Read today's Bible references, then read below.
KEEP YOUR WORD
Pray before you begin and ask the Lord to open your eyes to see who you really are rather than who you think you are. Specifically ask Him to show you when you do not fulfill your word.
In today's passage, we want to remember that this is Jesus who is speaking, not just a wise man.
In the section of the Sermon on the Mount in which these verses are situated, Jesus is addressing subjects like truthfulness, keeping your word, justice, rights, and liberty. All of these were standards so twisted by Pharisaical law. The Pharisees had built a moat and a wall of protection around God’s commandments with their own laws. Initially, they were probably formed out of a zealous desire to protect and uphold righteousness, but no human law or tradition can foster righteousness. True righteousness is only imputed to us through Christ.
Our word is a reflection of our heart and our character. If we keep our word, we honor God. If we don’t keep our word, we dishonor Him. We want to be who we say we are! We want to clearly understand what Jesus is saying about oaths because even God Himself uses oaths to emphasize His intent and the trustworthiness of His promises (Heb. 6:13-18). And Moses commanded Israel to take their oaths in God’s name (Deut. 10:20-22). But even the Old Testament warned about making foolish oaths (Judg. 11:29-40) or making them thoughtlessly (Prov. 20:25, Numb. 30:6). How does Jesus’ teaching on oaths reinforce, make more explicit, and even expand these Old Testament warnings? Do you think that Jesus is prohibiting oaths in any and every situation? What kind of situation might He be envisioning?
We really don’t think of making oaths, but what about the words “commitment” and “promise”? When you say that you will do something, will you do it? When you say something, is it completely true? Is there truth in your inward parts? Do you make promises to your husband, your children, or others that you don’t keep? Do you make promises to God? Do you keep those? Is your word trustworthy? Ask the Lord to search your heart. Is there any ungodly or untruthful way in you? Confess the things He brings to your mind.
Ask the Lord in prayer today to help you live up to any promises you have made.