Archive for November 2017

The proper and best basis of all relationships is covenant. Our culture routinely disregards the understanding and practice of covenants. Our culture has a “live-in-the-moment” “what-have –done-for-me-lately” mentality. Convenience is our main concern.  

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

2CH 23:1, In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds...And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3] Then all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, "Behold, the king's son shall reign, as the LORD has said of the sons of David

Covenant is the basis of our strength, favor, and advancement. 

Look at the response of people when they understand they are covenanted with the Lord to be His people

2CH 23:16, Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, the people, and the king, that they should be the Lord's people. 17] And all the people went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They broke in pieces its altars and images...

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Hebrews 8:6, But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 

8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 

9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 

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 in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 

11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds[b] I will remember no more.”

The New Covenant is God’s very best for you and me.

It is the best because it is the thing that Jesus suffered and died to provide. 

We have a special place in our hearts for God and for people who have sacrificed to provide for us. We celebrate Memorial Day and Veterans Day for the same reasons.

We celebrate the birthdays and anniversaries of loved ones because the life of others has empowered our lives––indeed has given us the gift of life itself. As a pastor one of the most heartbreaking realities I see is when children do not honor and neglect their parents. When my mother I ministered together at nursing homes, I saw this all the time: People forgotten and discarded like a worn out or undesirable pair of shoes or clothes. A nursing home may be the best option, but people who bring people into the world and have cared for them should never be neglected, ignored, or disrespected.

At the heart of God’s best for you, me, and everyone is what the Bible calls the “New Covenant.” It is called “new” because of something called an “old” covenant.

Covenants, or agreements are the basis of how people connect, work together, live together, or even die together--as in the case of military service.

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Romans 12:1, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship [reasonable service]. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The “secret” to transformation is 1) the grace of God, and 2) renewing your mindset which breaks old “patterns.”

Barclay translation of Rom. 12:1-2 

Brothers, I call upon you, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies to him, a living, consecrated sacrifice, well-pleasing to God--for that is the only kind of worship which is truly spiritual. And do not shape your lives to meet the fleeting fashions of this world; but be transformed from it, by the renewal of your mind, until the very essence of your being is altered, so that, in your own life, you may prove that the will of God is good and well pleasing and perfect.

 

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