Have you ever had the opportunity to buy into or be involved in "a Sure Thing"? So many people are selling sure bets these days that it makes it hard to sort through the real deals and the charletons. I remember getting an offer to buy into a diamond mine in Africa in my early days of college. I was guaranteed that I would double my money in a matter of possibly weeks. I was told that it was going fast and that by buying in now I would make the most on my investment in "Sunshine Mines". I passed.
I did not have the assurance that I needed. I was given a lot of promises, to be sure, but I was not convinced or assured that my money would do what they were telling it would. Come to find out about a year later the mine went under and I found out that if I had invested in "Sunshine Mines" like the people who assured me it was a sure thing did, I would have lost every penny like those same people did. People lost thousands of dollars and it was all on what was supposed to be a 'sure thing'.
In today's reading we read about eight different visions that were given to Zechariah as assurances of what in fact God was going to do; including one about the coming of Christ (the Messiah).
Many people find that the prophetic books of the old testament are simply too difficult to really deal with and chose to skip over them on their way to New Testament (if they even bother reading the old testament at all). But there is so much that gets missed, in these beautiful and poetic books, about the nature of God and what he is doing here in this world.
He is assuring his people, that even though they are going through this exile and there seems to be no hope or end in sight to the slavery that they have been subjected to, God had not forgotten them or his covenant with them. He is assuring them that despite the way things appear, that there will be a restoration of their prosperity and that the sins of the wicked will not go unpunished. He is assuring them that he will be with them and that ultimately there will be rest.
The same is true for us today. Gods assurances are a sure thing. You can always trust Him. As Pastor Ted has said in quoting his father many times, "God has the unfailing ability to always do the right thing." He never fails. He is a sure thing.
We may be in the middle of our own personal exile wondering when it will end or what the next day holds for us. But as followers of Christ we know that he will never leave us nor forsake us (no matter how dark our valley of the shadow of death may seem) and that he will be just in his dealings with mankind (so the wicked will pay for their sins, just as we would have, had we not known Christ) and that in the end, even if it is not until the end of our lives, we will find rest.
God loves us more than we could possibly fathom or understand in a thousand lifetimes and proved it to us in the sending of his Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place. We are assured life everlasting when we give our life to Christ and choose to follow Him and not our own selfish desires. And the best part of the whole thing is that it's guaranteed. It IS a sure thing.
If you have questions about what it means to follow Christ or how you can receive eternal life, contact the church office at 208.376.7272 or you can visit the following website for more information. http://peacewithgod.jesus.net/