At the start of the year we often make new year resolutions, a promise to ourselves that in some way or other we are going do something to improve our life. Now we are a couple of weeks into 2014 I wonder how many people have managed to keep them! Promises can be easy to make but difficult to keep.
As we come to Harvest City Church’s First Fruits service on Sunday it is good to remember that God always keeps His promises. We can put our trust in things like careers, hobbies and relationships but we know that all of these can let us down. Our God will never let us down. We can trust him to meet all of our needs and to give us a good journey through life, a bountiful harvest indeed! As God keeps his promises we should keep the promises we make before God. Ecclesiastes 5:5 says “When you make a promise to God don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him.” God is always true to his word, if we are not true to ours then we make ourselves liars!
Judges 11 tells the foolish and tragic story of Jephthah who made a solemn vow before the Lord, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites, I will give to the Lord whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” Jephthah won the battle and when he returned home it was his daughter who came out to greet him. There is no doubt that Jephthah had been rash and desperate when he made the promise which led to his separation from his only child, but he understood that when he made that promise he was honour-bound to keep it. This shows that we should be careful: firstly to make sure that we do not make vows lightly before God, but also that when we do make a promise before God we should honour it!
As our church’s two week fast is coming to an end, it is time to stir up our faith and to earnestly seek the Lord as we decide what to give as our first fruit offering. But more than that, let’s make sure that we keep our promise and honour our first fruits pledge. God honours those that honour him (1 Samuel 2:30).