god keeps his promises

The Refreshing Moment of Not Being Needed

God keeps his promises. Who knew?

So, a congregation member posted a sin – rather proudly – on Facebook. I knew I had to deal with this individual; after all, it was a public sin, and one that would give major offense. (In fact, later that day I encountered a congregation member in a public area that basically exploded at me: “How could [this person] do that?!”)

However, that person contacted… my wife. And was confused why so many people were upset. And could my wife just supply some Bible verses that spoke to the situation?

And that person accepted the Bible verses. And when I visited that person two days later, I found out that God’s Word had done the work. It had convicted the person of their sin. They had repented. They expressed sorrow over their sin and taken steps to get away from that sin. I’ve got a follow-up appointment later this week to see if those steps continued to be taken, but at least as of two days after the posting… things were better.

And it’s so ridiculous. I thought it was on me to deliver Law and pronounce the weight of the sin. Sure, I rely on God’s Word for that – I had verses at the ready! – but this person didn’t need me to deliver it.

God’s Word, all by itself, was enough.

Like I said: God keeps his promises. His Word is powerful and effective. When he sends it out, it doesn’t come back to him until it’s accomplished its purpose. He doesn’t say: “God’s Word doesn’t come back until it passes through Pastor’s mouth and then does what it’s supposed to do.”

Duh, pastor. You should know this.

One thing that hadn’t happened yet, though, and one thing that I was thrilled to do: This person, when I met, was repentant. They sorrowed over their sin.

They needed forgiveness.

Oh, how awesome that was: all geared up to have to deliver Law (by far my least favorite part of the call), and instead God delivers me a person who desperately needed the Gospel. So, yes, I forgave the person of their sins.

I needed the reminder: God’s Word does the work. Not “God’s Word through Pastor’s mouth.” Sure, I get used all the time to deliver God’s messages, but it’s not me.

God’s Word does it.

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Sarah holds laughter in her arms.

Genesis 21:1-7             Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

 

God keeps his promises… right? (Part 6) (more…)

No, Abram wasn’t a man of great faith…

Genesis 12:10-20 10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that she was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels.

17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

 

God keeps his promises… right? (Part 2) (more…)