Can you name one thing you want right now?
God loves to make promises. And God loves to keep his promises. Why? Because God loves us very much and he wants to have a relationship with us. Good relationships happen when two people love each other and make promises to each other. This is called a covenant. Like when a man and a woman get married, they make a covenant (promises) to love and care for each other.
In the Old Testament God made covenants with his people. Some of these covenants were kept by God alone. God promised to love and care for his people no matter what – even if his people failed and sinned and didn’t love God back. But one of God’s covenants with his people, the “Old Covenant” required God’s people, Israel, to love him and obey him. If they did, they would be blessed. But it they didn’t, they would be “cursed” or punished by God. Do you think Israel obeyed the Old Covenant? You’re right, they didn’t. And that is why God allowed Israel to be taken into exile by the wicked Babylonians.
But here’s the real problem – we can never love and obey and serve God perfectly can we? We all sin all the time. And God knows this. So God decided to make a new covenant with Israel and with us. But this time it would be very different. Listen to how the prophet Jeremiah describes the New Covenant:
Jeremiah 31:33.For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The Old Covenant didn’t work. Not because it was bad, but because people are bad. So God made sure we would obey. How? By writing his law on our hearts. How does that happen? It happens when we receive Jesus into our hearts. When we trust in Jesus he changes our hearts so that we WANT to obey God, not just HAVE to obey God.
Because of Jesus we can have a changed heart.
With Jesus we can love God and others because we want to.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Learn this verse together – 1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
Jesus, you loved me first so that I can love you and others too. Please continue to change my heart and make it more like yours each day. Amen.