Summary: Living a Saved Life
As I began preparing for today’s message I opened my hymn book and it opened to page 280 – O Jesus, I have promised. I don’t know the tune of this song…didn’t even know it was in the hymn book but was amazed by the words that lay within it especially since the Holy Spirit had already given me the topic. The words go like this: O Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end. Be thou forever near me. My master and my friend. I shall not fear the battle. If thou art by my side. Nor wander from the pathway, If thou wilt be my guide. Look at the first stanza – the author promises to serve the Lord until His last breath. A promise to live a life according to the word not according to his own will. Lord I promise to do what I told you I would do. The scripture lesson let’s us know that the Lord expects those of us who profess salvation, those of us who state we are saved, those of us who say we chose Jesus, that we keep His commandments, or keep our promise. My question to you this morning is are you a Promise keeper or a promise breaker? Now a true expression of love is the actions that we take. How many of us has fallen in love and wanted that person to know just how much we loved them. We promised some things that even as they fell off our lips – we knew we couldn’t live up to our promise. Now when we broke those promises, the person we made them to felt hurt and betrayed. We felt hurt and disappointed with ourselves when we realized we were not promise keepers but instead we were promise breakers. Turn to some one and ask them if they kept their promise. Now a few years ago a group was formed by a group of men called “THE PROMISE KEEPERS”. Now they simply made a vow to God that they would do all they could do be all they could in the Christian army. They promised to be real men of God. Provide what they could. Take responsibility for what the should. Supply what they ought. And not do what they should not. A conference held yearly in different places where men come together and praise and worship God. Thanking Him, Honoring Him. Worshiping Him. Praising Him. Laying before Him. Vowing to be what He actually expected them to be doing in the first place. They promised to keep their promises to God – naming themselves the Promise Keepers. Now let’s look at ourselves for a moment or two. When we first joined the church, we promised God we would stay in touch with Him daily. We promised Him that we would read His word. We promised Him we would obey His will. We promised Him we would fellowship with other people of God on a regular basis. We promised the pastor we would be in the house as often as the door was open doing whatever we could giving and supporting as the Lord has blessed us. When we get into trouble, we make promises to God. Lord if you get me out of this I promise I will never do this again. Lord if you let me make it through I will never go back to that again. Lord if you fix this problem I promise I will go to church 24/7. Lord if you heal me I promise to give up the stuff that makes me sick. Lord if you mend this relationship, I promise I don’t have to have the last word. Lord if you pay that bill, I promise I won’t spend my money of stuff that only is detrimental to me. Lord if you get me out of the cell, I promise I will never sell drugs or sell my body again. Lord if you just let me get back on my feet, I promise I will never do drugs or drink till I can’t function ever again. Lord if you do…..Lord I promise I will…But as soon as the problem is over, as soon as the circumstance has been elemanated, as soon the storm passes over and we think God has forgotten about – we are back in the same stuff doing the same junk stuck in the same stank we were in before.
In this particular scripture Jesus is talking to the disciples, at the beginning he informs them to just believe in Him - Told them about their home on the other side. Let them know that he was coming back to get them. He informed them that the only way in is if they come through him. He goes on and on about how he is who he is and how he can do what he does. But in the 15th verse, even though he didn’t come to condemn us but to give us life of abundance, this verse shows us they he expects us to do something. He expects us to keep our vow – to keep our promise – to do as God has commanded. The two commandments that Jesus gave were Love the Lord thy God with all your heart soul and mind…and the second one says love thy neighbor as thyself. When you look at these two commandments, some of us say well at least we don’t have to abide by those others anymore….you know since Jesus came to destroy the law. But look at the ten commandments and how these simple two encompasses all of them in one sweep. To love the Lord with all your heart mind and soul – means you have to abide by the first four commandments. I am the Lord thy God, who brought you out of your mess – you best not put any other God before me. Don’t make anything else your God – not your car – not your house – not your husband – not your wife – not your job – not you cash – Nothing else should have control over you - be able to make you bow down- not drugs – not alcohol – not cigarettes – not gambling – not ego – not position. Number three says don’t misuse God’s name – stop cursing and swearing using His name. Stop swearing using God’s name. All because you love Him with all that you are. Number 4 simply says keep His day Holy! That does not mean go to the park and have a barbeque because it’s warm outside instead of going to church and thanking him for a warm day. Now commandment 5 through ten would be covered by Love thy neighbor as thyself. Treat your parents right – why because you want to be treated right. Don’t kill nobody – cause we know you don’t want to be killed. Don’t’ commit adultery – because you know you don’t want nobody trippin on you. Don’t steal – because you know you don’t want nobody taking anything from you. Don’t lie on nobody – cause we know we are ready to fight when somebody lies on us. Don’t be jealous about what somebody else has – you know you don’t want to deal with folk who are jealous. Dang because we gave our lives to the Lord and promised to keep his new commandments – we still fall under the same ones that were already written. That’s why Jesus said he didn’t come to get rid of the law – just to fulfill it. Now check this out…. Everyone of us who promised God we would do these two commandments have in essence told God – I will follow the ten commandments. And Jesus says if you love him – you will keep your promise. Now ask yourself if you are a promise keeper or a promise breaker?