Promise Keepers

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Ben Moser graduated from high school last month.  He was an outstanding student.  He was very popular as he was the high school quarterback.  Ben made a promise when he was in the fourth grade to his friend Mary Lapkowicz.  He promised he would take her to his senior prom.  Now Mary has Down syndrome.  Moser had always looked after Mary.  He included her in games and social functions.

Mary had to transfer schools in the sixth grade.  The two fell out of touch and didn’t see or talk to each other for several years.  But last month Moser remembered his promise.  He was able to contact Mary and ask her to be his date for the senior prom.  Mary got a flower, a lot of balloons, and all her friends were there.  Some people were surprised at Ben’s selection for a date – but only those who didn’t know him well.

Ben could have had a date with any girl in school, but he had made a promise to Mary – and he kept his promise.  When quizzed about it, he simply said, “I promised her.  I kept my promise.  It was the right thing to do.  You should always do what’s right.  It is as simple as that.”

God is always faithful in His promises.  He never breaks a promise.  You can stand – put your whole weight – on His promises.  The gospel hymn affirms “Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God.”

Samuel reminds us that the promises of the Lord are always true.  (II Samuel 22:31)  David echoes this reality of how God’s promises are true in Psalm 18:30.  The greatest promise God made was in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ.  Through Jesus, God promised that we might all have life and have it abundantly.  God’s promises are not just for this life, but for eternal life.  John says, “This is a promise which He himself made to us – eternal life.” (I John 2:25)  James makes it clear that God makes a promise that through Him we can “be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He has promised to those who love Him.” (James 2:5)

God always keeps His promises – the real question is whether we keep the promises we make to Him. (Tweet this)  How many times have we been in a tough situation and made promises to God, that if He would get us out of that situation, we would do certain things.  Do we keep those promises?

We make a promise when we are baptized and joined the Church.  The promise is to confess our faith in Jesus Christ and to be faithful disciples.  In The United Methodist Church, we make that explicit by promising to be a part of the church through our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.  Those are promises.

Married people have made a promise to our spouse.  It was not a conditional promise, but an unconditional promise.  That promise specifies that we take our spouse “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.”  That is a huge promise!

One of the great ministries of my lifetime is Promise Keepers.  Thousands of men gathered to focus on keeping promises.  At Frazer we carried a caravan of buses to Indianapolis and to Atlanta to participate.

It is simple – keep your promise.  Be a Promise Keeper!

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