Attributes of a Lasting Covenant: Part 2

The goal of this two-part series is to help you obtain a better understanding of God’s Covenant. It’s a lasting covenant with attributes comparable to those of a successful marriage. I present the final four attributes of a lasting covenant—faithfulness, security, reciprocity and benefits.

3. Faithfulness (Fidelity)

Jesus sums up my entire reason for writing this series in Matthew 23:23, “You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you're in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your garden, such as mint, dill, and cumin. Yet you neglect the more important matters of the Law, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the important things you should have done, though you should not have left the others undone either.” It’s faithfulness in every area—not just your money, but your lifestyle as well.

God promises in Judges 2:1, “I will never break my covenant with you” If every person who married in the last fifty years said those words and meant them, where would our country be today? You fill in the blank this time. To love the Lord is to be faithful to him (reread the previous on love section if necessary). Remember this isn’t a human covenant. It’s a Covenant between God and man, which means God’s portion is always enforced; yours, on the other hand is completely up to you. Romans 3:3-4 states, “What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar.” Additionally, look at the following verse:
But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; their hearts were not loyal to him,  they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. –Psalm 78:36-38
The Israelites again had been unfaithful to God. But after it was all said and done, God still continued to keep the covenant He made with Israel because of Abraham. Those of you who have been betrayed in marriage know how it feels when someone you love has betrayed you. Being unfaithful to God hurts him the same way because He loves you. The Bible tells us that He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Everlasting sounds like faithfulness to me. In fact, Psalm 85:10 says that love and faithfulness meet together—they help a covenant last. Paul explained the consequences of abusing God’s faithfulness in Romans 8:12-14, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Life in the Spirit is an act of fidelity to God’s covenant. Every time you are unfaithful to God, a part of you dies. Also, according to Hebrews 6:5-7, you re-crucify Christ. The Message says it best:

Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they've personally experienced the sheer goodness of God's Word and the powers breaking in on us—if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can't start over as if nothing happened. That's impossible. Why, they've re-crucified Jesus! They've repudiated him in public!

Treat God and His Covenant just as you would a faithful loving spouse—be faithful to Him in everything.

4. Security

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.—Isaiah 32:18

There’s a classic film in which a beautiful woman was trying to nab a wealthy husband. When the father of the prospective groom confronted her, the reply she gave was quite intelligent. Why does a father seek financial security for his daughter when helping her choose a spouse, but when a woman does the same for herself, she’s considered a gold digger—touché! God’s covenant offers not only financial security (wealth), but actual security (protection from harm, danger, famine and disease). That’s more than the most wonderful spouse could ever give anyone.

Imagine being the true son or daughter of a King, or of the President. I mean really, would you be worried about your financial security or your personal safety? Well if you are a child of God who walks in covenant with Him, you should be financially secure and your secret service agents (angels) are protecting you twenty four seven!
Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.

—Leviticus 25:18-19
This exemplifies both types of security. So why aren’t all Christians wealthy? Why are some Christians seemingly experiencing just as much trouble as everyone else? Notice these verses always mention obedience to The Covenant in them. It is an offer of security. Every American can be wealthy and so can every Christian. Just as every American is free to choose, so are Christians. If you are fully committed to God’s Covenant and some hardship occurred, your ability to handle it would be far greater because of your connection to God. This lasting Covenant ensures financial and physical security. God is offering this to everyone who participates fully in His Covenant.

5. and 6. Reciprocity and Benefits

I decided to combine these two because I believe they go hand in hand like love and trust. Jesus explains reciprocity clearly in John 15:7-8, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Basically, you do something for God, and God does something for you—that’s reciprocity or a mutual exchange (although God ALWAYS gives us way more in return). For instance, if my husband barbecues, I promise to clean up the mess. This is one of the important intangibles of a lasting covenant. Both parties equally give and receive. Just remain in Him, let His Word remain in you, and bear fruit that will last. In return, you get your heart’s desire!
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits… —Psalm 68:19
Surely you don’t believe in the free lunch or something for nothing ideal. Those of us who are married (even those who intend to be) did so expecting certain benefits. These are pleasures that just come with the agreement. God’s Covenant, just like marriage, comes with certain benefits. Psalm 103 lists forgiveness, healing, protection, love, tender mercy, guidance and satisfaction of your heart’s desires, and the renewal of your youth as benefits. Are you kidding me?! This is the kind of Covenant that can and does last eternally. It’s The Covenant of God.

For additional study on these topics we offer the following scriptures and resources:

Faithfulness

Deuteronomy 7:9—Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Psalm 25:10—All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
1 Corinthians 1:9—God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Galatians 3:9—So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Hebrews 10:23—Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
1 John 1:9—If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Security

Psalm 23; Psalm 91
Proverbs 14:26—In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Isaiah 49:25—But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
Deuteronomy 33:12—About Benjamin he said: “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”
Hebrews 6:19—We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Reciprocity and Benefits

Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 15
Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Psalm 34; Psalm 37
Proverbs 3
1 John 5
--Shon Stevens is a writer and professional fitness instructor. Shon lives in Texas with her husband and two children.
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