“For the word of God will never fail” (Luke 1:37 NLT).
For far too many even in the church today, Christmas has declined into little more than “gift-giving” and “get-togethers.” The questions that are foremost in the minds of many are, “What did you get? What did I get?” Well, throughout the month of December, I would like you to consider this question: What is the most glorious promise of Christmas? To be sure, there are many promises that are expressed through the Babe in the manger, but there is one that rises above all the rest, and that is what I would like to encourage you with now.
To fully plumb the depths of these eight words from Luke’s gospel — “For the word of God will never fail” — will take all eternity, but for now, let us understand their practical implications for you and me right now, right where this finds us in this Christmas season 2020. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, a virgin pledged to be married. The angel gave Mary some incredible news: “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:30-33 NLT).
Confused and perhaps a little disturbed, Mary asked, “How can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. . . . For the word of God will never fail” (Luke 1:34-35, 37 NLT). Most texts render Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God,” but some of the early biblical manuscripts give us “The word of God will never fail.” The Amplified Bible offers, “With God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.”
Think about that for just a moment. Everything in the world fails. Our health fails. Our dreams fail. Our promises fail. People fail. Technology fails. Governments fail. Failure is simply a fact of life in a fallen and broken world. But that is not true for the Word of God. Isaiah exulted that “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8). So the most basic promise of Christmas is that You can take God at His Word.
Do I Really take God at His Word?
The question we must all ask ourselves is this: “Do I? Do I really take God at His Word?” Each Christmas we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the One who came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). At the deepest level, at Christmastime we are celebrating a promise fulfilled by God — one made not simply throughout the time of the Old Testament, but before the very foundation of the world. Scripture offers us “the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” (Titus 1:2). This promise of eternal life would be realized in the Child who would be born to Mary because the word of God will never fail. His promises are certain and true.
The Word of God will never fail
If we take a moment to dig deeper, we can build upon this remarkable truth: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). You see, the word of God will never fail because Jesus is the Word of God, and Jesus will never fail. When He entered into this world on that first Christmas morning as a baby in a manger, He did not cease to be fully God. Jesus always was, is, and always will be the Creator and Sustainer of the world. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, who was and is and is to come. His power is greater than all the powers combined within the universe, which means, Christian, that no weapon formed against you will prevail. God has promised never to leave you nor forsake you, and the appearance of Jesus Christ on that first Christmas morning that God’s promise is sure and certain . . . and the word of God will never fail.
And don’t forget this: Just as the world waited for the coming of the Messiah, who came 2000 years ago, you and I now wait for His return to make everything whole once again. Remember, our God kept His promise by coming the first time in the person of Jesus, and He will keep His promise by coming the second time to set all things right. But until then, we wait.
We wait expectantly. We wait hopefully. We wait faithfully. We wait, knowing that when Jesus returns “Everything sad will come untrue,” as Tolkien said in The Lord of the Rings. Every sickness will be healed. Every wrong will be made right. Every wound will be healed. Every tear will be wiped away, and every knee will bow and ever tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Reflect on the Promise
As you go through this Christmas season, it is my prayer that you will remember this glorious promise of the Word of God. Marinate in it and meditate on it. If someone asks you, “What did you get?” tell them you got the promise that Word of God has never failed and never will. And tell them they too can have that promise, simply by trusting in the living Word, who left the glory of heaven to become a baby, live a sinless life, and die on a cross for our sins. On the third day He rose from the dead, providing proof positive that God is watching over His word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12) . . . and it will never fail.
Now, that’s a Christmas promise to hold on to!
From the Boland family to yours: May your Christmas season be filled with the joy of the promise of Jesus Christ.
For more articles by Dr. Tommy Boland, visit goodnewsfl.org/tommy-boland.