The Promise in our Time

Believe the Promise
Trust God to fulfill it in and through your life

  • Learn to listen to God. This will mean reading God’s word and praying every day. I knew in theory how to do this, but I did not make it a habit until a friend met with me every morning for two weeks. During those fourteen days I caught something that could not be taught – that a living relationship with God is possible.
  • Obey God promptly. Abraham was the champion at this. How many times does the account start, “Early the next morning Abraham...”?
  • Trust God fully & tenaciously. When it is not all clear, through the ups and downs, when nothing appears to be happening. Some of my best days start the worst.
 
It’s All About Generations
It’s a big world out there. God wants Promise progeny all over the place. The original charge was never rescinded, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it...”
 
Multiplication is powerful. The picture above is a portion of the diagram of the generations of the Tarvin family. They are all descended from Richard Tarvin, who immigrated from England in 1708 and settled in Maryland. It is incredibly detailed and holds hundreds upon hundreds of names. I love that it’s orientation looks forward into descendants, not backwards into ancestry. Those descendants now number in the thousands and live in every state of the US.
 
Years ago the Lord impressed on me Isaiah 66:22 as a promise:
“For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,” declares the Lord, “So your offspring and your name will endure.”
 
I understood at the time that this was not simply talking about children by birth. It couldn’t, because these children were clearly to last forever. The Promise now tells us the rest of the story. If we bless and teach others to follow God, they will share in the inheritance of Abraham.
 
How do we invest in spiritual generations?
  • Disciple others. Abraham was instructed to train his children and future family to observe God’s way of life…” Jesus told his disciples, make disciples of all the nations… teaching them to observe all that I commanded you….”
  • Think multiple generations. Paul encouraged Timothy in this: “Pass on what you heard from me… to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others.”
  • Just to be clear – discipleship is not primarily a program or content. It is the impartation of life by one-to-one investment.
 
Live the Mission in Everything You Do
  • No matter what your station or calling in life, you are a carrier of the Promise. After all, what are you and I ever going to do that is bigger than what God has already committed and revealed himself to be doing?
  • Do what God has given you to do with a full awareness that when you work, God is already there, working. No matter what your position, faithful work will be rewarded. If it is quality, it will be curated into the eternal living museum.
  • Know for certain that no matter what you encounter, God is there with you. A work assignment, a challenge, a turn in life, a loss, a crisis – He sees it all and will be with you.
  • Seeking to bring value to others is an active participation in and expression of the Promise – and the Gospel. This approach offers us thousands of ways to make relational connection and win a hearing. If my intent instead is to get to the message and satisfy my proclamation impulse, there are only a few ways to proceed, and they will often truncate the generational outcome.
  • Business as Mission makes sense. If you are honest and have integrity, then your business dealings have the goal of being a win-win. (If you are dishonest and prey on others, your dealings are win-lose, which is criminal.) The Promise Mission is to be a blessing, a win-win. See my next blog post for a picture of what this looks like.
  • You don’t have to please people. In fact, you can’t.
 
Invest in Mentoring
  • Let God be your mentor. He has already offered, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
  • Seek mentors. You’re never too old. A mentor is a trusted advisor who has trod the path you intend to walk. Mentorship at it’s best offers wisdom, values and life patterns.
  • Develop the qualities of an ideal mentee. Don’t know where to start? Google “qualities of a good mentee.”
  • Be a mentor for others. All you have to be is one step ahead of the person you are guiding. If you have been mentored, you will know how. You will get more out of this than you give – it is a surprising source of learning and joy.
 
The Promise in our lives can be like the operating system on our computer. Occasionally it needs a reboot. It doesn’t take us back to the beginning – it picks us up at the last point in our journey.
 
Key Questions for a Reboot
How am I trusting God regarding the Promise today?
Who am I investing in through personal discipleship?
In what way am I living out the Mission these days?
Where would mentoring make a difference?

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