I have a stray cat that comes to my house, and I give him milk. I also give seed to the birds that come to my backyard. And if I do that for animals, then won’t I take care of my own children and grandchildren?
In the same way, we don’t follow a stingy God. Jesus said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32 NKJV).
We’re not serving a God who is reluctant to show affection toward us. We’re serving a God who loves to bless us and wants to lavish His love on us.
Jesus essentially argued this point by saying, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NKJV).
And the apostle Paul pointed out that God proved His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die for us. In Romans 8 he wrote, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (verse 32 NKJV).
Basically Paul was saying, “Look, while you were a sinner, God gave His best by sending His Son to die for you. Therefore, now that you are His children, will He not give you all that you need? He’s going to take care of you.”
Paul also wrote to the believers in Ephesus that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT).
God loves to bless us. And He will give us the things we need when we need them.
Are you taking hold of God’s promises today?
A knowledge of the Bible is essential to a rich and meaningful life. For the words of this Book have a way of filling in the missing pieces, of bridging the gaps, of turning the tarnished colors of our life to jewel-like brilliance. Learn to take your every problem to the Bible. Within its pages you will find the correct answer. But most of all, the Bible is a revelation of the nature of God. The philosophers of the centuries have struggled with the problem of a Supreme Being. Who is He? What is He? Where is He? If there is such a Person, is He interested in me? If so, how can I know Him? These and a thousand other questions about God are answered in this Holy Book, we call the Bible.
Some people like to work out, citing the endorphins that are released. But I dread working out. And I complain while I’m working out. But after I’m done, I’m glad that I did it.
That’s sometimes what it’s like to study the Bible. There are times we really want to read it and look forward to it. Then there are times when we get up in the morning and think, “I’ll just skip it today.” But then we do it anyway. That isn’t legalism; that’s discipline. And there’s a difference.
Discipline says, “I’m going to read the Bible because I need to do it. I know God wants me to do it. And when I’m done, I’ll be glad I did it.”
It’s an absolute that we determine to do before anything else, even if it means that we don’t have time to check our social media or e-mails or texts. It’s something we must discipline ourselves to do.
The Center for Bible Engagement recently did a study and came up with something I find very interesting: “The ‘power of 4’ is evident when we consider that for some of these behaviors (getting drunk and sex outside marriage) examined there is no statistical difference between Christians who read or listen to the Bible two to three days a week and those who do not engage scripture at all or only once a week.”
In other words, if you’re not reading your Bible four or more times a week, then you won’t make significant choices or changes any differently than someone who doesn’t read the Bible.
Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31 NKJV). We need to see the value of God’s Word. We need to long for God’s Word.
I don’t know about you, but I get a few gift cards at this time of year. And I have to say that I have quite a few In-N-Out gift cards. While I’m appreciative of these, I’ve shared a few of them with others, because I would weigh 400 pounds if I used them all myself.
According to business researchers, an estimated $2 billion to $4 billion in gift cards will go unused this year. God’s promises are a lot like of gift cards that are left unused. He has made a lot of promises to us, and we need to take hold of those promises.
In fact, Christmas has a lot to do with promises.
Going back to the very beginning, God promised Adam and Eve that a Deliverer would come one day. God promised Isaiah that a virgin would conceive and give birth to the Savior. And God promised Mary she would give birth to that Savior. The angel Gabriel even affirmed this, saying, “For the word of God will never fail” (Luke 1:37 NLT).
Evidently, God wants us to know that He keeps His promises. He certainly kept His promise with Mary, and she was surprised and humbled that God chose her.
Sometimes I’ll come across a gift card that I forgot about, for a place I really like. I’m excited to discover that I have that gift card. I’m also amazed that I haven’t used it yet.
That is what the promises of God are like. They’re just sitting there in the Bible, waiting for us to take hold of. But if we don’t read the Bible, we won’t know God’s promises. We need to read them, believe them, and start living these promises out.
Are you taking hold of God’s promises today?