God’s Promises Are More Than Just Words

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EL CAJON, CA (December 20, 2004)  – Editor’s note: In preparation for the  Christmas observance, Covenant Communications is sharing seven  devotionals that originally appeared in local church newsletters and are  being published here by permission. The following comes from Craig  Knudsen, pastor of Community Covenant Church.

By Craig Knudsen

“For with God nothing is impossible.” (Luke 1:37 in New Living  Translation – words from the angel Gabriel to Mary regarding the Virgin  Birth)

I want to alert you to a mistranslation that appears in most Bibles  regarding the Christmas story.

It hasn’t been corrected – except in the Amplified Bible – because  people have gotten so used to hearing it that, if it was changed, there  would be an uproar. But (in Luke 1:37) the word “nothing” is incorrect.  The Greek word is ‘rama,’ which means “words spoken” or, more  specifically in this case “God’s words spoken.”

Here’s what Luke 1:37 should say: “For with God, no word shall be  without power!” Or it could be translated this way: “No word from  God will be impossible to fulfill!” And that was probably very  reassuring to Mary’s ears . . . that whatever God says, they aren’t just  empty words, but you can count on them happening, even if you can’t  figure out how in the world He is going to pull it off.

Another way we could read this text for us is, “For no word of God is  without power!” In other words, any “word” from God will be accompanied  by the appropriate POWER to see that it is executed. When God speaks His  words, He commissions the Holy Spirit to perform. God will come through  on what he says.

This is good news for us, for when God makes a commitment to you or me,  we can know it is not just verbs, adjectives and nouns flowing from His  lips. God isn’t saying these words just so we can play with them. With  His words comes the power of the Holy Spirit to make them true in your  life. And so, God brings life into the dark womb of a teenage girl in  order to work out deliverance for a lost and confused human race.

I know that many of you have had some major life change over this past  year. For some, Christmas will be a joyful time, a fun time. For others,  this could be a Christmas of “firsts,” such as the first Christmas  married, first Christmas with a child (or a second child), first  Christmas without a child coming home, first Christmas without a spouse,  maybe first Christmas with no presents because the dollars aren’t there.

It’s when our circumstances are darker that we lean into the true  translation of this sentence in Luke from Gabriel, “For no word of  God is without power!” I wonder what other promises you need to grab hold of in that spirit:

  • There is now no condemnation for those who are “in” Jesus Christ.
  • God is my fortress and strength; an ever present help in times of  trouble.
  • I am with you always.
  • Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has  turned gray, I will take care of you.
  • Ask and God will give it to you. Search and you will find. Knock and  the door will open for you.
  • “I myself, will search for my sheep and take care of them,” says the  Lord.
  • You are not a slave, you are God’s child and He will give you the  blessing He promised because you are His child.
These are just a few of the “ramas” in the Bible from God to you. These  words have power. I hope you would latch onto the one you need and  realize He will bring the power of those words into your dark  circumstances if you allow Him (as Mary found out), when God says  something to someone . . . He comes through. May God come through for  you this Christmas as you experience the power of His word in your life.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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