Posts Tagged ‘New Covenant’

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Reblogged from phildrysdale.com Many people wonder what I think about the law. As I continue to relentlessly preach grace they seem to jump to the conclusion that I hate the law and that I believe the law is no longer relevant.

Let me address this concern by saying this – I think the same thing the apostles thought about the law.

Here are just a few verses that describe what they thought of the law, as recorded throughout the New Testament. I encourage you to take time and go through them, check them in context, I have, and I am very confident of what the New Testament writers had to say about the law. I know it’s a relatively long list but it’s well worth it.

As a disclaimer, if this list makes you angry, please hear me out to the end. I actually love the law and so did the writers of the NT – so long as it remains in its rightful place!

What the NT authors had to say

Acts

The law is an unbearable yoke. (Acts 15:10)

Romans

The law reveals sin but cannot fix it. (Romans 3:20)

If the law worked then faith would be irrelevant. (Romans 4:14)

The law brings wrath upon those who follow it. (Romans 4:15)

The purpose of the law was to increase sin. (Romans 5:20)

Christians are not under the law. (Romans 6:14)

Christians have been delivered from the law. (Romans 7:1-6)

The law is good, perfect and holy but cannot help you be good, perfect or holy. (Romans 7:7-12)

The law which promises life only brings death through sin. (Romans 7:10)

The law makes you sinful beyond measure. (Romans 7:13)

The law is weak. (Romans 8:2-3)

1 Corinthians

The strength of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56)

2 Corinthians

The law is a ministry of death. (2 Corinthians 3:7)

The law is a ministry of condemnation. (2 Corinthians 3:9)

The law has no glory at all in comparison with the New Covenant. (2 Corinthians 3:10)

The law is fading away. (2 Corinthians 3:11)

Anywhere the law is preached it produces a mind-hardening and a heart-hardening veil. (2 Corinthians 3:14-15)

Galatians

The law justifies nobody. (Galatians 2:16)

Christians are dead to the law. (Galatians 2:19)

The law frustrates grace. (Galatians 2:21)

To go back to the law after embracing faith is “stupid”. (Galatians 3:1)

The law curses all who practice it and fail to do it perfectly. (Galatians 3:10)

The law has nothing to do with faith. (Galatians 3:11-12)

The law was a curse that Christ redeemed us from. (Galatians 3:13)

The law functioned in God’s purpose as a temporary covenant from Moses till John the Baptist announced Christ. (Galatians 3:16 & 19, also see… Matthew 11:12-13, Luke 16:16)

If the law worked God would have used it to save us. (Galatians 3:21)

The law was our prison. (Galatians 3:23)

The law makes you a slave like Hagar. (Galatians 4:24)

Ephesians

Christ has abolished the law which was a wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:15)

Philippians

Paul considered everything the law gained him as “skybalon” which is Greek for “poop”. (Philippians 3:4-8)

1 Timothy

The law is only good if used in the right context. (1 Timothy 1:8) (see next verse for the context)

It was made for the unrighteous but not for the righteous. (1 Timothy 1:9-10)

Hebrews

The law is weak, useless and makes nothing perfect. (Hebrews 7:18-19)

(As a side – that’s some fighting talk – no wonder the author of Hebrews remains anonymous to this day!)

God has found fault with it and created a better covenant, enacted on better promises. (Hebrews 8:7-8)

It is obsolete, growing old and ready to vanish. (Hebrews 8:13)

It is only a shadow of good things to come and will never make someone perfect. (Hebrews 10:1)

But… but… the Old Testament

Let’s not kid ourselves, even in the Old Testament the Mosaic Covenant was one that had five times more curses than blessings. There are 13 verses of blessing described (Deuteronomy 28:1-13) and 65 verses of curses (Deuteronomy 27:15-26, 28:16-68).

People lived constantly under the awareness of both the severity of the law and their inability to fulfill it! The law was always more of a curse than a blessing to those who were under it! That was its very purpose – to show just how much trouble they were in!

They knew they were to celebrate the law because it was God-given, but they never ultimately had a revelation of why it was given.

It was given to a people who wanted to do things their own way, as a way to show them they couldn’t! It showed them the standard of God’s holiness was far beyond anything they could ever hope to achieve themselves. This law was required and yet at the same time wholly impossible to obey. It was meant to drive them to grace and mercy and that grace and mercy could only come through the One who did the impossible by fulfilling the law.

The law made things worse

I know personally when I have a sin in my life I have a tendency to want to deal with it using law. When I see a sin, I think “what law can fix the problem here?” Or “what structure can I implement in my life to stop me from sinning?”

The problem is, that this is an Old Covenant way of thinking. The law is not applied to control sin, actually in both Romans 5:20 and 1 Corinthians 15:56 Paul explains to us how the law actually makes sin worse! Wherever there is law, sin starts to run rampant! It throws gasoline on the flames! That’s what the much misunderstood passage Romans 7 is all about, many think it’s about a sinful nature, actually it’s about the law stirring up sin! For more details on this see my article“Romans 7: Did Paul Struggle With a Sinful Nature?”

But Jesus came to fulfill the law, not do away with it!

I hear this argument a LOT when I talk about this stuff, let me ask you a hypothetical question:

Let’s say you have a mortgage for $500,000 owed to the bank. Now imagine that a rich man comes along and pays that mortgage off in full. He gets his receipt of the payment and you receive written notice of the mortgage being paid in full.

Now suppose the first of the month comes round and you get your monthly bill, from the bank, demanding your $2000 monthly repayment.

What are you going to do?

You are going to go straight to the bank with your piece of paper saying that the contract you had with the bank has been paid in full! You would be crazy to keep paying according to the old, fulfilled contract.

Jesus is saying in Matthew 5:17-20 that it is imperative that the standard of the law remains. Because if that standard is not left for those who do not believe in Him people will not realise their inability to do it! To put it in another way, the law must be there otherwise nobody will realise they need grace!

Jesus paid your debt in full. He fulfilled the law. In fact Paul says that the law was nailed to the cross with Him! (Col 2:14)

OK, but just the ceremonial law right?

This is where it gets complex and I want to make it as simple as possible for us all.

You see, a lot of people try to break up the law, into either two, ceremonial and moral, or three parts, ceremonial, civil and moral. I often hear people explain that it was the ceremonial law that was nailed to the cross.

This is a nice idea we use to try keep a hold of as much of the law as we possibly can, while doing away with some. The problem is the Bible doesn’t break up the law as nice and neat as that, in fact it doesn’t break up the law at all.

However, I’m not going to argue about whether or not the law is broken up into sections, let’s just go straight for the jugular.

Paul explains that the “law” which is no longer relevant in the believer’s life is the law which is “written and engraved on stones” in 2 Corinthians 3:7.

Which law does that sound like? The ceremonial law? The civil law? Obviously this is the Ten Commandments Paul is talking about, they were the only laws to be engraved in stone.

Paul isn’t being vague here and wants everyone to know that when he says that the law is no longer applicable in the Christian’s life he means the whole package it came in!

If you feel a need to divide the law up, that’s fine, just so long as you know the whole thing was fulfilled in Christ and the whole thing is for the unbeliever not the believer (1 Timothy 1:9).

So you are saying I should go sin as much as I like?

This is the most common question I get asked, for that reason I won’t be addressing it in this blog.

For those of you who believe that Christians have a sinful nature or perhaps you don’t but are still finding yourself assuming that this is what I’m saying, please read the following articles (there are many more on the website that will help you understand your righteousness in Christ as well.)

Romans 7: Did Paul struggle with a sinful nature
So you are saying it’s impossible to sin
Extreme grace: A license to sin

In short, sinners sin, saints don’t. If you think God made you righteous so you could keep on sinning then you’ve completely missed the point that He made you righteous. Righteous people find it hard to sin. If you think I’m saying you cannot sin as a Christian I again refer you to the above articles!

So what are you saying?

Firstly let me say this, I’m not saying we tear out the first half of our Bible and never read it again. It is still the Bible and God still uses it to teach us and direct us. The Spirit of God helps us divide the scriptures so we understand how to read them in light of the New Covenant. God’s grace is just as present in the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament. However this article is not about the Bible, it’s about the law.

So, secondly, I’m not saying you should never read the law or that the law should no longer exist either. We can find in the law loads of things that speak of who God is and teach us the grace and mercy of God. Not only that, but without understanding the law, our sin and the consequences of them, we will never fully be able to celebrate the freedom that God’s grace has brought us into!

We must however be able to divide correctly who the law is for. It is for unbelievers not believers. It is imperative that we understand this, those who put themselves back under the law put themselves right back under a curse. In fact it says if you do so, you are “severed from Christ”, pretty scary language if you ask me! (Galatians 5:4)

It is so important to understand that the law is good, it is perfect, it is holy (Romans 7:7-12), but most importantly it’s essential that we remember that it has a purpose. That purpose is to lead people to the end of themselves, it is there to push people, until they give up on the law and choose to rely on God’s gift of grace!

The law will never save anyone, nor will it make them a better person, whether they are a believer or unbeliever. It is simply there to show us how lost we are without grace.

The law is a mirror, but nobody ever uses the mirror to clean themselves. The purpose of a mirror is to show you your dirty face – not to clean it – you need Jesus to clean that dirty face.

Another reformation

The church is in desperate need for another reformation. For too long we have straddled the fence of the New and Old Covenant. A bit of grace here, a bit of law there. But the truth is that a little leaven ruins the whole bread. We don’t mix grace and law. Grace + Law = Law. The only way to drink grace is undiluted.

Let’s make it a priority to keep the law in its rightful context, as a tool to lead people to the end of themselves.

We must stop teaching the law as if it were a list of rules for us to follow, they are not a list of helpful moral guidelines which we are supposed to focus on trying to keep. It absolutely devastates me that the first thing children learn when they go to church is the ten commandments! Did we not read 2 Corinthians 3:14-15?

“But their minds were hardened. For to this day when they read the Old Covenant that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts”

What are we doing to our children? To ourselves?

The truth is we have been set free from the law, and our lives in grace will look better than those of any person trying to keep the law. Because we are not cleaned from the outside, we are cleaned from the inside. We have become a new creation.

Have you ever thought about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? If Adam and Eve didn’t have knowledge of good and evil then how did they please God?

The truth is that God has never wanted the human race to do life constantly trying to figure out if things are good and evil. He’s made us righteous so that everything we would do is good.

You see the biggest hinderance to us doing good is our knowledge of good and evil! If we were willing to put aside our desire to do good and avoid evil, and instead just follow God’s voice, we would see the most incredible changes in our lives.

What might happen if we trusted that Christ in us is good at His job and that the Holy Spirit, actually produces the fruit of the Spirit and not us?

The only thing a believer needs, to live a holy life, is to remain conscious of the fact that God has fully accepted them as His son or daughter, making them a new creation and one with Him, filled with the Holy Spirit. Forever. Amen.

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It seems like forever that I’ve heard this:  As Jesus was dying on the cross of Calvary, His Father turned His back on Him. Is this true? A lot of you may be thinking – “Uh… didn’t Jesus say ‘My God My God, why has hast Thou forsaken Me?'” And I would say – yes – He did say that in Mat. 27:46.

So why do I question that the Father actually did forsake His son?   If you read the verse again, you will notice that is was not a statement but actually a question being asked.  Jesus, while He was fully God, was also fully man. He, at this moment, was carrying the weight of the world’s sin, sickness, depression and a host of other undesirable things that keep us in bondage. At that moment, it is worth noting that this is the first and only time Jesus addresses the Father as my God.

This, my friends, is what sin, sickness, and disease does to us. It makes us feel as though we are far from our heavenly Father. But let’s get back to the question at hand:  Did the Father forsake His only begotten Son?

I think the answer is found in Psalms 22. Jesus was actually quoting this Psalm on the cross. Let’s look at it now.

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

As you can see, this was what Jesus was quoting on the Cross.  But if we continue to look at Psalms 22, we see that the whole chapter is a prophetic view to the crucifixion. Let me pull out a few more obvious verses that will show you what I see.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

T0his is clearly about the crucifixion. But wait – we are looking for answer to the question that Jesus asked.  For too long, we have made our own interpertion of what the Father actually did.  Remember, Jesus asked a question.  So where is the answer?  If the Father raising His Son on the third day after they had defeated hell, death and the grave wasn’t a good enough answer for you, let’s finish out Psalm 22 and see if we can find the answer (this time from the NKJV in verse).

21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth ad from the horns of the wild oxen! YOU HAVE ANSWERED ME. (capitals are mine for emphases)

So what’s the answer? If we continue to read down to verse 24 we find the answer – and yes, my friends, this is good news.

24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affiction of the afflicted; NOR HAS HE HIDDEN HIS FACE FROM HIM; BUT WHEN HE CRIED TO HIM HE HEARD.

My friends, this is the answer to the question that Jesus asked. The Father did not turn his back on Him. He did not hide His face from Him because of all the sin that was on Him, but when He cried, the Father heard Him. If we continue to look at scripture  we find that the Father was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them 2 Cor.5:19.

This is good news! Really it’s great news.  The Father never left His Son – not even the moment He carried the weight of the world’s sin. You see, He promised never to leave us or forsake us.  Nothing can separate us, and nothing could ever separate the Trinity. NOTHING.

You may ask, “Why does this matter?” It matters because Jesus was the expressed image of the Father. To think Jesus loves us one way and the Father  loves another, or that He might turn His back on us when we sin, is something I think needs to be corrected in our thought process towards our Heavenly Father.  Sin, my friends, has been dealt with at the cross.  It can no longer keep you from the love that your Father has for you. The only thing that will keep you from that love is a refusal to receive it. Grace is on the table.

It’s time to eat!

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The New Covenant in a nutshell.

Well honestly, I don’t think we can fit it in a nutshell, but I’ll try to keep this as short as I can. We all know that Jesus’s blood was the blood that forged the New Covenant.

Matt. 26:28, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

It’s all about the blood of my Savior. But what are the terms of the New Covenant? The word covenant is simply contract, and if there is a contract there must be terms to this deal. And this is were the Good News begins.

You might ask, “Why did we need a New Covenant with God if we had an Old Covenant with God?” Was something wrong with the first one? No, there was nothing wrong with the contract itself, but God had found fault with the people (Heb.8:7-8). The Law couldn’t make anyone perfect, but it left us tired and worn out trying to please God. My friends, God is much more interested in pleasing You than He is about you trying to please Him.

So the New Covenant has come. It is the Covenant that the blood of Jesus has made for us. The terms of this contract are found in Hebrews 8:10-13.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

Notice the underlines I will, I will, I will, I will. It seems God has done all the work in this new contract. So if God has done it all, if it really is finished, what is our part? Our part is trust. Trust that He is who He says He is, that He has forgiven our wickedness and our sins He remembers no more. Read that again slowly. He has forgiven our wickedness, and our sins He remembers no more. That is just plain Good News that is the what the Gospel is all about. God says “I will,” and we believe.

David said:

Romans 4:7 “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

It is finished! The Lord is not counting, keeping track, taking score, or watching for every sin you commit. You do not have to hide from Him because of sin. Because of His forgiveness and because of His grace, we now have the ability to overcome sin by boldly approaching the throne of grace and receiving the love, mercy, and grace that is available to all who believe.

Grace and Peace,

Chad

Three months ago I began a process of healing. I found myself with a torn ACL and meniscus. Although this could have been a terrible time, it has been one of the most interesting, exciting and illuminating in my life.

I know sitting around with your leg in a brace, not being able to do what you have been used to in the past doesn’t sound like much fun, but let me explain.

Most of my days have been spent just unraveling truth from the Word of God and spending time in His presence. The greatest thing He has shown me is TRUST. I am learning to trust more and more in the finished work of the Cross than ever before. It really all hinged on His righteousness.

I feel I should explain that while I have been recovering I have been unable to perform my regular duties at work.  Naturally, this has caused a significant loss of income. I say this not for any sympathy but to show you the goodness of my Father and His promises.

Before my surgery, the doctors told me that I would most likely be completely unable to attend work throughout most of my recovery period, but by the Grace of God I was given favor and a light duty desk job to help with the bills.  I knew in my heart that everything would work out just fine but I also knew that I would have to Trust Him like never before for finances just to get by.

I truly believe in tithing 10% of my income to my local church, and it is the first thing I do when I receive each paycheck, so it really began to bother me when the tithe money just wasn’t there.  This is not to say that I was not trusting God with my finances, so all you pastors and preachers please relax before you become short of breath or choke on your coffee.  I simply said that the money just wasn’t there.

I do get it. Tithe 10%, the first fruits. So how can I say it wasn’t there? Well something was going to have to be late or unpaid. I have discovered He is God the Father not the Godfather. So as I was on my way home and began talking to my Daddy, letting Him know that it was really bothering me that I felt like it wasn’t there to give Him the first 10%. He brought up my biggest lesson again. TRUST. He said “Can you trust me with your finances even if you don’t tithe? My response was just one of peace, of course I could. He promised if I would seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness all these things would be added to me. Mat. 6:25-34

The next morning I received a phone call letting me know I had an extra $500 waiting on me. Not because of anything I had done or not done, but just because He is good.

My question to you today, can you trust Him? Even when you’ve done right, even when you’ve done wrong, or even when you’ve done nothing at all? Can you trust that His grace is sufficient even though you don’t deserve it?

If you are like me you’re always looking for a good time, a place for a party. You just want to feel good. What can the parable of the prodigal teach us about that?

If you haven’t read the first part of this series titled Which Son are You? You can find it here.

This is the second part of a series originally written by Phil Drysdale you can find the original articles here.

Verse 31 of this parable is the most sobering verse and yet, the best news too. “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.’” You see, this reveals that the older brother, while always with the father, didn’t necessarily realize it. He was complaining that the younger brother got a party but the father’s response shows that he could have had a big party with the father all along if he so desired.

Desire

The key word here is “desire.” The older brother didn’t desire the right thing. He wasn’t pleasure motivated but rather acceptance motivated. He worked for acceptance rather than realizing that he was accepted. It is in relationship with the Father and enjoying Him that we fulfill our calling in life, it is in our pleasure in Him that we find satisfaction. In some way the younger brother had the right idea. He was pleasure motivated. We look at this as a terrible thing and that he was the lesser of the two brothers for leaving home and turning his back on the father, but really he was seeking what he was created for, he just never knew it was right there at home. The older brother, however, had it much worse… he never sought pleasure, he was still working hard for his father’s acceptance. If you are fighting to earn approval from the Father you will never step into the pleasure of the Father. But if you are seeking pleasure in the wrong place, the world, it at least is likely to lead to a place of returning to the Father, knowing that the world doesn’t satisfy.

I know that’s a hard pill to swallow but the truth is we were created for pleasure – God fills with you His joy with one purpose: that your joy might be complete (John 15:11). Even Jesus was motivated by joy (Heb 12:2). You experiencing satisfaction and fullness of joy in God is a big deal to Him.

I look at it this way, one son was standing next to the father with his eyes closed and all his senses deadened. The other son was running in the opposite direction but was using all his senses to find the fulfillment of his desire for pleasure.

Is it good that there are so many in the world, and in our churches, that are seeking pleasure from the world? No of course not; it’s tragic. But it at least means they haven’t hardened their heart to enjoying Him when they are in His midst. That is the greatest tragedies of all.

What’s our job?

We have a ministry to both brothers. It is our responsibility to point those that are seeking pleasure towards the Source of all pleasure, to bring people into an encounter with the One who loves them. Likewise, it is our responsibility to encourage those who are working for acceptance from the Father to know that they are fully accepted and that their only task now is to enjoy Him and all that He has done for them.

You see, the only thing worse than trying to fulfill your requirement for pleasure in the wrong thing, is not trying to fulfill it at all. The party is in the knowledge of the Father’s acceptance. Can you enjoy the party?

Who am I?

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Identity
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Earlier this week I made this statement. I was taught who I was supposed to be but no one ever told me who I was.

You see growing up I had the most amazing and caring parents a young man could ever ask for. I was the son of a preacher man, the child of an angel, and you know what they always say about preachers kids; their always the worst. Yes, this really is a stereotype, but in some sense it is true.

I was always taught who I was supposed to be. Do this, do that. Act this way when company comes, and my favorite, don’t embarrass me in the community. I was a Hutchinson and this is how we do it.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with giving your child instructions on how he should act or behave. I actually encourage it because the lack of discipline in this day and age is very obvious in society.

So what am I talking about? Well, somewhere down the line when I was a child, I gave my heart to the Lord. I was always taught how to be a good Christian, but this looked a lot more like learning how to be a good Hutchinson. You know, do this, don’t do that. It really sounded more like, thou shall and thou shall not. Then if I ever forgot I could always go to the dining room where the Ten Commandments hung proudly on the wall. Now I am not bashing the Ten Commandments or the law. The Law is holy. The only problem is man by himself can not live by them. If you do all you will find is sin and death. (Romans 3:20; 2 Corinthians 3:9) When you try to live by the law it frustrates Grace. (Galatians 2:21)

So what’s the solution? We all know how we should act, so how do we do it? It all comes from your identity and letting the Holy Spirit lead you.

So, who am I in Christ?

I am God’s child. (John 1:12)

I have been justified. (Romans 5:1)

I am united with Christ. We are one in Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I am adopted by God. (Ephesians 1:3-8)

I have been redeemed and forgiven of ALL my sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:9-10)

I have direct access to the thrown of Grace (Hebrews 4:14-16)

I can’t be separated from God’s love. (Romans 8:31-39)

I am God’s temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16)

I may approach God with confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)

I have received the gift of Righteousness. (Romans 5:17)

I am greatly loved by God. (Romans 1:7, Ephesians 2:4, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessolonians 1:4)

It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

When we know who we are and how to be lead by the Holy Spirit we will do more on accident then we could ever do on purpose. The next thing we need to learn is now to be lead by the Holy Spirit. We’ll talk about that more in another post.

To put in Chad’s english:

I’m a saint, not a sinner saved by Grace. I used to be a sinner who died with Christ and now I am a Saint! I am forgiven! For yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I am holy in Christ. My old life is gone, I am a new creation. I am loved. I am a son of the most high God.

Grace and Peace unto you,

Chad

We all remember this one. The young woman pulling petals off the flower and thinking each time. “He loves me, He loves me not, till the last one was pulled. So what did the last one say?

This reminds me of the mindset of Christians today. When we do something good, we pull the flower petal that says “He loves me.” When we do something bad, we pull the other one that says “He loves me not.” At any given moment we could leave this earth. Oh no! What was the last petal we pulled? “He loves me not”. Then we have choice #2. We try so hard to do the right thing, only to fail and pull another He loves me not petal from the flower. At the end of the day or at the end of this life, did I get to pull one more of those good ones or bad ones?

Honestly this sounds like a Law- based approach to relating to God. Do something good and get blessed. Break the Law and get cursed. Does God really relate to us this way? For a long time, without even knowing it really, this was me. Until the day I threw up my hands and said “God trying to serve you and do what’s right is impossible. At least the world has pleasure attached to it.”

Yes its true, the world and sin are fun for a season and honestly more fun than all that religious stuff I was doing. You see it all goes back to having the right diet. I was eating from the wrong tree both times. For more on the right diet click here.

Welcome the Rose of Sharon, the flower of the New Covenant. As I began to pull petals from this flower, to my amazement they all said the same thing: HE LOVES ME. But today I messed up, I did something I know that I shouldn’t have done. When I go back to the Rose and grab my petal, to my surprise it always says “HE LOVES ME.”

Now, in no way, am I condoning sin, but at times in our lives we all fall, stumble and make mistakes. So our only hope is in Hope Himself. He is the one that walked out the perfect life. Jesus hung on a cross taking everything we deserved. His arms were wide open not folded with a snare. Today his arms are still wide open saying “I love you.”

We all, at times, I think try to impress God with our love for Him. Trying to compete with the lover of your soul is hard work. If you want to impress God only your faith in Jesus will do.

So next time you pull a petal from that flower make sure it’s from the Rose of Sharon. Put your faith in Him and watch as you turn the petal over. It will say “HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME.”

Grace and Peace,

Chad