Monday, May 06, 2013

May 6, 2013 … Let Our Word Be Truth

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 126

Passage of the Day: Matthew 5: 36-37 [NLT] … 
36 Don’t even swear, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong. 
 Contextual Study of today’s passage: Matthew, Chapter 5 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

 Reference Passage #1: Numbers 30: 1-2 : [God expects our vows to be truth.] …[NKJV] …  
1 Now Moses summoned the leaders of the tribes of Israel and told them, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 2 A man who makes a vow to the LORD or makes a pledge under oath must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do.

Reference Passage #2: Numbers 23: 19 : [God desires nothing less than we know of Him – holiness – purity – truth!] …[NKJV] …  
19 God is not a man, that He should lie. He is not a human, that he should change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through?

My Journal for Today: Let’s get right to it. If you were to ask three trustworthy friends or loved-ones you know, … “How reliable am I to do what I say I will do?” … what do you think their answer would be? Would they say forthrightly, “If you say it, I know it will happen?” Or might they say, “Well, I don’t know; … sometimes you say one thing and do another?”

In other words, if you make a commitment (i.e., a vow) to someone, can that one count on you to make it happen or is there some reason for others to doubt your word? Os Hillman, in his devotional entry for today posts an interesting hypothetical scenario … "Imagine for a moment that you are living in Jesus' time. It is before Jesus has begun His public ministry. He is a carpenter in your local town of Nazareth. You have asked Jesus to make a table for you. You're on a deadline and you must have it in a week. You agree on the price of $100 for the table and the date of one week for completion. A week later you arrive to pick up the table. You lay your money down on the table and Jesus says, ‘Mr. Johnson, I am sorry but the table is not ready. I ran into complications. Also, I can no longer honor the price I gave you. It is now $150 instead of $100.’  "

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That scenario would never have happened, would it? … Why? … Because Jesus, when He walked the earth, was 100% God in being 100% man; and in His own word (see Numbers 23:19 above), God does not lie. So, the God-Man, when He was a carpenter, before His public ministry, would have been true to His word in his own workplace, wouldn’t He? … Of course, He would!

Well, … tough question. Does God not expect His disciples any less from our word? Oh sure, He may know that we’ll fail Him; and we know He can and will forgive us (see 1st John 1: 9, which I hope you know by heart); but doesn’t God expect that, when we make a vow, a promise, or a commitment, that we’ll be trustworthy to do what we say. Well, reading Numbers 30: 1-2 above, we know the answer to that one.

Vows are important; … way, BIG-TIME important! Our word should be truth. That’s why the exchange of vows is so important in a wedding and in the subsequent marriage. That’s why we sign and ratify contracts in business. That’s why governments make treaties with one another? When we say “Yes,” as Jesus demanded from our highlight passage above, He says we should mean “Yes!” And knowing how weak we humans can be, that’s why Jesus warned His disciples to avoid making vows unless they [we] really meant [mean] to fulfill them.

So, it’s time to take personal inventory; as I am right now. And my friend, my track record on keeping my vows in my life has not been all that hot, … especially before I became a Christian. I would hope that you could now trust me with what I say … or with what I write here, … now that I am a Christian and hopefully a more mature Christian at that. But, you will find that I don’t make any promises, vows, or commitments without seriously considering whether I can carry out the promise of my word.

And may that always be the case for the remainder of my life.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help my “yes” to be YES and my “no” to actually be NO … all the days of my life. … Amen

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