The Promises of God

Daily Devotional.
InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Read | Hebrews 10:22-23

One Sacrifice of Christ Is Sufficient
 1For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.  2Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?  3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.  4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 
 5Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
         “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED,
         BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;
    6IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.
    7“THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME
         (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME)
         TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.'” 
 8After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law),  9then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.  10By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;  12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,  13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.  14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 
 15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
    16“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM
         AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
         I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,
         AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”
         He then says,
    17“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS
         I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” 
 18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
A New and Living Way
 19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,  20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,  21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,  25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Christ or Judgment
 26For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  27but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.  28Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  29How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  30For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY ” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  32But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 
 33partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.  34For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.  35Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
    37FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,
         HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
    38BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;
         AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. 
 39But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

Our heavenly Father has made many promises in the Bible. But there is confusion among Christians about which verses we can claim as a definite commitment from God. Three questions are useful in evaluating whether divine promises apply to our own situation:

1. Is this promise limited to a specific person or circumstance, or does it apply to all believers? For example, the pledge made to Abraham and Sarah about giving birth to a child (Gen. 18:10) is restricted to them, whereas Hebrews 13:5 contains a guarantee to all Christians that Jesus will be with them forever.

2. Are we asking the Lord to meet a need or a desire? A need is something that we must have in order for God to complete His work in our lives. A desire is something we want for satisfaction or enjoyment. If we lose our job, then an essential—an incoming wage—is missing. But if we want a new position for personal reasons, it’s a desire.

3. Before fulfilling a promise, does the Lord require some action on our part? Proverbs 3:5-6 is a conditional promise, which pledges God’s direction on the basis of our trust in Him. On the other hand, Jesus’ assurance of His presence with believers (Heb. 13:5) is unconditional; it does not depend on anything we do.

By evaluating Scripture on the basis of these questions, we will know which promises apply to our situation. What confidence we’ll have in asking our Lord to fulfill them in our lives. For, as 1 Corinthians 1:20 (niv) says, “No matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.”

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About jams4JESUS

I... 'will seek [First] the LORD my God, and I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul.' Deut. 4:29 I... 'shall love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.' Deut. 6:5 I... 'Trust in the LORD with all my heart, And lean not on my own understanding; In all ways... acknowledge Him, And He shall make my path straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6 I... 'remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you' 2Tim. 1:6 I... 'thank God, whom I serve... without ceasing... I... remember YOU in my prayers night and day,' 2Tim. 1:3 I... am to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God' Phil. 4:6 I... KNOW: 'I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.' Phil.4:13 'My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' Phil. 4:19 'My GOD will never leave me, nor forsake me.' Heb. 13:5 JESUS so loves me, this I... KNOW
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