Lord, You want our whole heart. You want our whole devotion. You want all our affection. So You purposely pursue us. You purposely show us the fullness of You Father.
“And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all the flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:12-17
The way God confesses His love to us and time and time again we ignore Him and we choose our own way, who isn’t guilty of this?
There are two greek definitions for the word covenant and one of the definition is diatheke and here is how the scholars define it: properly, a set-agreement having complete terms determined by the initiating party, which also are fully affirmed by the one entering the agreement.
Isn’t that an amazing definition?
Complete terms determined by the initiating party
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Matthew 16:24-28
Are we following Jesus on His terms or our terms? Are we denying ourselves day in and day out?
Denying myself is hard because my flesh wants to live according to its terms 24/7; but I am a follower of Christ so I will not let my flesh have the best of me. I can only speak for myself, but it’s a struggle to deny myself what I want. The world will tell you that you deserve whatever you work for; the world will tell you that you deserve happiness; the world will tell you that you have to pursue success no matter the cost. And Jesus comes along and whispers to you: “the flesh will only drive you to heartaches, headaches, and ultimately death, but I want to lead you in the everlasting with Me, I want to lead you in my everlasting arms; I want to hold your heart, I want to hold your life, I want to hold you… will you trust in Me and in all I do?”
In the course of running, when you have extra stuff on you, you will never finish the race because the extra stuff you are carrying will slow you down and make you tired before you finish your race. So whenever we are running, we don’t carry backpacks or any other unnecessary weight, right? Same thing with God, we can’t carry the weight of the world-which is the worry of who we are going to become, how in the world are we going to be successfully, when am I going to get married anyways- and run the race that the Lord has set before us. We can’t have the world and the things of the Lord at the same time. We have to make up our minds of what is it going to be.
Why else is Hebrews chapter 12 verse 1 to 2 called the race of faith? Do you know you are in a race?
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (1)
We are in a race and we can’t be distracted by what the world is doing, we can’t be distracted by social media, we can’t be distracted by anything, period. And just like in any race, we have to run according to the rules if we don’t want to be disqualified.
Knowing that God is God will not cut it. Even demons know God is God.
If there are verses that terrify me these verses have to be number one: Matthew 7:21-23
I Never knew you
“Not everyone who says to Me: “Lord, Lord”, shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name? And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”.
Are we living according to God’s terms?
Fully affirmed by the one entering the agreement
The definition we saw earlier said that a covenant is “a properly, a set-agreement having complete terms determined by the initiating party, which also are fully affirmed by the one entering the agreement.”
So not only are the terms determined by the initiating party but those terms have to be fully affirmed by the one entering the agreement. Do you understand the weight of the covenant of the Lord? I am lying to myself if I think I am in a covenant with the Lord and I am not agreeing to do what He wants me to do.
Are you making decisions based on advancing the kingdom of God or based on having a better future?
Many people, Christians included, are just in a covenant with themselves. And this is no surprise to anyone. They work hard to have comfortable lives and it’s all about what they want. Before we knew the Lord, we all lived this way. But as Christ-followers that has to change, that should NOT be the case. “… we have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,…” (Colossians 3:9-10) For any decision that we make, the first question we should ask ourselves is “how is this decision going to advance the kingdom of God?” or “how is this decision going to draw my heart closer to the Lord”? if the question is no for each of these questions and we go ahead and make the decision anyways, do we really love God and are we truly committed to what He wants?
And as Joshua is led by the Lord to lead the people of Israel God tells him:
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. ” Joshua 1:7-8
How will it profit us if we have the life we have always dreamed about on this earth and the Lord denies us on the last day?
If we really love Him above all else, aren’t we going to make decisions that glorifies Him above what we want?
If we really love Him above all else, aren’t we going to receive His Word and do according to ALL that is written in it?
If we really love Him above all else, aren’t we going to hold on to Him in everything and glorify Him in all things? So that His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
Yes, it’s seems like an impossible task to us humans to observe ALL that is written in His Word, but it’s not an impossible task to the God we serve. The God who breathed life in dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14) is capable of anything if we are obedient to Him and His Word. Yes, if I look to my own strength to obey all of God’s Word I will fail miserably, but if I look to Jesus, the perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2) and take one day at a time, I will surely be faithful in the tasks God gives me and when I fail, I will repent and keep running my race until the day I see His face! I always remind myself that if I focus on looking towards the next three hundreds something days and how in the world will I be faithful this time of the year if I wasn’t last year? These thoughts would sink me in despair and push me to give up altogether. But I can lean on God each day and I can be faithful one day at a time. And days of faithfulness lead to a life of faithfulness.
And we believe “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20
Lord Jesus, I will enter this covenant with You by obeying Your Word. Lord, I will show You my love by treasuring You above anything else in this world. Lord, wherever You want me to go, give me the strength to always follow Lord Jesus. All for You, all for the glory of Your name Jesus. I am Yours God, I am forever Yours. And may my life forever testify to that! In Jesus’s name, the name above any other name I pray and I firmly believe that You are faithful to Your promises Lord, Amen!!