This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
Promise appears more than 150 times in the Bible. There may be more promises than that as a promise can be made without using the word. Swearing an oath is a way of making a very strong promise and a covenant is an agreement where both sides make promises.
God made promises to people throughout the Old Testament : Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Joseph, Moses and more. Jesus Christ made promises which are recorded in the New Testament.
To jump to the story A promise fulfilled click here.
The birth of Isaac fulfilled God’s promise. Genesis 21:1
When Joseph was about to die he reminded his family of God’s promise of a land for them to live in. Genesis 50:24
Joshua led the people into the land God had promised them. When he was about to die he reminded the people of God’s promises and the covenant, which required the people to obey God. Joshua 23:15
In King David’s psalm of praise when the Ark of the Covenant was installed in Jerusalem, he reminded God of his promises to him and his house. David asked him to bring them about so that God’s name would be great for ever. 2 Samuel 7:25 (Read more in my story for the letter N.)
The psalmist reminded God of his promise: ‘Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live’ Psalm 119:116
The promise comes by faith. Abraham is the father of all believers Romans 4:16
The children of promise are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. Romans 9:8
All God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ 2 Corinthians 1:20
Through Jesus Christ the promises made to Abraham are extended to all nations. Galatians 3:14
The promised Holy Spirit marks believers Ephesians 1:13
After waiting patiently Abraham received what had been promised Hebrews 6:15
God is faithful to his promises Hebrews 10:23
In his second letter Peter teaches about the practical effect of God’s promises for believers 2 Peter 1:4
Peter explains why Jesus has not returned as soon as the early disciples expected 2 Peter 3:9
Reminder of God’s promise of eternal life 1 John 2:25
A promise fulfilled
It was strange after three years of travelling around with Jesus that he was no longer with us. The last few weeks had been a real roller-coaster. First there were Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. Then his resurrection, which should not really have surprised us after all he had said and done. After that we could never be sure when we’d see him, but we eleven disciples were all together when he took us out towards Bethany and ascended into heaven.
We obeyed his instructions to wait for the promised Strengthener. We wondered how we’d be able to recognise that He had arrived, but in the event there was no mistaking Him.
It was the Day of Pentecost, which we had always celebrated. It was an important festival. Crowds of people from outside Jerusalem had arrived to join in the worship. We had gathered together. Suddenly there was a sound like wind blowing strongly, but it was a calm day. Then we saw what looked like flames, which separated and came to rest on each of us. We opened our mouths to speak and found that we were able to speak in languages we had not learned. It was power from on high!
The people around us were confused. Some said we were drunk. Others heard us speaking about the wonders of God in their native languages.
Peter was always the first to speak or act. He stood up and spoke to the crowd.
First he rejected the claim that we were drunk. It was early in the morning. Then he started to quote passages of scripture. He began with the prophet Joel, speaking about everyone receiving God’s Spirit before prophesying and seeing visions. It was heady stuff.
He reminded them about Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension, comparing him with King David, who remained in his tomb.
He went so far as to tell the people that they had been responsible for Jesus’ death. Many repented.
By the power of the Spirit over three thousand people believed the good news that day.