August 28, 2012 – The Covenant with God
While dealing with much tragedy and sickness, I have found strength in my faith, trusting in the Lord’s promise to never leave my side. This evening while trying to make a full conclusion on the messages that I had been meditating on over the past few weeks, I realized that I had not picked up A View From My Window in quite some time. I really like this book because it seems to have been crafted with a great amount of love. This evening, I believe that God used this book to assist me in tying together, with better clarity, the passages that I had been meditating over. Even though I felt secure in my understanding of the scriptures before, re-reading this one particular sermon by Rev. Stanley assisted me in making a simple message even more real. I had simply gotten excited about the word of God without really tying it into my personal situation. I hope that by sharing this powerful experience I can assist you in reaching your spiritual goals of becoming just a little closer with God. If you would like to read the sermons from A View From My Window, it can easily be obtained via Rev. Stanley’s website, www.KnightonStanley.com.
The morning of Friday, August 17th, when I opened my bible for a word to meditate on, I landed on 2 Chronicles 5 – Solomon had finished constructing the temple, and the Ark of the Lords Covenant was brought into the city of Jerusalem from Zion (the city of David). Solomon had assembled before the King, all the leaders of all the tribes and families of Israel for the annual Festival of Shelters, which began on the 5th day of the seventh month of the Hebrew lunar calendar (late September or early October). I had read 2 Chronicles several times to get an understanding of this message, as the spirit told me it was very important. My fingers flipped the bible for clarity and a simpler message to understand. I stumbled on the dictionary at the back of my New International Bible and landed on the definition of sin. I took in the many definitions given, and called it a night. On Saturday, August 18th, when I picked up my bible, still seeking clarity, I found myself reading the passages related to the covenant with God, and demons; which had led me to deduce the following:
Sin is breaking God’s law. Demons are powerful evil spirits that work for Satan, and can sometimes control people. Sin is not a part of our original human nature. God created the 1st people with the ability to choose whether or not to trust and obey God. Due to the choices of Adam and Eve, people are now born with a sinful nature that holds them in slavery. Jesus died as a sacrifice for human sins, and to give everyone who believes in the All Mighty an opportunity to be saved by their faith, just as God promised to Abraham (Gal. 3; Det. 29). We can invoke blessings on ourselves through our faith. We can use our faith to cast out demons and defeat evil in Jesus’ name. It was God’s will for Jesus to die to serve as a sacrifice once for ALL people to have the opportunity to be saved (Hebrew 10). The death of Jesus allows us to stand strong in our faith – spurring one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us raise our voices and praise the Lord saying “He is so good! His faithful love endures forever!” (2 Chronicles 5; Hebrew 9) 2 Chronicles 5 is the praise given to God, observing our old covenant with HIM, when animals were given as a sacrifice. The death of Jesus puts us under the new covenant, setting the stage for the new order; where the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb will be the temple in the Holy City, Jerusalem (Rev. 21:3 and 21:22; Hebrew 9).
I am so excited to have re-discovered why Jesus died for our sins and how our choice to follow him can give us life eternal; once again, reminded that God loves us SO much that he gave his only son to demonstrate that HE is the ONE TRUE God, eternal, and for ALL people. No one can ever offer a greater sacrifice than the one that Jesus made with his life; we do not need anyone’s permission, or acceptance in order to live this life; nor should anyone ever have to die in order to be forgiven for their sins, and freely pursue living a life free from sin. In Rev. Stanley’s book, A View From My Window, he writes a Holy Week Meditation, titled “A God Who Is Handed Over”, and states, “If so much of life consists of what is done to us rather than in what we do, then, I submit to you that the secret of the transformed life is to choose what we’re going to do with what has been done to us.” “Jesus was ‘handed over’ to the authorities to be crucified”. Jesus was not afraid; and I am reminded that we do not have to be afraid either. Deciding to choose to live as Jesus lived is how we do God’s work here on earth, and how we repay him for all that he has given to us. We are HIS temples, and HIS light (truth) must shine within us everywhere that we go, so that everyone will know that HIS love is real. The simple thing of choosing to live life truthfully (without lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, etc.), allows you to make a huge step toward living the life that God wants us to live, and draws us closer to The Almighty. What will you do with the choices in life that you are given? Even when we are wronged, how willing are you to hand your sins, fears, and doubts over to Jesus? Would you die for your right to live a life free from the worries of this world?
I have been taught that fear is a tool of the devil to keep us away from receiving the full blessings of God. None of us are perfect, and we have all fallen short of the glory of God. I made a decision to follow the teachings of Jesus from the early age of 12. At that time I cannot say that I had a full understanding of the trials that this commitment would force me to endure, especially as a woman. I simply held on to the love that I knew that my father had for me. This world does not make it easy to choose to live a life as Jesus lived. I have fallen victim to my sin nature many times, but I never stopped believing, and I always prayed to HIM when charting my path. I have grown stronger and freer through my decision to live truthfully. Even though I am not always happy with where he tells me to go and am stubborn at times, I have grown to understand that stubbornness is a part of my sin nature. My reluctance is often due to fear of my own mortality. However, knowing my nature has made me focus my energy even more on living a life without guile. In today’s world, it seems to have become cool to trick others. Getting over is the only way that some people have learned to get by. I have therefore been told that deciding to live my life showing love and being truthful with everyone is being naive, it is dangerous, and therefore, I am not living in reality, because everyone lies and manipulates. I never wished to live in everyone’s reality, my only desire is to live as God has asked, and if that means that I too will be ‘handed over’, so be it. I rise, walk, and live by my faith that God will stand by his word. As long as I stand for what Jesus stood for, I will RISE each day knowing that I am living the life that he created me to live. I will RISE each day being made stronger by the abusers of this world, for my Father has promised that no weapons formed against me shall ever prosper. I crafted this prayer today, in preparation of being ‘handed over’:
Dear wonderful, loving, and faithful God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to be a sacrifice for my sins. Without him I would not have the opportunity to be saved under the covenant that you granted to Abraham through faith by grace. Thank you for watching over me and never leaving my side. Please forgive all my sins. Fill my heart with your spirit, and place your hands on my lips so that the only time they may part is to allow your words to pass – words of praise, love, wisdom, and strength; to nurture my community and warm their hearts to your love, goodness, and mercy; and inspiring them to pursue good deeds forever in your name. Allow me to be your Lamb. Remove all fear, and replace it with a resilient spirit of righteousness, that will spark the light of the world. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, oh Lord, my saint, and my redeemer. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
This post is a little different than past posts. However, given the turbulant times with mass distractions, I felt it important to take a moment to focus on priorities, so not to get swept away in the current tides of deception, fueled by greed. Take today and focus on your priorities.