Posted on Leave a comment

Promises: Delivered

Promises: Delivered

by Lane Moss
MOVE Program Director
Christ In Youth
Joplin, MO

“I trust you!”, he yelled over his shoulder.

I had only known our new youth pastor for about two months, but that wasn’t stopping him from literally putting his physical safety in the interlocked hands of eight nervous teenagers.

“I trust you!”, he yelled again.

And I remember standing there on that gravel parking lot sweating under the Oklahoma June sun thinking to myself… “I’m not sure we’ve earned”. Our youth pastor then crossed his arms over his chest and fell, backward, off of the 7-foot wooden railing of the canteen. And that not-yet-earned, but still freely-given trust? Turns out it was a tad misplaced. We dropped him. We barely broke his fall. Well, except for his feet. Those we caught… I thought we had killed him. But instead he caught his breath, got to his feet and said, “It’s ok. I trust you.” and he climbed back up onto the railing for round two, then round three, then four…

Trust is powerful. It moves relationships beyond acquaintance and into something much deeper and more meaningful. It creates bonds, forges alliances and strengthens love. But trust is powerful because it is, at times, so difficult. It means being vulnerable and putting yourself in situations that seem out of your control. And if we’re honest, we would say that, like us, our trust can be a little fickle at times.

That was certainly true of Abraham. Here was a guy who, at age 99, was told by God that his 90-year-old wife was going to bear him a son (Gen 12; 17), and through that son he would be the father of nations and whole world would be blessed. And you thought trust-falling onto a bunch of sweaty high schoolers seemed crazy. And yet, Abraham trusted God’s promise to him. Following God’s instruction, He picks up and leaves his home and his people trusting in God’s ability to deliver on His promise. It’s a powerful example of trust.

And yet just a short time later, as Abraham and his beautiful wife, Sarah, entered Egypt (Gen 12; 20), he becomes afraid that the Egyptians will kill him for his wife. So instead of trusting God, he lies claiming that she is only his sister and allowing Pharaoh to have her. Why would he do this? God has just told him his future plans for him and his family, and Abraham believed him. So why now does Abraham try to take things into his own hands?

The reality is that we all do this. We hear God’s macro promises: That he loves us, that he’ll never leave or forsake us. And we say we trust him. But then when things get into the micro; things like relationships, generosity, career, we suddenly we find ourselves wanting to take control. Not trusting that God can deliver on his promises.

Trust is funny. Relationships are built on it. Depend on it. As trust goes, so does the relationship. All of us have had, at one point or another, our trust broken by someone. As for our youth pastor, we never caught him that day. We dropped him over and over. We couldn’t deliver. But God has never failed to deliver on a promise. He is good, His promises stand, and placing our trust in Him is the greatest decision we could ever make. And you can be assured he’ll deliver on it. Every. Single. Time.

If God has delivered on a promise for you, comment with a one word hashtag like #finances or #marriage or just simply #promisesdelivered.

Posted on Leave a comment

Noah, The Superhero

Noah, The Superhero

By James McCracken Lead Pastor
Boulevard Christian Church
Muskogee, OK

We love our super heroes! Superman, Batman, Iron Man, the Tin Man (Oops he didn’t make it out of Oz!). Marvel comic books have spawned a billion dollar movie industry. When kids dress up for their annual foray to ask for candy, most of them will be dressed up as one of the recent Superheroes.
The Plot is normally the same. Earth is about to be destroyed by some force, often that force is so powerful no one seems to have the ability to stop the destruction. The populace cries out for a Deliverer! Who will deliver us from this destruction?

But before there was the Black Panther, Thor or Superman there is a chapter in the Bible that lists a group of people who were Superheroes. They all had one great characteristic. Their names are listed in Hebrews 11 and as each one is introduced these 2 words are used: BY FAITH.
Noah was one of those superheroes. He may have seemed kind of Clark Kentish to those who lived around him. From all accounts people mocked him, called him a fool or insane; but Noah turned out to be the only sane man around. He lived in a day in which man is graphically described as wicked and every intent of the thoughts of men’s heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5). A day when the earth was corrupt and filled with violence (Genesis 6:11–12). It is the essence of sanity to take what God says seriously, and it is the insanity of sin that leads us to reject the Word of God.

There was a contrast between Noah and the rest of his generation. While everyone else around him sought and thought evil, Noah sought a relationship with God. In a time where destruction of others was continual, Noah lived a life of trustful obedience to God. Because of that steadfast faith, Noah became a deliverer.
Hebrews 11:7 says: By faith Noah, when he was warned about the things not yet seen, with reverent regard constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family. Certainly a time when there were many people hoping for and desiring deliverance.

he writer of Hebrews defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith, in this context, is a settled confidence of something as yet unseen but promised by God. Without faith in the promises of God, it is impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6).

Noah is a landmark figure in the history of redemption because he was a living example of the just living by faith. The evidence of Noah’s faith is seen in his trusting God, believing in His word, and acting in obedience to God’s command to build the Ark. Noah’s story also demonstrates both judgment and salvation. God is a God of righteous judgment who must punish sin, but most wonderfully He is a God who delivers escape from His judgment. He did this for Noah by way of the Ark. Today, however, Jesus Christ is God’s way of escape from His judgment; He is the ark of our salvation, the door by which mankind must enter in to be saved.

The Flood is a horrifying account of judgment but also one of amazing deliverance. My life will be characterized by either one of these. Either I will trust Jesus as My Deliverer, or I will face the judgment of God for my sin.