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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
February 22, 2003

     Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge - a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (Message*)

Some people think of Christianity as a bunch of Thou shalt nots and limitations - even including some who profess to be Christians. But they are missing the point. The message of Christ Jesus is actually Good News about Yes's and Amens - the glorious promises of God.

The Bible is filled with extravagant promises for God's people, which in the New Testament becomes all who follow Christ by faith regardless of background or position. These promises come with the Yes of the incarnate God, Jesus Christ. Over and over in the Gospels, Jesus offers and fulfills these promises. The rest of the New Testament confirms their full continuation after Christ's physical presence on Earth as a human being, when He has come to live within the hearts of His people, who have become His body in the world.

The world talks a lot about affirmation. The affirmations offered by the world, while helpful, don't hold a candle to being affirmed by the God of the Universe Himself. In this passage, the apostle Paul reminds the Christians gathered in Corinth of how sure this affirmation is. This affirmation gets us through the worst situations the world can present us with, because we know our hope is assured.

By the Spirit of God, Paul reminds us, we are stamped with the eternal pledge of God Himself. Unlike human pledges, subject to unforeseen obstacles such as sickness and death as well as the possibility of unfaithfulness, God's pledges are sure, and we can be certain of their completion.

Are you living in the power of God's Yes and Amen? Are you confident of God's affirmation of you? Are you trusting in the certainty of what God has promised? I pray that you are, and if you are not, I pray that you will soon come to that point in your life. This is the only way to really live!

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2003 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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