July 30 – Watchful Words

“You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.” Deuteronomy 23:23 (ESV)

Yesterday our verse from Genesis established how God’s spoken words are in fact promises. We know God is perfect in all His ways so we trust His words in the Bible without doubt. He is always truthful and what He promises are made to us through what He has spoken. Such is not so certain regarding the words we speak. Yes, we can recite the words God has spoken and trust them to be Promises from God. But, we must take greater care and not be flippant with our words. Our verse says, we are to be careful to do what passes our lips because our words are voluntarily vows to the Lord. A quick “certainly I can” or “I’ll do so, trust me” might slip out as a careless promise which we may not follow up and fulfill. How about with a concern shared with us and we respond, “I’ll pray for you?” Do we actually pray, even mentally? Or do we say that because it seems a good thing to say to ease their concern? “I’ll pray for you” is not a prayer itself. If we say it, are we not obliged to do it?


May 20 – The Confession that is Real

“…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” – Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)

God saves us because He chose to do so. Our salvation happens when we believe that truth and confess with repentance to God. Our verse of promise says, “Confession is made unto salvation.” We are not saved by our mouth’s confession, but rather, our mouth testifies readily of the grace of God in Christ which we received by a gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8). This is not a simple acknowledgment that He is God and the Lord of the universe, since even demons acknowledge that to be true (James 2:19). This is the deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is our own master or sovereign. Paul emphasizes the importance that this comes from our heart. The heart is not merely the seat of affection or emotion. As used in the Bible, our heart is the hub of the wheel of human existence and life – intellectual, emotional, and volitional. First of all there must be faith in our heart. Without such faith a confession with the mouth would be mockery. But even if there is faith in our heart, confession with our mouth is altogether natural when our faith is genuine.