Posts Tagged ‘promises’
The IMPERISHABLE crown
The crown of EXULTATION
The crown of RIGHTEOUSNESS
The crown of LIFE
The fifth and final crown that God has available for us as a reward is…
5. THE CROWN OF GLORY
1 Peter 5:2-4 Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (NAU)
This crown is different from the others in that it is for those who serve in a pastoral position and faithfully shepherd the flock of God according to the requirements listed in verses 2 and 3. This could refer to both ordained pastors as well as lay pastors who shepherd God’s flock as helpers.
Three things can be seen in these verses concerning the ministry of a pastor or shepherd.
1) He is to feed the church – “shepherd” means “to feed”.
2) He is to exercise oversight over the church.
3) He is to be an example to the church.
Notice also four qualities that should characterize his ministry.
1) Willingness – “not under compulsion, but voluntarily.”
2) Obedience – “according to the will of God.”
3) Right Motivation – “not for sordid gain, but with eagerness.”
4) Servant’s Attitude – “nor yet lording it over those allotted to your charge.”
These are the eternal rewards that a servant of the Lord can receive.
What are we going to do with these crowns if God gives us one of them?
Revelation 4:5-11 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6 Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (NIV)
We will not show them off and brag about them to one another. But rather, we will bow in worship to God and cast our crowns before him, giving him all honor, glory, and praise.
Are you serving God?
Are you influencing those around you to serve the Lord?
Are you going to receive one of these rewards, or will you stand before God empty-handed?
1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
An elderly missionary couple who had served God for 50 years in a remote African village returned to the United States for a well-earned retirement. When they arrived, however, no one was there to greet them because of some confusion at the mission office. They had no one to help them with their suitcases and trunks, and no one to move them into their home. The old gentleman complained to his wife, “We’ve come home after all these years and there’s no one who cares.”
The man’s bitterness grew as they settled into their new home. His wife, a bit fed up with his complaining, suggested that he take up the matter with God. So the man went to his bedroom and spent time in prayer. When he came out he had a new look on his face, which prompted his wife to ask what had happened.
“Well,” he replied, “I told God that I’ve come home and no one cares.” “And what did God say?” she asked. “He said, ‘You’re not home yet.’”
You too may serve for years in a place where no one notices you or cares what you’ve done. But God sees and cares. One day, when we reach our eternal home, “each one’s praise will come from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5). In the meantime, let’s be faithful.
The world rewards success; but God rewards faithfulness!
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The IMPERISHABLE crown
The crown of EXULTATION
The crown of RIGHTEOUSNESS
The fourth crown that is available as a reward from God is…
4. THE CROWN OF LIFE
James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (NASB)
While every child of God has eternal life, this doesn’t mean that every child of God is going to receive the crown of life. James tells us that this is a crown will be given to those servants who persevere under trial.
Many times when people go through severe intense trials, they turn away from the Lord, His Church and His Word. Jesus tells us to be faithful until death and we shall receive the crown of life.
Revelation 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (NIV)
This crown is promised not only to those who persevere under trial, but to those who persevere and love the Lord at the same time.
Sometimes when people go through trials they become so bitter and critical that they blame God and begin to hate and despise Him. One of the reasons why many people have a hard time dealing with their trials is because they don’t look at them the right way.
There is a story told about a pastor who went to comfort a woman in his church who was going through some severe trials. Unable to make her feel any better, he took some embroidery she had been working on and looked at it and said, “This sure is confusing, why waste your time on it?” The woman took the embroidery from him and turned it over and said, “Now look at it. You were looking at it from the wrong side.” The preacher said, “That’s it exactly. You’re looking at your trials from the wrong side also. Turn them over and look at them from the right side – God’s side.
It’s one thing to just make it through a trial, it’s something else to make it through with the right attitude and learn something from them. To persevere under trials doesn’t just mean to “make it through them.” It also means that your attitude perseveres, your faith perseveres, and your love and devotion for God perseveres! And those who truly persevere under trials will receive the crown of life as a reward from God.
The fifth crown we can receive as a reward from God is called… You’ll find out tomorrow!
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For the past few days we’ve been looking at the five crowns mentioned in the Bible. The first crown available to us from God as a reward is the IMPERISHABLE crown. The second crown is the crown of EXULTATION. The third way that God can reward you is with…
3. THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (NAU)
Today there are some who might confuse this with the righteousness which is a gift from God.
The “crown of righteousness” however, is not a gift but a reward which the servant of the Lord can earn if, like Paul, we live each day anticipating the coming of Jesus Christ.
The reward of righteousness is based upon right living as we wait for Jesus to return.
If He should come today
And find my hands so full
Of future plans, however fair,
In which my Savior has no share,
What would He say?
If He should come today
And find my love so cold,
My faith so very weak and dim
I had not looked for Him.
What would He say?
If He should come today
And find that I had not told
One soul about my Heavenly Friend
Whose blessings all my way attend,
What would He say?
If He should come today
Would I be glad, quite glad?
Remembering that He died for all
And none through me had heard His call,
What would He say?
If Jesus should come today, what would He say about your service to Him?
Would He be happy with the way you have served Him… would you receive the crown of righteousness?
If we, as servants of Christ, look for and love the second coming of Jesus, it will affect our lives three ways as seen in verse 7:
1) We will fight the good fight.
2) We will finish the course.
3) We will keep the faith.
Have you ever received one of those sweepstakes letters in the mail? Like the one that says you are an instant millionaire! Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Yet, if you read the fine print you will discover that by law the people who sent you the letter are required to disclose that the chances of you actually winning the said amount are astronomical. One such letter says your chances are 1 in 80 million. Now that’s remote!
Contrast that with Paul’s anticipation of what awaited him in heaven: “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Note his assurance: “There is laid up for me.” Not “there might be” or “there’s a slight chance,” but rather, “there is.”
J. Oswald Sanders writes, “This crown is awarded to those who have completed the Christian race with integrity, with eyes fixed on the coming Lord. It is the reward for fulfilling the ministry entrusted to us.”
If you have welcomed Christ into your life, long for His appearing, and are faithfully running your race, then the crown of righteousness awaits you. Count on it, plan on it, anticipate it! It’s a promise from God.
The fourth crown that is available to us is.. Come back tomorrow and you will learn what it is.
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2. THE CROWN OF EXULTATION
To the church in Philippi Paul said:
Philippians 4:1a So, brothers and sisters, I love you and miss you. You are my joy and my crown… (GW)
The crown of exultation is also referred to as the “crown of rejoicing” or, “the soul winners crown”.
A missionary was once asked about his salary. The person knew it couldn’t be much, and he wanted to know why the missionary would give so generously of himself to help total strangers, yet be paid so little.
The missionary pulled out a letter and read these words: “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t know Jesus Christ as my Savior. Every morning I kneel in prayer, thanking God for everything you’ve done for me.”
“That’s my pay!” said the missionary.
The apostle Paul must have had something similar in mind when he wrote to the believers in Thessalonica. Listen to how Paul refers to the Christians in the church in Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 2:19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? (NASB)
In a day when there is so much emphasis on acquiring material wealth, how refreshing it is to hear of Christians whose greatest reward is to see people accept Christ and grow in spiritual maturity.
Are you making it a practice to share the gospel with others? If you are, you’ll be rewarded with the best pay of all. You’ll enjoy thrilling satisfaction here on earth, and you can look forward to an even greater reward in heaven!
God does not pay as others pay,
In goods that perish and decay;
But this is sure, let come what may,
Who does God’s work will get God’s pay. –Anon.
We should work for the Lord because the retirement plan is out of this world!
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, services we can do as servants of the Lord is to help someone learn about being saved through Jesus Christ. Plus, it is also a great source of joy to see someone accept Jesus as their Savior.
Psalm 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. 6He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. (NIV)
Luke 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (NIV)
The degree of our joy here on earth is determined, in part, by the souls we have had a part in leading to the Lord. Those who will receive this crown are those Christians who are faithful to declare the gospel and lead souls to Christ.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)
D.L. Moody a famous evangelist once said concerning witnessing: “I believe that if an angel were to wing his way from earth to Heaven, and were to say that there was one poor, ragged boy, without father or mother, with no one to care for him and teach him the way of life; and if God were to ask who among them were willing to come down to this earth and live here for fifty years and lead that one to Jesus Christ, every angel in Heaven would volunteer to go. Even Gabriel, who stands in the presence of the Almighty, would say, ‘Let me leave my high and lofty position, and let me have the luxury of leading one soul to Jesus Christ.’ There is no greater honor than to be the instrument in God’s hands of leading one person out of the kingdom of Satan into the glorious light of Heaven.”
The third crown mentioned in the Bible is… Come back tomorrow and you will see!
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Serving Jesus Christ is the most rewarding thing you can do. It not only has its temporal rewards here on earth, but also its eternal rewards in heaven.
Here in our text we find Paul speaking to the church in Corinth on the topic of eternal rewards. I would like us to notice four biblical facts about rewards that Paul mentions in this passage.
First, we are told that rewards are given on the basis of an individual’s work – (vs 13a) “each man’s work”.
Second, he says that rewards are given in heaven, not on earth – (vs 13b) “will become evident” (vs 14b) “he shall receive a reward”.
Third, rewards are given on the basis of the quality of an individual’s work, and not on the quantity. – (vs 13d) “the quality of each man’s work”.
And fourth we are told that rewards can be lost – (vs 15). Since rewards are earned on the basis of a person’s work, it only stands to reason that they can also be lost if a person does not serve Christ properly.
Revelation 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. (NIV)
2 John 1:7-8 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. (NIV)
Today we’re going to look at five eternal rewards that we as children of God can receive if we serve the Lord properly.
1. The IMPERISHABLE crown
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (NAU)
In order to receive this crown, Paul tells us that we must exercise self-control in all things.
Self-control is something that we are to add to our faith – 2 Peter 1:5-6
Self-control is also a characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23
And, self-control is something that Gos gives to us – 2 Timothy 1:7
The second crown available to us is… Come back tomorrow and you will see.
Some of us may well ask the same thing. We have given up a lot — careers, families, jobs, status, plans, pride — in our spiritual journey. Is it really worth it? Is there some sort of reward in store for us?
There’s no getting around it: People are motivated by rewards. There may be those who think the idea of being motivated by a reward isn’t spiritual. But God has filled the Bible with promises of amazing rewards. He makes these promises to keep us from giving up hope, to inspire us to persist in the face of trouble and persecution.
God certainly understands what makes us tick and built the desire for reward into our hearts. He created us with the desire to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:12).
2 Chronicles 15:7 But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded. (NLT)
The good news is that our labors and sacrifices are not in vain. Our efforts will be rewarded.
Hebrews 6:10a God is fair. He won’t forget what you’ve done or the love you’ve shown for him. (GW)
The Bible has quite a bit to say about this because God knows we need an answer. We want to know what we’re going to get out of serving Him. So throughout the Bible it talks about rewards, and I am confident that when God promises a reward, we will find it extremely rewarding.
Ephesians 3:20a God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! (MSG)
The simple fact is that God has promised to reward us. Belief in rewards is part of the Christian faith. It is a doctrinal truth found throughout the Bible.
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him. (ICB)
What is your favorite promise in the Bible concerning God’s rewards?
Have you ever wondered when you clicked the “send” command on your computer if your e-mail actually got to its destination? Have you ever thought, “Will someone be there to receive it? Will I get a response?”
You may have had those same questions in another realm of communication–prayer. Look at what the Bible says about the promise of prayer.
Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you… (NIV)
Psalm 138:3 When I called, you answered me… (NIV)
Does this mean that God will answer our every prayer and that He is at our beckon and call to answer our requests? I think a lot of people have that idea and never consider that God has placed very specific restrictions or limits on how He answers us.
Lots of people wonder why their prayers are not answered and think God isn’t real. The problem with unanswered prayer isn’t with God but with us.
For your e-mail to arrive, your equipment and programs must function correctly. Sometimes your prayer life can have a “glitch” in it. What does God promise then concerning our prayers? What are the conditions that need to be met in order for God to hear and answer our prayers?
First, we must ASK
One of the most important elements of prayer is asking. If you don’t ask you can’t get an answer. A lot of people are just too stubborn and proud to pray and ask God for anything. Prayer is a sign of dependance upon God and not on yourself.
James 4:2c You do not have, because you do not ask God. (NIV)
Second, we must have the RIGHT MOTIVES
James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (NIV)
God doesn’t promise to answer a selfish prayer or a prayer that is prayed with the wrong kind of motives. Selfishness is one of the biggest barriers to prayer. You can’t live a self-centered life and expect God to answer your prayers.
Third, we must pray ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL
1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him. (NIV)
Notice in verse 14 that if we “ask anything according to His will, He hears us”. The only prayers that God will listen to or hear are those that are according to His will.
Fourth, we must pray IN THE NAME OF JESUS
John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? To pray in the name of Jesus means to pray based on his power and authority. Imagine if you will a police officer comes to your home and he knocks on your door and says, “Open up in the name of the law.” The officer is not asking you to open your door based on his own power or authority, he is asking you to open your door based on the authority of the law.
When you pray to God in the name of Jesus you are asking God to do something not because of your power or authority, but His. God promises that if we will pray in the name of Jesus He will answer.
Fifth, you must pray BELIEVING
Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. (NIV)
What does the word “believing” mean? It means to trust and not to doubt.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (NIV)
James 1:5-7 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord. (NIV)
Today many people have the idea that God will answer anyone’s prayer no matter how they pray or who they are? Does God promise to answer anyone’s prayer no matter who they are?
Sixth, you must BE OBEDIENT
1 John 3:19-22 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. (NIV)
According to this passage God will not answer a person’s prayer or even listen to a person’s prayer if they aren’t willing to obey His commandments or do the things that are pleasing to Him.
Psalm 66:18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear. (NASB)
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (NIV)
Proverbs 28:9 God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to him. (MSG)
These are very strong words and make the point that we do not come to God in disobedience. The prayers of the disobedient are an abomination to God. God does not promise to answer a person’s prayer when that person isn’t obeying the Lord and is living outside of God’s will.
Seventh, you must be AT PEACE WITH OTHERS
Family problems can surely cause our prayers not to be answered. Arguing, bickering, fighting in the home will destroy it. It will rob a home of peace and joy. It will destroy the peace and security of the marriage.
Matthew 18:19 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. (NIV)
Eight, you must BE PERSISTENT
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (NIV)
The words “ask, seeks & knocks” are all in the continual mode meaning that we are to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking.
Clearly the Lord is teaching us that we should be persistent in our prayers. There have been things that Christians have prayed for, for years and God in His time answered. It is not that God does not want to answer and that He wants to withhold the answer to our prayers, but God knows the time when it is best. Our persistence shows our faith in God and His promise to answer prayer.
My grandfather passed away when I was a child. I remember one day my father and I went to his garage to clean it out. My grandfather had many old tools. One was a hand drill. I could barely get the wheel to turn. The gears were clogged with dirt, and the pieces that held the drill bit in place were missing. But I wanted to see if I could get it to work.
I wiped it clean, oiled it and kept working the handle back and forth until it finally started turning smoothly.
Working with that old drill can teach us all something about prayer. If we don’t meet God’s conditions, our prayers will be ineffective – just like that old drill.
If your prayer-life is malfunctioning, make sure you’re meeting the conditions. When you do, you can be confident that your prayers will be effective.
If you want your prayers to reach heaven, make sure you have a good connection.
2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country. (GW)
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Matthew 6:31-33 Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” 32Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. 33But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. (CEV)
When you put God first and trust Him, He will take care of all your needs. Put Him at the center of your life and everything else will be taken care of.
The problem is we try to share that number one position with God we then end up with nothing. Try this at home on your own. Get a can of soda and pour into a glass. Then get a straw and take a sip of the soda through the straw. Was it satisfying? Good… that’s what it’s like when you put God first in your life. Putting God first is the secret to living a satisfying life!
Now, I’d like you to get a second straw and take another sip but this time you’re going to use both straws, one on the inside of the glass and the other on the outside. Now take a drink. What happened? You can’t drink anything. It doesn’t work.
That’s what happens in your life when you try to put both God and the things of this world first in our life. You end up with nothing. You end up being unsatisfied.
The real reason so many people are unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled in life is because Jesus Christ is not the center of their lives. They’re looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. They run from this to that… looking for something that’s going to satisfy them. They go from relationship to relationship, from job to job, from church to church looking for the key. Yet, they’re still not content or satisfied.
The problem is, none of these things can give you lasting satisfaction. Only Jesus can give you lasting satisfaction. Only Jesus can satisfy your life. If you’re discontent it means Jesus Christ isn’t at the center of your life.
Today in this world of economic woes, when unemployment is up around 8.3%, many people are wondering where their next meal is going to come from, how they’re going to pay the rent or make the house payment, or how they’re going to feed and cloth their families.
What does God promise those who are in this condition? Does God promise to supply everyone’s needs no matter who they are and no matter if they are following the Lord or not? Jesus tells us to seek put Him first and then God will supply our needs.
How many times have we said or heard someone say, “God, if you will get me through this time of trouble then I will serve you and follow you?” God wants us to follow Him first and then He will supply our needs. God promises that if we will put Him first in our lives, then He will supply our needs.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Paul didn’t say God was going to meet all your greeds, but rather all your needs.
When I buy an insurance policy I read through it and find out what’s covered. Then, when I know what’s covered, I don’t worry about it because I know it’s covered. The Bible is God’s insurance policy. Did you know there are over 7000 promises in the Bible? Many of you can’t claim them though because you don’t even know where they are. That’s why you need to get into the Bible and read it and study it everyday. That’s why you need to have a daily quiet time. As you read God’s policy manual (The Bible) and get familiar with what guarantees God has made in your life, you stop worrying.
What percentage of our needs does God promise to supply for us? Does God promise to supply only 25% of our needs? Does He promise to supply only 50%? Does He promise to supply only 75% of our needs? No, God promises to supply 100% or “all” of our needs, “according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus”.
God supplies our needs “in Christ Jesus” not outside of Jesus! You can’t expect God to meet your needs while you live your live apart from Jesus. It’s only when Jesus becomes the Lord of your life that God then promises to meet your needs.
Psalm 23:11 The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need. (GW)
1 John 2:25 And this is what he promised us–even eternal life. (NIV)
Titus 1:22 My message is based on the confidence of eternal life. God, who never lies, promised this eternal life before the world began. (GW)
God has promised us “eternal life.” Does this mean though that just because God has promised it, that all mankind at this very moment in time has eternal life? Today at this very moment I have eternal life, yet there are many today who do not have eternal life.
Someone might say, “Mark, your not going to live forever, everyone has to die sometime.” Yes, at sometime the outer shell of our body will die and be buried in the ground and turn back into dust, but God also gave us a spirit and a soul and God has promised that I will live forever. That’s because God created us with the capacity to live forever.
Ecclesiastes 3:11b He has also set eternity in the hearts of men… (NIV)
Even though my body dies, God has promised us eternal life. The question is how do you get it? How do you claim this promise from God if you haven’t already? You do it through faith in Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)
Throughout the years man has made various claims about knowing the secret to eternal life. These have been anything from dipping in a fictitious fountain to taking a wonder pill.
Throughout the years man has searched for a way to live eternally and has failed miserably. Yet God has promised us eternal life, and there is only one way in which we can have it. That way is Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (NIV)
God promises to everyone who will trust in Jesus as their personal savior, that they can have eternal life.
Romans 10:9 If you declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God brought him back to life, you will be saved. (GW)
God has promised us eternal life, but that life can only be yours by trusting in Jesus.
1 John 5:11-12 God has also said that he gave us eternal life and that this life comes to us from his Son. 12 And so, if we have God’s Son, we have this life. But if we don’t have the Son, we don’t have this life. (CEV)
Something else that God has promised concerning eternal life is that it is “eternal.” That means it has no end. That means it’s not temporary.
Today there are many who believe and would have us believe that once you have eternal life, you can then lose it by sinning against God. God promised us “eternal life” not “temporary life.”
God has promised those who are saved, that they will always be saved no matter what. That’s because eternal life is based on what God does, not on what we do.
Hebrews 7:25a Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. (NLT)
If you are saved, God has promised that you always will be saved and nothing can cause you to lose your salvation or the eternal life that He has given to you. That means you don’t need to be saved over and over. When Jesus died on the cross for your sins, he died for “ALL” of them. Those you committed in the past, those you commit in the present or any of the sins you might commit in the future. And so nothing is able to take away what God promised to give to you.
John 10:27-30 My sheep know my voice, and I know them. They follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life, so that they will never be lost. No one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father gave them to me, and he is greater than all others. No one can snatch them from his hands, 30 and I am one with the Father. (CEV)
That’s how great this promise is from God!
[buzzsprout episode='39721' player='true']
It’s impossible for us to look at everything about Jesus because there are so many promises and prophecies about Him in the Bible.
Jesus is unique among all people in history because he is the fulfillment of centuries of prophecies, which are found in the Old Testament. These prophecies foretold his place of birth, details of his life, his mission, his nature, his death, and his resurrection.
Some Bible scholars estimate that there are more than 300 prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament.
Many people think of Bible prophecies as predictions about the future but strictly speaking, they are promises from God.
The very first promise God made concerning His Son is mentioned in the first book of the Bible when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, He made a promise to Eve concerning one of her descendents and Satan.
Genesis 3:15 I will make you and the woman enemies to each other. Your descendants and her descendants will be enemies. One of her descendants will crush your head, and you will bite his heel. (NCV)
God is speaking to Satan in this verse. This is the first prophetic promise that God made concerning His son Jesus Christ. In it He promised that one of Eve’s descendants (Jesus) would one day defeat Satan by crushing him.
Acts 13:23 To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour. (NJB)
That’s what Christmas is all about.
Matthew 1:18-21 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (NIV)
This promise concerning Jesus was also verified by all those who knew Him.
1 John 4:14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (NLT)
God promised that when Jesus was born He would be the savior of the world so that all mankind could be forgiven and have eternal life.
Luke 19:10 The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them. (NCV)
God promised that when Jesus was born He would give us life.
John 10:10 …I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (MSG)
When Jesus came as the savior of the world He came to provide a covering for our sins through the blood that He shed on the cross of Calvary.
1 John 4:9-10 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (NLT)
When Jesus came as the savior of the world, He came to take away the sin of the world.
John 1:29 John saw Jesus coming toward him… and said, “Look! This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (GW)
All of these things God promised that His Son Jesus Christ would do for us. God was true to His promise and kept His promise. Over 2000 years ago, Jesus gave His life for all mankind, providing the way for you and I to be saved from the punishment of our sins in Hell. He became the covering for our sins through His blood, and as a result took away our sins by being made sin on our behalf.
1 Peter 2:24 Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did this so that we would stop living for sin and start living for what is right. And we are healed because of his wounds. (ICB)
A number of years ago, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book entitled Science Speaks. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one man in all of history fulfilling only eight of the 60 major prophecies fulfilled by Jesus.
The probability that Jesus could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 1017. That’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.
The chances of this happening is like covering the entire state of Texas two feet deep in silver dollars and then putting an “X” on one and asking a blindfolded man to find it. And on his first try HE DOES!!!!
Well Jesus not only has fulfilled eight prophecies so far, but 60! That’s how great God’s promises are!