“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.” (James 5:12)
When I was young, we played many games. If you were caught in a lie or cheating, we would yell out, “Liar-Liar, Pants on Fire, Nose as Long as a Telephone wire!” The Castaways recorded Liar-Liar – in 1965. When I think about the global depravity, this song should be the New World Order Anthem.
People today never lie; they miss-remembered or miss-spoke. Never an apology or a correction to the record. With the damage done, lives ruined, the news cycle marches on.
Promises are to be kept or not made at all. In Matthew Chapter 26, we find one of the most significant broken promises in all the Bible. Peter promised Jesus that he would never stumble or never deny Him. Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter did deny Him three times as Jesus foretold. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So, he went out and wept bitterly.”
PROMISES SHOULD BE COMMITMENTS TO GOD MADE IN FAITH
Our promises should be commitments to God made in faith, founded in His Word, approved by His will, implemented through His principles, for the improvement of the Church and bringing Glory to God. Our eternal relationship is more significant than our gratification. God is more concerned with our character than our comfort. His goal is not to pamper us physically but to perfect us spiritually.
When you think about it, these lessons we learn through Peters spiritual highs and carnal lows represent our Christian walk. We confess Christ as Lord, then as we sojourn, we deny Him, we backslide, we have seasons of the soul and we must repent. God is gracious to restore us when we ask Him for forgiveness. Peter in one breath proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Next breath we find him rebuking Jesus.
Jesus asked the Disciples, “Who do men say I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” “Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. That thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
In Jesus’ day, there were many stories as to who He was, with some saying John the Baptist, others suggesting Elijah, Jeremiah, or some other prophet. But the crucial question Jesus asked his disciples was, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter was commended for his great answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He recognized Jesus as the Messiah (the anointed One) and as the Son of God (making him equal with God).
The most important question you will ever have to answer in your life is the same question: Who is Jesus?
Your eternity hangs on the answer to that simple question.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests. They would kill Him, but He would rise on the third day.
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
So, Peter has a divine revelation, then comes the inspiration of his own heart inspired by Satan. Such a common problem with us, the ability to know the difference between when God is speaking and when my own heart is speaking to me.
Peter’s spiritual victory is annulled by allowing his flesh to rob and rule the moment. In one breath he has a divine revelation, and in the next, is expressing Satan’s philosophy. Spare yourself. “Be that far from thee,” literally, spare thyself; it shall not be to you. This was one of the devil’s temptations he tried on Jesus in the wilderness.
The worlds philosophy lies to us saying, “Take the easy path and escape the cross.” So often encouraged by this fallen world to use the Short Cut Lie, to avoid the cross. But the cross was essential for our Salvation. Thus, picking it up daily and denying ourselves is vital to our spiritual development.
The path of discipleship is the path of self-denial, the way of the cross. I must come to the cross in my own life. I must come to the end of my ambitions, my personal goals, my desires, and reckon that old life of the flesh to be dead, crucified with Christ, that I might live a new life after the Spirit in Christ Jesus.
We are called to preach the gospel for the glory of God and the benefit of the unsaved. And to teach the Word for the edification of the body of Christ. Thus, our calling is confirmed as we do what we are commanded to do in Christ.
Confess Christ as Lord unto salvation. Love Him more than life itself. Leave your old life behind, pick up your cross and follow Him into eternity.
Is your soul on the Auction block? What will a man give in exchange for his soul? Now, as far as God is concerned, your soul is worth more than the whole world. If you were offered the world in trade for your soul and exchanged it, you’d be making a bad deal, a stupid deal. Your soul is eternal.
The world is going to pass away and the lust thereof. Then the question, “what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” What would you take for your soul? Some of you, who have been wandering in the wilderness in your Christian experience, maintaining a barren soul, God is calling you to pass over Jordan, and come into the promised land.
Enter the land of milk and honey He has promised, where the life of the Spirit lives in victory through the power of the Holy Spirit. Give your soul to God, give Him your life in those areas where your flesh has kept you in defeat before.
“I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE”
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).
God, this world’s problems are so complicated that I cannot make my way without your guidance. Quicken my mind and deepen my understanding. Help me hear your voice and heed your advice. Keep me walking along the path behind you. Let me know your truth and set me free in thee. In Jesus’ name – Amen.
Written by, Brad Wyrick