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Our Promises vs. God's Promises

God's Promises Youth Sermons God's Faithfulness

Contributed By: Chris Huff | Date Posted: 2021-12-13

Scripture: Galatians 3:16 ; Genesis 3:15

Author: Chris Huff
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ILLUSTRATION

Several years ago, I was a youth minister at a church in Kentucky. I was only on staff at that church about a year and a half, but I learned a ton about ministry and people during that short time. One of the things that I learned was to over communicate everything and make sure you understand what people mean by their promises.

Our youth group was growing. I think one of the best things we did with the youth was encourage them to memorize Scripture. One of the ways we encouraged them was through group incentives. When they memorized so many verses as a group, they could pick which incentive they earned. So they earned things like lock-ins, pizza parties, and one time, they earned a trip to an amusement park.

In fact, a parent of one of the youth offered to pay for the trip to the amusement park for all the youth. And my wife and I were like, “That’s awesome! That’s so generous of you! Thank you so much!” So we got all the youth excited about memorizing Scripture, and they were bringing their friends to church, and we had a huge group of kids that were ready to go to the amusement park!

But then when it came time to go, and we told the parent how many tickets to buy, she was shocked. I guess she didn’t realize how many youth and their friends had been coming to youth group on Wednesday nights, and she clarified that she meant that she only wanted to pay for the youth who have been coming regularly on Sunday mornings. I mean, that was still generous of her, but at that point we had to figure out how we were going to pay for the other half of the youth to go, because we had promised them all a free trip to the amusement park!

APPLICATION

I learned from that incident to over-communicate. When we thought we could count on a huge, generous promise, when it was clarified, it wasn’t nearly as good as we had thought.

Now, that tends to happen with people. We make big promises, but sometimes we have to apologize and clarify what we meant by our promises.

But here’s the thing, God never needs to apologize. And when He clarifies His promises, they always get better rather than worse. So we can put all our hope in His promises, knowing that His promise will not disappoint.

In Genesis 3:15, God first promised that the "offspring of the woman" would bruise the head of the serpent. In Genesis 12:1-7, we learn that the offspring of Abraham would bless the whole world. And in Galatians 3:16, we learn that this "offspring" is Jesus. As per God's modus operandi, the promise just got better and better! 

The Lifetime Pass That Was Never Used

God's Promises Faith Blessings/Blessedness

Source: Toronto Ward Museum

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2019-10-11

Scripture: Proverbs 16:20 ; Matthew 7:24

Author: Howard Harden
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ILLUSTRATION

The Toronto Ward Museum tells us the story of a nineteenth-century man named Isapo Muxika. He is more commonly known as Crowfoot. He was the chief of the Siksika Indian tribe. He was known for his peaceful relations with Canada during a time of great violence.

When the Canadian Pacific Railroad was being built and they needed to build part of it on his land, the Canadian government approached Crowfoot with an offer. They said, “If you will give us the land we need for the railroad, you can ride it whenever and wherever you want.” 

So they made a deal. They finished the Canadian Pacific Railroad and Crowfoot received a lifetime pass. It was put in a beautiful case. Crowfoot is said to have carried that case around his neck for the rest of his life. It entitled him to go wherever he wanted where the railroad could take him.

There was just one problem. As far as we know, Crowfoot never stepped foot on that train. He had the right to travel anywhere he wanted, but he never availed himself of that right.

APPLICATION

There are a lot of Christians like Crowfoot; they possess God’s promises; they quote them; they frame them; they hang them on their walls; they even post them on social media, but they never actually make use of them.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, “God never gives us a promise he does not intend for us to use.” So what should you and I do? Read them, get to know them, and then apply those promises which speak to your current condition, whatever that condition might be.

"Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord" (Proverbs 16:20). 

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Matthew 7:24). 

The Generous Thief

God's Promises Death Resurrection

Source: The Defiance Crescent News, Feb. 19, 1985

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2019-05-01

Scripture: John 11:25 ; Job 1:21

Author: Stephen Kingsley
7

ILLUSTRATION

Back in the 80s, I worked for a kind-hearted man who owned a small sign shop. He was far from the most successful businessman I'd ever met, but he treated his customers with respect and fairness. I remember how downhearted he was when he told me his pickup had been stolen. A couple of months later, the truck was returned but in a very unusual way. The story, which made national news, was featured by Paul Harvey.

Here's how it appeared in the local paper:

DEWITT, Mich. (UPI) -- Kelly Terrell says the person who stole his 1975 Chevrolet pickup truck can take it again "any time he wants to." That's because Terrell, whose truck was taken from a shopping mall in December, got the vehicle back Sunday --with a fresh coat of paint and a number of other repairs. Terrell told police Monday he had received a call from a stranger who lectured him about his truck's poor condition. The stranger then told Terrelll he could find the pickup in the parking lot where it had been stolen.

When Terrel arrived at the lot, he found his truck and a three-page list of repairs made by the thief. In addition to sanding and painting the pickup, the thief performed bodywork and made a number of mechanical repairs. 'It is not a practical joke,' Terrell said. 'I have no idea who the man is. It is all very strange, but that man can steal my vehicle any time he wants to.'

APPLICATION

The Bible tells us that God gives but He also takes away (Job 1:21).  Our health, our earthly treasures, and even our life will all one day be taken. But there's nothing that God takes away that He will not return to us, only in much better shape than it was before!

"Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live" (John 11:25, ESV). 

Illustration Exchange

The Shadow Of Things To Come

Prophecy Feasts of Israel God's Promises

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-08-23

Scripture: Colossians 2:17

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Life Can Change In a Feline Flash

God's Promises Eternal Security Circumstances

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-01-30

Scripture: Matthew 6:20 ; 2 Timothy 1:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Heaven Series--Surprise #4: A Room Prepared Just For You!

Heaven Series God's Provision God's Promises

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-12-24

Scripture: Psalms 23:6 ; Luke 24:39

Author: Mitchell Dillon
9

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One Strange Looking Carrot

God's Promises Heaven Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-08-17

Scripture: Matthew 19:29 ; Revelation 21:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
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God Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

Trials God's Promises Grace

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-03-24

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:13 ; 2 Corinthians 12:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Our Predetermined Destiny

God's Sovereignty Prophecy God's Promises

Contributed By: Louis Harrison | Date Posted: 2016-12-12

Scripture: Revelation 21:5

Author: Louis Harrison
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Churches Offer A Money Back Guarantee

Giving God's Promises Testing God

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-10-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
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