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July 04, 2023

Ep.1288: Are My Promises Reliable?

The role and import of promises in a dedicated Christian's life

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CHAPTERS

[00:14:21]
What did Jesus say about making and keeping promises?


[00:29:51]
Why is it so important that we speak and keep our word?


[00:45:55]
What if we haven't been so great at keeping promises so far?


Theme Scripture: Ephesians 4:29

If we make promises, we should keep them. This statement seems simple enough, and yet when we look around, how much confidence do we have in it? Do we see an unequivocal keeping of promises in our political leadership? Do we see it in the business world? The world of advertising or education? Do we even see it in our family and social interactions? In our last episode, we spoke extensively about the fact that God is absolutely a God of promise – what He says, He always does. We as Christians are bound to His promise-keeping standard of excellence as the model for our own words and actions. So, how do we go about raising the bar with our own commitments? What instructions can we find in God’s word that will focus us on keeping our word?

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When it comes to promises we are to make one to another, the New Testament is nearly silent about the matter. The Bible - especially the Old Testament - is full of instructions about covenants, which were solemn agreements between people or between God and humanity. The Old Testament also was very verbal about the sober reverence regarding vows, which are promises made to God. All of this gives us a solid basis for commitment to the big things in life. So, what happened to the simple promises we may make in our day-to-day experiences?

How often did Jesus talk about promises?

Jesus never spoke about those simple everyday promises, not even once. Instead, he taught us a simple and honorable statement to live by. This statement was given as part of the Sermon on the Mount. As with everything in that teaching, it is profound, direct and to the point. Jesus simply said, "Let your Yes be yes and your No, no." That’s it! No flowery language, no swearing on someone’s grave or on some respected symbol. Jesus simply reminded us to say what we mean and mean what we say.

Does this mean we shouldn’t make promises to anyone?

Of course not! What it does mean is that we as disciples of Christ are bound to a clearly-defined standard of excellence. Our capacity to keep our word is modeled not only after Jesus, but after God Himself. Our challenge is to grow daily and steadily into a person who can be recognized as trustworthy, simply because of who we are.

How do we do that? Check out our July 4, 2023 podcast, “Are My Promises Reliable?” for details. We examine what promises were made in the New Testament, who made them and for what reasons. What we find is surprising to say the least, as several of these examples are powerful lessons in what NOT to do. We observed that promises made based on outward and sometimes dramatic commitments can be a cover for devious activity. Join us as we delve into applying the simple words of Jesus as life-changing guidance for our daily lives. These are lessons you don’t want to miss!

 

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