For those who are bound by place and time are finite; but the eternal beatitude is infinite. Therefore those who participate in the eternal and infinite beatitude will be encompassed neither by place nor time.
- Eriugena, Periphyseon, Irish, 9th century
... by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
- 2 Peter 1.4
For the most part, people live for promises, and the promises we live by define the nature and limits of our experience. Most of what we do is motivated by promise – something hoped for, something greatly desired. We’re always striving toward something, something that promises to be better or more satisfying. We make decisions and choices, prefer this or that, because we think one activity, product, or opportunity holds more promise than the other.
Even if what we do is only out of a sense of necessity or obligation, we do it because doing it is better – in our mind – than not doing it.
And if the promises we live toward are small or ill-defined, or “bound by place and time” merely, then realizing those promises will have only a small reward.
But what if our promises are exceedingly great and precious?.
How about this for a promise: You can partake of God’s own being; you can participate in God!
Focus on Jesus. Lean into the Lord. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, like a warm sweater on a blustery day. Breathe in the sweet fragrance of Christ; feed on His Word; let His steadfast love envelop you, His Spirit stretch out within you.
Don’t like being hedged in by the limitations of “place and time”? God holds out “precious and very great promises” for us, and these all have their substance in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1.20).
That may be hard to understand, but it’s true. In Jesus all the fullness of joy and holy pleasure we might desire can be known.
Come to the Lord, in prayer and His Word. Enter into His Presence, strip off your sins, wait on Him, drink of His delights, partake of Him, and you will know eternal glory, unbounded joy, and pleasure like nothing else can give.
Focus on God’s promises, not the puny, fleeting offerings of the mundane world; live toward the exceeding great and precious limits of hope God holds out for you, and you’ll rise above every constraint of time and space to know life on a higher plane.
This is for real; this is not just theological speculation. God wants us to get out of ourselves, out of our world, and into Him. His precious and very great promises are just the ticket we need, if only we will pursue them.
Have you studied the promises lately (cf. Gen. 12.1-3)? Can you see how all these precious and very great promises have their fulfillment in Jesus? Don’t just think about Jesus, or read about Him. Go before Him in prayer. Let the Scriptures inform your vision of Chirst, exalted in glory. See yourself before Him, and Him looking directly at you. Wait on Him. Sing to Him. Take your seat with Him and look out on your life from the vantage point of His sovereign glory (Eph. 2.6).
Then let the Spirit of God form Jesus in you, for righteousness, peace, and joy (2 Cor. 3.12-18; Rom. 14.17, 18). You will know Jesus more truly at work within you, willing and doing according to His good pleasure (Phil. 2.13); and you’ll begin to realize more of the precious and very great promises of blessing that the Father can give you through Jesus.
1. Meditate on Genesis 12.1-3. These promises to Abram are the promises God holds out to all those who are his offspring by faith (cf. Rom. 4.13-16). What would those promises look like, lived out in your life today?
2. What can you do to spend more time meditating on Jesus and the promises that are fulfilled in Him?
Psalm 42.1-5 (Nettleton: “Come Thou Fount”)
As the deer pants for fresh water let my soul, Lord, pant for You!
Let my soul thirst as it ought to for the Savior, ever true!
Tears by day have been my portion, tears by night have been my food,
while my foes add to my sorrow, saying, “Where now is your God?”
Now I pour my soul out in me as these thoughts come to my mind.
And I long to once again be where true worship I might find.
Oh my soul, be not despairing! Hope in God, and praise His Name!
For the Lord, your burden bearing, will restore your peace again.
Teach me Your promises, O Lord! I want to live toward Your promises today, so that…
Living toward the promises
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T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Eriugena, p. 74.