How Many Times do I Have to Tell You?

How Many Times do I Have to Tell You?

How many of us as parents have asked the above question?  Our six year old is a climber. She climbs so much that she has acquired the endearing nickname “Monkey.” Her favorite thing to do to keep herself entertained is to jump and climb on the den furniture.  She does cheer jumps off the couch, cheer libs on the coffee table, and flips on the loveseat. Now before you judge me, remember I am an “older parent.” I learned later in parenting to “pick my battles.” However, I do often ask her, “How many times do I have to tell you not to jump on the furniture?” She often smiles with those cute little dimples, stops jumping for the moment, and I lovingly and graciously remind her why she doesn’t need to jump on the furniture.  Typically, we will repeat the same scenario again and again.

Recently as I was reading through Genesis during our RPO chronological reading, I realized that God lovingly, graciously, and continually reminds Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of the promise He made to Abram (Abraham) when he called him to leave Ur and to go to a land He would show him (Genesis 12:1). God promised Abram he would make him into a great nation (Genesis 12:2, Genesis 13:14-16, Genesis 15:5, Genesis 22:17). However, Abram continued to try to “protect” himself. He convinced his wife Sarai to claim to be his sister so he wouldn’t be killed (Genesis 12:12-13).  I believe Abram pulled this stunt more than once (Genesis 20:2). God continued to remind Isaac and Jacob of the promise He gave Abraham (Genesis 26:3-4, Genesis 28:14), yet both men had their moments when they tried to “protect” themselves and their families. I can imagine God thinking to Himself with a chuckle, “How many times do I have to tell you? I will make you a great nation; your descendants will be numerous.”  

As a church family entering into a season of transition, let’s be reminded of the promises of God:

“The Lord himself will fight for you.  Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”  Isaiah 40:29

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”  Isaiah 43:2

“Then if my people who are called by  my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you, he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans of good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

“This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purposes for them.”   Romans 8:28

“Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand,  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19

These verses only scratch the surface of God’s abounding promises.  Take hold of these and many more in the days ahead, my friends.

As we look to the future, I know when we falter or waiver or feel afraid God will chuckle to Himself and say, “How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You?”  

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