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A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Thursday, May 3, 2007

"Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1 NKJ)

God promises to send messengers to prepare the way for greater manifestations of the presence of Christ among us. Many prophetic voices are sounding forth such a message in these days. When I was responding to the call of the Lord to go to Mount Sinai in 1979, the Lord kept bringing forth the song in my heart, "I hear a voice coming from the mountain; I hear it louder each day. I hear a voice coming from the mountain, and it says, "PREPARE YE THE WAY. PREPARE YE THE WAY, PREPARE YE THE WAY, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD." I concur with and affirm the many prophetic voices that are declaring that we are in the beginning of a great move of the Spirit of God upon His people and upon Israel.

The above verse indicates that when manifestations of the coming presence of God occur, He will come to His temple as the messenger of the New Covenant. Jesus is the Messenger and the Mediator of the New Covenant. He is the only Mediator between God and man. He will come to ensure that people receive the blessings of the New Covenant. He will come to ensure that His people will walk in the power and life promised in the New Covenant.

The New Covenant, as we have been sharing, is the covenant whereby God promises to put His ways into our hearts and give His Spirit to live in us. The result is that we will know the ways and statutes of God and we will do them and keep His judgments. God promises, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them" (Ezekiel 36:27 NKJ). God’s judgments include: "To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life" (Luke 1:74-75 NKJ).

God's promises in the coming days include health and healing. He promises, "Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me" (Jeremiah 33:6-8 NKJ). He promises this for "those who seek Him." Let us diligently seek Him!

Father, we rejoice in Your promises and covenants with us. Help us to diligently seek You to come through Christ in ever-increasing power and glory into our temple. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Friday, May 4, 2007

"'Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,’ says the LORD of hosts." (Malachi 3:1NKJ)

God is preparing us for the coming of the Lord to His temple, as the Messenger of the New Covenant. We know that Jesus is the Lord referred to in the passage quoted above. Peter attested to this on Pentecost when He told the people, "God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36NKJ). God anointed Jesus to do signs and wonders among the people when He walked on the earth (Acts 10:38). God gave Jesus grace in Gethsemane when He cried out, so that He could be faithful to Him in going to the cross. Jesus entered death for us. The sufferings, pains and powers of death could not hold Him; GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD (Acts 2:24). He not only raised Him--He also made Him Lord and Christ. He reigns over all as Lord. He is our heavenly High Priest as the Anointed One of God (Christ). This was Peter’s Pentecost message.

Now, in these days, the manifestation of Jesus coming to His temple is increasing. He is coming to purify the heart of His people--His temple. He is bringing us into the reality of the New Covenant, in which God promises to put His ways into us and to put His Spirit into us so that we can know His statutes and His judgments and do them (Ezekiel 36:27; Luke 1:74-75). The above passage from Malachi says He will come to those who seek Him and to those who delight in Him. Jesus delights in doing God’s will. He delights in seeing the will of God accomplished in the world. He did this. He brought forth into humanity a nature that loved and did the will of God.

Now as our High Priest, He is able to impart into us His nature. Jesus can make us partakers of the very nature, the very character, of God. He can free us from our sinful nature that wants to do what we want and wants God to serve us, rather that our trusting in Him and His holiness and submitting ourselves to serving Him. Jesus can provide the exchange of our old ways for His new ways. In Christ we can experience the reality of being dead to the ways and desires of sin, and alive to the ways and desires of God (Romans 6:11). Sin is still present with us, but we are not under its dominion. We have access to the life of Jesus who overcame our sinful ways on the cross. Paul says, "...those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17 NKJ). BEHOLD! HE WHO HAS COME, IS COMING!

Father, we rejoice in Your great plan and provision for our victory over our enemies so we can serve You in righteousness and holiness. Help us embrace all that Christ has for us. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

"Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God." (Ezekiel 11:19-20 NKJ)

God is a God of covenant. He promises to do things for us if we will do things for Him. He made a covenant with the people of Israel, promising to bless them if they would obey Him. He said, "Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you" (Deuteronomy 7:12-13 NKJ).

God knew the pride in the heart of His people. He knew that they thought they were OK in their own heart, but that they could not obey Him because the ways of sin were within them. He told them that they would be cursed if they did not obey Him. He said, "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:" (Deuteronomy 28:15 NKJ).

Man has a desire to rebel against God. His heart wants to live for himself and to do his own will and to live apart from God’s will and dependence on Him. Man could not keep the Old Covenant. God knew this, but He had to reveal man’s ways to him. Therefore God made a New Covenant with man. He said, "I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God" (Ezekiel 11:19-20 NKJ).

Jesus came to earth and fulfilled the Old Covenant. He now offers us a new life which can and will live for the obedience of God and the exaltation of His will. God has said "My ways are not your ways." He did not say, "Try to modify your ways." He said, "Put off the ways of your old man, and put on the ways of My Son." WE CAN EXCHANGE OUR SINFUL WAYS FOR HIS HOLY WAYS. This is the provision of the New Covenant. Let us receive the Life of Jesus, and give Him the ways of our sinful man. Let us receive and believe in Him who is able to do all things for us and in us.

Father, we rejoice in Your New Covenant. We rejoice in the holiness of Jesus and in His desire and ability to work His ways into us as we confess and release our old ways unto Him. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," (Hebrews 10:16 NKJ)

God offers us a covenant. He promises that He will put His ways into us and put His Spirit into us, energizing His ways so we can obey Him. He promises that He will renew our minds with His words as the Spirit brings them forth from within us. All He requires is that we submit ourselves to Him, believe in Him and allow Him to do this for us.

The above words in Hebrews are but a reiteration of the New Covenant as recorded in Ezekiel, where God says, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them" (Ezekiel 36:27NKJ). Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. He is working in us, giving us the desire to believe, receive and bring forth the new way of His life that He has put within us. He is interceding with us before His Father, praying for God to remember His mercy and grace He has promised us so that we can be united with Him and His ways.

God is renewing our spirit, soul, and body so that we can love and obey Him with our whole being. Paul says, "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it" (1Thessalonians 5:23-24 NKJ). It is God who will put His ways into us. It is God who will energize His ways through the Holy Spirit. It is God who will show us our sinful ways so that we can confess them, be cleansed of them, put them off, and receive His ways into all of our heart. This is the blessing promised in the New Covenant. God has put these things into us, and we, by faith, and under the power of the Holy Spirit, must bring them forth. Paul says, "…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13 NKJ).

Paul is praying for this to be done--for the believers to become complete in Christ as the ways of Christ are formed in all of their being. He says, "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you" (Galatians 4:19 NKJ). Paul calls the believers "saints," knowing that the Holy Spirit lives in them and that Christ as their Mediator of the New Covenant is committed to bringing His Holy life into all of their being. His letters generally begin with greeting, "…to the saints at…" (2 Corinthians1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1) Other times he reminds them that they are "called to be saints" (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2). BECAUSE GOD IS WHO HE IS AND JESUS IS ABLE TO DO WHAT HE HAS BEEN CALLED TO DO, WE CAN BECOME ALL GOD CALLS US TO BE!

Father, we rejoice in Your plans, purposes, promises and vision for us. Help us to live in and trust in all You have for us and all You call us to be and to do. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love," (Ephesians 1:3-4 NKJ)

Earlier this week I have shared on God’s promises to put His ways into us and to empower us with His Spirit so that we could walk in them. This is the New Covenant which God offers His people. Many try by their own efforts to overcome their weaknesses or their desires to live apart from the nature of God, trying to please Him with their own efforts. Many feel it impossible to ever be able to do all God has for them, and they live in hopelessness and despair. They have not learned how to draw upon and receive the nature, power, and life of God increasingly and continually.

In the passage above, Paul is reminding the church at Ephesus that they have access to every spiritual blessing they need, through Christ, who reigns in the heavenly places. We have been chosen by God to be holy and without blame and to live before Him in love. We are being reminded in these words that we can have these things today. These blessings are not just something that will be ours in the next age, but they are available to us now, so that we should be holy and without blame before Him today.

God has ordained these things for us before the foundation of the world. He has always had this vision of us, His people, reigning in holiness and righteousness with Christ. He told Adam and Eve that they were to be fruitful, to multiply, to have dominion over the earth, and to fill it with His ways and nature. Paul says that today the creation is groaning for the full revelation of the glory of God in His people (Romans 8:19). God is bringing all things under the dominion of Christ through us in these days. He told His Son, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power" (Psalm 110:1-3 NKJ).

As we become more and more filled with the nature, glory and Spirit of God, we shall accomplish more and more for Him and His kingdom. God has promised that there would be continual increase of the kingdom of His Son--in us and then through us (Isaiah 9:7). Today this can occur in us and over us. In the next ages all the heavens and earth--everything that has breath--will worship Him. Glory be to Him!

Father, we rejoice in Your covenant with Your Son to bring all things under His feet through us. Thank You, Jesus, that You live in us and empower us with Your Spirit for such a task as this. Help us to grasp and lay hold of all You have provided for us. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Friday, May 11, 2007

"As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, To perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life." (Luke 1:70-75 NKJ)

We are in a war. We have enemies. They hate us. The reality of these statements is stated in the beginning of the above passage. Most Christians know this but feel ill- equipped to war. Our battles are not with people or governments, or with the plans and desires of men. Rather the Bible says we are at war with a host of highly organized and strong spiritual enemies located in the heavens over us. They are located in the "mid heaven," which is above the heaven we see, but under the heaven of heavens, the highest heaven where the throne of God is.

The Bible says, "…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12 NKJ). Many Christians only follow the first four words of this passage—"we do not wrestle."

God has won the victory for us through Christ. Jesus reigns far above all the principalities and powers in the second heaven. He has been given a Name above all other rulers. He has overcome the plans of Satan who tried to hold Him in death when He went there with our sins. Now Jesus reigns over death and hell. Jesus took our sinful ways on Himself and received grace from God to overcome them. When on the cross, filled with our sin, separated from His Father, He did not give in to our sin. Rather He continued to abide in the will of His Father. He then proclaimed, "It is finished" (John 19:30). The battle had been won.

God had promised Abraham that He would do this. He promised Abraham that we would be able to serve Him in holiness and righteousness. The holy and righteous life of Christ, given into death for us, has been raised from the dead for us, and can be imparted into us so we too can be made partakers of the holiness of God and serve Him under His power and grace. The Bible says, "He [chastens us] for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness (Hebrews 12:10.NKJ). We can live in His victory through His holy life in us. Let us receive His life and walk in His Spirit.

Father, we rejoice in all You have done and provided for us. Help us to believe, receive and release this life into all of our being and every moment of our lives. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"'As for Me,’ says the LORD, ‘this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants,’ says the LORD, ‘from this time and forevermore.’" (Isaiah 59:21 NKJ)

We have been sharing about the blessings of the New Covenant. God has promised to put His Spirit into us to energize us. We have received a new nature through being baptized into the nature of Jesus. The Holy Spirit can empower this new nature just as He empowered Jesus. The Holy Spirit can anoint us for special tasks and ministries just as He did for Jesus. The Bible says, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed" (Acts 10:38 NKJ).

Jesus healed the people, as God had called Him to do. The Old Testament prophets spoke of these things. In Matthew 12:15-18 it is recorded: "And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. Yet He warned them not to make Him known, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen, my Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.’" (NKJ)

 

The Holy Spirit gave Jesus the power to keep from the sinful ways of Satan and the world and to do all God wanted Him to do, including miraculous signs and wonders. The Spirit gave Jesus the power to overcome our sinful nature when He became sin for us when He went to the cross. Now the Holy Spirit can do the same for us, as we have been brought into Christ and now can "walk in the power of the Spirit" and have victory over our sinful flesh (Galatians 5:16). We can do all God has for us to do, including signs and wonders. God promises, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them" (Ezekiel 36:27 NKJ). Jesus said, "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark 16:17-18 NKJ).

BUT there is more yet. The promise of the Holy Spirit is for us and for our children and grandchildren. God promises to show mercy to thousands of generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. The passage above summarizes God’s desires and promises for us. Let us daily receive power and life from the Holy Spirit of God so we too can do all God has commissioned us to do.

Father, we rejoice in Your provision for us. Thank You that in Christ we can live in Your holy nature and be empowered by Your Holy Spirit. Help us to receive and do all You have for us so that others will know You have sent Your Son for them also. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"'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.’" (Hebrews 8:10 NKJ)

God offers His people to live in a covenantal relationship with Him. He promises to put His laws in our mind and to write them on our hearts. God’s ways and commands will be written into our very being such that it will be natural for us to know them and to seek to follow them. This is truly a change in our attitudes and in our character. Our natural ways, received from our ancestry from Adam, is to want to do our own thing and to want our own desires to be fulfilled. The natural ways we are born with are the ways of Satan, who encourages us to degrade God’s ways and to live thinking that our ways are best and that we can by ourselves determine what is best for us and for others. The Bible says, " ...the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him" (1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJ). Again the Bible says, "…the carnal [natural] mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be" (Romans 8:7 NKJ). We can understand why the world lives in immorality.

Our children do not have to be taught to disobey us as parents. Rather they must be disciplined and trained in good manners and good behavior. Our training can encourage them to do what is good and right. Yet, we know that their inner heart must also be changed. The need for this change often is seen in rebellious teenage years.

Jesus came to earth, not being born through a sinful father. He had a holy nature--the nature of His Father. He still was weak like us, needing the power of the Holy Spirit to encourage and energize His holy nature. The Bible says, "And the Child [Jesus] grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him" (Luke 2:40 NKJ). Jesus was dependent upon the Holy Spirit for grace as a child and throughout His life.

Under the New Covenant, God promises to give us a new nature--the very nature of Christ--that loves to do God’s will. This new nature must be empowered by the Holy Spirit. We can put off our old nature and walk in the new nature God offers us. The Bible says, " ...put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJ). And again the Bible says, " ...put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:14 NKJ).

We can be like Christ, doing His works and living for God as He did. We can receive by faith the life of Jesus and know that God has taken us out of our old nature and brought us into Christ, to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Praise be to Him!

Father, we rejoice in Your provision for us under the power of Your Holy Spirit, and we thank You for bringing the life of Christ into us so we can live for You as He did. Help us to receive and live in this life and to show the power of Your Spirit to others through acts of love. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s New Covenant

Monday, May 21, 2007

"'And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,’ says the Lord GOD, 'when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.’" (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NKJ)

God is holy. He is transcendent. His ways are far above ours. His plans and purposes are exceedingly beyond what we can imagine. His nature is to exalt purity and truth. His nature is to reveal evil and to destroy it by separating it from His presence. He is righteous; all He does is right. He is merciful; He knows, cares about, and enters into the needs of His people. He is gracious, always acting on our behalf and desiring to impart His ways and life into us.

God will reveal His ways and nature and plans and purposes into our world, despite the rebellious and prideful ways of men and the powers of evil that have been given the right to rule by sinful people. He says that He will show forth the greatness of His holy name by showing forth His holy nature in us, RIGHT BEFORE THE POWERS OF EVIL AND BEFORE A WORLD THAT DESPISES THE HOLINESS OF GOD. This is a New Covenant promise.

He is doing this today. He is raising up a group of people, called His church, and bringing them into the realization of the need of His holiness and of His holy-making ability. He promises to do a work in His people such that the world will see His greatness and mercy in them. We are those people--if we will believe and receive all that He wants to do for us.

Amidst the ever-increasing darkness of this world, God promises to bring His glorious ways into His people, and through them, to show the world who He is. He says, " ... the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isaiah 60:2-3 NKJ). He constantly reminds us that we are in a spiritual battle with the spiritual rulers of the darkness of this age (Ephesians 6:12), and that these spiritual powers are coming to nothing (1Corinthians 2:6). He continually reminds us that Christ’s kingdom is constantly increasing, in us and then through us. God is doing these things to show forth the greatness of His power and of His Holy name.

Father, we rejoice in Your plan, Your purposes, Your power, and Your promises. Help us to receive all You have for us in Christ and to live with Him for You and for Your kingdom. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s Covenants

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life." (Luke 1:73-75 NKJ)

God is a covenant-keeping God. He made an oath with Abraham that He would deliver US from the hand of our enemies so that we can serve Him without fear. God has promised this for Abraham and his seed. Moses and the children of Israel were part of the descendents of Abraham. Moses reminded the children of Israel to walk in the faith of God’s promise to Abraham, telling them: "…because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments" (Deuteronomy 7:8-9 NKJ).

The promise was made to Abraham and to his seed, so that we all would serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. God made this promise to us to enable us to serve Him in holiness and righteousness. God wants us to know and enjoy living for and serving Him. He knows that we live in a world surrounded by enemies. Our real enemies are not the people who would lead us astray, or who do evil and hurtful things to us. Rather our real enemies are the spiritual powers who have deceived people into thinking they need to execute evil ways and sinful desires in order to be fulfilled or successful or happy.

God promises to deliver the seed of Abraham from these enemies so we can serve Him. We need a heart change so that we want to serve Him. We need a heart change so that our spiritual enemies have no right to hold us in sin or in the pleasures of this world.

Jesus was born into the covenant of Abraham. He received grace from God to serve Him in holiness and to be delivered from the spiritual powers of evil. He took our sin upon Himself and took it out of the world, despoiling the spiritual powers in the process. We can become partakers of these blessings by being adopted into the seed of Abraham through faith. In Christ we have access to all the blessings of Abraham. In Christ we can receive the new nature of God that is in Christ, so that we too will want to serve God in holiness and righteousness. All the blessings of God, including those promised to Abraham, are ours in Christ. Let us live for Him and live by the power of His Spirit.

Father, we rejoice in all You have for us through Christ. Help us to receive His life so that we want to serve You. Deliver us from all our enemies through Christ, that we might serve You. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—God’s Covenants

Friday, May 25, 2007

 "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them.

And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.” (Jeremiah 32:39-40 NKJ)

God is holy, transcendent in glory above all His creation and His created beings. He is a glorious Being, filled with light, majesty and splendor.  He surrounds Himself with spiritual beings that are able to get a glimpse of His beauty and then have to cover themselves with their wings because His dazzling light blinds them if they look too long at it.  These angelic beings, dwelling in His presence, beholding all that He does, never cease to cry out, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  They see some of God’s glory and continuously worship the Father, Son and Spirit. 

God enjoys His nature and character.  He created man to eat of the tree of life and receive God’s life into himself.  When man sinned he began to receive the nature of Satan.  God knew that men must get rid of their sinful ways.  He knew that men could not be happy living with the desire to sin in them.  God also knew that men could not by themselves overcome the sinful ways they received through Adam, since Satan and his spiritual forces would energize these sinful ways.  That is why God told His people, "Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?" (Ezekiel 18:31 NKJ).

This command was the only way out of the situation man had put himself in.  God also knew that men could not do this.  Men like David began to pray for God to give them a new heart and to put a right spirit within them (Psalm 51:10).  God heard their cry and sent Jesus, as He had promised to do.  Jesus lived in the will of God and did not give in to the desires of Satan and the world.  He had a new heart and was willing to die so that His heart could be given to us.

Jesus also took our sins on Himself so that our transgressions could be cast away from us.  He did for us what we could not do, and now He lives for us so that we can receive from Him a life that is dead to sin, and that has overcome all of our sinful ways.  Now God can and does give a new spirit to those who call on Him.  Praise be to Him!

Father, we rejoice that You show us our need for Your ways to be written in our hearts and for us to live for You.  Thank You that in Christ we have a new heart, and Your Spirit can empower us to live for You.  Amen.

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Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

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