Great and Precious Promises

(God’s) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 1 v.3-4

In ‘The Interview’, speaking to Megan, Oprah referred to ‘your truth’  thus making truth relative, a misunderstanding, very common today and extremely dangerous for mankind.

If truth is relative, then there is no such thing as absolute truth in which we can trust and on which we can build our lives, and such a position is ultimately a formula for chaos.

Why do I begin my final focus on the passage we have been exploring for the past three days with an apparently unconnected theme? I do so because at the most basic level it is, I believe, totally connected, for unless there is absolute and certain truth all we have been considering about life and godliness and today great and precious  promises, are just empty words.

Yet it is common today to deny absolute truth exists because, especially in the Western world God has been side-lined and even more serious the idea of ‘your truth’ and ‘my truth’ rather than ‘truth’ has begun to permeate the church.  The result of this is that  ‘what I want’ particularly in the area of morality is deemed OK and the Word of God must be reinterpreted from that which has been understood for some 2000 years and be made to mean what I want it to mean! So this brief discursion prompts me to ask of the passage above from 2 Peter, “Do we believe this?” Do we believe that what Peter writes is indeed absolute truth?

If we do, then it should be totally transformative with regard to daily living and  any  fear that living life to the full and being godly are beyond us should be banished as we revel in the great and precious promises contained in God’s Word which Jesus says, in John 17 v.17 ‘is truth’.

So what promises equip us for such God centred and God honouring living?

Someone has calculated that there are in excess of 7000 Promises in the Bible so below is a tiny selection for our encouragement

Isaiah 45.10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 26.3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Deuteronomy 31.8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Psalm 37.23 The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Matthew 11.28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Isaiah 40.31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

James 4.7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

John 8.36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Philippians 4.19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

If these were the only promises they would surely be amply sufficient to commit us to wholehearted godly living but there are thousands more. So let us heed God’s words to Joshua as he assumed the leadership of God’s people as they entered the promised land:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1 v.9

In our disordered world let us grasp these promises and be unafraid to be different. Unafraid to be godly, whatever the cost.

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