2022: A Year of Promise
Therefore, say to the Israelites: “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” EXODUS 6:6-7
Part of living this human existence on Earth means that every so often (and maybe it seems like more often than not) we experience broken promises. There have been so many times over the years where I thought things were going to happen, and they just didn’t. We could be tempted to not have faith in anything because of all of our unmet expectations, but this experience has caused me to seek and go after the promises of God because they are not dependent on the systems of this world.
There are four promises that God gave His people in this passage of scripture, and these are the four promises the Israelites would remind themselves of each time they observed Passover. These are also the four promises Jesus fulfilled through His life, death, and resurrection. We are going to take hold of these promises as His people in 2022.
We are going to take hold of these promises as His people in 2022.
PROMISE 1: GOD IS OUR SALVATION.
Maybe you find yourself in a spot where you need help or you know someone else who does. Words like trapped, lost, dirty, and broken come to mind. Jesus is our Savior, and He first saves us from the curse of sin that separates us from God. But that’s not the only way He saves us. He is described as the Good Shepherd who goes and looks for His lost sheep. It doesn’t matter if you ran on purpose or on accident, our Savior is pursuing you. God saves you to be known by Him and to know Him. He saves you to love you.
PROMISE 2: GOD WILL FREE YOU FROM BEING ENSLAVED.
We are saved. So many of us know God and love Him and know that He loves us, but we are not free. We have found ourselves tricked by lies and bound to old wounds, caught in habits and hung up on bad thinking. Jesus came to set us free. But it isn’t a freedom that we get like a gift, but rather a freedom that we are given as an authority to walk out that freedom in power and dominion. We are free from Satan’s tricks and traps. We have the authority to curse those lies we believe. We have the freedom to forgive and to shatter bitterness. We have the freedom to command healing to our spirit, soul, and body. It is not a passive freedom but an active freedom! We are free from the burdens of our past to walk in hope today!
PROMISE 3: GOD WILL REDEEM YOU.
God takes all of your experiences: your wins and losses, your weaknesses and strengths, and uses them for His purpose. He gives you purpose! Life might feel random and routine, but God redeems it all and works it out for His good and your good and this world’s good. Jesus paid the price for your salvation, your freedom, and your purpose. You have purpose! You are not an accident. Say that out loud. Seriously. Say it! “I have purpose!” If you don’t know what that purpose is, just ask the Holy Spirit right now to show you. Therefore, say to the Israelites: “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” EXODUS 6:6-7
PROMISE 4: GOD WILL TAKE YOU AS HIS PEOPLE.
This is an invitation into a family. He is our God, and we are His people. Salvation, freedom, and purpose are part of a lifelong journey, but it’s not a journey you have to take alone. We all need a family. There is something about having brothers and sisters who will love you and hold you up.
Last year I was at a worship service feeling exhausted and empty. I began to lift my hands in worship. Song after song after song, I poured my heart out to God. I had this thought, God, I wish someone would hold my arms up. The Lord gently reminded me, I’ve got you, Matt. Less than two weeks later, I was at a small pastors’ retreat. All day we poured out our troubles and received prayer and ministry. When it was my turn, the leader said, “This is going to be odd, but would you stand in the middle of this group of 25 people and begin to worship God?” I looked over at the keyboard sitting on the counter and said, “Can I play on that?” He said, “Absolutely.” I walked over to it and started pushing the keys, but it wouldn’t work. No one could get it to make a sound. I thought, Forget it. I’ll just stand in the middle and begin to worship. I stood in that circle with my eyes closed and began to speak out praises to God, “You are my Savior. You are my Friend, King, and Lord.” I lifted my hands and worshiped Him more. Lost in the moment, forgetting the 50 eyeballs looking at me, I all of the sudden felt my wrists lift higher as all the men gathered around me holding my arms up. I began to praise God for that broken keyboard. I was reminded of two weeks prior when I asked God for someone to hold my arms up. He told me then that He had me, and wow, He did have me…more than I knew. I opened my eyes, and these men were hugging me, laying their hands on my feet, and praying for me. They were my brotherhood.
East Coast is a church where the lost get saved and are known by God.
East Coast is a church where freedom is ours to have and to give.
East Coast is a church where people have purpose.
East Coast is a church where we hold each other’s arms up as a family.
We are saying these promises of God like this:
1. Know God
2. Live in Freedom
3. Discover Purpose
4. Find Family
Will you claim these promises? Will you embody these promises? As you read this and act on these promises, God will strengthen each one of you to live it out.
God, let Your grace be on us to see these promises fulfilled in this church. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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