2019-02-21 The New Covenant

Good Morning!

Can you believe it’s the 21st of February already? I know, some of you can’t believe how long this winter is dragging on, but, still, the time sure flies. I wonder if today is the day Jesus comes for us? Do you think about that? I would like to be more intentional on being ready for his return. I think it changes my outlook on my day and my whole life. I do believe that’s exactly what Jesus has in mind.

Certainly, I could think of Jesus more than I do. Don’t get me wrong, I think about him more than I ever thought I would. Still, I find myself in trouble too often. Maybe it’s something so simple as finding I spent two hours worrying about something. Maybe I find myself pigging out when I know I shouldn’t. Maybe it’s just simply being crabby. If I’m careful to examine my thoughts, I will find that it is in these times I am wandering.

Here’s a passage that I find comforting:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

When I was a child, this terrified me. I couldn’t imagine being so pre-occupied with God, especially coming from the perspective of a commandment. How could I possibly do this even if I tried? Now, some will say that this is the law which proves itself unattainable, thus the need for Jesus. I get all that. However, from a different perspective, it might look a little different, maybe a whole lot different.

What if we looked at this as a prophecy rather than a commandment? You know, God telling me, “You shall one day love and enjoy me with everything you have. I will do this for you.”

Could this possibly be what God has in mind? If that is the case, that would take the pressure off me living up to this because now I don’t come close. Closer, yes, but the closer I get the farther I seem to be. It’s like this, perhaps, because I am trying to do these things. What if I was to look at it differently, that this is God’s promise to me rather than a directive?

I think there is a good case for this. Let’s take a looksee:

Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Ezekiel 11:19-20 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules.

The letter of Hebrews goes into all of this. God has indeed made this new covenant with those whom he has chosen, those who are born-again. Jesus is the one who made this all possible. His death was the price he paid; his resurrection is our proof. See, he even told us about it:

Matthew 26:27-28 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 8 speaks of this new covenant being far better than the old; in fact, it entirely replaces the old because the old was not kept by us. “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22) Jesus was the sacrifice for us. He is the one who enacted the “new covenant.” He is the one who paid for this new heart and new spirit in us.

Now, I need to tell you that I had no intention writing any of this today. None whatsoever. However, it was the topic of discussion of our study last night, and it simply unfolded for me today. Gives me chills! Furthermore, this is the verse that I just now read:

Hebrews 9:27-28 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

We’re back to where we started this post – waiting for Jesus to return. Now, I would like to think I can write like this, but this one was not my doing. God is the one who laid out this outline today. Very cool.

Thank you, Father, for revealing yourself so plainly to me. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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