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Christmas Devotion

The Never-Forgetting, Always Promise-Keeping God

By Brian Simmons

A day doesn't go by when someone forgets the promises they made—to their employees, to the ones who elected them, to us.

A business owner promises there will be no more layoffs, and then six months later another round of your friends are sent packing. The president promises no new taxes, and two years later you're giving more of your paycheck to Uncle Sam.

Or how about something more personal: your friend promises to keep your deepest struggle to herself, yet a week later you catch wind that everyone in your circle knows what haunts you; you believe your husband's promise to stop his Internet habit once and for all, only to discover the same smutty websites back in his web browser history.

People fail us left and right, and one of the main reasons is because they forget their promises—no, they break their promises.

Not God, not the Mighty One!

He is the never-forgetting, always promise-keeping God. And that's something to jump up and down with joy over, isn't it?

Mary sure does. She sings about her joy because she's ecstatic, she overflows with praises to God, her spirit bursts with joy over her life-giving God. One of the reasons she sings this way is "because [the Mighty One] can never forget to show mercy, he has helped his chosen servant, Israel, keeping his promises to Abraham and to his descendants forever." (Luke 1:54-55)

Our God never forgets to show mercy. Israel had sung about this mercy for generations with several Psalms, like Psalm 35: "But you, O Lord, your mercy-seat love is limitless, Reaching higher than the highest heavens. Your great faithfulness is so infinite, stretching over the whole earth. Your tender care and kindness leave no one forgotten, not a man nor even a mouse. God, how extravagant is your cherishing love!"

For generations God had helped his chosen servant, Israel. Despite the countless times they turned their backs on him, God didn't give them what they deserved. That's enough for anyone to jump up with joy!

But God's love for His people doesn't stop there. Because not only does he never fail to show mercy, God never, never forgets. No matter how big the promise, no matter how old the promise, our God is the never-forgetting, always promise-keeping God. To the point of making good on a promise he gave way back to the very first of his chosen people, Abraham.

In Genesis 12, God promised to make a great nation out of Abraham; to bless those who blessed him and curse those cursed him; to bless all peoples on the planet through him and his offspring. And Mary recognized that this was the moment God was making good on his promise—not only to the Jewish people, but to all peoples. Through her Son, God finally made good on his promise.

Because God is a never-forgetting, always promise-keeping God, we have forgiveness from sins, release from shame and guilt, and all the blessings of this life and the next.

If that's not reason to join with Mary this Christmas season in jumping up and down in ecstatic, overflowing, soul-bursting joy—then I don't know what is!

Excerpted from Brian Simmons and THE PASSION TRANSLATION.
Copyright © 2014 by Brian Simmons. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Interview with Brian Simmons

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Brian SimmonsBrian Simmons and his wife Candice have been described as true pioneers in ministry. Their teaching has opened doors in many nations to the Gospel. For the last forty years, Brian has been a linguist, pastor, missionary, and speaker and now brings all those gifts together to lead the translation work for The Passion Translation.

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