In preparing to welcome the new year 2023, I have been captivated by a word that I am familiar with and thought I knew the definition of. I have received a gentle correction that has softened my heart, broadened my understanding, & allowed me to experience a deeper trust in Father God and His Word.
The word that I am focused on is PROMISE! Specifically, 2 Peter 1:2-4 from the Message translation says it with simple clarity:
2-4 Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific PROMISES to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
Even at face value, there is such treasure in these few verses that lay the foundation to building Godly character into our lives by God’s own provisions made available to us through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord!
As I read these verses, I begin to understand that God doesn’t make promises like we do.
He doesn’t casually commit Himself to us, like we do many times when we make promises to others.
A promise made is by nature and definition a commitment of ourselves to benefit someone else. Think about that as we consider that in God’s promises, He commits Himself to us for OUR benefit! It is a selfless act and it is only as dependable as the one that makes the promise!
We must understand that He doesn’t make promises to us based on conditions or behaviors that He wants to see in us.
The promises He makes are intended for those who will believe Him and take Him at His word.
Even when we fail Him, He does not fail us.
There are so many places in the Bible where He kept His promises when men who professed faith in Him walked away from Him. I for one am so grateful that the faithfulness of God is not defined, changed, or negated in any way by any man, woman, or child.
We are presented with the truth about the character of God and His desire to impart all of the benefits of receiving the gift of faith by His grace imparted to us by the righteousness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here are a few observations that can help us grasp the depth of His love for us:
The work of His grace in us-
God’s grace is defined as the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
(Blue Letter Bible)
The blessing of His peace to us-
For those in Christ, it is the tranquil state of a soul (mind, body, and will) assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.
(Blue Letter Bible)
The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord-
The precise and correct knowledge of their nature, dignity and benefits.
(Blue Letter Bible)
Peter bids us the protecting and helping favor of God and of Christ to which all blessings are due. He also bids us every peace that flows from peace with God to be richly allotted to us as we fix our position in the knowledge of God and His holy will. This blessing is constantly bestowed on us through Christ and the true knowledge of His nature, dignity and benefits, as He is our supreme authority.
His divine power (miracle working and moral power)-
Operates on the soul (mind, body, and will including emotions, thoughts, attitude, understanding) that He calls and converts. He graciously gives to you and me EVERYTHING (all manner of means) pertaining to living a life that is devoted to Him through our trust in Christ.
His divine provision
For a happy life and every kind of blessing and reverence for God. He gives us:
-the doctrine that promotes godliness which is His holiness imparted to us
-the truth that leads to godliness
-the mystery which is held by godliness and nourishes it, aims at and protects it
This is through the definite recognition and full discernment of Him, in whom lies the reason why we were called pertaining to His own divine perfection of the majesty of His saving grace, exhibited in deeds of power, the might in which His majesty and virtue excels.
Precious and magnificent PROMISES-
They are valuable, costly and esteemed. They are defined as beloved and exceedingly great! But they answer the question of WHY He not only gives them to us but commits Himself to us in them!
SO THAT BY THEM
We have the pardon of sin and the promise of blessings in the Gospel! We have cause to be sharers/companions/partners/associates of His divine power and providence having fled from the moral decay that is in the world (God’s orderly arrangement including the world and all of its inhabitants).
Here we see the same power, glory, and virtue (moral excellence) that He called us into in vs. 3. He bestows gratuitously to us His valuable, esteemed and exceedingly great PROMISES, wherein He commits Himself to us in order that by that same power, glory, and virtue, we have cause to be partners of the same divine power, providence, and natural production having fled from moral decay.
Now that I have a deeper understanding of the length, depth, width, height, and breadth that Father God has gone to bless me - it requires me to trust Him and take Him at His word!
This year, I will be searching out His promises! I will begin to study them! I will believe them! And I will apply them!
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH PROMISES SUCH AS THESE?
KNOW THAT ~ He who promised is faithful!!!
ALL HIS PROMISES WON’T LET GO OF ME!