Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daily devotion: Promises, Promises - Genesis 21:1

Genesis 21:1   Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.

My Grandma Stuart had a saying about people who disappointed her: “He’s a great promiser, but a bad fulfiller.” She came from a small Scottish religious community who were known as Rechabites. Her direct family members were all teetotalers who abstained from drinking alcohol and smoking, which is funny because her grandfather, James Doyle, made his money manufacturing clay pipes for tobacco users. She was a strong-willed person who had a lot of gumption and determination. I guess I get most of my stubbornness and religiosity from her side of the family.

Throughout the Bible, God constantly makes promises and never fails to fulfill them. In Sarah’s case, from the events described in Genesis 21, He sees to it that she bears a child even in her old age. The same blessing is also accomplished in Luke 1, when the elderly Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist. It’s all part of God’s way of completing the work of His salvation for the people on Earth. God is not only a great promiser; He’s also a great fulfiller.

Every day, we experience the promises of God in our individual lives and across the entire Earth. His promises are both personal and global, as well as being current and historical. In Jesus Christ, we have the greatest promise of salvation that humanity has ever known. In Jesus Christ, we also have the greatest fulfiller of God’s holy words.

Question for personal reflection
When and where have I experienced God’s promises in my life?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, by Your complete obedience to God and the fulfillment of all His promises, we are given the sacred opportunity of being forgiven of our sins and eternally restored to God. We seek to dedicate our lives to You and to Your continuing ministry of salvation throughout the world. In Your Holy Name, we serve and pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is one of John’s latest chess drawings. It’s called ‘Slavic Knight’ and is a part of his new ‘One of These Knights’ art series. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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