From the Pastor's Desk
Receiving a Promise
The Children of Israel received a promise from God that they would “inherit” the Promised Land. Have you ever really thought much about that? You know God gave a promise to Abraham that was passed down through his descendants for more than 400 years. Then when the time was right, God delivered his children and they soon found themselves standing on the threshold of their Promised Land. Their inheritance. Given to them by a promise of God.
Have you ever thought about how much effort was put into receiving the promise? War that lasted for several years. People died, cities were destroyed and feuds were established that exist to this day. God’s plan was to give Israel the land but Israel had to participate in acquiring the promise.
Our salvation is much the same. God grants salvation through grace but then tells us things like:
… continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12)
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14)
… the one who endures to the end, he will be saved (Mat. 24:13)
Just as Israel had to participate with God in order to receive their promise, Christians are required to participate with God as they receive salvation from God. We do not earn our salvation through effort, we realize God’s power in us as we fight for the inheritance he has promised us. Fight under God’s leadership and your Jericho’s will fall before you. Fight in your own strength and you will fail like Israel at Ai. Remember, if you want to be an overcomer, God must give you things to overcome.
Blessings to you, and a Merry Christmas,