Pastor Dick Nichols
Cedar Creek Community Church
2969 14 Mile Rd., Sparta
If you are a Christian today, sometime in the past you said… (not these exact words, but your own words asking Jesus into your life), “Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that you died on the cross for my sins. I ask you now to come into my heart and make me a new creation. Forgive me all of my sin as you are my Savior. I promise to follow you.”
Some of you have followed Jesus from the time you were a small child; some of you gave your heart to him later in life as I did. The truth is that we made a promise to be faithful to Jesus and to serve him alone, a promise with eternal importance.
There is a problem in our human nature that we often times make promises, pledges, oaths or vows that the moment they fell off our lips we knew we couldn’t live up to them. General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army said, “I want you to always bear in your mind that it is the nature of a fire to go out, you must keep it stirred up and fed and the ashes removed.”
I believe General Booth had in mind what the writer of Ecclesiastes made clear: “(4) When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. (5) Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5, King James translation).
A few years back, James Patterson and Peter Kim interviewed thousands of people and then published a book called “The Day America Told The Truth.” They cited a lot of statistics of being dishonest to parents, spouses, friends, etc., one of which is that 91% of those surveyed said that they lie on a regular basis. One statistic we should take to heart is that ‘there is minimal difference between Christians and non-Christians.
I believe I can safely say that most of us know that God requires that we speak the truth whenever we speak. Honesty helps us grow in our relationships with Jesus Christ and others, while dishonesty is contrary to the character of God and undermines relationships.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 King James translation). Jesus said that we should ‘stand out’ as a beacon on a hill, not for our glory, but that others would see the difference between a practicing Christian and others. You might ask how we know what God thinks about this? Well, I’m glad you asked. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:24 King James translation). Let us practice the example of Jesus and make truth a relevant part of our character.