January 26, 2014

Renewing Vows

Nehemiah 9:38; 10:28-39

“We are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”
—Nehemiah 9:38


One of the touching moments in a marriage ceremony is when the bride and groom face one another to speak their vows. When I officiate at a wedding ceremony, I ask the couple to repeat words of fidelity, trust, and commitment. I’ve witnessed grooms saying vows with tears streaming down their cheeks. I’ve seen brides sniffling under their veils as they hear those words.

Vows are solemn promises. God promised Abraham that he would be his God. Abraham’s children grew into the nation of Israel. Now Nehemiah and Israel were renewing their vows to the Lord. They recommitted to God, who was already committed to them.

Along with their leaders, Israel stood before their commitment-keeping God and repeated their vows to be his people. They promised many things to their covenant God. Above all, they promised to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Over 2,000 years ago, God renewed his vows to us by sending his Son. Jesus prayed, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word” (John 17:6). In this way Jesus repeated God’s vows to us, saying we belong to him alone. Let’s live out our love for him today!

Lord, I renew my vows of love and commitment to you alone. I promise to serve and worship you because you first loved me. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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