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“The descendents of Caleb the brother of Jarahmeel were Mesha, his firstborn who was the father of Ziph, and the sons of Mareshah, the father of Hebron.”  1 Chronicles 2:42

“Now the Lord said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house; to a land I will show you.  I will make you a great nation.  I will bless you.”  Genesis 12:1

I have to admit, there are some books in the bible, some parts of The Word, that are harder to get a message from, for me, than others.  The power of the burning bush, parting of the Red Sea, a Virgin birth, the birth, life, death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are all so powerful.  But the beginning of Chronicles with chapter after chapter of hard to pronounce names and a lot of begetting, it’s tough for me to maintain focus.

Thank God Our Father Almighty that in His Mercy and Grace, He has sent the Holy Spirit to teach us that all parts of His Word, have something to teach us.  During a time when much power and property were handed down based on genealogy it would be important to know from whence you came, but what does it speak to us today?  In humble prayer and supplication, the Spirit gave to me some impactful insight into the wonderful impact on you and I today.

You see there was a man named Abram (God would change his name to Abraham).  He was the head of a somewhat successful family of shepherds and herdsman.  God came to him, called to him and made him a promise.  If you will pack up and leave where you are, leave much of your extended family and what you know, go to a far off land that I tell you is rich in all that you need; God tells Abram, if you will do this, I will make you a great nation. I will bless you.  Do know dear Sisters and Brothers, at this point, Abram had no children of his own, he had no idea about the land he was being sent to.  But Abram trusted God.  Abram answered God’s call, packed up his immediate family and one nephew (Lot) and he set off.

God kept His promise.  How do we know?  1 Chronicles.  You see that listing of genealogy traces back to Abram (and even beyond).  We can see that he, Abram, who had no offspring when God first called to him, truly became the father of a great nation.  Another part of 1 Chronicles is a breakdown of the area of the promised land each main branch, each tribe inherited.  Should you take the time to read through the names (which I highly encourage you to do), you’ll come across names that you’ll recognize.  There’s Jacob and Joseph and his brothers, Moses, David, Samuel the prophet and you might find yourself saying:  “Hey I know that one!”  We know from the Word, that not one of the people listed was perfect; they all stumbled.  However, that did not stop God from fulfilling the promise He made.

God will not go back on a promise.  His word endures for ever.  Today, you and I are or at least can be people of His promise.  “For God so loved the world that He Gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. God’s promise to us.  Also remember that Jesus Christ was and is God who came down to this earth.  So the promises He made concerning seeking and finding, the Love of His Father, giving peace, are all God promises.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, you may find yourself in a place of wilderness today.  You may feel you are in a place where God is far from you.  You may even be in a place where you doubt that God can hear you or cares for you.  You and I may have done something that we feel has separated us from Our Heavenly Father.  Our faith may waiver, but be assured of this, God’s faith never does.  God never turns from You and I even should we try to turn from Him.  God has made a promise to you and I and as long as we believe on Him, He will be faithful to that promise.  The prince of this world shows us how easily the promises of the world are broken into shambles.  He hopes to convince us that God’s promises will not last either.  Yet see in His Word, in a book like 1 Chronicles,  through names like:  Issachar and Abigail, how God is faithful to His promise.  A sacred promise is called a covenant.  There was a covenant with Abram that was shown in a sign.  There is a second, more lasting, more powerful covenant, shown through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, that God loves us.  God will keep us.  God’s face will shine upon us.  What’s in a Name?  What’s important about your and my name?  God knows it in His Heart.  God loves it and the person it represents.  God will fulfill His promise to it.  Praise be His Name.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we are in need of You.  We can not successfully navigate this world on our own.  We need a promise to hold on to, to get us through the day.  Thank you Dear Father, that You have made a promise to us.  Thank you most Merciful Father that You have seen fit to show us through Your Word just how faithful You are in keeping Your promises.  Help us to carry Your Promise in our hearts.  Being fully confident in Your Power to fulfill every aspect of the promise You have made.  In turn help us to rely solely and souly on You, forgiving us when we are weak and strengthening us so that we will be fully in You.  We pray this in the name of Your Most Precious Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen

“Be strong and of good courage……And the Lord He is One who goes before you.  He will be with you, He will not leave you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed.  Deuteronomy 31: 7-8

You and I, we are on a journey.  God has a plan for us but at times we may have chafed at his direction and wondered off.  In our eyes, the journey has been long and arduous.  We may or may not have seen God’s hands in our blessings along the way.  And now our promise land awaits.  In some cases we misinterpret this location as a place where we come to a terrestrial stop; our expectation may be that we have come to a place where no more effort is required.  A place where we sit back and it just all comes to us.  On the other hand, we may be in a position where we see the grandeur of the promise land that is promised to us and we are awestruck.  But we may also be struck with fear.  In an ironic mental twist, we say:  “This promise land is too hard for us to live in.  It is too good for us to be able to maintain.  We will never be able to obtain it and truly make it ours.  Leave us in the imperfection and wilderness where we feel comfortable.”

Moses is speaking to the people he has led and loved for more than forty years.  He is the prophet of the Most High God, who speaks directly to him.  God has specifically and clearly told Moses of His plan for His people and has given Moses words of encouragement to speak to his people.  They are about to cross over into a land promised to them, through their ancestors.  Moses has seen them turn away before.  But he knows, with Joshua as their leader, they are about to actually cross over.  So he pronounces those words from the Lord over them.  And those words are not just for them; they are for us on our journeys.  A promise fulfilled through the Life and Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

The triumph of our journey is going to take strength and courage.  Where does that come from?  The sure knowledge that God, Himself, goes before us.  We can have the sure knowledge that He is with us.  We should be filled with the confidence that His presence is not temporary for He will never leave or forsake us.  This world should hold nothing to bring us to fear or dismay.  What an all empowering, all encompassing promise.  What should be our response?  First to love.  To Love the Giver of the response, plus to love those to whom the promise is given; yes, that includes ourselves plus those who are on the journey with us.  Second, to go.  To enter the promise land, to receive the blessings given to us, to not settle for being our own gods of our own imperfect plan and existence, but to submit, in joy, and inter in to His promised land.  May it be that we grasp on to and hold on tightly to this promise.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we are so thankful and praise Your Most Holy Name for the promise that you have given to each of us.  Through Your Mercy, You have promised to go before us on our journeys, to be with us and never leave us.  We ask that You will pour out Your Spirit upon us, that we gain strength to move forward in you, and the courage to not fear or be dismayed.  We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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