Saturday, October 8, 2011

Art of Living #47

The God of Covenant

Åґ☂ ◎ḟ ʟ☤√ḯη❡ #47 : "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips." (Psalms 89:34).

Ѧ℘☺﹩☂◎łḯ¢ €ϰ℘øüηḓ : Our God is a God of covenant. Covenant means "a written agreement or promise . . . between two or more parties, especially for the performance of some action". God always agrees and promises to perform all things through His written word and then without fail fulfills it for His people who trust in it. We see that God is not like man to say one thing and then when the times comes, give five reasons for not doing what has been promised. Many goverments, corporate companies, big entrepreneurs fail to keep their word, teachers fail to keep their word to their pupils and the same happens in families too when parents who promised their children something were not able to keep it properly. Hear what God Himself says, "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob." (Mal 3:6). In other words it is like God saying, you who again and again transgress, deceive and sin because of your sinful inclination and nature which I hate, I have forgiven you consistently, loved you unconditionally, continued to keep you safe, blessed you and have not changed in my good disposition towards you who is inside my covenant. This is the privilege of the people of God who are in the convenant.

In the Old Testament God gave the law through Moses the man of God and commanded His people to do all the commandments without fail. Then he promised conditionally that if they keep all the commandments whole heartedly, he will bless them financially, physically, socially. He also promised them that He will keep the whole nation of Israel prosperous above all the nations of the earth. But at the same time God has clearly revealed to them that if they do not do all His commandments whole heartedly, He will cause all the curses to come upon in such a way that the whole world will speak about it in their day to day conversation as a proverb (Deut 28). It was a heavey burden that these Israelites carried right through out their lives to keep the law without fail. The original intention that God gave the Israelites the law was to make them realise that they cannot keep it on their own strength and also to remind them of their sinfulness because of the evil nature that dwells in them. This law did not really liberate the Israelites spiritually, instead it bound them to itself and made them self-righteous if they failed to seek the need of the Messiah to come and free them from it (Gal 3:19). This law was appointed till Jesus Christ could come and give all His people grace and take them to heaven. So Old Testament is all about "Blessing on obedience and curses on disobedience." The law was their task master which said, "Do, do, do , do until you die." There was no much chance for a person to do the law out of love. Even in such times as the Old Testament, God stood faithful to His covenant and this is the only reason the nation of Israel survived until Jesus appreared on earth.

Praise God for the New Testament. Jesus the hero of the New Covenant stood inbetween God and Man as a Mediator and then gave Himself as the perfect substitute for every man who will believe and come in to the New Agreement with God through Himself. In this covenant, Jesus as a sinless perfect sacrifice appeased God and unconditionally invited people in to the covenant. While the people being sinners, they were adopted in to God's family through Him and then were spiritually blessed in every way to live a blessed life on earth. Then unlike the Old Testament, Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15). So the message of the New Testament is, "Done. Just believe and live a blessed life for the glory of God!" We keep Jesus' commandments because He has loved us unconditionally and therefore we serve Him not for any temporary reward but out of gratitude for what He has already done for us. Love is the motivation to keep the commandments of Jesus. Then the New Testament reveals that if a believer in Jesus refuses to keep his commandments, God will chastise that person as a father chastens his son. But he will never bring a curse or destruction for their sins because Jesus has already perfectly paid the price to free them from the penalty of sin (Heb 12:7). Also God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake a believer based on their sinful or evil behaviour and therefore has covenanted unconditionally to keep them safe until they enter heaven to be with Him forever (Heb 13:5-6; John 14:3). O what a privilege! MANY ARE TEMPTED TO LIVE IN THE OLD COVENANT STANDARD OF LAW WHEN JESUS HAS INVITED THEM TO A HEAVENLY BLESSED NEW TESTAMENT STANDARD OF LOVE. BUT THOSE WHO KEEP THE LAW ARE STILL CURSED (Gal 3:10), BUT THOSE WHO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF JESUS OUT OF LOVE ARE GIVEN GRACE TO RULE AND REIGN IN THIS EARTH AND FOREVERMORE. What will you choose saints? As for me I have chosen to believe all the promises of God as yes and Amen in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 1:20), therefore have been extremely blessed! I keep the commandments of Jesus through His strength and when I fail He lifts me up and encourages me to go for the perfection again and again. Choose Grace and Reign!

mUcH BlEsSiNgS....

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Å℘◎﹩☂øł☤ḉ ℚυ◎тℯṧ : "The law based life satisfies the flesh but infuriates God because it defeats its purpose, the very reason it was given is to make the people of God seek God for His grace in hopeless trust and not become satisfied in living in it hypocritically." — Abraham Israel

"Life of grace is like a person in a boat led by a beautiful wind in the direction of destiny, but a life of law keeping is like a another man in a boat who tries his best to reach his destination when the wind blows against him." — Abraham Israel

Ḡґℯαт ℚυø⊥εṧ : "What does it mean in everyday life to be delivered from the Law? At risk of a little overstatement I reply: It means that henceforth I am going to do nothing whatever for God; I am never again going to try to please Him. ‘What a doctrine!’ you exclaim. ‘What awful heresy! You cannot possibly mean that!’ But remember, if I try to please God ‘in the flesh,’ then immediately I place myself under the Law.” — Watchman Nee

“The Law requires much, but offers no help in the carrying out of its requirements. The Lord Jesus requires just as much, yea even more (Matt. 5:21-48), but what he requires from us he himself carries out in us. The law makes demands and leaves us helpless to fulfill them; Christ makes demands, but he himself fulfills in us the very demands he makes.” — Watchman Nee

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