A promise is a promise

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37 (ESV)

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:27-29 (ESV)

Promises are easily made and easily broken. From the earliest age, I recall my mother saying, “Don’t hold your breath,” regarding waiting for a promise to be kept.

I hear there was a time when a person’s word was their bond—if someone made a vow or promise, they kept it as though their life depended upon it.

I have not lived in that time.

There is One, however, whose word I trust. God keeps his promises. His word is faithful and his promises irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)

So, when Jesus says, “All the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out,” he means never cast out!

I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ my Savior, but I am fully aware of the weakness of my flesh and how easily I fall into temptation to sin. I see again and again how unreliable are my promises—how unfaithful my word.

John Bunyan, in Come and Welcome to Jesus, writes regarding the objections we may raise in response to Jesus’ promise—

“No, wait”— we say, cautiously approaching Jesus—”you don’t understand. I’ve really messed up, in all kinds of ways.”

I know it all.

“But I don’t know if I can break free of this any time soon.”

That’s the only kind of person I’m here to help.

“The burden is heavy—and heavier all the time.”

Then let me carry it.

“It’s too much to bear.”

Not for me.

“You don’t get it. My offenses aren’t directed toward others. They’re against you.”

Then I am the one most suited to forgive them.

“But the more of the ugliness in me you discover, the sooner you’ll get fed up with me.”

Whoever comes to me I will never cast out. *

Isn’t this great news?

Whoever hears the voice of Jesus Christ and follows will receive eternal life and nothing can snatch us from the Father’s hand. We will never be cast out!

There is only one condition—following.

Our Good Shepherd calls us to repentance. We must surrender ourselves to his grace and mercy and acknowledge our sin. Granted we were born with a disposition to sin but we’ve also chosen sin again and again enslaving us to our adiction.

It isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV)

Are you weary? Is your burden of guilt heavy? Do you hear Jesus beckoning you to Come?

Trust the One who keeps his promises.

Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

*ORTLUND, DANE C. Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. CROSSWAY BOOKS, 2021. 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. anneadrian says:

    Love this, Nicole!! So comforting to all of us who believe and also comforting to know that those to whom we bring the Gospel WILL respond at some point if they are his sheep!! Our hope is in Him, not in our own efforts both for ourselves and for others!!

    When do you get home?

    Love & joy,
    Anne

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Thanks, Anne. You’re always such an encouragement to me. See you soon!

  2. jillsteve7881 says:

    Good words Nicole. Nancy and I have been living with Jill’s family this last week in Carmel, Indiana. The moving van shows up 9 AM tomorrow morning with our boxes of stuff and furniture to move into a rental house we’ve gotten. The rental house is only six minutes from Jill‘s house. We We’ll continue to look for a house to buy.

    >

  3. We’re at Cedar thinking about you both and missing you. It’s been a good summer of ministry. In your in between season you’re always welcome at our house. Praying for a sweet transition surrounded by loved ones. God’s blessings on you as you remain in him. Love, Nicole

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