A Pocketful of Promises

pocketMy Reader, is there anything in your pocket? I encourage you to fill the pocket of your heart with the promises of God. These promises are good stuff to find in your pocket because Joshua 21:45 says, “Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” If His promises did not fail the Israelites, neither will His promises fail us. II Corinthians 1:20 also assures us that, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

God wants you to accept His promises as personal words that He whispers to you when you need encouragement or direction or forgiveness or strength. These are reminders of His love for you and His interest in your life. II Peter 1:4 NLT says, “He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” The Lord wants you to have His promises close in your heart pocket so you can pull them out at specific times. If His promises are hidden in the pocket of your heart, you will not have to get out a Bible or concordance to hear His words of wisdom.

Be ready to pull out a promise from your pocket and apply it to your present circumstances. The Lord gives you His promises to transform you as well as to inform you. It is valuable for you to know His specific promises, but it is of even more important to put the power of His promises to use in your life. At the time of creation, God spoke “Let there be…” and it happened. When God speaks His promises to you, He is saying “Let there be” whatever the promise provides for you personally.

Let me help you fill up your heart’s pocket by sharing a few promises spoken personally by Jesus.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
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.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives;
and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”

Luke 11:9-10

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper,
that He may be with you forever;

John 14:16

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20

Today, I challenge you to fill the pocket of your heart with an abundance of God’s promises. Do not let doubt create a hole in your heart that could cause you to lose the power of the personal promises spoken into your life by the Lord. Allow these promises to overflow from your pocket but never lose them.

I want to close on a lighter note by sharing my adaptation of the Mother Goose rhyme about Peter Piper.

Personally pick a pocketful of precious promises;
A pocketful of precious promises please pick;
If you pick a pocketful of precious promises,
What will the pocketful of precious promises provide?

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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Click on images to find the credit for appropriate images.

Promises! Promises!

 


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PERSONALIZE GOD’S PROMISES

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as He had said,
and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised.
Genesis 21:1
Today as I read this Genesis scripture, the Lord impressed upon me to personalize this verse and replace Sarah’s name with my own name. So I read, “The Lord did for Cheryl what He had promised.” (My Reader, I encourage you to insert your own name.) Yes, I can think of many times that the Lord has fulfilled His promises to me. For those times, I praise the Lord. I will not take time to tell of these positive promises, however, I encourage each of you to take time to personally reflect upon the manifestations of the Lord’s faithfulness to His promises in your life.
1400782535liokaGOD’S PERSPECTIVE OF PROMISES

Promises! Promises! I make promises to others. Others make promises to me. Although I intend to be faithful to my promises at the time of commitment, I do not always succeed. Because of my natural human inability to keep my word, I can be prone to doubt the devotedness of my supernatural God. How foolish of me because God always honors His promises recorded in scripture. I want to reassure myself of God’s faithfulness by reflecting upon scripture verses that declare a positive perspective
of His promises.

He has given us His very great and precious promises.
II Peter 1:4
(What an amazing gift the Lord has given to me!)

being fully persuaded that God had power to do
what He had promised.
Romans 4:21
(My goal is to be completely confident that God will carry out His promises.
He is able to do what He says, but do I wholeheartedly expect Him to do it?)

Not one of all the Lord’s good promises
to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
Joshua 21:45
(He is incredible!)

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.
Psalm 138:8
(I can depend upon His faithfulness to carry out His Word for me!) 
1400782535liokaMY PERSPECTIVE OF GOD’S PROMISES

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33
I must embrace the totality of any promise Jesus gives. I cannot hit the delete key for any of the words of the Bible and twist God’s promises to my advantage. Although I like the beginning of this promise in John 16 that Jesus made, I am not quick to want to accept the second part. I cling to the promise of peace but want to push the thought of trouble out of my mind. In reality, I can appreciate the promise of peace more after a trial of trouble. God sees a bigger picture for the fulfillment of His promises than what I perceive.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8
Another thing I need to remember about God’s promises is that they may not be manifested in the way or according to the timeline I might expect. God’s thoughts and ways are so much deeper than mine! Consequently, the way He chooses to do what He declares will be better for how He wants to fulfill His plans and purposes in my life.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

The best perspective I can have regarding the Lord’s promises is that He know
s best! He fulfills His promises in the perfect way for me personally. I must not add or subtract from His complete promises and I must have faith in His wisdom and faithfulness. 1400782535liokaPERSONALLY APPLYING GOD’S PROMISES

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.
Psalm 138:8
I began my inserting my name instead of Sarah’s name in Genesis 21:1 and now I conclude by replacing the pronoun me in Psalm 138:8 with my personal name. (My Reader, you can do the same.) I think again about God’s promise to Sarah in Genesis. God was faithful to her having a son even though she had to wait until she was 90 years old. This was the fulfillment of the promise God made to Abram, her husband, back in Genesis 12 when he was 75 years old. It took 25 years for God to do what He promised! When I consider this promise, postponement, and performance, I understand the predictability of my positive God! God never left Abraham and Sarah and He was faithful to His promise even through their son Isaac was not born according to the timeline expected by the couple. If I intend to place my name within this scriptural promise, I must believe that God will fulfill His promise according to His plan and purpose.
God’s promises are wonderful even though the manifestation may not be
according  to my expectations.

The Lord shall not turn back until He has executed
and accomplished the thoughts and intents of His mind.
Jeremiah 30:24
My Reader, here is one promise I can make to you that I know will not be broken. It is not my promise – it is God’s promise.

Joyfully,
Cheryl,
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Bible Study – Possessing Change

 is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a

bible-for-study-mfBible Study
Possessing Change
“The Promised Land is a Land of Promises”

Definition of Possessing Change: taking ownership of a new activity or place or stage of life – realizing responsibility for a transition that has occurred

Master Key Verse: I will give you every place where you set your foot. – Joshua 1:3

While we were on our Life-Journey-Change experience regarding our new home, one of the major things I learned was that possession results in potential, not perfection. I expected things to reflect more perfection when we moved into our new home since this was the home God had revealed to us as being where He wanted us to live. (Remember the posts for September 10 about “Hidden . . . then Revealed and September 17 about “Expectations or Expectancy.”) However, such was not the case. I have now come to realize that the new home had potential that we needed to develop. There were some functional issues that my husband had not planned on needing to do, but there was still potential with this house. I became frustrated with some cleaning projects but there was still potential with this house. Possession did not mean everything was perfect but possession did allow us the opportunity to maximize the potential of the property. It all depended on my perspective of our situation.

The same was true for the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land of Canaan after being set free from Egyptian slavery. I imagine they expected their new homeland to be perfect and void of enemies since God had led them to this location. Such was not the case. According to Joshua 1:3, the Lord has promised to give them every place where they set their feet. God fulfilled that promise but the land was still inhabited by the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, etc. who needed to be driven out of the land. The land had potential but the Israelites had to fight battles even though they had possession.

Possession resulted in potential, not perfection, for the Israelites in their new homeland. Possession resulted in potential, not perfection, for us in our new home. When anyone become part of the family of God, one is promised a new home for eternity. (Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. – John 14:1-3) We possess the promise of an eternal home, but while living our earthly life we have the responsibility to develop our potential to become more like Christ. (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.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son – Romans 8:28-29)

Possession gives us responsibility and accountability for the potential of what had been purchased or attained, but it does not mean perfection. Going back to my theme of Life-Journey-Change, I must say that writing the check for the financial cost of the house and attaining the deed to our new home was not the completion of our journey. There were still promises for us to claim for our life’s journey that continued even after we had taken the step of change that took us into the promised land God had for us. I still needed to keep the proper perspective and hold tightly to specific promises in the Bible.  This holy book is definitely a “land of promises.” Let us look at three of these promises in the following study.

Bible Study of Promises

#1 – The Promise of Battles

We may not like the promise that battles will occur but it is something we must face.
There can be no victories without battles!
John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have over-come the world.”
Trouble may refer to battles, so let’s see how the Israelites fought their first battle.

*The Battle of Jericho
Read Joshua 6 for details of the Battle of Jericho.

God gave the instructions and the people were obedient to follow His instructions.
****Although some of the instructions were unusual, the people did as they were told.
****Isaiah 55:8For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

Reference to the number 7 is important because 7 is symbolic of God’s completion while 6 is symbolic of man. God is in control of all aspects of this battle.
****7 priests with 7 trumpets led the march around the city once each day for 6 days.
****On the 7th day they marched around the city 7 times. They then shouted and blew the trumpets and the walls collapsed.

An oath was made not to rebuild Jericho. The battle belonged to the Lord and His victory was not to be overturned.

* The Battle of the Mind
Our battles are often fought within our minds, but we can learn strategies for our battles from how the Israelites fought the Battle of Jericho.

Read II Corinthians 10:3-6
When our battle is spiritual, we must capture our thoughts in order to capture our spiritual enemy.
If we do not take thoughts captive, imaginations take over. Imaginations come from images. Imaginations appear to be logical to our mind but in reality they are the illogical images that the enemy wants us to believe.
Notice in verse 5 that we are to be obedient just as obedience was required by the Israelites.

One reason we must take our thoughts captive is because the battle is not our responsibility. It belongs to the Lord according to II Chronicles 20:15Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Oswald Changers has stated in My Utmost for His Highest, “We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles.”

The battle in II Chronicles 20 was fought with praise (see verses 16-40) and the Battle of Jericho was won with shouts to the Lord. One of the ways we, too, need to fight the battles of our minds by praising the Lord.

 #2 – The Promise of Proper Protection

Knowing that the battles we fight belong to the Lord, we can have the confidence that He will provide the proper protection or armor for us.

Think of the story of David and Goliath recorded in I Samuel 17. Goliath was a Philistine and the Philistines were some of the people who needed to be overcome by the Israelites. (Read the complete chapter to refresh your memory with details.)

*Protection for David to Fight the Battle with Goliath
Read I Samuel 17:38,39 to find out how Saul wanted to dress David to fight Goliath.
****Saul used “his own tunic” and a heavy coat of armor, a bronze helmet and a sword the size Saul would need.
****David was smart enough to know this would not work for him and he fought with his staff and five stones.

Notice verse 45 for what else David took with him – “You (Goliath) came against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty.”

*Protection for Us to Fight Spiritual Battles
Today we have God’s Armor.  Read Ephesians 6:10-18 for its description.
****Notice in Verse 10 that we are to be strong in the Lord rather than our own strength
****Also notice the reference to “full armor” in verses 11 and 13

Just as David came “in the name of the Lord,” we can apply the name of Jesus to each piece of armor because He is our mighty warrior.
****(v14) Belt of truth – John 14:6 says, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (a belt is placed around the waist near the part of the body where birthing takes place)
****(v14) Breastplate of righteousness – I John 2:1 refers to Jesus Christ as the Righteous One (the breastplate protects the heart and it is the center of our being)
****(v15) Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace – Isaiah 9:6 prophecies Jesus to be the Prince of Peace and the gospel is the good news of this fact (we stand firm on our feet and we must be ready to share the foundations of our faith with those we encounter in our daily walk)
****(v16) Shield of faith – I Timothy 1:14 refers to faith being in Christ Jesus (we can move the shield to cover whatever part of our lives needs extra protection and faith assures us that it will be done)
****(v17) Helmet of salvation – Luke 2:11 tells us that a savior has been born and he is Christ the Lord. (we need our head protected because we make decisions with our minds and according to I Cor. 2:16 we can have the mind of Christ)
****(v17) Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God – John 1:1 quotes, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God.” This refers to Jesus. (this is our only offensive weapon, but God’s Word pierces deep into the soul)

Protection through prayer
****Ephesians 6:18 tells us after putting on the armor of God to pray in the Spirit.
****Prayer is not a piece of the armor, but it definitely is an action that will keep us on the offensive, especially when we claim God’s Word when we pray.

#3 – The Promise of Promises

Remember, the Word of God is our only offensive weapon so we must claim our promises!

God’s Word is a double-edged sword that can cut out what is not of the Lord as well as pierce the soul with what is of the Lord.
****Isaiah 55:11 NKJV, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which He sent it.”

God’s Word contains all the promises we need – this is “the land of promises.”
There is power when we speak the words spoken by God in scripture.

I challenge you to find personal promises within Gods Word for your personal battles. You may be in your Promised Land, but through your life the journey continues and there will still be changes and challenges.

I encourage you to write a declaration of faith filled with the personal promises God reveals to you. Speak these promises out loud. God is faithful to fulfill His Word!

Conclusion

To bring everything together that we have studied today, read Joshua 24.

In this chapter, God speaks to the Israelites through the voice of Joshua reminding them how He has led them throughout their entire journey that started when He called Abraham to a journey out of the land of the Chaldeans. This chapter recounts the changes the Israelites experienced and the battles they fought. The people were assembled at Shechem to hear these words. We each have our own personal Shechem, the place where God meets us in a special way as we continue our life’s journey. Our Shechems are places and times God has provided for us and fulfilled His promises. He has blessed us but He also wants us to bless others by sharing our journey experiences of change.

The Israelites needed to meet at Shechem to be reminded of the faithfulness of God and His promises. Joshua 24:14 says, “fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.” God is faithful and He desires us to be faithful. In verse 15 Joshua gives the people a choice, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”  What is your choice? Do you choose to enter the Promised Land and cling to the land of promises? Joshua concluded this scripture verse by saying,”But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

I again quote Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest, “to turn head faith into a personal possession is a fight always, not sometimes.” We may have stepped into the Promised Land and held on to our land of promises within scripture, but there are still battles to fight. Many of these battles begin within the mind. Remember the three promises we have studied today and apply them to your personal journey. Take possession of all God promises you and give a victory shout!

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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