• Jack Selcher

How to Keep Your Promises

Robert Orben said the last completely accurate weather forecast was God telling Noah about a 100% chance of precipitation. Like an inaccurate weather forecaster, you’ve promised things that didn’t happen.

Making promises is easy. After the Last Supper, Jesus predicted all his disciples would desert Him. In verse 29, Peter in effect said, “I don’t know about them. Maybe they’ll let you down, but I won’t!” All the other disciples promised loyalty to Jesus as well (v. 31). They didn’t know how weak they were. Making promises is easy. Keeping them isn’t.

Fulfilling promises is hard. At church services and Christian camps, people rededicate themselves to Christ. Rededication implies a previous dedication. It admits a promise has been broken.

Fulfilling promises wasn’t always easy for Jesus. He predicted He’d be struck down and then rise again (v. 27–28). To fulfill His promise, He endured trouble, distress, and crushing sorrow. In the olive orchard of Gethsemane, He was tempted as no person before or since. He struggled with all His might in a sea of sorrow to keep from sinking. The thought of separation from His Father was almost unbearable. He prayed that if it were possible, the cup of God’s judgment and punishment be taken away. He preferred another way. But He submitted to the Father’s will, the way of the cross.

Fulfilling promises was hard for the disciples because of their human weakness. When Jesus left them to pray, He told Peter, James, and John, “Stay here and keep watch” (Mark 14:34, NIV). All three were sleeping when He returned. Jesus rebuked Peter who said he was willing to die with Him but couldn’t even stay awake for one hour. Faithfulness in the fire is built on the foundation of daily faithfulness in little things. For that, you need God’s grace.

In verse 38, Jesus rebuked Peter, James, and John. He warned them severe testing was on the way. He said their spirits were willing but their flesh was weak. Flesh refers to human nature apart from God’s influence. It doesn’t and can’t serve God. In fact, obeying God is against its nature. It’s like choosing a thief to be church treasurer and expecting honesty.

Jesus’ prescription to overcome temptation is to watch and pray (v. 38). We rarely pray about things we think we can handle ourselves. We save prayer for emergencies. Prayerlessness demonstrates our independence. Self-sufficiency is self-deception. Apart from Jesus, our best efforts make no eternal difference (John 15:5).

To overcome temptation, keep watch. On December 7, 1941, a young lieutenant and two of his solders saw a radar screen fill with dots about 50 minutes before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The lieutenant dismissed the dots and carelessly failed the nation. Temptation to be untrue to God hits like the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor. But there’s usually warning if you remain watchful. Keep your promises by riding the wave of God’s enabling grace. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources

See the free spiritual resources at: https://www.christiangrowthresources.com

You may freely access my books, “Becoming an Enthusiastic Church” and “His Power for Your Weakness” at:

https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/becoming-an-enthusiastic-church and


Photo: File:Champaigne - Le Christ au jardin des oliviers.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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