Promises of God

September 18, 2001 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, open up your Bibles with me to the book of Second Peter chapter one, Second Peter chapter one. And when you get to Second Peter chapter one, just signify by saying, "Amen." Praise the Lord. In Second Peter chapter one, the writer of this epistle is the apostle Peter.

1. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

2. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for such a time as this. Father, hide Your servant behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not Me. And Father, as I decrease, I ask that You would increase. Let the words my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Father, we thank You that the adversary is bound all over the world and forbidden to operate. We loose him from every assignment that he's on. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In verse four Peter said,

4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises...

The road to the promises of God is not an easy road. It's a road (glory to God) that's full of uncomfortability. It's full of adversity. It's full of (glory to God) a fire. It's full of flood. It's full of everything that you can imagine before you get to the promise.

As we're on this road to the promises of God, we have got to get into a place where we take on a self-examination. As we do, the Lord our God would lead us into a number of different directions.

A lot of times we believe and we think that self-examination is due to the sin that's in our lives. But He won't always cause us to examine ourselves because of sin in our lives. He'll cause us to examine ourselves to see if we are really (glory to God) ready and willing to do what it takes to get to the promises of God.

On the road to the promises of God, through all the hardships that are encountered on this road, it will cause us to take a look at how we view God. It will cause us to take a look at how we think about God.

A lot of us (glory to God) as we're on this road, we think that God is unjust. We think that God is unfair. We think that God (glory to God) is somebody that's a respecter of persons. We think that God is a hard taskmaster. But understand this: if you are going to get the promises that were promised to you, you're going to have to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

See, we've been going through some things because we're trying to obtain the promise. You see, our conversation is in heaven. Our communion is in heaven. And what Satan is trying to do is cut us off from our communion and our conversation. If he can cut us off from our communion and our conversation (glory to God), he'll cause us to look down instead of looking up.

With the promises there will be trials and there will be tribulations. Listen. We believe that we have a work to do for God. But the Lord spoke to me today and told me to tell His people to work while it's day, for the night is coming when no man can work.

You see, God promised you that you were going to do something for Him. But see, the apostle Paul had a revelation that he counted it a privilege and an honor to be called into the ministry. Nobody had to drag him into the... You don't hear me. Nobody had to pull his teeth to get him to do what God called him to do. He was faithful (glory to God) to what God said.

If you're going to get to the promises, you're going to have to endure. He's preparing us. He's nurturing us. He's a loving Father. And he chastens those that He loves.

You see, some of us are in a position where we're being chastened. We don't understand exactly what's going on. But there's adversity in our lives. God is chastening us. He's trying to get us to see what He sees. He's trying to get us in the position to where we think what He things. He's chastening us (glory to God) to put us in position to receive the promise.

Don't deny what you've been feeling. Because many of us have been in a position of denial. We've been trying to deny the way that we feel instead of being honest with God about the way that we feel and saying to ourselves and to God, "If, God, my feelings don't line up with You, then I need You to help me change the way I feel." But a lot of us have been in denial. And we think that we're pressing into something glorious, but we're well off course.

If I'm going to reach the promises of God, I must stay focused. I must stay focused. No matter what's going on around me, I must be a focused person. I must not be a person that sleeps and slumbers. I must be a focused person. I must focus on who He is and what He's doing. Glory to God. I must be focused.

I must believe. I must have faith. I must stay in the Word. I must stay in prayer. I must be in His will in order to receive the promises.

You see, many of us want to receive the promises, but we don't want to travel the road to the promise. Who am I talking to? You see, just like Ruth...

Ruth gleaned off of Boaz's field, didn't she? What we want to try to do is glean off of somebody else's field. We want to take hold of what somebody else got. We want somebody else's promises. We don't want to travel their road that they traveled. We just want it to come to us.

Many people want T. D. Jakes' ministry, but they don't want to travel the road he traveled. Oh, you don't hear me today.

The promises do not come without a cost. There's a cost. I remember when I played football, the coach used to always say, "You got to pay the cost."

"What did you mean by that, coach?"

"You got to sweat sometimes." You got to be in pain sometimes, Brother Stuart. You got to go into that thing with all that you have, even when you don't feel like going into that think with all you got. The promises are not without a cost.

Let me tell you something. When a person doesn't pay for something, they don't care about it. They'll trample it up under their feet. You don't hear me. That's why He told the disciples to call for faithful men. Why? Because if He didn't call faithful men, the men that he called would trample the Gospel up under their feet.

See, Jesus paid the price to get these promises to us. That's why He's not going to give His Anointing to just anybody. And those that He gave it to and don't do right by it, they're going to pay a cost at that last day. Oh, I feel Jesus.

The promises of God, they are not without a cost. We're going to have to pay the price in order to receive these promises. We're going to have to walk through the fire and through the flood in order to receive these promises. We're going to have to endure in order to receive the promises of God.

Adversity, you know what it would do? It will reveal to us our relationship with material things. Instead of valuing God and people, we value (glory to God) more our material possessions.

We value those things that are tangible instead of those things that are intangible. We value those things that are unseen, I mean, excuse me, seen more than those things that are unseen. We value those things that are temporal more than those things that are eternal.

We will work so hard for our bosses to get a promotion, but we'll give God as least as we can give Him, and want to be raised up to the top of the ceiling.

Listen. Many people I talk to, they believe that they have something that God has called them to do, and that it's something great. I've been prophesied to since I got saved, "You are going to be a powerful man of God. You're going to be a powerful prophet of God. You're going to travel all over. You're going to travel overseas. You are anointed and you are appointed."

Let me tell you something. It did not come without a cost, without a price. Every level that God took me to was with a cost. He's speaking. You want it? Prove it. Don't just say you want it. Prove it. Prove it.

"Prove it to you, pastor?"

No, prove it to the Lord. You want to be anointed? Prove it. You want a ministry? Prove it. Because who is going to give you your own if you're not faithful over another man's? Prove it. Prove it.

Some of us will watch over our own stuff, and we'll hover over it and guard it like this, and dare you to come around it. Get somebody else's, and they'll handle it like it's nothing. Oh, you don't hear me.

For everything we sow we are going to reap. Let me tell you something. The Lord is just placing this in my spirit. Let me tell you all something. When I got saved and became a preacher, I was the first one at the church, cleaning the church, unlocking the door, praying, praise and worship, stayed until everybody else was gone. Locked up. Cleaned up. Did everything I could possibly do, everything.

It wasn't a question (you all don't hear me tonight) of whether or not God was going to be first. It wasn't a question. Everything else was secondary. Everything. Secondary. My job needed me to work overtime. They put mandatory six days on there. Don't you know I got out of it? Oh, you don't hear me.

Listen. Prove it. You want the promises? Prove it. You want the ministry? Prove it. Prove it.

Sometimes in our adversity, in our tribulation, it'll bring us back to the place where we have a sense of value about the things of God. You remember the prodigal son? The Bible said when he came to himself, he remembered what it was like at his father's house.

He left his father's house with more than you can imagine. His father didn't even argue with him. He came to his father and said, "Give me the portion that belongs to me."

See, many of us are saying to the Lord, "Give me the portion that belongs to me."

And He's saying, "Okay. I'm going to give it to you. But what you going to do to keep it?"

The Bible said he went out and wasted all of his portion, his belongings, with riotous living. Don't you know that this Anointing, you can go out with, and waste it with riotous living, doing anything and everything to get glory? Oh, you don't hear me. Performing for people, that people would know our name. Jesus made Himself of no reputation. And God gave Him a Name that's above every name.

We're talking about a couple of things in this message, because this is how the Lord is leading me. I don't know why He's leading me like this, but this is how He's leading me.

Sometimes we'll get more than our portion. If we see somebody else got something, we want it. Oh, you don't hear me. Did God say you could have it, or you just want it? See, until God tells you that you can have something, just let it be a desire. Oh, I feel Jesus. The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches will choke the Word out.

When we talk about the promises of God and that road that we travel to get there, one thing it will reveal to us is our unwillingness to forgive each other. Those who receive forgiveness through Christ are expected to forgive others.

In Luke sixteen, verse one through eight the steward was unjust, but he was shrewd with his forgiveness of the debts. When we forgive those that have wronged us, we place ourselves in a position to receive forgiveness.

Many of us are in debt, and many of us have people that are in debt to us. But we don't forgive them their debt, but we want the Lord to help us to... Oh, you don't hear me.

Adversity will show us our real heart. It will show us how we really are. Even though a lot of times we don't want to accept how we are. We don't want to believe how we are. But it will show us how we really are.

To fail to forgive puts us in a position of wanting to have revenge. In Luke six and thirty-seven... Come on. Wave your hands to Jesus with me. In Luke six and thirty-seven it says,

37. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged...

But this one says a little bit more than the one that was over in John. It says,

37. ...condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

And then it goes on to,

38. Give, and it shall be given unto you;

Wait a minute. "What are you saying?" This is a part of receiving the promises of God. When I walk in Luke six, thirty-seven, then as I follow the principle of Luke six, thirty-eight, then I will be blessed. But if I don't follow Luke six, thirty-seven first, but even though I'm operating in Luke six, thirty-eight, I'm still stopping the promises of God.

In Colossians three and thirteen, it says, "If any man, anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so ye also must do."

There are many of us in the body of Christ, not just here, but we're holding things against people that we need to let go. And once we let it go, we will allow the flood gates to open up on us with the promises of God.

Many of us are waiting for a blessing. And God said there would be a blessing. But the blessing has been dammed up because of the condition of our hearts. If we would only put ourselves in someone else's position sometime, then it would cause us to see it not just from our side but from their side.

The promises of God will come to us through our trials and through our tribulations.

Examine yourself tonight. If you are holding something in your heart against somebody, then let it go. And then when it's time to give, give your offering. And what you're going to do is start to move things in the Spirit. And the promises of God are going to begin to flow to you. (Tongues.)

But if you're holding something against somebody, I don't care how much you give in an offering, you're not going to get a return on it. People of God, if I'm jealous of my brother, no matter what I'm sowing in the offering, I'm not going to get a return on it. Do you hear what I'm saying?

If I'm upset with my wife, no matter what I give in the offering, I'm not going to get a return off of it until I get it right. If I'm living in sin, no matter what I sow in the offering, until I repent and go and sin no more, then I'm not going to get the return that I'm looking for. Listen. (Tongues.)

There are promises that have been promised to us, so many promises. But we have to examine why these promises have not come. We have to examine why we pay our tithes, but we still don't have enough to pay our bills. There's a reason. God is true. Let every man be a liar.

And then you look next door. Somebody else is paying their tithes, and they're being blessed. Examine yourself. Examine your atmosphere. Examine how you are, so that the promises of God won't be dammed up in your life.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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