A promise is in a general sense, a declaration, written or verbal, made by one person to another, which binds the person who makes it, either in honor, conscience or law, to do or forbear a certain act specified; a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made, a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of the act. The promise of a visit to my neighbor, gives him a right to expect it, and I am bound in honor and civility to perform the promise. Of such a promise human laws have no cognizance, but the fulfillment of it is one of the minor moralities, which civility, kindness and strict integrity require to be observed.
  A promise is a binding declaration of something to be done or given for another’s benefit; a promise may be absolute or conditional, lawful or unlawful, express or implied. An absolute promise must be fulfilled at all events. The obligation to fulfill a conditional promise depends on the performance of the condition. An unlawful promise is not binding, because it is void; for it is incompatible with a prior paramount obligation of obedience to the laws. An express promise is one expressed in words or writing. An implied promise is one which reason and justice dictate. If I hire a man to perform a day’s labor, without any declaration that I will pay him, the law presumes a promise on my part that I will give him a reasonable reward, and will enforce such implied promise.
  In Scripture, the promise of God is the declaration or assurance which God has given in his word of bestowing blessings on his people. Such assurance resting on the perfect justice, power, benevolence and immutable veracity of God, cannot fail of performance.Webster’s American Dictionary

“God’s promises are eternal. Every rainbow is the sign of a promise God has made and will fulfill in time.”—Edna Lister

A modern definition of promise is a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen." To make a promise is to "assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; to undertake or declare that something will happen; to make a pledge, to vow, to give your word that you will do a thing.The Oxford English Dictionary

To the traveler on the Via Christa, a promise is a pledge or vow to do something or to act in a certain way, and tacitly is based on your sworn word of honor. Some people make promises lightly, with little or no intention of keeping them later. However, the promise does not know that you did not mean it and so binds you to perform the promise, no matter how long it takes or what it ultimately requires of you to fulfill it.

Edna Lister on Promises

Promises Fulfilled: Edna Lister speech outline; March 4, 1948.

Promises Made: Edna Lister sermon transcript; September 17, 1950.

Promises Fulfilled a: Edna Lister sermon outline; September 24, 1950.

Promises Fulfilled b: Edna Lister sermon transcript; September 24, 1950.

Promises Are Keys: Edna Lister Bible study outline; May 29, 1955.

Promises Made a: Edna Lister sermon outline; May 4, 1958.

Promises Made b: Edna Lister sermon transcript; May 4, 1958.

Promises Fulfilled a: Edna Lister sermon outline; May 11, 1958.

Promises Fulfilled b: Edna Lister sermon transcript; May 11, 1958.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of promise: Latin promissum, a promise, from promittere, send forth; let go; foretell; assure beforehand, promise.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Webster, Noah. Webster’s American Dictionary. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

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