Listen to this:”Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.” (Isaiah 46:9). Do you hear what God is saying? He wants us to remember what He has done in the past. Why does He want us to live in the past? He doesn’t want us to live in the past. He wants us to reflect on the past to be encouraged today. In other words if God was faithful yesterday, He is trustworthy today and will be trustworthy tomorrow.
Now let’s take this a step or two further. Paul said in Titus 2:11, “The grace of God has appeared.” In John’s Gospel we read that Jesus was “full of grace and truth.” The grace that God promised in the past has come in the person of Jesus Christ. John Piper, in his book Future Grace (Multnomah Publishers, Inc. and Inter-Varsity Press) says this: “Christ came to guarantee that the promises of the Old Testament would indeed come true. He came for the sake of future grace. From the time of Christ onwards, every look back should include a look to Jesus. Without him there would be no future grace.”
Is it all about Jesus? Yes, it is. Let me continue, please. Paul writing a letter of reconciliation to the saints in Corinth says this: “As many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes” (II Corinthians 1:20). Again Piper says (in regards to what Paul is saying in the text), “’Have you said yes to all the future grace of God’s Yes to you in Christ? Is there any of God’s Yes to which you are saying, ‘No,’ or ‘Maybe,’ or, ‘Not now’?’ This text begs for immediate and radical response. It calls us to cry out to God, ‘I consecrate myself to forsake the ‘No’ and the ‘Maybe’ and the ‘Not Now’ of my unbelief. And I say ‘Yes’ to every future grace of every promise in Yes to me.’”
Every one without Christ as Savior comes to God through Christ. The sinner brings all his or her needs and finds God the Father coming to him or her in Christ Jesus with all His goodness promised to His children. Jesus is the mediator between God and man. In Christ I lay down my needs. And in Christ I pick up my blessings that God has for me, that God wants me to have. Everything that God has promised you and me for today and tomorrow is found in Christ, God’s revealed Grace and Glory to us.
Now in light of this information, consider the power of “AMEN!” To say “Amen” at the promises of God is to affirm them. It is to say, “Yes! And so let it be.” So the promises of God are in Christ “Yes and Amen,” right? That’s what the Bible says, and it doesn’t lie. When we go to praying in the name of Jesus, we go to where the “Yes” is. God says, in effect, “Yes, I will answer you. Call on me. Prove me faithful. Watch me bless you.” When we conclude our pray with “Amen!” we are affirming God’s Glory. We are affirming by oath, as it were, “God you will do this for your Glory’s sake. God you will Glorify the name of Jesus. God you want to manifest your Glory through us by blessing us…” We are going to God through Jesus empty, devoid of resources, without strength, weak and frail but, nevertheless, trusting that God will fill us with His Holy Spirit, grant us His everlasting resources, strengthen our hearts, and give us grace, more grace and all grace sufficient to lift us up. Glory to God! (I wish I could attach the shout of praise).
Let me conclude with these final words from Pastor Piper: “When we pray, we say Amen to God through Christ, because God has said Amen to all his promises in Christ. Prayer is the confident plea for God to make good on his promises of future grace for Christ’s sake. Prayer links our faith in future grace with the foundation of it all, Jesus Christ.” So, it really is all about Jesus. Isn’t it?
Keep the faith. Stay the course. Jesus is on His way for you. A place has been already prepared for you. Pastor T.—by grace.