CELEBRATION OF THE NEW COVENANT
How much we have to celebrate and yet how easy to let that go. Recently, in our Bible Study, we celebrated. What a fun day it was. We still studied and gained from that but how invigorating to joyously laugh together. The table was set with bright red table cloths, matching plates and napkins, and purple plastic wear. And, of course, some goodies such as Hershey Kisses, truffles, mints, fresh strawberries and grapes.
Our recent classes have related to New and Old Covenants. Some insisted that we pay attention to and obey the old commandments. Others thought that our focus should be on loving others. All this as we looked at how to bring others to Christ.
I spent much time praying and studying related scriptures. At 3am one morning, The Holy Spirit showed me a verse that made me shout and want to celebrate the New Covenant. I about woke up Lyn!
Romans 13:8-10 gives us the reason to celebrate. It makes it so clear that it is not the Old Testament commandments we focus on. We have no power to keep those. But, we are to recognize that Christ met all those commandments. We accept His gift of our being set free because He paid the price. Now, the commandment that He calls us to is to love others, share His great love. We drive others away when we do not focus on that message.
His only reason for dying on the cross was to pay the price for what we cannot do—keep the commandments. He does not judge us for not following the commandments. He judges us for not accepting the great price that He has paid. He does not want us focusing on the Old Covenant. For, that has been fulfilled, completed, and abolished. YEA
Romans 13:8-10 (MSG) “ Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.”
Hebrews 10:10 (NIV)” He set aside the first in order to enact the new plan--God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.”
(Message) “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
We can now have a joyous faith because of our fearless trust in God and His sure Word. No longer do we have to be concerned if keeping each detail—necessary under the Old Covenant. It is not based on Works. This does not excuse behaviors but gives the focus. Is that not reason to celebrate? ?
Titus 3:4-5 (NIV) 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
“But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, He saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.”
CELEBRATE! Get out the fine china, crystal glassware, and silver! Time for a party!
Lyn was going to an event and he needed some cash. Since his billfold was not helpful in supplying that, it seemed logical for him to stop by our bank ATM and get some cash.
When he called me, he was in somewhat of a panic. Not only could he not get money out, but he couldn’t get the card back. Money was in the account but he couldn’t access it.
When I called the local number, the man on the other end was helpful in that if Lyn would call him, he would then guide Lyn through the process. But, Lyn didn’t answer his phone when I called him back. This was getting to be a huge issue—disrupting my quiet evening at home.
My next “helpful” move was to call the bank again—hoping they hadn’t closed down yet. This lady was quite straightforward, and non-sympathetic, in her response (by my perspective). Lyn would just have to wait and go back to the bank when it was open in the morning, identify himself, and ask for his card back. In the meantime, no card to use and no cash.
The Spirit directed me away from my frustration by reminding me to look at God’s ATM. A new perspective for me. What lessons do we see in this scenario?
First, I was glad that God isn’t a machine or act uncaringly to us. It is so delightful to have a loving and caring relationship with Him.
A similarity is that for each “account”, whether heavenly or earthly, I need to be “in the system”. Even if it is not about a card getting lost, I can’t get funds from my ATM if I am not registered and have my own specific card. With God’s ATM, we don’t have a physical card to carry. Rather it is a heart card, registered in God’s system by our accepting His Gift of Salvation. We are His children and part of His heritage.
However, it is not enough to just be in either system. We must do the “work” of asking for the funds/gifts.
Our funds in God’s ATM are secure—safe from fraud. Despite our bank’s best efforts, fraud can still happen. While recently on vacation, I received a call from a “fraud unit” of our bank asking me if I had approved a specific transaction. If the transaction was deemed fraudulent, my card would be shut down and I would have no access to our funds until I received a new card and account.
A key difference is that our local ATM has limited funds—limited by our contributions to the account. In contrast, God’s ATM has unlimited Abundance that He supplies out of His great riches.
Which ATM is our primary account?