28
Dec
11

Promises…Promises…Promises!

For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.  For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.  It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us,  and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us. – 2 Corinthians 1:19-22 (NLT)

Commitment.  It is not, by definition,  just a legal procedure by which someone is involuntarily placed into a mental institution.  The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary’s second definition for the word commitment says:

 a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future;especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date b : something pledged c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled <a commitment to a cause>

We live in a society and culture where words like “integrity” and “character” and “promise” and “pledge” are made to seem old-fashioned and outmoded.  I remember hearing the story of a friend of mine who made and agreement to buy a parcel of land from an old fellow, on which he wanted to build a home for his family.  When they came to agreement on the price, my friend asked the old man if he’d like to have a legal document drawn up to seal the deal.  The old man’s response was, “My word’s my bond.”  And, it was!

Today, it seems that all too often there is not much bonding to our word.  Pledges are made, only until it no longer suits us, for whatever reason, to keep them.  We legislate laws in this country that are binding unless some loophole can be found to circumvent them.  We pay big bucks to lawyers everyday to enable us to get out of contracts and agreements.  We establish our families in a church and so long as the church does to suit us we stay, but if another one offers something more enticing or entertaining, or convenient to our own self-established needs and desires, we depart for greener pastures.  And the most glaring of all evidences of our waning attitude toward promise keeping and commitment is the staggering statistic of more than a 50% failure rate in marriages.  Perhaps even worse than the divorce rate, is the number of  young couples who never enter into a marriage, preferring to live together and thus avoid any legal or moral commitment at all.  I could go on ad infinitum as to the examples of modern society’s diminishing willingness to let their “yes” be yes and their “no” be no (James 5:12), but I think you get the idea.

In God’s economy, there is no “maybe.”  There is either yes or no.  God’s attitude towards His promises do not imply or express that the promise is good until something better comes along, or until He changes His mind.  The promises of God…that to which He commits Himself to…are harder than diamonds and as lasting as all eternity.  God’s commitment to keep His promises have been proven in the sending of His Son to put on flesh and dwell among us and to suffer the Cross and shed His blood for us to be free from the results of sin and death.  The resurrection of Christ is a symbol of the promise of God for eternal life to all who will place their trust in Jesus as their one and only Savior and Lord.  The indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit within every believer is a guarantee…a pledge that seals His promises, which will be eternally kept.  When we may ask God if He will be true to His promises, He simply points to Jesus and allows Him to be His “YES.”

What promises have we made that we have not kept?  What promises might we lightly make today, that in our minds will be kept unless it becomes a matter of inconvenience or discomfort?  Will we promise to serve without having an actual servant’s heart?  Should we vow to stay, “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part,” only to find that we are unwilling to stay through the “worst,”, the “poorest,” or the “unhealthiest” of circumstances?  Is there true faith apart from faithfulness?  Will we choose to be “promise makers” without also being “promise keepers?”  Integrity… Character… Commitment… Dedication… Resolve… Trust… Loyalty… Truth.

Lord, let these not be simply words that describe what we ought to do, but define us as what only You can make us to be!

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