Sometimes I wonder if there’s a fine line between a promise and a bribe. When a parent promises an ice cream cone to their child if they will behave while shopping first, that ice cream cone becomes more of a reward for good behavior than a treat borne out of the love that the parent has for their child.
That’s not necessarily a poor parenting tactic, especially when there are errands to run, and small children are incapable of demonstrating adult-level patience and understanding of the “suffering” that they are compelled to endure. However, I am so glad that the promises that our Father in heaven gives us in His Word don’t include any strings attached! God’s promises aren’t bribes for good behavior; rather, they are unsolicited, grace-filled assurances that the God, who does not lie (Titus 1:2), makes to a people who don’t deserve His love but receive it nonetheless.
The Lenten season begins on February 14th. This year, the focus during our mid-week services will be centered around the salvation promises that God made in the Old Testament. God consistently promised salvation to His people, from Adam, to Abraham and Joseph and David, and finally through the prophets.
The Gospels tell us that those promises were fulfilled in Jesus, but God doesn’t stop making promises. He is the God of promise, and He calls us children of promise (Galatians 4:28). Our lives are marked by promise and hope. Hope that is founded in the faithfulness of Christ and His resurrection. Hope that is founded in the promise that resurrection is for us too. And so as we walk through the Lenten season this year, we will dwell on the promises of God regarding salvation, with an eye to those promises fulfilled in Christ and His resurrection and the assured hope that we have for eternal life someday.
Come and join us on this Lenten walk this year! Our services are at 6:30PM each Wednesday from February 14th through March 21st. Ryan and I will be sharing the preaching responsibilities during this time, and I’m excited to share these powerful promises of God with you!