The Power of Promise

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“God wasn’t attracted to you and didn’t choose you because you were big and important—the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to your ancestors. God stepped in and mightily bought you back out of that world of slavery, freed you from the iron grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations.” (Deut 7)

People often call the Bible “the Word” or “the Word of God.” And that’s entirely appropriate, because God is introduced right from Day One (or, technically, just before Day One), as the One who speaks.And God said...” (Genesis 1) And, right on cue, as he speaks, things happen. Life comes into being.The Bible expresses the life of God.

And Jesus too is called the Word. In John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind…     And 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.”

Speech became visible. The word became flesh and blood.

And even we human beings speak about giving our word. We mean that we are making a promise and we intend to keep it. “I give you my solemn word”, we say, and do our best to fulfill the promise made.  We make promises of friendship, of financial repayments, of contracts of all sorts. We make promises in the marriage service, and perhaps they are the most important of all human contracts.

But being human, we sometimes falter in the keeping of our promises. We may mean to, but we may fail because we can’t face the pressures of circumstance (or new circumstances  that may arise).

And Just as I was thinking this over, someone sent this to me: “”Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”

Isn’t that great? The power of prayer is in the one who hears it! I find that so reassuring, because I see now that the power of promise is in the One who made the promise. He is the one who has given us his Word, and spelt it out in flesh and blood. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” “I am with you always” “Be not afraid.” Hundreds of times the Bible reminds me and I still need telling! God is for us, so who can be against us?

And so I come to this morning’s reading in Deuteronomy 7: “God wasn’t attracted to you and didn’t choose you because you were big and important—the fact is, there was almost nothing to you.”

OK OK, you needn’t remind me of that. It just confirms my low self-esteem! But, wait, there’s more:

“He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to your ancestors. God stepped in and mightily bought you back out of that world of slavery, freed you from the iron grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations.”

He chose…

Out of sheer love

Keeping the promise, stepping into my slavery, freeing me from the iron grip of addiction and despair.

This morning, as I begin my day, I am acknowledging and confessing this life-changing truth: “Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love.”

 

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2 Responses to The Power of Promise

  1. pauline says:

    ken your word has really encourage me not been able to open internet for a month due to no current lots of love to you both

  2. kenbaker says:

    lovely to hear from you:are you still in India?

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