Faithlife Sermons

Keep you Wedding Vows

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Emphasis on making and keeping our vows

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When do people stand in front of the congregation during a worship service?
Normal for the pastor as he leads the congregation in worship. He does this so often that he wears a hole in the carpet in front of the altar.
But when do the others stand in front of the congregation?
In Sunday school when you sang or were involved in the Christmas Eve Service.
When you approach the altar to receive the Lord’s supper.
On your confirmation day.
When you take part in a baptism.
When you take part in a baptism.
When you are installed as a leader in the congregation (Sunday school teacher, member of the church council)
When you stand up for a wedding.
When you get married.
Note how three of these events all involve something you will be doing today in the sight of God and these witnesses. That something is making a solemn promise that you will remain faithful.
In baptism we promise that we will (quote)
“Assist in whatever manner possible so the person being baptized may remain a child of God until death.” Part of this is participating in teaching the precious truths of the Bible to those who are baptized.
In our confirmation we promises that we will (quote)
“Suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from the teaching of Jesus and the church.”
In marriage you will promise each other that you will (quote)
“Be guided by the counsel and direction God has given in his Word and be faithful, cherish, support, and help each other in sickness and in health as long as you both shall live.”
These promises are so important that they are also defined as solemn vows (define)
The definition of a solemn vow is a very important promise and one that has serious consequences for breaking. An example of a solemn vow is when, at your wedding ceremony, you promise to love, honor and cherish your spouse until death.
In the Bible we find examples of promises that God’s people made to each other and to God.
Ruth vows to her mother-in-law her determination to follow her wherever she goes.
Joshua challenged the Israelites to serve Lord and vowed that “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Jesus teaches us to be truthful in making any and all promises and that we should let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no”.
Promises are easy to make. They are simply words spoken and can be made even if we have no intention of keeping them. And even if we intend to keep them with our whole heart, we realize that they can be difficult to keep. This happens so often that the phrase “Promises are made to be broken” is well known.
And yet, we realize that not all promises are kept. Promises can be easy to make. But they can also be broken. They are simply words spoken and can be made even if we have no intention of keeping them. And even if we intend to keep them with our whole heart, we realize that they can be difficult to keep. This happens so often that the phrase “Promises are made to be broken” is well known.
Perhaps the most well known broken promise in the Bible (because we review it every year) is the one that Peter vowed to the face of Jesus (quote).
Luke 22:31–34 NIV
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
He certainly meant well. He did not do well.
Perhaps the most well known broken promise in the Bible (because we review it every year) is the one that Peter vowed to the face of Jesus (quote). He certainly meant well. He did not do well.
He certainly meant well. He did not do well.
What happened to Peter strikes a chord with us even today.
Baptism: How often haven’t parents and sponsors made the baptismal vows and the child was seldom if ever seen in church again.
Confirmation: Of the over 50 students I confirmed here at Salem in the last 18 years, only a handful remain even though many still live in the area and claim membership at Salem.
Weddings: Nationwide the divorce rate is a staggering 33% and our congregation mirrors that statistic.
Peter’s inability to keep his promise strikes a chord because we ourselves have often made and broken similar promises to remain faithful. It is a difficult thing to keep a promise whether it be a promise to call when we arrive at a destination or a more serious vow like the ones I have referred to.
And yet, we don’t stop making promises. We have this hopeful optimism that this time things will be different. We pray that in your case you will be able to keep faithfully your marriage vows as long as you both shall live.
(Explore how we can have this promise and the importance of repentance and forgiveness)
How can you keep this very important promise in your life? By being honest and transparent in your relationship with each other. Jesus’ command to not make vows and to let your “yes” be “yes” is his way of teaching that we are to be responsible in even the little things which will lead us to be responsible in the big things. Strive to keep even the little promises. And if you don’t, then confess these sins to each other and forgive each other. Peter broke a very serious promise to Jesus. Jesus had warned that if anyone was ashamed of him he would be ashamed of them before God the Father. And yet, when Peter repented, Jesus forgave him and restored him.
Our God does this because when it comes to promises, he is faithful.
Hebrews 10:22–25 NIV
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
When God makes a promise, he keeps it. This includes his promise to be with us, to forgive us, to love us, to bless us, to protect us, to bring us safely into his heavenly kingdom. All he asks us to do is to rely on his by trusting in his promises and remaining faithful to him. “Be faithful even unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
When God makes a promise, he keeps it. This includes his promise to be with us, to forgive us, to love us, to bless us, to protect us, to bring us safely into his heavenly kingdom. All he asks us to do is to rely on his by trusting in his promises and remaining faithful to him. “Be faithful even unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
When will be the last time you will be in front of the congregation? It may very well be a time that will be mentioned in your vows that we hope will be decades away. You promise to be faithful to each other “as long as you both shall live.” In the Book of Common Prayer it was stated negatively “til death do us part”. This statement emphasizes that your commitment to each other and your promises are to last a lifetime. The Lord’s promises to you stretch into eternity.
May the Lord keep you faithful to each other and to him throughout your lives. Amen.
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