Attributes of a Lasting Covenant: Part 1

Marriage is a covenant everyone can understand and relate to. It is based on vows, rings are exchanged to symbolize unending love and it’s sealed with a kiss. Roles are then assumed as husband and wife. A marriage is a covenant entered into equally by two people (one man, one woman). These individuals stand before God and witnesses while verbally acknowledging and entering into this sacred bond. No honest person, Christian or otherwise, can deny the sanctity of marriage.

God made a vow to us, He sent His Son (The Word) as a symbol of His unending love, and sealed it in Christ’s blood—it’s called The Covenant of God. And, just as in marriage, you and I have a part to play. Why do people have a problem with this? Misinformation on this topic has caused intimidation, ignorance and lack of every kind. Trying to live the Christian life without fully participating in The Covenant is like being in an unstable marriage. You can have all the pieces in place, but disobedience or ignorance in just one area can sabotage your life and leave a door open for the enemy.

The Covenant and The Blessing have been presented to us at in such a practical way, that we were impressed to use this media outlet and our gifts to share the simplicity of this Good News. I invite you to continue reading and allow me to explain what makes a lasting covenant by comparing God’s Covenant to the covenant of marriage. This is certainly an easy metaphor as the Lord is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. The wonderful news is that unlike a human marriage, God can not and will not ever break His Covenant (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 89:34; Titus 1:2). The Covenant is not a yoke of bondage; it’s a multifaceted, irrevocable liberating bond between the immortal God and mankind. Just as marriage is not meant to entrap, but to allow two people to freely express their love and enhance one another's lives eternally. I’d like to present, in a practical way, six attributes of a lasting covenant in two articles. The list is as follows:

Six Attributes of a Lasting Covenant

  1. Love

  2. Trust

  3. Faithfulness (Fidelity)

  4. Security

  5. Reciprocity

  6. Benefits

1. Love

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.—1 John 4:16

Amore. Don’t you just love love? God is Himself the very epitome of love. He doesn’t just possess it, He IS it. What real marriage could start, let alone survive without love? But God’s love, just like His Covenant, goes far beyond human love. God said in Jeremiah 31:3, I have loved you with an everlasting love.” His agape love is absolute and unconditional. John 3:16 says that He so loved us that He gave. He knew our state and yet He gave us Christ! Not only that, but as you continue in covenant with God, He continues to show His love by giving—regardless of your mistakes. We show our love for Him simply by believing in Christ and obeying His commands at all times. John wrote in 1 John 5:3, “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.”

Basically this means that if God say’s do it, do it; if He says don’t, then don’t. He loves us and whatever guidelines the Lord wants us to follow are based on this fact. Just as there are is a certain behavior expected from a loving spouse, there is a certain behavior God expects of us if we claim to love Him. His actions always show His love for us. Do our actions do the same? Do you scoff at the minister when he or she says, “Forgive the one who misused you.” Is it difficult for you to love your spouse even though he’s no longer making six figures? Are you having difficulty continuing to tithe since you’ve started making six figures? Love for God compels you to obey regardless of how you feel, just as love compels you in marriage to do the right things day in and day out.

2. Trust

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”— Psalm 91:2

When you bring the tithe to Christ, who is the mediator our better Covenant and our high priest, you’re saying, “Lord, I trust you to rebuke the devourer in every area of my life, including my finances, health and family.” This lasting Covenant is multifaceted. Just like a successful marriage. You pay the house first. Trust knows that God will open the windows of heaven and pour out so much blessing you won’t have room for it—for only ten percent! How can you trust God with your life, and not your money? Think about all the ways He’s transformed your world. If you still don’t tithe, you don’t trust God; and, you are not getting the full benefits of The Covenant—it’s just that simple.

Bottom line, you can trust God. Trust is reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc. of a person or thing. Just as you earn the trust of your spouse by being trustworthy, so God earns our trust by proving His Covenant time after time. He invites us in Malachi 3:10 to “test” Him with the tithe. We trust God by relying on Him to fulfill us in every way. Nahum wrote, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” And even casual Christians know Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Accepting Jesus Christ and entering into this Covenant will change your life forever because it’s built on trust. You can rely on God’s strength, ability and integrity to make your paths straight, heal your body, deliver your children and restore your broken life.

Here are some supplementary verses to reflect on for the first two attributes of a lasting covenant.

Matthew 22:37— Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
John 15:9— “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
Psalm 37:3— Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Psalm112:7— He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
1 Peter 2:6— For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
Just as a strong lasting marriage is built on love, trust, faithfulness, security, reciprocity and benefits, so you can build your life in covenant with God. This Covenant is complete, lasting and perfect. Half the work is already done—He’s just waiting on you. Check back soon for part two and the remaining four attributes of a lasting covenant.

--Shon Stevens is a writer and professional fitness instructor. Shon lives in Texas with her husband and two children.
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