Deuteronomy 23:23 Keep Your Word

Handshake promise

Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth. Deuteronomy 23:23

Every day millions of people make promises about something to someone. This can be promises to other people or to God. At the same time there are millions of people who break their promises and do not fulfill what they said they would do.

Breaking the promise is such a common problem, that people have to sign extremely detailed contracts to make a promise on many things. These contracts are legally binding writings stating that the person will do what was promised, or there will be consequences.

During the time of Moses, having a written contract was not common, it was just the word of the person. God tells them that they must keep their promise, because it was the person who freely, from his own mouth, made the promise.

It does not matter why or how the promise was made, it must be kept, despite the consequences. People will come up with every excuse possible as to why they have to break the promise. Yet, it must be kept. God holds the person accountable for that promise.

Many people will also make a sudden rash promise to God in the heat of the moment. Often this is done to make God happy with them and to get Him to change the situation. God will hold that person responsible for that promise.

God always keeps every promise He has ever made. He is and will be faithful forever to His word. Believers are to be just like God and keep their promises. They are not to suddenly refuse to keep the promise, regardless of how hard it may be to keep it.

Jesus kept His promise to you in providing you salvation and forgiveness for your sins. Keeping His promise cost Him His life. He had to die on the cross in order to keep His promise to save you.

Each day you have options on what you will say and what you will do. As a believer, you must always be a person of your word. Fulfill every promise that you make. Every time you make a promise to anyone, remember that you are also making that promise to God, and He will hold you accountable.

Be careful what you say, and always keep your promise.

I pray today that you will only speak what God wants you to say; that God will strengthen you to keep your word; that God will see you as faithful to your word; and that God will help you to keep from making rash promises. 

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Isaiah 29:13 Worship By Human Rules

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13

Isaiah was prophesying against the people of the city of Jerusalem. When a person looked at them, it appeared as though they worshipped God. God was looking at the heart and said that they honored Him with their lips, but they were only worshipping Him with manmade rules and not from the heart.

Words are something that is easy for a person to speak. Many people will claim to be a real friend of someone, but when that person is in a real need, none of his friends take the time or effort to meet that need. The talk of being a real friend was only lip-service. There was no real meaning to it.

People work and speak in the same way with God. Look around America and it is very easy to find a lot of people who claim to be a follower of Jesus. Yet, as they claim to be a follower, they do not step foot in church, never witness of who He is, and live a life that does not even begin to resemble that of Jesus.

Many do go to church each Sunday to worship God in the physical body. In their hearts they are not really worshipping God. As they are worshipping God in a song, their mind is on the dinner meal or other activities. They are thinking about the game being played that afternoon or what they need to do at work the next day.

The hearts of many are not focused on God at all. They go to church and sing the songs because that is what you are supposed to do, not because they want to do it. It is all based upon man’s rules on how to worship God, not from the heart.

This occurs because most people want to fit in and not be different.

Take time today to focus your heart and mind on God. Find reasons to worship Him from your heart and not just the mind. Break the rules of man on how to worship God and worship Him in a new way from your heart. And live your life in worship of Him.

I pray today that your heart will match your lips in worship of God; that you will know God in a personal way; that you will not fear man’s rules in worshipping God; and that you will be near God with all of your life. 

Psalm 141:3 Guarding The Mouth

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

Most people love to talk, some more than others. With a lot of talking, things can be said that should not be said. Often it is words said in the heat of the moment that people regret or hurt others with. Other times it is planned words that are spoken that can do a lot of damage.

Words of condemnation, hatred, jealousy, and ridicule come out of many mouths. They lash out in order to hurt or damage someone’s reputation. At times they are true statements, while other times they are exaggerated or false. It is often seen in the news of a person who has been falsely accused of some crime, only to learn later that he was innocent. Once the accusation has been started, there is no turning back. His reputation and credibility is destroyed.

Children often grow up with extreme pain in their hearts and minds from words said by parents in anger. It is difficult for people to get past the spoken word.

The mouth is one of the most powerful parts of a person. With the mouth a person can be raised up, and with the mouth a person can be destroyed.

David knew the power of his mouth and words. He also knew that, alone, he could not control his mouth. He needed God’s strength and guard to keep his words right.

Think about the words that have been spoken to or about you that have hurt. Now think about the times you have made statements to someone or about someone that you regretted afterwards.

Allow God to place a guard over your mouth to keep you from saying the wrong things. Fill your heart and life with the things of God. Keep praise and worship in your heart and on your lips at all times. Out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth will speak. This will keep the wrong things from coming out of your mouth.

What words are building up in your heart?

What will you allow your mouth to say?

I pray today that you will allow God to guard your mouth; that your heart will be filled with God; that your words will be the words of God; and that you will use your words to build others up and bring them to God, rather than destroy them.

Mark 7:6 Where Is Your Heart?

“He replied, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Mark 7:6

The disciples were eating some food with unwashed hands. The Pharisees, then, complained to Jesus about the disciples eating with unwashed hands. This was breaking a tradition of a ceremony they would go through on a regular basis.

Jesus then quotes Isaiah 29:13, in stating that they honor with lips only and not with the heart. He calls them hypocrites. A hypocrite is a person who says one thing, but does something entirely different.

The Pharisees would honor God with their lips. They would say all the prayers, teach the Law, and sing the praises of God. At the same time, however, they would also cut a person down who did not follow all of their man-made rules. No where did the Law talk about washing hands before eating. Man came up with this rule. Their hearts were far from God.

Even today, hearts can be far away from God. In the church, many people get wrapped up in making sure the service is done correctly: opening ceremonies, three songs (and only hymns), offering, the sermon, prayer, and go home. Others get wrapped up in the color of the carpet, or type of pews. If anything is done outside of this, watch out.

Along with these petty issues, many also have the problem that during the service their mind is on other things. How many times is a person thinking about lunch or after the service while the sermon is being preached? Or while singing a worship song, they are looking at another person, thinking about how they are dressed or something they did? Or they are thinking about work?

In each of these, the outside actions are the same, but the heart is not in it for God. God is almost an afterthought. This is what Jesus calls a hypocrite.

Where is your heart today? Are your thoughts focused on God? When you are in a service, are worshipping God from the heart? Or are you just going through the motions?

Keep your heart, actions and focus on God at all times. Do not follow man’s traditions and forget about God.

I pray today that God will show you where you do not honor Him; that you will keep your focus on Jesus at all times; that you do everything you do with a heart for God and people; that God will help you to not just go through the motions; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.