“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Anything more comes from the evil one.”
–Berean Study Bible
Remember those old westerns where two people would shake hands and say, “My word is my bond”? While this may or may not have been true, the idea of a man being bound by his word sounds foreign to us in this day and age. Therefore, sober reflection caused me to re-examine my own values, and attempt to see my words from God’s perspective.
Now let me ask you a question that I have had to wrestle with this morning. But I warn you–it sounds ludicrous on the surface. I beg you to humor me, though, for thinking about this question in depth will lead you to self-examination, as it did me. Here goes: Did Jesus just do things when He felt like it, or not?
“Now we know you’re crazy, Tim!” you may scoff. But before you say that, hold on a minute, and let me give you an example from my own life. It shows how we are often run by feelings, and we end up making excuses rather than keeping our word.
A friend of mine was looking for volunteers to help him with a project, so I offered my services. As things progressed, though, I began to have second thoughts. While it is true that unforeseen circumstances arose, it is also true that I didn’t feel like keeping my commitment. I thought about making some kind of excuse, or maybe I could provide legitimate reasons for not showing up or helping at all.
But after talking to my wife, God began to deal with my heart. As I started to ponder the subject of keeping my word, He seemed to ask me this question.
“You just celebrated Christmas, didn’t you? What if My Son, the living Word, hadn’t become flesh?”
I began to really think about that, and I started to realize how important my words were.
The logical conclusion was simply this: Instead of acting on His feelings, Jesus acted on a pure love, which motivated Him to do the Father’s will. God’s will, at great sacrifice to His Son, led to the fulfillment of the scriptures.
If this sounds old-hat, it is because most of us miss the point, and that point is this. In today’s world, sacrifice means going to the supermarket when we don’t feel like it. However, Jesus gave up everything for a cold, lonely, and painful existence, which wasn’t based on His own desires.
Imagine that thanks to your father, you were the richest person in existence. On his death bed, however, your father had a change of heart. His revised will required you to leave your lifestyle of great comfort and affluence and become penniless. Furthermore, you would have to face great pain and rejection, along with a cruel death.
If you are anything like me, you would shrink back and wonder if the old man had lost his mind. But, friend, that scenario is similar to what Jesus did for you and me, except that He paid a much greater cost.
So after thinking all of that through, I realized that if God found it so important to keep His Word, it shouldn’t be any less important for me to keep mine. My words should reflect His loving character into our hurting world.
Jesus also urged me to let my yes be yes, and my no be no. Sometimes that calls for me to leave my comfort zone while doing the right thing, and I would be the first to agree that this isn’t always easy.
In the Bible, James says that each word carries the weight of life and death. But you and I can take heart, because according to the book of Hebrews, we have a great high priest who has gone before us. So come to Him today, as He is the one who has already paved the way by His Spirit. He only asks that we call on Him for wisdom, and speak words of life to a world that is lost.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.