Each day of this past week we emailed an early morning devotional out to First Assembly from our Pastoral Team. Here is the last of them as we culminate with the wonderful message of this Resurrection Sunday.
The Power of a Promise Kept
“And the third day He will rise again.” (Luke 18:33)
March 11, 1942 was a dark, desperate day at Corregidor. The Pacific Theatre of war was threatening and bleak. One island after another had been buffeted into submission by the Japanese. The enemy was now marching confidently into the Philippines and surrender was inevitable. American General, Douglas MacArthur, spoke just three words as he stepped into the escape boat destined for Australia: that now famous line, “I shall return.”
It took a little over 2 ½ years for the tide of war to be turned in the Pacific, but finally, on October 20, 1944, MacArthur stood once again on Philippine soil on Leyte Island. Life magazine published the famous photograph of him walking up the beach with his adjutant, and this is what he declared: “This is the voice of freedom, General MacArthur speaking. People of the Philippines: I have returned!”
THE POWER OF A PROMISE KEPT!
A couple of times I’ve had the privilege of attending a 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Those kind of occasions are wonderful, aren’t they? To see a partnership that has stood the test of time. It’s a tribute to a promise kept.
In any area of life, when someone keeps a promise, it builds other people’s faith in their ability to keep future promises (of course, the opposite is also true: when a person breaks a promise, their word may never be believed again).
Numbers 23:19 declares that “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Our God is a God of absolute truth and faithfulness.
Jesus made the most difficult promise in the history of the world. He promised to rise again. “And the third day (the Son of Man) will rise again.”
The MOST difficult promise – BUT GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!
The angel spoke to the women at the tomb that Sunday morning and said: “He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:6)
This Resurrection Day, think about this. If Jesus has kept the most difficult promise conceivable, then we can have faith in all His other promises also.
1. The promise of eternal life. (John 5:24 … “he who hears my Word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”)
2. The promise of His presence. (Matthew 28:20 … “and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”)
3. The promise of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16 … “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth…”)
4. The promise for the Church. (Matthew 16:18 … “I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”)
5. The promise of Heaven. (John 14:2 … “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”)
6. The promise of His return. (John 14:3 … “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am you may be also.”)
Happy Resurrection Sunday. He is risen!