Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I've been studying today about two wealthy men in God's word - the rich man and Zacchaeus. Jesus spoke to both of them and offered them the way to eternal life. Only one chose Jesus. It wasn't the one most would assume would respond in joyful faith.

Matthew 19: 16-22 (NLT) The Rich Man

16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. [emphasis mine]

Luke 19: 5-6, 8-10 (NLT) Zacchaeus

5 When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” He said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” [emphasis mine]

Both men were offered the same deal. One went away in sad, downcast despair. The other responded joyfully with full abandonment of his possesions. Zacchaeus found that the heavenly possession [Jesus] was greater than anything he held in his hands.

How often do we respond to Jesus' requests - with walking away in sadness, and utter despair? We list in our minds - all that we must give up - rather than the rewards that come with obedience.

How often do we respond to Jesus - quickly or in great excitement and joy? How often do we show ourselves to be a true son or daughter of the King?

Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT)

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.
[emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


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