Sitting outside the hotel room where we stayed in Wisconsin I watched a truck drive by that had a huge slogan on the trailer that read, “Helping the World Keep Promises”. That is a great attention getter. There is something evocative about watching an 18 wheeler going around the block in circles obviously looking for someplace to make a delivery and wondering what promise might not be kept if the driver gets lost.
I was so struck by the motto that I googled it and found out it is the old dominion freight company. What a marvelous phrase. “Helping the World keep promises”.
I think of all the promises made an implied in the Scriptures. And implied promise not to eat a certain kind of fruit. And implied promise to fear love and trust in God above all things. And implied promise to hear Gods word and respond to it as a loved creature, and all the imply promises that went with that promise. A promise
made before crossing into the promised land that as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Promises of faithfulness, and fidelity, and hope all broken. We made promises as pastors. To preach the word in season and out of season, to take care of the flock over which we see, and to rightly divide the word of truth.
Great and good promises that we often don’t keep and for which we will make excuses.
I had intended to extol the vocation of pastor by using the model of the freight company. We deliver the freight. The freight is the word of God and we deliver it in order that the world might keep promises. But that is not right. We deliver the freight and the freight is promises. Promises that God makes and God always keeps. A promise to put flesh on a promise.
A promise that the Promise would take on Himself the sins of the whole world. A promise that His promise will remove our sins by his blood, and a promise that in His promise, all his other promises are yes and amen.
And God makes a promise to frail and shambolic folks like us, that when we preach his word, he promises, his word will not return to him empty, but it will accomplish what he purposes. And what he purposes is that through that word we can keep our promises. Not through threats or compulsion, not through coercion or for payment, but because we are part of the family. The family of the forgiven whose sins have been removed by the blood of Jesus. We keep the promises because God’s promises, is very great and precious promises, which are all yes and amen in Jesus, allow us to participate in his nature, be a part of his family,and live forever in righteousness, and innocence, and blessedness. This is most certainly true.
2 Peter 1: 1-4
Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.