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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Promises, Promises…
By
01/16/08


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The devil, his world system, our sin nature, family, mates, lovers and friends will promise you anything.

Many of them will make promises with the best of intentions, at least at the time the promise is made.

Others, we will make promises with selfish motives in mind.

What is promised, what we thought was promised, and what is actually delivered are often very different things indeed.

Very few persons live up to the principle of Psalms 15: 4, if the challenge becomes too great.

Sometimes it is beyond the control of the one who later has to back out on a commitment, but many times their excuse is no more than a reason given for something they never really wanted to do.

While some excuses offered are more credible than others, the bottom line is that the one who had made the promise is not going to deliver.

Its not humanly possible to know what may happen from the time a promise is made to the time it is to be fulfilled.

One would be wise, therefore, neither to make nor to rely on unconditional promises made by Man.

At least be aware that unforeseen events can take place, making the promise given or received impossible or unwise to fulfill.

Disappointments, harmful to the relationship, can be avoided by making the one being promised aware of any conditions that may prevent the promise from being fulfilled later on.

Only God has the omniscience and the omnipotence to make and fulfill unconditional promises.

Some of God’s promises are unconditional and some are not.

We must learn to know the difference or we’re going to have unfulfilled expectations in our walk with God as well as in our dealings with Man.

For example, many believers will quote the promise of Romans 8: 28, but fail to acknowledge the two qualifying conditions.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom. 8: 28 NIV).”

The promise is that all things will work out for best.

Condition #1 is that the recipients of the promise “love” God.

Condition #2, is that the working out for the best is according to divine viewpoint (Matt.16: 23) and for the ones who are “called according to His purpose”. See Heb. 11: 39.

What does it mean to “love” God?

Jesus said, “ If you love me, you will obey what I command (John 14: 15 NIV).”

There were The Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, but there are more than 300 Commandments in the New Testament! One of these commandments is to learn the others (Col. 1: 10/2Peter 3: 18).

If God, and the things of God are not the number one priority in one’s life (Luke 14: 26), such a believer is not living as one who has the John 14: 15 “love” for God, nor is he one who is living as one “called according to his purpose”.
He is, at best, a Luke 8:14 type of believer.

Such believers are no less saved, but have no claim to many of the conditional promises of God.

God is under no obligation to deliver something that has been conditionally promised until all the conditions are met.

God is under no obligation to deliver something that is not a part of His plan for any specific individual’s life.

We do not earn the blessings of God’s promises. Nothing in spiritual realm is ever earned or accomplished by human effort (John 15: 5).

Such blessings are the result of reaching the various stages of spiritual maturity. In doing so, we fulfill the qualifying conditions of Rom. 8: 28.

As previously noted, there are other promises He has made that are not conditional.

They, and the overall plan of God, will be fulfilled no matter what Man, the devil, or any one or any thing else may ever do or fail to do.

A promise is only as good as the integrity, ability, reliability, and willingness of the one making it. Anything that God promises is as good as done.

God cannot be true to His own nature and break a single promise He has ever made.

The priceless Biblical promises that God places in our hands can be seen through the eyes of faith.

The promises that anyone else places in our hearts may never materialize and thereby prove to be worthless.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 01/18/08
Much to ponder - a lesson (or two!) for all here.
I'd have loved some personal examples to liven this piece up a bit.
Keep writing!

Sally Hanan01/21/08
You have some good observations here. When writing a Bible study type of devotional, it is good to keep in mind that because your readers are Christians, most of them will already know this information, so you need to be able to keep their attention by making it personal or unique. Tell us about a time when you were not looking through the eyes of faith, or about a time when your expectations were high but the one you trusted to follow through let you down, or write some beautiful prose about how God held you up when everyone else disappointed you. That way our hearts are spoken to rather than our heads. Good job!
Sara Harricharan 01/22/08
This would make a good bible study vs. devotional, I think, the references are good and the reading isn't too heavy, I was hoping for a little more 'story' to it though. Just a thought. Good job! ^_^
Beckie Stewart01/22/08
I agree with what the others said. I think it had a lot of good truth in it, but needed more to make it grab you and cause a course of action to obedience. Keep up the writing.