TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day. (1 Chronicles 28:7 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I love words. One of my favorite things to do in Bible study is to identify the action word in a passage… or highlight repetitive phrases (often in the Psalms)… and when I have a little more time, go back to the original Hebrew or Greek to get a deeper dive understanding of a particular word. But sometimes, seemingly insignificant words jump off the page, and I’m left startled by the powerful punch of such a common word.
This week, I was reading 1 Chronicles 28, in which David spoke to the people about what God told him about His plans for Solomon. David quotes God in verse 7, “Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.”
The word that took me by surprise: if.
The power of “If.” We see it in Scripture in multiple places, but it’s such an ordinary word… do we notice it?
In this instance, “if” puts personal responsibility on Solomon. He was called to observe God’s commandments and promised that IF he did — his kingdom would go on forever.
I decided to look for some more “ifs” in the Bible… another is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Oh goodness, can we not see the impact of this truth right in front of us today?! We live in a nation that has willfully chosen to reject the Christian values we were founded on… God is no longer welcome in our schools, and fewer and fewer homes make time for Him. Churches have compromised the truth of the gospel for a watered-down feel-good version that may bring people to church but doesn’t necessarily prepare them for heaven. But IF our nation would humble itself before God… we’d live in a very different America right now.
On the heels of that thought, let’s go to Romans 12:18. It says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” That’s not to say we’re going to get along with everyone! The words say, “If it is possible.” We can live peaceably — as much as possible — without compromising God’s Word. We can be nice to others without agreeing with them. I know this is a radical notion since disagreeing with someone is seen as a personal attack. But once upon a time, people used to disagree and still be kind. I love the way the ESV Reformation Study Bible said it — “Harmony is not always possible, since truth divides as well as unites.”
The “if” in James 4:15 reminds us that God’s will prevails, and we should seek it. He wrote, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’” The “if” sets the stage for us to make plans and move forward under the guidance of the Holy Spirit’s direction!
Every “if” isn’t contingent on us. Other powerful “ifs” I found include Romans 8:31. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” I love this one! Believers are guaranteed victory through Jesus Christ! And because of that promise, we don’t have to fear others! God is on our side! It’s an “if” rooted in His good promise!
And then there’s the “if” that isn’t tied to a particular verse but a spiritual truth. We are promised heaven and eternal life IF we believe Jesus is the resurrected Son of God who, while we were yet sinners, died for us (Romans 5:8). We don’t have to do anything except believe and accept. I recently heard a sermon from Lee Strobel who referenced John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Lee simplified this down to an equation: Believe + Receive = Become. IF we believe, IF we receive, then we become children of God, promised the eternal security, forgiveness, grace, and mercy we could never achieve on our own.
The power behind such a small word is incredible. It’s a reminder that God often uses small things to make a big point.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His Word and the ways He reveals truth to us in unexpected ways. Thank Him that no word is wasted in His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways to make “if” a part of your day today… and trust that while there’s nothing you can do to earn the love He already has for you and nothing you can do to earn the salvation He freely gives to you, there are promises He’s made that are contingent on the choices we make… if we’re bold enough to make choices based on God’s will instead of our own.
BONUS! The February issue of Forsyth Family released this week and includes this month’s column, “My Peace-Full Life.” Article is found at this link: https://www.forsythfamilymagazine.com/my-peace-full-life/
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.