Thursday, March 3, 2016

The God Who Can

Many times the Bible uses what some scholars call the 'prophetic tense.'

"I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins." - Isaiah 43:25 ESV

The cross had not happened yet in Isaiah's day. The writer speaks of something in the past tense that has not happened yet.

" 'I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish, who confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the counsel of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, 'She shall be inhabited,' and of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be built, and I will raise up their ruins'; who says to the deep, 'Be dry; I will dry up your rivers'; who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose'; saying of Jerusalem, 'She shall be built,' and of the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.' " - Isaiah 44:22-28 ESV

You can say that this prophetic tense is based on foreknowledge and it is but there is also a sense of God's competence and faithfulness.

"The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation," - 2 Samuel 22:47 ESV

"The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble." - Psalm 37:39 ESV

"Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death." - Psalm 68:20 ESV

Salvation is 'of the Lord'.

My God is a God who gets things done. That is comforting to me this morning. Salvation from Hell and citizenship in Heaven are things that are utterly beyond me in some ways but there are very real things to face in the coming days and years.

I want my niece and nephew to to have safe and happy lives. I want my friend to find a good place to live. I want to see some men go forward in their calling and stop playing around and wasting time. I want health and comfort for people. I want to see evil momentum halted and reversed in the place where I live. I want a good job in a city that doesn't have a Church from my particular ministry so that a Church can be planted in that place.

I can't buy a ticket to Heaven. That is beyond me. God had to orchestrate that or it wouldn't have happened. I can buy tickets to other places but these things I want are still impossible for me. I can take steps but I can't make things like that happen. God must do them.

Fortunately I have a sovereign saving God. Jesus touched people and made them whole. He said that He came to be a ransom for many and He did it. He got it done. He didn't fail.

"...for the righteous falls seven times and rises again..." - Proverbs 24:16a ESV

Why does this righteous person get up? He or she does because they have 'right standing' with the God who gets things done.

It is easy to look at ourselves and say, 'Look at me. I can't.'

Why should that matter? I can't get to Heaven either. I wouldn't know where to start to even find Heaven. God is going to get me there.

"The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit." - James 5:16b-18 ESV

My plan today is to be a good steward of what I have been given and to pray to the God who gets things done and believe that He will be faithful far beyond my effort.


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