.  When we have faith that if we confess that Jesus is Lord and that if we call upon Him we can be saved, then we will be saved.  And happy are those who received salvation and swift are their feet to share the good news with others so that they too can be saved.

Blind Justice

It’s every man’s business to see justice done – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

amina-lawal-75988c2c-18a9-40e6-8760-03de9da929c-resize-750There are organizations like Equality Now, Women For Women International and V-Day, which are dedicated to protecting the rights of women all over the world.   But long before these much needed organizations existed, there was already a human rights activist who walked the streets of Jerusalem, Galilee, Samaria, healing the broken-hearted, setting at liberty those who are bruised and delivering them from terrible circumstances.   He stood for equality of women and for people from all walks of life.  His name was Jesus Christ.

Over two thousand years ago, early in the morning as Jesus taught at the temple, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had committed adultery to Him.  One can picture a crowd gathered around Him and then this poor woman was thrust in the middle so that all eyes were on her.  Shame and humiliation came over her and she held her head down unable to look her accusers in the face.  She probably wished the ground would open up and swallow her.

The men said to Jesus, self-righteousness oozing off of them.  “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”  Alone and with no one to defend, the woman must have resigned herself to the fate she felt sure awaited her.   So for a while as she stood there terrified, the scribes and Pharisees kept badgering Jesus because He did not answer them right away.

Finally, He stepped in as the woman’s defense attorney and in a brilliant line of attack, He said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”  That stumped the men.  They hadn’t expected Him to come to the woman’s defense.  They had expected Him to agree that the Law of Moses should be adhered to.  This was the same man who had said that He came not to change one point of the Law and yet here He was defending a woman who had broken one of God’s commandments.  Yet, they could not say anything in their own defence. Their conscience testified against them and they had no choice but to drop the matter.

History repeats itself.  On March 22, 2002, Amina Lawal, a thirty-year-old Muslim woman was sentenced to death by stoning after confessing to having a child while divorced.  Pregnancy outside of marriage was sufficient evidence for a woman to be convicted of adultery according to the Shariah penal code for Muslims.  The man whom she named as the baby girl’s father denied having relations with her and his confession was enough to clear him of any charges.  So, although it takes two to commit adultery, only the woman was found guilty.

Amina’s accusers had to drop the charges against her because the conviction was invalid.  She had already been pregnant by the time the harsh Islamic Shariah law was implemented in her home province.  Her lawyer was quoted as saying, “The law of justice has prevailed over the law of man.”  Amina was free to go and live her life.

After her accusers had left, Jesus asked the woman, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?  Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:7-11).

That day the law of God’s justice prevailed over the law of man.  God’s justice is different from man’s justice.  In both cases the men were not charged.  They were not brought to court to face charges like Amina and the woman.  Both women had to face their accusers alone.  They were both stripped of their rights and their dignity.

In both cases the men were misapplying the law to suit themselves.  Stoning to death has been used to define the Shariah law but according to Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc., “the punishment prescribed by the Shariah of the Quran is ONE HUNDRED LASHES each to the adulterer and the adulteress, in public.”  The Law of Moses specifically stated, “the man that committeth adultery with [another] man’s wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

In both cases, the law, which was implemented for everyone, was only applied to the two women.  Under the two laws, the man and the woman were supposed to receive the same punishment.  Justice is supposed to be fair not blind.

In both cases justice prevailed and both women were given back their freedom.  In both cases God pointed out the corruption of the system.  The guilty was perverting the law to destroy their victims.  The words of King David ring true. “Justice and judgment [are] the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face” (Psalm 89:14.  God had passed judgment on the accusers and had shown mercy toward the women.

The reaction of the scribes and Pharisees to Jesus’ words about casting the first stone proves that “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12, 13).  The love, mercy and forgiveness Jesus showed to the woman brought to light how hateful, unmerciful, condemning and dishonest they were.  The stones, which they had picked up to throw at the woman, were thrown back at them in the words of Jesus because He had pointed out to them that they were sinners too.  In dropping the stones they were dropping their self-righteous act and uncovering themselves, proving that nothing can be hidden from God.

After the woman and her accusers were gone, Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Jesus gave light to the woman who had been living a life that brought her nothing but heartache and shame.  Now Jesus had lifted the darkness of self-recrimination from her and let her see that she could turn her life around.  He showed her that he loved her and that He wanted the best for her.  He showed her that she was not beyond redemption.  He showed her that she was not worse off than the self-righteous men who were hurling accusations at her.  He was showing her that in His eyes we are all equal.  And He was showing the people what true justice is.  One person cannot be tried while the other gets off scot-free.  And everyone is entitled to a fair trial.  This woman was not.  So, Jesus the Light of the world brought to the forefront the duplicity and injustice of society.

He was the Light that shone in the darkness of men’s souls.  The scribes and Pharisees, try, as they did, could not shield their desperately wicked hearts from the true Light.  In what He did, Jesus was setting an example to others. No one was above reproach and instead of publicly humiliating someone, take him or her aside and talk.  When He was alone with the woman, He told her to stop sinning.  In effect, He was saying to her, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).  He was telling her that though she was living a sinful life she could do something to change that.  She was in charge of her own destiny not, the men who wanted to stone her to death.

Salvation is of the Lord.  That day, Jesus saved the woman’s life.  He prevented her from being stoned to death.  He had spared her life like He spared Amina’s.  With a death sentence hanging over her head, Amina had placed her faith in God, believing that He would protect her.  “Nothing happens without God’s knowledge or God’s permission,” Lawal told reporters in her lawyer’s Abuja garden (World News – November 2003 issue of The News International.

It was not a coincidence that the woman was brought to Jesus.  Jesus knew that this would happen.  He knows what we need before we need it.  He knows what we will do before we do it.  He knows what we think and how we feel.  He knew that those men would bring the woman to Him.  And they could not have stoned the woman without His permission.  Jesus was always one step ahead of them.  He perceived their thoughts even before they voiced them.   Nothing happens without God’s knowledge.  And like Amina and the adulteress, we can all declare, “and marvelous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints” (Revelation 15:3).  Praise the Lord, for justice and mercy come from Him.

Source:  Birthday Wishes;

Stop Making Excuses

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When God calls us to serve Him do we make excuses?  Moses did.  When God asked him to go and tell the Pharaoh to let the Jews go, Moses protested, “O Lord, I’m just not a good speaker. I never have been, and I’m not now, even after you have spoken to me. I’m clumsy with words.”  So God asked him, (Exodus 4:10-12) “Who makes mouths?” the Lord asked him. “Who makes people so they can speak or not speak, hear or not hear, see or not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go, and do as I have told you.  I will help you speak well, and I will tell you what to say.”

Moses protested but in the end, he led the people out of Egypt.  He became a great leader.  After his death, it was written that, “There has never been another prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. The Lord sent Moses to perform all the miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and his entire land.  And it was through Moses that the Lord demonstrated his mighty power and terrifying acts in the sight of all Israel.” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12)

We have to trust God and believe that He will equip us for the work He calls us to do.  He used the staff Moses carried to perform great things and He equipped Moses to become a leader.  When it became too much for Moses to handle the many responsibilities, God impressed Jethro, Moses’ father in law to give him this very good advice, “You’re going to wear yourself out-and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing him their questions to be decided.

You should tell them God’s decisions, teach them God’s laws and instructions, and show them how to conduct their lives.  But find some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes.

“Appoint them as judges over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.  These men can serve the people, resolving all the ordinary cases. Anything that is too important or too complicated can be brought to you. But they can take care of the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God directs you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.” (Exodus 18:18-23)

Moses learned how to delegate and that too makes for good leadership.  God does not expect one person to do everything and that is why leaders in the church and in the world have people working with them.  Jesus taught this when He called twelve men into His ministry.  He could have done it all by Himself but He chose not.

Jeremiah was a youth when God called Him to service.  He shares the experience which must have been overwhelming.  “The Lord gave me a message. He said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.”

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

“Don’t say that,” the Lord replied, “for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 1:4-8)

When God calls us, He doesn’t send out to do the work and leaves us on our own.  He is with us every step of the way—instructing, guiding and helping us.  I used to be shy and didn’t socialize easily.  Since I allowed God to use me, I am not shy anymore.  He helped me to gradually get over my shyness.  I started with small things like scripture reading, poetry reading and then I graduated to telling the mission story, sharing my testimony in front of a large audience and making announcements.  He called me to be the leader of Singles Ministry.  I didn’t know anything about being a leader but I trusted that He would help me to do my best and He did.  He accomplished a lot through me.  Now, I am comfortable being a leader and I delegate like Moses was encouraged to.

Is God calling you to serve Him?  Don’t use your age or gender as an excuse not to answer His call.  David was a boy when he was anointed king of Israel and Josiah Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years.  He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn aside from doing what was right. (2 Kings 22:2)  God accomplished great things through women.  Deborah was a judge, Miriam was a prophetess and Dorcas was a disciple and community worker.  God can use you.  Stop making excuses and allow Him to do marvelous work through you.

The Christmas Sweater

il_1588xN.1617920774_tfc8.jpgMarva stood there at the cash register, wishing she could take off the sweater.  She had gotten some dirty looks.  One man grumbled, “Another feminist.” Another asked her, “Are you saying that Santa should be a woman?”  “Are you pushing that gender equality stuff?” Parents glared at her.  One mother shook her head and hustled her kids to another cashier.  Others didn’t seem bothered about it at all while others thought it was silly.  “Everyone knows that Santa is based on St. Nicholas.  If you want to wear such a sweater, go for it.  I don’t see what the big deal is.”

“It’s a bit silly, if you ask me,” a woman standing in the other line remarked.  “Everyone knows that Santa is a white bearded man in a red suit and there’s Mrs. Claus.” Another woman said, “She’s just trying to get attention.  Just ignore her.”

All day she was subjected to unkind remarks and unsavory looks although there were a few smiles and  chuckles.  She couldn’t wait for her shift to be over.  And when it was, she rushed to get her coat and put it on.  Her supervisor, Anne looked apologetically at her.  “I’m sorry you had to go through that,” she said.  “If you weren’t married, I would have let you wear one of the other sweaters.”

“You mean nobody else wanted to wear it.”

“That too.  Well, at least we know now that the sweater’s not popular with most shoppers which means that the sales, if any, will be very low.  I will have to get in touch with the account manager and let her know that the product isn’t selling and to discontinue it.  Thanks again for helping with the promotion.”

“I think I made some enemies.”

“Don’t worry.  Tomorrow, our busiest day before Christmas will be featured on the local news at noon and Wendy will let them know that this was a promotion of our latest Christmas wear and she will talk about them at length.  Everyone will see that you were wearing it not by personal but for professional reasons.  You did well today.  Go home and rest up for tomorrow which will be like a zoo.  And you wear what you want–as long as it’s red or green–to get people into the Christmas spirit.”

Marva smiled.  “I can do with a nice warm bath,” she said.  “I’ll see you tomorrow, bright and early.  Have a good evening.”  She turned and walked away.  As she was heading towards the doors leading into the shopping mall, a young woman intercepted her.

“I just wanted to say, it’s your sweater, it’s your thoughts…so, it’s your business.  Ignore the haters.”

Marva smiled.  “Thank you.”  She didn’t bother to say that it wasn’t her sweater and those weren’t her thoughts.  And her reason for wearing it was strictly business.  “Have a Merry Christmas.”  She popped into Moore’s to get a couple of shirts for Adrien and then headed to their luxury condo facing the CN Tower and within walking distance from the waterfront.  He should be home by now.

_MG_9919-Recovered.jpgWhen she let herself into the spacious unit, a tantalizingly delicious smell wafted into the foyer and she quickly removed her boots and coat.  She scurried to the bedroom to hide the bag with his shirts in her side of the closet and then, hurried into the kitchen. Adrien was standing in front of the stove and turned when he heard her.  He froze when he saw her sweater.  He placed his hands on top of his head.  “You wore that to work?”

She nodded.  “Yes.  It was part of a promotional event.  You have no idea how badly I wanted to take it off.  I got nasty looks and people made all sorts of remarks.”

“I’m not surprised.  People love Santa.  They act as if he’s real.  Sometimes, it seems like Christmas is more about him than about Jesus.”  He went over to her and kissed her on the lips before hugging her.  “By the sounds of it, you had a really rough day.”

“Yes, I did.”

“Why don’t you go and get undressed while I draw you a warm bath.  By the time you’re done, dinner will be ready.”

She smiled and rumpled his hair.  “You read my mind,” she said.  “Thank you, Baby.”

“Anything for you.”  He released her and taking her by the hand, he led her to the master bedroom and while she got undressed, he got the bath ready for her.  It felt so good being submerged in the warm, sudsy water and so relaxing too.  She rested her head against the side of the tub and closed her eyes.

Twenty minutes, dressed in red silk pajamas, she emerged from the bedroom and went into the dining-room where a candlelit dinner awaited her.  Adrien held the chair for her to sit down.  He leaned over and kissed her on the nape of her neck before he went to the head of the table and sat down.  “Did you enjoy your bath?” he asked as he unfolded his napkin.

Marva nodded.  “Yes, I did.  Thank you.  Dinner looks and smells amazing.”

He smiled then they bowed their heads as he said a prayer.  “Bon appetit.”

She eagerly tucked into the Sole Meunière with perfectly golden roast potatoes and salad.  He was a much better cook than she which was why he did most of the cooking.  “This is delicious,” she said.  “You should have been a chef.”  He was a

“I love cooking, yes but I love my job as a Construction Manager even more.  Besides, you are a fantastic cook too.  It’s one of the reasons why I married you.”

She laughed.  “What are the other reasons?”

“You’re beautiful, sexy and I’m crazy about you.”

“I like those reasons.”

“When we met five years ago, I didn’t think you would be interested in me.”

“Why because you’re Jewish and I’m Christian?”

“Yes.  And I’m not Jamaican.”

“I’m a couple of years older than you but none of these things matter when two people love each other.  I admit that when you took me to meet your family, I was very nervous because I wasn’t sure if they would approve of you marrying a black Christian woman but they welcomed me and treated me like I was a part of the family.”

“My family knows what it’s like to be discriminated against and that’s why they make it a policy to love Jews and non-Jews alike.”

“That’s how it should be.  In both religions, we are taught to love our neighbor as ourselves.”

“Yes.  My parents arrived in Toronto yesterday.  They will be staying with Anouk and Michel.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing them and celebrating Hanukkah with them.”

“And I look forward to celebrating Christmas with you, especially the part where we get to kiss under the mistletoe.”

Marva laughed.  “Is that why you hang one in every room?”

He smiled.  “Yes.  Would you like dessert?”

“Sure.  What’s the dessert this time?”

“Your favorite.”

Ten minutes later, they were lounging in the living room having Rugelach while watching a couple of their favorite Christmas movie classics.  It was after mid-night when they finally decided to turn in.  When they were snuggled under the covers, he turned on his side to face her.  “I hope our evening together made up for your rotten day at work.”

Marva was lying on her back.  She turned her head towards him as she placed her hand on his thigh.  “It did, Honey.  Thank you.”

He smiled.  “I’m happy to hear that and you’re welcome.”

“I learned a very valuable lesson wearing that Christmas sweater.  People judged me unfairly because of what I was wearing.  They made all sorts of assumptions about me.  It was no different from how I’m treated because of my color and my accent.  I had a choice not to wear the sweater but I wore it because my manager asked me to.  It reminds me of the times when God asked me to do something I didn’t want to do or wanted to get out of like Moses did when He asked him to go to Pharaoh and ask him to let His people go.  During those times, I had to lay aside my feelings and doubts and misgivings and just trust God.  Wearing that sweater has given me an idea for my own line of clothing.  You know I’ve always wanted to get into designing my own clothes but was too afraid to go for it.  Now, I think that I will do it.”

Adrien leaned over and kissed her on the mouth.  “I think that’s a fantastic idea.”

“You do?”

“Yes.  I’ve seen your sketches, remember?  Maybe now’s the time for you to do this.”

“Maybe.  It would be nice to start my own business.”

“Speaking of business, how about you and I getting down to our own business right now…”

Marva giggled as he disappeared under the covers.

Sources:  Trade Schools; Bon Appetit;

The Word Became Flesh

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14, NIV

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God, the Son and the Word who was with the Father in the beginning became flesh.  He came into the world as a newborn Babe to live among men.  He was raised in a Jewish home to Jewish parents in the town of Nazareth.  He became a carpenter like Joseph before going into ministry.  As Man, Jesus experienced the things we experience such as hunger and thirst, tiredness and grief.  He was tempted like us but He didn’t sin.  He prayed daily to the Father.  He had friends and He socialized with different sorts of people, some of whom were treated as outcasts.

The glory John saw was the transfiguration of Jesus when He took Peter, James and him up to the high mountain where He communed with Moses and Elijah.  They were not to mention anything to anyone until He was raised from the dead (Matthew 17:1-3, 9).   Peter later wrote, “For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’  And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” (2 Peter 1:17, 18).

Jesus came from the Father to bring grace and truth into the world which was steeped in sin and darkness.  His grace was shown in his healing of diseases, the casting out of unclean spirits and in his interaction with tax collectors, sinners, the woman caught in adultery and the Samaritan woman.  He shared moral and religious truth through parables and the Sermon on the Mount.  He taught people how to live in relation to God and to people.  Jesus placed God’s truth which was found in His Word above the traditions of men and the lies of Satan.

As you celebrate this Christmas season, reflect on the amazing reality that Jesus, by Whom all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, set aside His majesty and glory and came in the form of man to tabernacle among the people (Colossians 1:16; Philippians 2:7).

Thank You, Lord Jesus for becoming like us, so that in the flesh You could save us.

How to Claim A Promise From God

2 Peter 3:8-13

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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).

Hope in His Mercy

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom – Psalm 90:12

grateful-woman

My son and I used to sing, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”  Every morning, I thank God for waking me up to enjoy another day.  Each day is a gift from Him.  Each day, we see His goodness, love and mercy toward us.  Each day is an opportunity to right wrongs, make positive changes and to grow in wisdom.

Moses, the man of God, wrote Psalm 90, which is actually a prayer, asking God to teach us to number our days.  What does that mean?  It means that life is short and precious.  We live each day mindful that it could our last and we live each moment wisely.  We should not take life for granted.  We don’t know how many days we have left on this earth.  This is why we ought to cherish each moment.

Life is like grass.  It flourishes one moment and then the next it withers.  It is fragile.  It is temporary.  And this is why we ought to understand and appreciate the shortness of our days so that we live our lives wisely with God’s help.   With each new day there is renewed hope in His mercy.