The Covenant Walk with God

This morning I am right back at my life as pastor. Eleven days with my family, including a new grandson, have spoiled me!

Entering into 2016 our church continues to walk through the MULTIPLY discipleship material. We are in the covenant between God and Israel this week and I have focused on Exodus 19 and 20. For my message, there is no way to walk through the 10 commandments successfully in one message, so I want to give some thoughts along the way this week through blogging.

2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Ex. 20:2-3, NIV)

Quite possibly the most difficult part of Exodus is trying to figure out how “law” and “love” go together. We might think of “law” and have in mind it is something to keep, or ignore, or break.

The temptation is to get quite “literal” and think, “Well, when it comes to other gods… I don’t have any idols in my house!”

How are we in relation to the other gods around us, though? In every culture we battle “gods” or “strongholds.” The three greatest strongholds in America: Money, Sex, Power. And there are hundreds of smaller “gods” attached to them. Consumerism. Greed. Violence. Racism.

What saves us from legalism is to be reminded that it is GOD who acted toward us. He delivered Israel. He delivered US. Out of that gratefulness should rise a heart that says, “GLADLY! I will serve no other!”

We are still tested with it every day, though. We like our own control. We like our material stuff. We like our daily habits that may be in conflict with pure worship.

The Lord will want to deal with those in our lives. Are we will willing to lay it all on the table FOR HIM?

What gods are getting in your way?

 

The beauty of a jealous God

Deuteronomy 6

Obedience and fear are huge words and growing up they always sounded “demanding.” It’s only in the last few years that I’ve really come to understand them as loving and what God is calling Israel to is more like a marriage covenant than some list of demands.

Obedience and fear are “demanding” in that there ARE rigors of a covenant relationship. Marriage should be a covenant relationship and even those words are helpful in describing the deep covenant underpinnings that will truly keep two people together.

We have a God who is incredibly jealous for us. He is consumed with passion for us. All he asks is a return on that attention. Instead, we are consumed too often with ourselves and what this “wonderful” God can instead do for us. 

Deuteronomy 6 is a wonderful passage of delight. It is a call to obedience, but who would NOT want to obey a loving God who provides all we need for abundant living? Too often we want abundant living without the obligation. It just won’t work that way.

Why should I not be consumed with knowing this loving God?

Why should I not be consumed with the written Word, longing to understand the most obvious place to know this loving God? Why would I want to explain away this treasure? Why would I hide this written Word from others, or from my children? Why would I NOT be consumed with the Word and talking about it all time?

We are so consumed with so many other things and we do not mind talking about them! We talk about our favorite shows, movies, music, people… and we talk about what we hate in those categories as well. And it’s normal. 

But start talking about what you’re learning in the written Word and you get, “Oh, there you go again! Being condemning! Being ‘holier than thou!'”

No.

It’s about being consumed with a Savior who is consumed with passion for me. I am longing to know him as he knows me.

This jealous God is a beautiful God and I want to know him!