Pat Kinner introduced students in Annapolis’ School of Grammar to a study called “The Promises of God” at the first chapel service of the new school year. Students were encouraged to view God’s promises as presents. Psalm 145:9 says “The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.” This is a promise about God’s character. Annapolis students were encouraged to talk at home with their parents about how God has been good to them. Here is a summary text of that message:
We are going to talk about two words that start with the letter P this morning. Can you guess the first one? Present—That’s right. Who likes to receive presents? I think you all know what a present is, so keep in mind that I am going to be talking about presents in just a few minutes.
The other word that starts with a “P” is promise. We are going to spend the next several weeks talking about the promises of God. So let’s talk about what we mean by a promise. A promise is when a person says, I will do something for sure. Or I will not do something for sure. So, if your mom says “I will take you to out to get a treat after after school…that’s a promise. She is saying she will do something. Or maybe your teacher says, “I am going to give a practice test right now, but I am not going to record the grade, because I want to give you extra time to study. Your teacher is making a promise—she will do something (give you a practice test) but she also will not do something (record the grade).
A promise is when a person says she will not do something and she really means it. She is not just thinking about it. She has decided to do it. You can count on it. To make a promise is a serious thing. It is not pretend. It is for sure, so anyone who makes a promise should really mean it when they make that promise.
The Bible is full of God’s promises–things that God says he will do or not do. Do you think you can count on God’s promises for sure?Yes! God always means what He says. And He has made many wonderful promises in the Bible that you can count on.
Do you remember that I said I was going to talk about presents? Well, God’s promises are likes presents to us. God is good and gracious, and He has given us promises of blessings—of many good things. They are like wonderful presents and each week as we talk about God’s promises, we should remember that we are opening up a gift from God when we read about a promise from him.
The verse that I read for the Call to Worship before we sang our song is a promise
“The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
Sometimes promises in the Bible are just for some people, and sometimes promises in the Bible are for everyone. This verse is a promise that the Lord is good to ALL. Does that mean that the Lord is good to all the Kindergarten students? To Mrs. Domengeaux & Mrs. Arnold? Is the Lord good to the 3rd graders? Is the Lord good to Mr. Corkill? Is the Lord good to the 6th graders? Yes!
What about when we do something wrong? Did that Bible verse say the Lord is good only to kids who are doing the right thing? Only to the ones who got a 100 on their test? Only to the ones who ran the fastest in PE? Only to the ones who obeyed? No! It says the Lord is good to all. Of course, it is important to study and do your best, to try your best in whatever you do, and of course it is right to obey—because God commands us to—but the promise in the Bible in the verse is that God is good to all and that his tender mercies are over all his works (us).
I mentioned earlier that when God promises something, it is like he is giving us a present. Does anyone like to get presents? Of course we all do! The wonderful thing about presents is that you don’t earn them. When your parents give you presents for your birthday, they give them to you because they love you–not because you did something to deserve the presents. So the promise that God is good to all is a like a present—it is something God promises because of who He is—not because of who we are.
God’s promises are the very best kinds of presents. Not only are they wonderful, but they don’t break or ever wear out. God’s promises last forever. Each week in chapel, we are going to discover a promise from God and learn about it, and receive it like we are getting a present from God. Here is a Bible verse for us to remember as we talk about God’s gift of His wonderful promises to us.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17
Think about what this verse is saying. It tells us that God’s gifts are good and perfect. It also says there is no variation (which means no change) and no shadow of turning. In other words, if God says he is going to do something–is he going to change his mind? No! God’s gifts–his promises to us will never change.
As we close today I want you to remember three things:
- God makes promises to us that you can count on
- One of those promises is The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.
- God’s promises are like presents– Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17