Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 11 January 2017

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.  Hebrews 6, verse 18.

Today’s verse is for Emma Marie, my grand-daughter, who will come into the world tomorrow.

The oath and the promise:   they’re the two unchangeable things mentioned in verse 18.  We need those things every day of our lives to remind us that God is more powerful than the world in which we live.  God isn’t the author of evil for evil is the absence of God.   Wherever we reject God and choose sin, we push God out and evil moves in.  The constant struggle of every creature since the Fall has been to embrace God again in a world where we have rejected Him.   He’s been here all along, working and struggling with us.   He provides for us daily in His grace, even when we reject Him.  We who have fled Him constantly need to be reminded that He’s still here, that He’s still God, and that He still loves us and desires for us to be with Him.

I’m hoping baby Emma knows this from the minute she’s born tomorrow.

Just this morning my wife and I were discussing a medical bill we’re appealing.   Our daughter, Emma’s mom, went to a doctor 7 months ago.   Samantha had medical issues long before Emma was conceived and it was long thought she would never be able to have children.   Early on in the pregnancy, (understandably) she had much pain and difficulty.   The doctor she saw at the time insisted the child wouldn’t be viable and that Sammie must have an abortion.  Not accepting this, Sam sought out another doctor who pronounced the first to be a quack and set her on course to have a typical pregnancy.   To date, Emma has survived to full term and, by every indication, should be born normal and healthy tomorrow.

It wouldn’t have been possible if God had not promised to be with her every minute of every day.   The world wanted the baby to be murdered; God said there was another path.   A stretch of logic?   Perhaps, but the proof is in the life, how light and life turns back darkness and death every time.   It always has and always will because God promised it to be so.

God didn’t have to promise Abraham that He would make a great nation of his family.   God didn’t have to promise Abraham that, through his family, all mankind would be redeemed.   God didn’t have to save the men He’d created because He’d already wiped out mankind once in a great flood.   But He did.   It was love that made God promise these things because God is all love.   He is all love, peace, justice, knowledge, and truth.  God wanted to share these with people He created to be in harmony with Himself, so He divined the way to make things right again.   That way, that path, traveled through Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus of Nazareth all the way to Calvary.   God didn’t have to promise these things, but He did, and He made an oath to see them through.   And then He did that as well.

Ever since that first Easter Sunday, God has reminded us of His promise with each new sunrise.   Sure, in a world where evil happens, it is sometimes tough to remember that God is still in control here.   He’s still at work, still active, still in love with we crazy people with a crazy love we can only imitate at best.   Yet He’s still here and the promise is both fulfilled and still in effect.  Every day when we awaken we are already knee-deep in God’s grace, having lived through a night and risen to the light of a fresh opportunity.   Every day we are given another chance to use our God-given talents in whatever ways we will.   Every day we get to love, and to share love, and to realize that love is what holds the universe together.   Every day we get to see, once again, how all these things are from God, and of God, and about God, and that we, His people, are beneficiaries – and benefactors – of them.   God loves us because He’s God.  He’s always God, always here, always involved in our lives, and always waiting for our last day, when we get to go home to be with Him.

I pray Emma Marie Tolliver learns these things.   My wife and I, and our family, will do our part to teach her.   We’re thankful that we get to do this, and thankful to be part of our new little girl’s life that begins in just a few short hours.

For further reading:   Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 3:6.

Lord, thank You for Your promise and Your oath.   Bless this new child and all new children.   Love her, let her birth be healthy, and help us to love, teach, and guide her all the days of her life.   May it all be to Your glory.

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