The following is the transcript of the keynote speech by world famous Christian author, Max Lucado, at our ONE FOR ISRAEL banquet in Texas, September 2018.
It’s an extraordinary honor for me to be with you. I bring you greetings from San Antonio, Texas – just down the highway. Thank you so much. Isn’t it amazing to see all the things that God is doing and to realize that the promises that He made to Israel all these many, many years ago are being fulfilled in our generation. We’re remembering how God keeps His promises. And I’m so honored to be celebrating what He’s up to.
You know God keeps His promises, right? Did you know there’s over seven thousand promises in the Bible?
Our God is a promise maker. And what’s more, He is a promise keeper.
I believe for every problem in life there’s a promise from God. One of the greatest privileges of our lives is to match our problems with the promise. The Bible says that Abraham was a man who built his life on the promises of God.
He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong. (Romans 4:20)
I’d like to encourage you to plunge into God’s promises.
Don’t build your life on problems. Don’t build your life on pain. Build your life on the promises of God. Do you feel alone? God makes you a promise. He says:
“I’ll be with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20)
Do you feel like nobody ever speaks up for you? Ha. Jesus does. The Bible promises that:
[He] is at the right hand of God, and also interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)
Maybe you’re plagued by guilt. How many of you know, the Bible promises that:
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
But of all the promises in the Bible, none are more remarkable than the promises that God has made to this Peculiar People, called the children of Abraham. Extraordinary. As far back as in the days of Moses, He declared covenants that we’re seeing come true. Even today.
Listen to this passage from Deuteronomy 30:1-5. It’s a bit of a lengthy reading but it’s worth the reading. Moses had God speak to him and say:
“In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!” (Deuteronomy 30:1-5)
The Lord’s unshakable faithfulness to Israel is evidenced, I think, by His present pursuit of Gentiles The fact that God is allowing Gentiles, like us, most of us, to reach out to the Jews is in and of itself a fulfillment of the prophecy.
You heard just quoted, and I’ll read it to you from Romans chapter 11. A great translation of this in the book in The Message translation. Paul said:
The next question is, “Are they [speaking of the Jews] down for the count? Are they out of this for good?” And the answer is a clear-cut “No!” Ironically when they walked out, they left the door open and the outsiders walked in. But the next thing you know, the Jews were starting to wonder if perhaps they had walked out on a good thing. Now, if their leaving triggered this worldwide coming of non-Jewish outsiders to God’s kingdom, just imagine the effect of their coming back! What a homecoming!” (Romans 11:11-12)
What a homecoming!
We’re here today, remembering that God has promised that there will be a massive homecoming in the last days. And could it be that we’re witnessing it? The first fruits of it. The homecoming.
Since the Zionist Congress at the turn of the century, the Jews have been returning to their land and their return was accelerated of course in 1948 and 1967. And then at the end of the Cold War at the end of the early 1990’s. And the Lord’s faithfulness to His people is being seen again.
“Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them..” (Jeremiah 32:37-38)
Do you believe that God is a promise maker?
Do you believe that God is a promise keeper?
Do you believe that we are living in a day of the fulfillment of God’s promises?