Promises that Do Not Fail

Joshua had lived a long life. He had been with Moses while the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. He had been Moses’ successor to lead the children of Israel across the Jordan to occupy the Promised Land.

And in all that time, Joshua learned one thing for sure.

God keeps his promises. When he says something will happen, it will happen. And it will happen without fail.

That’s exactly how we got a Savior named Jesus. And it’s also how we received forgiveness, spiritual life and eternal salvation.

Kept promises. Just like the ones God made to Joshua — and later kept — when he led the Israelites across the Jordan into a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed” (Joshua 23:14, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Sunday, May 3, is Joshua 23:1 – 24:33, John 3:22-36 and Psalm 55:12-23.

Lord, thank you for making promises to me. And thank you for fulfilling all the promises you have made. I especially thank you for the promise of a Savior, and the perfect fulfillment of that promise in Jesus, your Son, my Savior.

Header image based on "Jordan River" by Bill Rice, CC By 2.0

The Last Word

What gets the last word?

Well, with Moses, God does! Literally, his last recorded words were to point to God and say, “There is no one like our God!”

There’s no one who helps us like our God. There’s no one as majestic as our God. There’s no one you can always rely on to be your place of refuge like our God. There’s no one who will always catch you when you fall like our God.

You are safe and secure when you — by trusting in his promises — rest in his loving arms.

He’s the shield on your arm, the helper at your side, and the sword in your hand.

Fear no one else. God is with you.

And that’s the last word on the subject!

“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you, saying, ‘Destroy them!’ So Israel will live in safety; Jacob will dwell secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew. Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LordHe is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights” (Deuteronomy 33:26-29, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, April 21, is Deuteronomy 33:1 – 34:12, Luke 20:27 – 21:4 and Psalm 49:1-20.

Lord, thank you for being the last word of grace, forgiveness, protection and safety in my life!

Header image based on "Mount Nebo" by Vyacheslav Argenberg, CC By 2.0

Look no further.

Are you looking for your “true north”? Do you wish you could find that solid foundation where you could build your life, and stand firm through all kinds of trouble and tribulation? Do you yearn for a guide — a coach and mentor — who can teach you the true difference between right and wrong?

Maybe you need love. You want faithful love. Solid love. Enduring love. Eternal love.

Or perhaps you seek forgiveness and mercy? You want just a small dose of grace instead of judgment in your life. There’s a lot of “history” in your life, a boat load of baggage. You long to grasp a sense of hope and peace, but it all just seems wispy, even as you reach for it.

Look no further. You’ve just found what you’re looking for…

“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4, NIV).

“Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness… For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end” (Psalm 48:9-10, 14, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Monday, April 20, is Deuteronomy 31:30 – 32:52, Luke 19:45 – 20:26 and Psalm 48:9-14.

Lord Jesus, be my true north, my compass and my guide. Lead me in your gentle love through this life. Give me a sense of peace and certainty in the midst of a very shaky world. Thank you, Jesus, for offering yourself on the cross to be my Savior, and my guide even to the end.

Header image based on "Compass Study" by Calsidyrose, CC By 2.0

David Called It

David called it. More than a thousand years before it even happened, David tells the story of Jesus’ arrest, death and resurrection.

“Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. But may you have mercy on me, Lord; raise me up, that I may repay them. I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever” (Psalm 41:9-12, NIV).

If ever there was a convincing argument for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, this is it. If ever there was a solid case for God having a plan to redeem mankind, well, this is definitely it.

And what more beautiful time of year to celebrate both of these than Easter?

David’s words in Psalm 41 let you know two things for sure. First, you have a God who loves you enough to communicate his love to you. Over and over again for thousands of years. And second, you have a God who values you so much that he would send his one and only Son to be your substitute.

And here’s a third. As a bonus. That one and only Son won an eternal victory for you. And his name is Jesus.

Happy Easter!

Our Bible reading for Easter Sunday, April 5, is Deuteronomy 2:24 – 4:14, Luke 10:25 – 11:4 and Psalm 41:7-14.

Lord, thank you for your death and resurrection. Because of these, I am assured of forgiveness and salvation. I have a new life to look forward to. You have given me a future!

Header image based on "Bluebell Heaven" by Nana B Agyei, CC By 2.0

Take Off the Fear Goggles

The children of Israel are on the cusp of entering the Promised Land. After 40 long years of wandering they are about to go in and stake claim to their beautiful homeland — the home God was offering to give them as a personal gift.

As they stand at the border, Moses gives them a rousing speech. He reminds the Israelites that on their previous attempt to lay claim to God’s gift, fear had gotten in the way. They had sinfully allowed their faith to be displaced by a terror of people. Moses recounts a truth the people already really know. They know it because they have lived it.

God is stronger than any giants they might meet.

After all, God had gotten them this far, hadn’t he? And he did that through some gigantically adverse conditions.

You may have “giants” in your life. Giant problems. Giant assignments. Giant enemies. Giant time crunches. Giant health issues. But God is stronger than any of these.

And this is his promise: He will fight for you. He will put you on his back and carry you. He will give you everything he has promised to give you.

There’s no better time to hear that message than Easter! Easter teaches us that Jesus is stronger even than the most giant enemy of all — death itself!

So take off the fear goggles, and pick up the shield of faith. In faith, take hold of the eternal inheritance he has planned for you, and wants to give you through his death and resurrection.

And while you’re on the way? No fear! Because God’s got you!

“Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place'” (Deuteronomy 1:29-31, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Saturday, April 4, is Deuteronomy 1:1 – 2:23 (we cross the border today into the final of the five books authored by Moses, known as the Pentateuch), Luke 9:57 – 10:24 and Psalm 41:1-6.

Header image based on "Star Trek Goggles" by David Lytle, CC By 2.0

Over-Promise? Not God!

An angel named Gabriel came with a message for Mary. She would be the mother of the Messiah. This was an amazing statement. Because the Messiah would also be the Son of God. And he would be the Savior of the world. And a King whose kingdom would never end.

Quite the promises! Mary was astonished at the words that fell from the angel’s lips. First, she was troubled in her heart. Then came bewilderment. Had this guy never heard of making promises you can’t keep?

After all the amazing and confusing things that Gabriel told her, there was one phrase that seemed to turn the tables for Mary.

For no word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:37, NIV).

Gabriel’s reminder to Mary was that when God says something, you can bank on it. That’s a reminder we also need, isn’t it? We especially need that reminder when it comes to having a Savior named Jesus.

We hear so many confusing, competing, “promise-the-world” messages in our world today. So we don’t always know what we can bank on and what we can’t. We sometimes feel much the way Mary did — astonished, bewildered and confused.

And let’s face it. A time or two we’ve probably even been guilty of this ourselves. We’ve sent messages that confuse or over-promise.

What Gabriel wanted Mary to know — and you to know — is that God cannot over-promise. No word he speaks to you will ever fail.

You can bank on that. Even better yet, you can bank on him.

Our Bible reading for Saturday, March 14, is Numbers 1:1 – 2:9, Luke 1:26-38 and Psalm 33:12-22.

Father, thank you for giving me your words and promises. I love knowing I can rely on them. I get great peace from having somewhere I can go and be perfectly confident in what’s being said. Most of all, thank you for Jesus. He is the One in whom I confidently find forgiveness and salvation.

Header image based on "Promise?" by Carmella Fernando, CC By 2.0

Pain. Then A Dream. And At Last, A Reunion.

Sin divides. The separation created by our sin was painful to God.

Extremely painful.

But God had a dream for us. His desire was to see all people reunited with him. And through hundreds and hundreds of years, God never gave up on his dream that he would reunite us.

So he pursued that dream. And he shared that dream. He wanted his people to dream with him, to know to keep watch for him, expect him, and be in wonder at his coming.

God dreamed, and then he promised. He will live among us. And we will become his people.

God wants you to share his dream–and his promise–of reunion too.

“‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you'” (Zechariah 2:10-11, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Friday, December 26, is Zechariah 1:1 – 3:10, Psalm 147:12-20, Proverbs 30:21-23 and Revelation 16:1-21.