Apples of Gold
Radio Script for December 31, 2008
“Make a Vow to the Lord”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
I love what it says in Psalm 76:11.
Make vows to the Lord…and keep them.
It doesn’t say what kind of vows to make. It goes into no detail. It simply says, make vows to the Lord and keep them.
As we start a new year, it’s a great time to make a vow to the Lord.
For example, I have renewed my Daniel Fast for another year. That is a vow to the Lord. It’s not something I have to do. It’s not a law or a commandment. It’s just a vow, something I’m promising to do for Him.
I like the word vow instead of promise, even though it means basically the same thing. To me the word vow is stronger. You can have a “pinkie promise,” but there’s no such thing as a “pinkie vow.” A vow is for the strong.
You say you will do it, then you do it. It doesn’t matter how hard it gets. It doesn’t matter if it costs you your life, you do it.
Make a vow to the Lord and keep it.
Keeping a vow builds character. It builds stamina and perseverance.
Vows give you purpose and focus. They give you clarity in your decisions.
A vow becomes a benchmark from which other decisions are made.
For example, let’s say I vow to donate $1,000 to the church building fund on a certain date. I start socking away the money in a savings account, but then just as the date arrives, my car’s air conditioner breaks. What should I do?
Remember, a vow becomes a benchmark from which other decisions are made.
I must…don’t miss this…I must give the $1,000 that I vowed to give on the date that I vowed to give it. That decision was final when I made the vow. No circumstance can change it.
“But Doug, you’re going to melt in the Florida heat.”
Has nothing to do with it. Nothing. That vow, that $1,000, is completely disconnected from my need for an air conditioner.
Listen. I would rather melt to death than break my vow.
That’s why vows are for the strong. Don’t make one unless you will keep it.
I vowed to memorize the book of Ephesians before my son’s birthday in March. I am plugging away and I’m halfway through chapter 4.
Let me tell you, at times I’ve felt lazy. Some days I don’t want to think about it. But my vow, my commitment pushes me forward. I said I will do it, and I will do it.
A vow gives you backbone. It gives you guts.
Now I’m thinking of Antipas. Revelation 2:13 says Antipas was a faithful witness for Christ who was put to death in Pergamum.
Tradition says there was a showdown. They demanded that Antipas pinch some incense into the altar of Caesar.
Let me tell you, the practical thing to do would have been to just pinch the incense. But Antipas refused. Why?
I think it’s because somewhere along the line he made a vow. So when they demanded that he perform this worship to Caesar, he didn’t even have to think about it. The vow was his benchmark. His next decision was based on his vow to worship none but the Lord.
He refused to pinch the incense, so they pitched Antipas into the brazen altar. He died. But he did not break his vow.
A vow is a hammer. Let everything else get out of the way.
Ecclesiastes 5:4 says, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools…”
Don’t make a vow lightly. Proverbs 20:25 says, “It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.”
Don’t make a vow willy-nilly. This isn’t child’s play. God has no pleasure in fools. Take your time and think it through.
But then do it. Make it happen. You’ll come out a better person on the other side.
So as we leap into this new year, think about Psalm 76:11 and how it might apply to your life.
Think about making a vow to the Lord…and keeping it.
E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
© 2008 The Arrow’s Tip
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(Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
Why “The Arrow’s Tip”? Each morning, after diligently seeking the Lord, I write Apples of Gold. Then before I release it to the public I pray one final prayer, “Lord, send forth your arrows.” I envision Apples of Gold as arrows, tips dipped in the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1), sailing toward the hearts and minds of men and women around the world.
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