My admiration for preachers of old is an element of who I am. One component of myself, I am most intrigued with. I often reflect on my innate ability to adhere to the profound messages of comfort they hold. Messages of hope, grace, miracles, and promises of God. Archaic; yet, beautiful messages as common foundations of a daughter of the Most High. The esteem brilliance of God’s words delivered even through tough times, is remarkable. Heading back to the old, is likewise refreshing for me. No repetition, no reproductions, no Instagram, but verbal exhibitions of the continued development of God’s truths. I honor this trait in some pastors today; those exceptionally different from what I consider ordinary and mundane. As W.D Thomson shared, I long for the “moral source, the moral power, the moral aim, and the moral effect which they [Biblical context] represent.” Rested on spiritual underpinnings, I would add moral promises as well. Here lays this topic of discourse.
Though I know that I was never meant to be a preaching minister, the aftermath of parabolic studies offered me much discernment on the differences between religiosity and spirituality. From my observations, experiences, and research, doctrines are acceptable if they are not suffocating and offer a path of divine-lived truths. Point blank, the Ten Commandments are laws established by God, and as Christians we should live by them. Though, in any given conversation, we struggle to uphold a few. When we live a life representative of 1 John 4:1-9, God as Spirit in us, and of Love, we can void ourselves from ineffective forms of religion, and to truly live a life displaying His authentic records of hope, grace, miracles, and promises. God’s Spirit in us, makes us perfectly complete. When I listen to sermons of the past, this message, if anything, shines right through.
From my viewpoint, promises not kept remind me slightly of some aspects of religion. Claims may be said or practiced, but not lived. Currently, I am in the pangs of several areas of scruffy promises. Though not directed toward me, they exist based on work and life involvements. I am rattled when I must experience such behaviors. A quiet sea, I am, but any shift in dishonesty can cause me to shuffle my behavior leading into active diplomacy. I really don’t do well with unnecessary nonsense. They mean so little to human development, and can cause more harm than good. The sole basis of mutual understanding and trust comes from truth. Like the truth that God shows us each day.
All together there are 23, 214 verses of the Old Testament and 7, 959 of the New Testament. This totals 31, 173 verses. At last count, there were an estimated total of 8,810 promises, and counting. God’s direct promises to man numbers around, 7,487. Promises God kept and continues to keep. Now why would anyone attempt to make one promise, if it cannot be kept? Broken promises can never be recognized or realized. When promises are not retained, not only is this disappointing to the promisee, it is a huge displeasure to God. In our modern-day society, God still does not participate to play ‘if’ and ‘then’. For example, if you do this for me, then I’ll do this for you, as mildly illustrated in (Genesis 28:20-22). No bargains needed, for He just gives and gives. It really is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18).
Moral obligation ought to be held in high reverence. Care and deep consideration should be given before any promise is made. Therefore, understanding the differences between proclamations of facts and promises is essential. From Matthew 11:28-29, in comparison, here are two models. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Promise). Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart (Facts).
Jesus’ inspiring and infallible words offer tender guides in this sometimes challenging life journey. He is practical, intelligent, and full of such kindness and great truths. As His spirit in me, my promises must be made based on practicality. Careful words not aligned with assurance are spoken if there’s a necessity to cease plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Promising is the anticipation of benevolence. It gives time, respect, love, and goodwill. It is not comparative or is it competitive. Though promises do not have to be oaths, they can be the very elements of bond to build strong family units, friendships, and communities.
I am thankful for the people in my life who continue to show me what this looks like. May our promises be that level of simplicity and example of faith and God’s grace, permitting us to always take Him at His word (2 Corinthians 1:12).
Heavenly Father, thank you for being the ultimate keeper of promises. Even during dark times, they come as light to lead me closer to you. Thank you also for bestowing on me, my special gifts. Gifts to honor you that are much different from others who know you too. The diversification in your global methods, are outstanding! Thank you for living, and loving through us. You consistently listen to our souls longing for complete healing of the world we inhabit [pause and add your own request or intentions]…knowing that you illuminate our voices and intentions as effective illustrations of who you are. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Listen to me read this prayer: *my neighbor’s dogs are thankful too 🙂
Me, feeling so lucky to be your daughter. Yippee!
Source: Thomson, W.D. (1888). The Christian miracles and the conclusions of science. Sydney, AU: Wentworth Press (Reproduction date: March 5th, 2019)