Wednesday, August 22, 2012
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You know, a hand shake just isn't what it used to be. It used to be all that you needed to guarantee an agreement between two people. There aren't very many deals done today on just a hand shake. If someone says they'll do something, out come the papers, the contract, the warranties, the fine print, the lawyers, the notary public. I've learned from following my wife around antique stores, where we've mostly just looked, that the less there are of certain objects the more valuable that one is. That's true of people too. In a world where words are cheap, you can be one of a rare and priceless breed.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Promise Keepers."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is coming from Psalm 15; a very interesting psalm. It's a description of what it takes to be a person who is really close to God; to get God's best, to be respected by heaven and earth. What determines all this is how a person handles his tongue, his neighbor, his money, the people around him; actually five solid gold traits. I want to focus on one today. It's our word for today from the Word of God, Psalm 15:4.
The beginning of this psalm says, "Lord, who may dwell in Your sanctuary; who may live on Your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous." Then it defines that, and this characteristic of that person is this: "One who keeps his oath, even when it hurts." Wow! That's a good one, isn't it?"Keeps his oath when it hurts?" He's a promise keeper, no matter how expensive it is to keep that promise." Hey, that's a rare kind of person.
People today just get through the moment by promising whatever they have to promise and then forgetting it. Well, now, if promise keeping and commitment keeping were common, a lot of lawyers would probably be out of work today. But it's very important to God.
That's what this psalm says. It's important to God whether you keep your promises. You may forget your promises, but God doesn't. You may minimize your commitment, but God doesn't. You make it a top priority to promise only what you can do, and then to do what you promise.
See, the follower of Christ is bound to keep his promise, not by a contract but by his character. God remembers our promises, and someone else who remembers them is our children. If you've promised your child time, or help, or an answer, you deliver on that promise even if it hurts. No matter what you have to rearrange; you move heaven and earth to keep a promise you've made to your son or daughter. The issue is trust, and you've got nothing with that child if you don't have their trust.
Now, this affects every area. Meet the deadlines you said you would, deliver what you said you would in your business, even if things don't go as you thought they would, keep a commitment even if - especially if - something better comes along. Give what you said you'd give; go where you said you'd go. And then just really try to be what you said you would be. Maybe it's your marriage oath; your marriage commitment. It's hurting right now to keep it. Don't even consider quitting as an option. Put all your energy into fighting for her; fighting for him. Most important, stay true to that commitment you made to your Lord Jesus, even if it's costing you right now in some ways you've never anticipated.
God richly rewards the one who keeps his oath even when it hurts. He rewards the promise keepers. Oh, yeah, they're rare, but they are priceless.