We Have a New Covenant – Part II
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 8
Key Verse: Hebrews 8:13
When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means He has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.
The life in Christ that God wanted us to live out is a life of balance.
On one hand, God has set us free from the regulations of the law, as the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23 ESV: “’All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.”
God does not want His Children walking around feeling guilty over things that people have imposed upon us. Let us live our freedom in Christ!
On the other hand, God does not want us to abuse the freedom He gives us but to be mindful of our witness to other people for whom Christ died. The Apostle Paul quickly follows the truth about our freedom in the next verse with the caution: “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor” (1 Corinthians 10:24).
God calls us to balance our freedom with a Christ-like concern for others which often restricts our freedom.
At first this balancing act may seem burdensome, always trying to decide whether to enjoy our freedom or to restrict it for the benefit of another person. However, God does not leave us to make these decisions alone.
From yesterday’s devotion, we were reminded of God’s work in every believer: “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him” (Philippians 2:13).
When we are fully committed to living out the Christ-like life, then we can rest assured that God guides us by giving us the desires that lead us in making good decisions about our freedom in Christ. The “desires” that this verse is describing are the desires that come from the Holy Spirit, not the cravings of our flesh.
As Christ-followers, we truly want to be pure and holy before God. However, the devil can still tempt us to set aside this desire for a temporary satisfaction of our flesh. We must evaluate our desires to see if they are what we really want in the long run of our lives. A true Christ-follower wants, in the long run, to glorify God in all their words and behaviors.
Most sincere Christ-followers must learn to relax in God’s care over us. We need to trust that God is an expert “gardener” and knows how to grow us into the people He wants us to be. Do not make yourself miserable by always judging yourself harshly. Our Father is merciful in His loving, steadfast work in our lives!
Father, grant me wisdom in my efforts to live out the life that you are pleased with. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.