Let Your Yes Be Yes

When in a court, or before an appointment to a position,someone will stand before you and ask you to raise your right hand, and swear, that you will either tell the truth, or uphold a truth. In my lifetime, I have seen that process go from using a bible for people to swear on, to just plain nothing. The process of  “swearing” no longer has its intended meaning, to swear or to affirm to someone or something greater than you. The first thing criminals do, to try to get out of what they are charged with, is “I swear to God!” Or they say, “I swear on my mother’s grave!” And I realize it is supposed to carry meaning, but it carries none. The Bible says: “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself: I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply you. And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham obtained the promise. For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute. Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise. He guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6: 13-18   Now we know that an oath, through swearing, carries a heavy meaning, for Jesus tells us not to swear by heaven or earth, because of God, but just make our “YES!” “YES!” and our “NO!” “NO!”  ( Matthew 5:37) He does so because the swearing by God carries more than man can offer. It carries truth, and it seems like the only time that “Swearing” on something is done, is when we are involved in something other than the truth, or that we intend to uphold something that we might not.  Jesus would say that anything more than just “YES” or “NO” is from the evil one. So how many times have you had to swear to something this week? Did your oath carry the truth you intended? How about we put the oath back where it belongs with God, and just speak affirmatively or negatively, knowing we could be wrong. How many wedding vows are spoken by an oath, yet last as long as the ink drying on the paper? How many times have we wanted to make our case to another and place and oath on it, knowing that it would probably be impossible to keep such an oath. But in doing so, we have watered down the sacred oath, and although we come to understand that is what is in man, we too, think at times that God’s promises are the same. But with God, when He swears by Himself, there is no one higher. He doesn’t have to make a promise, an oath, for He is God. Yet because of who He is, all the promises in Christ, are “YES” and “AMEN” for the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20). Let’s think about this the next time we are prone to offer an oath, and just let our “Yes” be enough.  And then keep your word, for by it men will see that we live by the truth that is in us, not by the failure that we identify with being worldly. Pastor Andy

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