Friday, January 5, 2018

New Covenant

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke though I was their husband, declares the LORD. I will put the law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. For I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sins no more. Jeremiah 31: 31-32, 33b, 34c (ESV)

God never gave up on the people of Israel or the people of Judah. He speaks through the prophet Jeremiah. God speaks of the events in the future.  What does He say?

The LORD speaks of the people of Israel and Judah’s unfaithfulness. God looked on His relationship with them as a marriage. (my covenant that they broke though I was their husband.)

He reveals His plan to present the law to them. His plan is to engrave His law on their hearts. What the people had could be described as ‘head knowledge.’ God wanted His people to have ‘heart knowledge.’ In today’s world, people know what the right thing to do is but choose not to act on it, doing what they want over what God wants.(Head Knowledge) God wants us to believe and live out his commandments. (Heart Knowledge.)

God tells Jeremiah His part of the outcome. All the people will know Him. He will forgive their wickedness and will erase their sin from His memory.

One of my Sunday school teachers told us that prophetic statements are either fulfilled in the Bible or will be fulfilled in the future. As I understand this one, I believe part of this one will be fulfilled in the future.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Beings

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (ESV)

Paul writes these words to the believers at Corinth. These words speak to me of his experience with the LORD. Before Paul met Christ, his passion was to destroy anyone and anything that spoke of the risen Savior. After his experience on the Damascus Road, Paul spent the rest of his life spreading the message of Jesus Christ.

Several years ago, there was a businessman who owned a tavern in our city. It seemed to be successful and well-known. One day, I drove past the building and noticed that there was a new business there, a beauty shop.

 Sometime later, a friend and I were talking, she told me what happened. The owner found the LORD and decided that his establishment was not one that Jesus Christ would be proud of. His wife was a hairstylist. He closed the tavern and made the building into a beauty shop.
What could happen if we all took this ‘new creation’ thought seriously? Interpersonal issues would be more easily resolved. People who find the LORD would be able to live their lives as God has planned. People would no longer have doubts about plans for their lives.

Dear Father God; Thank You that You created us into new beings when we gave our hearts over to You. Please help us to live our lives as those new creations You have created us to do Your will for our lives. Guide us as we live for you. In the Name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.      

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Heart


And I will give them one heart and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people and I will be their God. Ezekiel 11:19-20 (ESV)

Happy New Year to each of you. We seem to always look forward to something new, be it a new outfit, a new piece of furniture, or a new vehicle. God plans to do new things for us if we are willing to let Him be in control. Our focus passage will help us understand more.
“And I will give them one heart,” God tells Ezekiel He will give to the people of Israel His heart. He will do this for us, His people, in today’s world when we allow Him to guide.

“and a new spirit I will put within them” Along with that new heart, God spoke of giving the Israelite people a new spirit.  In our world, we receive a new spirit when we submit our lives entirely to Him.

“I will remove the heart of stone” God recognized the Israelite’s stubbornness and planned to remove their pride from them. Each time they chose to revere Him, it only lasted for a short time. In today’s world, each of us has to daily submit our lives, hearts, and emotions to our heavenly Father.

“and give them a heart of flesh,” Each time the Israelites worshipped God as He intended to be worshipped, events went well for them. In our present world, we see things happen because we live in a fallen world. All we have to do to see things turn around is to honor and worship God in a manner that befits Him.

“that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. God tells Ezekiel what the children of Israel have to do for their part. In our world today, we still have His statutes and his rules to guide us through our days and our times of trial.

“And they shall be my people and I will be their God.” God wanted to have a relationship with His chosen people, the Israelites. In our present times, He wants to have a relationship with each of us, His children.               

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