Just What Is a Promise?
Lord God, I thank You that Your Word is entirely true and that You faithfully keep all Your many promises.
Read Romans 4:13-25
 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.  For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless,  because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.  Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring-not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.  As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed-the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.  Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-since he was about a hundred years old-and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  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.  This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”  The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone,  but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness-for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectTo whom does God "credit righteousness" today?
Today’s reading is rich in exciting ideas about God. Foremost is that God makes promises to us. His promise to Abraham in v. 13 is a wonderful, astonishing undertaking, coming from one with both the power to make it happen and with such integrity that the promise will not be broken. It is also a tough promise to believe for an old and childless couple like Abraham and Sarah. But Abraham, receiving God’s word, “in hope believed” (18). To a first-century reader, hope here would not mean “cross your fingers and make a wish.” Rather, his is “hope stored up…in heaven” (Col. 1:5). He has an unwavering confidence in a future event of which he is certain, even though he probably does not understand it. God’s promise is unconditional. Of course, though God won’t go back on his promises, we can wreck them (14) if we won’t live by faith. God keeping his promise has nothing to do with any quality of Abraham’s: blessing is given out of God’s infinite grace (16). This helps to explain why God’s promise is to all of us, for we are Abraham’s spiritual heirs.
Thank the Lord for his promises and ask him for the faith to believe they will come true.
Good Lord, I do trust in Your many gracious promises. Help me whenever my faith and trust wavers.
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