Thursday, February 15, 2007

Promise and Performance

“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45)

You’ve heard the old saying, “Put your money where your mouth is.” In other words, it’s easy enough to say you can or will do something, but the question is, can you or will you actually come through? With you and me, the best intentions do not always guarantee the best of results. As Paul himself admitted, the will to do good may be present, while the ability to perform it may prove illusive (Rom.7:18). And a willing mind may be acceptable with God (2Cor.8:12), but among our fellow men and women, who cannot see our minds, it is performance that counts. With God, however, there are no limitations on either.

We read in Romans 4:21, “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” God never makes promises He cannot keep. In this case, it was His promise to Abraham that he would have a son; and it may have been some twenty-five years later before the son was born, but the promise was kept. This same God, who has the ability to save and keep us
(2Tim.1:12; Heb.7:25), has the ability to make good on every promise He makes to you and me, whether it is a general promise to all in the Body of Christ, or one that He gives to us individually as unique members of that Body. God’s performance abilities can be seen and known both intellectually, in the Word of God, and experientially, in our everyday lives. They are unquestionable.

Furthermore, the God who can keep His promises, intends to. As Paul says later on in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” In the case of you and me, not only has God promised us, He has promised Himself! “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2Tim.2:13). There is a covenant of love between us that God, if for no other reason than to protect His good name, will not default on. Nor will allow us to (Jude 24).

Mary was blessed, not only because she was chosen of God to carry His Son in her womb, but also because she believed He was able to perform what He promised. Neither you nor I can ever attain to the former, but we can stand confidently beside the blessed Virgin when it comes to the latter. We, too, can believe God and be blessed. And we have every reason to, because what He has promised, He can—and will—perform.

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