Posts Tagged covenant

Covenant Keeper

Deuteronomy 8: 18

But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

The book of Deuteronomy is Moses’ swan song, if you will. The Israelites were poised on the banks of the Jordan, ready to cross over into the promised land. This marks the end of Moses’ ministry and life. This book also represents a contract, or covenant, between God and His people. You can see that in the language of today’s verse. God reminds His people of the promises He made them and which He desires to see fulfilled in their lives.

God means to confirm His promises and His covenant to us as well. Every day we have the opportunity to cross over from the desert into the land of promise and Father wants us receive the benefits of His promises as a confirmation to all people that He is an awesome God. He wishes to bless us at least as much as we desire to have blessing flow through our lives.

At what point, though, did it become taboo to expect God to keep His word regarding wealth? The language is perfectly clear in this passage that God, Himself, is giving us power to make wealth. Sure, His design is that we do that, not in our own strength but, in unity with Him, but it is through this display of His goodness that all people will see His glory.

We have a role in this, though. We must first believe that it is God’s will to make wealth in our lives. Second, if we don’t receive this promise or its fruit, then God will appear to be an oath breaker.

For many years the church has wallowed in the false piety of poverty. We have charged God with the guilt of our sicknesses and with every other misfortune of life. The church has made excuses for failure rather than stand on God’s living Word and demand that He perform His Word. However, there is new life in the church. Believers are emerging and demanding the fullness of the gospel. They are investing their hearts, faith and even their money in the promises of God. They are living in expectation and belief and they will see their God. He has waited for a people who will believe Him and trust Him. That is us.

Let’s turn our believers and receivers to full power expecting our Father to show up and show out. The ancient Israelites certainly had no more than we, and yet look at the promise God made them. Read the twenty-eighth chapter and see the expectation level we should have. Let’s fulfill our destinies and allow the Father to confirm His Word to us.

New Covenant

Hebrews 8: 10

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

First things first, recognize that because of Jesus, you are now the house of Israel, so God is talking about you. There are many other passages, in both the Old and the New Testament, which speak to this new contract. In fact, one can see God’s plan unfold through the whole Bible. I could easily spend an entire week on just this aspect of God’s master plan but I will restrain myself. Just know that He has been putting the pieces in place for thousands of years.

The key here, as I see it, is that God is moving into our hearts. We are stepping into a relationship with God. I really like how this same thought is articulated in the book of Revelations, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children (Revelation 21: 7). God’s plan from the beginning and now was to raise a family. It ultimate goal is to have us in intimate, close relationship with Him. In the Old Testament, God was with the Israelites. He led them through the desert in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He had an improvement plan on the drawing board though. In Joel 2: 28 He said, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all of you!” This was the foretelling of the New Covenant and the new way people would walk with God. No more is God in the cloud. With this pouring out, He has come to live in us. “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16).

God’s word is alive in us. He has come to earth and made a home in our hearts and spirits. No longer do we need to look outward to clouds or to an ark to behold our God. God has come to make His abode with us. We are the new Ark of the Covenant. Jesus has made all of this possible and we should seek God in our hearts and get to know Him as an intimate. He is our God and we are His people but as He has said, we are His children. The New Covenant is the indwelling presence of Almighty God and the intertwining of His spirit and yours. Get wrapped up in Him today.

Better Promises

Hebrews 7: 22, 8: 6

Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

Hopefully you read yesterday’s devotional on the plan, or the covenant, of blessing we have under the Abrahamic Covenant. If you did you may well ask how there can be a better covenant or one enacted on better promises. The covenant of blessing was pretty huge and encompassing if you ask me. None the less, God was not satisfied with that covenant. He wanted more and better for us.

For many of us there was one major problem with the previous covenant. It was a promise to Israel, not to the gentiles so that was one important way God improved the deal. Through Jesus, we also became eligible for all of the promises under the Old Covenant. Obviously, Jesus brought a lot of benefits to us through his life, death, sacrifice and resurrection. He broke the power of hell over us and took away the sting of death. We were lost and he found us. We are redeemed, sanctified, justified, saved and restored. There is nothing in the whole Kingdom of God forbidden to us now. All of God’s thoughts and wisdom are ours. Every blessing has been poured out on all the children of earth. Sin has been cleaned away and we now stand boldly in the throne room of God unmarred by the stain of sin. Jesus did that for us. We were unable but because of his delivering grace, we have now been adopted into the family of God. We are truly and factually the children of Yahweh, Jehovah God. All He has, He has bequeathed to us. No longer are we limited to earthly blessings, the assets of heaven are now ours because of Jesus. So, yeah, he improved the covenant. It was fabulously good before but now it is off the scale wonderful.

How great is our God and glorious all His good deeds to His children. May all of His purposes be fulfilled in the earth and all of His beloved draw unto Him with great gladness.

The Unbreakable Contract

Psalm 89: 34

My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.

The most important message in the whole Bible is that God loves you. That is the height of God’s missive to you. Today’s message is important too though. We need to grasp that God is not a man that He can lie (Numbers 23: 19). In fact, I would say that it is one of the foundational ideas, one of the keystones for your personal theology. If you don’t understand this you will have a very difficult time understanding who you are in Christ and who God is.

You may often hear pastors talk about the letters of Paul. Well, our Father God sent us a letter too. This is true. The entire Bible is a love letter to you from God and this is an important revelation for you to integrate. You are never going to see it for its true value though if you don’t first fully embrace that God cannot lie to you. Likewise, He will not, cannot even, break His word to you. His covenant to you is every word He has ever spoken to His kids. His words are promises and they cannot be broken. I want you to really meditate on this and let it sink down into your inner person. You’ve got to understand that the Bible is not a textbook that some random author wrote with whom you have no relationship. It is more like a “How To Manual.” It is the culmination of God’s wisdom for you.

Imagine for a moment that you have the time to write down, for your children, every piece of wisdom you have ever gleaned. Take all of those life-giving messages and put them together in one place for your kids. Better still, what if you got me to write a letter for your book and some other writers as well. Maybe you heard a message preached by your pastor that has the power to alter a person’s life. Record it in the pages of your opus. Now, here is my question for you. If you were going to create a tome meant to guide your beloved children, would you lie in it? Would you take care that the messages presented were correct? If you made a promise in it, would you keep your word?

God has not changed His mind nor has He changed the utterance of His lips. He has not changed His mind about wanting you, specifically you, to be His child forever and ever. He wants you safe and whole. He longs to lead you in right and productive paths. When you can look at the Bible and mine from it God’s heart and His nurturing care for you then you will begin to build your personal understanding, your personal theology, if you will, on the cornerstone of His love. You will find encouragement and protection. You will begin to read the words of the Bible and holdfast to them as a personal promise to you. You will understand and believe down to your bones that when God said He sent His word and healed them (Psalm 107: 20) He meant exactly that and He meant you. When you read Proverb 10: 22 you will have a hallelujah breakdown because you know He sent that good word to you and that He has never changed His mind about it.

God has not changed His mind and He has no need to change the utterance of His lips. If He said it, He will do it (Numbers 23: 19). Let Him minister His truths to you today.

The New Plan

Hebrews 10: 16 – 18

“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND UPON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” He then says, “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” NOW WHERE THERE IS FORGIVENESS OF THESE THINGS, THERE IS NO LONGER ANY OFFERING FOR SIN.

Have you ever wanted to know what the New Covenant is? Well, here it is. How amazingly exciting is this? One of the big keys to the New Covenant and its operation in our lives is that the Father, Himself, has come to live inside us. We are the temple of the New Covenant. If that wasn’t big enough, Yahweh God, brings with Him Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Of course His words are within us, by His presences and by His spirit He is writing them on our hearts and minds.

Now I could go on and on about this New Covenant but there is one specific point I want to bring to your attention. Look again at these words, “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” What?! Are you hearing this? God made forgetting our sins and lawlessness part of His commitment under the New Covenant. Now should you think this is a powerless statement, remember that the New Covenant is written in Jesus’ blood. Would God, for one moment, minimize the blood of Jesus by not honoring the statements spoken here? If we was to retain even one of your sins, that would be to dishonor and disregard the sacrifice Jesus made for us all. It would also break the New Covenant and God would break His Word. Now, if God were even once break His word do you know that the entire earth would collapse? Think about it. God created the entire world and even you and I by His words. If He broke one it would break the underlying foundation, security and foundation of every word He has ever spoken. That He will not do.

Also, look at today’s verses this way. No one bargained the New Covenant with God. There was no one with any leverage who twisted His arm in order to get a single provision out of Him. Every single promise of the New Covenant was freely given. So, ask yourself why the provision of forgetting all of our trespasses and transgressions is part of the contract. It is only there because it reflects God’s heart. It is God’s desire to remember your sins no more. He weight your sin and mine, the sin of yesterday and even tomorrow and on the other side of the scale He placed the sacrificial lamb. That sin offering was the only one that could eradicate our sin from existence. The price has been paid. We are free.

So then this question arises and it is the one dealt with in the final sentence. If God has made a once for all sin offering for us, and in the doing washed away our sin forever, why are we still going through life trying to make sin offerings to God? You see, our part is the accept the sin offering. It is as simple as, “Father, I messed up but I thank you that Jesus paid the price for my sin. I apologize, Lord. I receive forgiveness and thank you for it.” We have no business wailing and groaning about our sin. We need to quickly change our behaviors and receive the grace that was won for us. Why are you hanging onto sin that Dad wants to put behind Him? Some people even act righteous over their sin by moaning and groaning about what a horrible sinner they are. They act like their sin is bigger than Jesus’ sacrifice. I tell you that is offensive to God and a stench in His nostrils. He has made a way for us all to put sin in the past and to move forward in the grace that is the unmerited gift of our dear Lord. So, don’t wallow in self-recrimination. It really is a slam on the blood of Christ. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and determine to make a better decision next time, all the while, though, appreciating that God has provided for the forgiveness of sin. Don’t be sin conscious, be Christ conscious. It is the way.

Compassion

Isaiah 54: 9 – 10

“For this is like the days of Noah to Me; when I swore that the waters of Noah should not flood the earth again, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.

Jesus was often moved by compassion. Often we think of this as simply and emotion that Jesus experienced but in truth it was so much more. You may hear people talk of the angry God of the Old Testament. Well, here is irrefutable evidence that God is not angry with you. He loves you and is compassionate.  And this is from the Old Testament.

This is the compassion that moved Jesus to heal and bless people. He was moved by the compassion of his father. Through the prophet Isaiah God delivered a promise of compassion and lovingkindness. By the time Jesus graced the earth God’s heart of compassion was well established. God, the Father, gave us a covenant of peace, not of anger. This is why Jesus is the Prince of peace. He is an extension and expression of his father.

God certainly had every reason to be angry with His people. He would be completely justified in being angry with us as well but He chose love, compassion and peace instead. It wasn’t an angry God that sent His only son here to die for us. Love nailed Jesus to that cross.

You are encapsulated in a covenant of peace with the creator. Let this be your revelation. Peace surrounds you and even if the mountains shake still God’s lovingkindness will remain with you. His love will never forsake you.

All Paths

Psalm 25: 10


All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. 
You may notice that many of God’s promises have a condition precedent or a prerequisite. Let me help you understand this. God isn’t really conditioning His promises. He is actually explaining to you how the Kingdom of God works. If I wanted to teach a person how to do something I might say something like, “If you do this, you will get this result.” That is what God is attempting to explain to us; He is teaching us how to operate Kingdom Principles in order to get everything we need and want. 
 
When you apply this insight to today’s verse you perhaps come away with a deeper understanding of how to work with God to find your way to His paths of truth and lovingkindness. And think of it, for those who keep His covenant, all paths lead to truth and lovingkindness. Isn’t that exciting?
Now you may be asking yourself what His covenant and testimonies are so that you can be sure you are walking in them. Well, here is some good news. That is what I give you daily. My job is to show you God’s principles, His ways and even His covenant. You just apply them and reap the rewards.
One small caveat though, don’t try to do any of this on your own. As you see a principle, immediately go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to walk you through it. That is His job. We all have our part to do. You are not on your own.
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