Sunday, February 19, 2017

Expiration Dates

When I got married, I moved into Doug's house.  He was already established, and I had been living back at my parent's house to save money.  Doug was (and is!) an amazing chef. He is just good.  Self-taught and everything. Well, one day while he was at work I started going through the small pantry that he had in the kitchen.  It held things like canned goods, cake mixes, some spices, things like that.

I have been a germaphobe and a rule follower my whole life. Well, almost {ahem}.  So you can imagine my shock and horror when I found a cake mix that was expired by almost a year.  It went in the garbage.  Then I went on to find some rice that was over 2 years expired. I wish you could have seen the expression on my face. I continued to search through the pantry, and found some things that were expired for over 10 years.  Ten years, people.  I haven't had anything for ten years except people.

Suffice it to say, Doug had nearly empty cupboards by the time he came home. Let's just say we never did agree much on when something is actually "expired" or when its time is up. (Still don't!)

I was blessed with a Women of Faith DVD from a good friend for Christmas.  I was watching Christine Caine, whom I had not seen teach before.  She's very funny, but she speaks truth.  Anyway, she started off with a short clip about a kid looking for expired items in his parent's refrigerator.

Her point, as she talked about Abraham and Sarah in the Bible, is that God's promises have NO expiration date.  They never go bad, or run out of time.  Abraham was 76 when he was told by God that He would become the father of many nations.  (And his name was Abram, but for the sake of clarity we'll just stick with Abraham; Sarah has the same situation.) Seventy-six years old.  Not exactly the time you think about starting a family.

God said to Abraham, in Genesis 15:5-6:
"Then He [God] brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.'
And he [Abraham] believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness."

Abraham believed God. He believed Him.  But then, many years later when God flat out told Abraham that Sarah was going to bear him a son, he "fell on his face and laughed." (Genesis 17:17)

When God specifically told Abraham that he would have a son by Sarah in one year, Abraham was 99, and Sarah in her 80's. 

"Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, 'After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?' "  Genesis 18:11-12 (emphasis mine)

Sarah had "passed the age" of being biologically capable of conceiving a child. That time had expired. Time was up; It had run out.

Well, if you know your Bible, you know that God worked a miracle to fulfill His promise to Abraham.  And I LOVE that!  It was physiologically impossible to Sarah to conceive a child, and that's when God. Showed. Up.

God's promises have NO expiration date!  How often we limit God with our disbelief!  Or rather, how much blessing we miss out on due to our unbelief. 

Dear friends.  Do we believe God?  Maybe at first, when things are still looking optimistic.  But the moment we decide that the time for God's promise has gone, that it has expired, what about then?  Do we believe then? Or do we laugh? 

Let me assure you, my friends.  
"With God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37
Can I get an Amen?  Or how about a Hallelujah?
There is nothing God cannot do.
There is no sorrow He cannot turn to joy.
There is no suffering He cannot stop.
There is no disease that God cannot heal.
There is no financial problem that God cannot solve.
There is no loss that God cannot restore.
There is nothing that God cannot do.  
And He has all the time in the world to do it.  
Will you continue to believe Him? 

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