It’s a long way between Corsicana and Borger, Texas.That was the first leg of our trip my wife and I are undertaking. Our destination is Colorado Springs to attend a graduation on Wednesday of one of young high school student who was part of our former congregation. We gave her our word we would return and my wife and I said that come “hell or high water” we would attend. I think we went through both on Monday. The water was in Ft. Worth as we drove through a horrible storm of hard rain, blowing wind and some hail. Then the hell part was in Childress where honestly the temperature in the month of May was 105 degrees. Yet, I thank God for His hand of protection and windshield wipers and air conditioning.
I woke up this morning thinking about various people in our society today who do not keep their word. Most politicians do not, that we are all aware of. To get in office they promise things that they honestly cannot deliver, yet we keep voting them back in. There are several “p” worded people who do not keep their word as well, but if anyone should it has to be preachers. It is a sad day in our society when we get to the place that we are shocked when people do, yet we ought not to be. I am afraid we have lost some great levels of integrity over time. How sad.
Allow me to return to the book of Psalms once again. I know it is not a translation, but one man’s interpretation, yet it talks in a language that often I can understand. Even though I do most of my preaching from the King James Version, even that translation at times is hard to understand. So, I need things explained to me in a way that I can comprehend. So, Eugene Peterson has done so. He takes the 15th chapter of Psalm and after asking the question, “Who get’s invited to dinner at God’s place?”, David under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and Eugene Peterson under the Holy Spirit’s anointing puts a list of guidelines that you and I will have to walk in if we get a personal invitation to the dinner God is preparing. I intend to be there. I know you do as well. But, the list is fascinating. Read what the psalmist had to say as the Spirit of God is speaking through him. “God, who gets invited to dinner at your place?How do we get on your guest list? "Walk straight, act right, tell the truth. Don't hurt your friend, don't blame your neighbor; despise the despicable. Keep your word even when it costs you, make an honest living, never take a bribe…”(Psalm 15:1-5 The Message)
When I was in high school Coach Ritchey urged me to get involved with the track team. I did and one of the groups that were always interesting to watch was the pole vaulters. They would race down a track with a fiberglass pole in their hand, and leap in the air over a high bar. Most of the guys I knew would clear the bar with no problem. Some did not. When the psalmist penned the words of this 15th chapter, the Spirit of God raised the bar, so to speak. Did you read those words slowly? If not, go back over them. They are awesome, convicting, penetrating, like arrows shot from heaven’s bow, they cut right through the muck and mire of our lives and slap us all right in the face. Feel the sting? I do. Two times in this chapter David writes about you and me speaking things that are right out of our lips. To be honest. To keep our word even when it costs. Oh wow. Even in David’s generation there were those who said one thing from their lips, but their lives did not measure up to what was being spoken.
This is exactly why my wife and I loaded up on Monday and headed for Colorado to spend a few hours before returning to Texas, to be honest, believable people in the eyes of teenagers. But, not only in the eyes of teenagers, in the eyes of people that are watching us very closely. My blog is not to pat us on the back and make us out to be something special. I just want to do the word of God. To not just talk about it, but act on it as well. In the early days of my ministry it was so easy to sound plausible from a pulpit and tell others what they should do, but end up with devastating consequences in my own life. No more. Now more than ever must the body of Christ be honest, believable, people full of integrity that no matter the cost they keep their word. I honestly believe it will shock the world if we start living that way.Join me in becoming a mind blowing believer who keeps their word!!!!!!!!!!!