How deep is your love?

This week the sermon in church was from Revelations 2: the message to the church in Ephesus. The take home message was that if we have no love for God and for each other then we are no better than those who do not know God. In the simplicity of that statement, I was reminded of my posts on our covenant relationship and our responsibilities to the covenant. I am referencing these two short posts: We are Covenant People and Our Covenant Relationship (I encourage you to go back and read these and so I will keep this post short and sweet).

As part of the terms of the covenant, we are to love God and as Jesus clarified, this love is demonstrated in love for God and for each other as those two are not mutually exclusive.

What does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God by walking in [obedience to] all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am giving you this day for your own good? Deuteronomy 10: 12-13 BSB

If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And we have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must love his brother as well. 1 John 4:20-21 BSB

Jesus sang the praises of the church in Ephesus in Revelations chapter 2 and if you never read verse 4 you’d think they were the model church. All that good however was negated by a lack of love for God and each other. Love for God and for each other is paramount. It is not optional. If we are to continue to enjoy the benefits of being in a covenant relationship then we have to adhere fully to the terms of the covenant, otherwise the consequences are dire (i.e. the removal of your lampstand from its place vs 5- If any of you have any thoughts about what this means feel free to leave a comment or send me a message). But there is hope. Thank God in Jesus there is always hope. And here is the hope we have:

Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.  Rev 2:5a NIV

So my question for you is “how are you doing with loving God and loving others?”

Yours Truly

Our Covenant Relationship

Referencing We are Covenant People

So let’s continue from where we left off, shall we? To recap:

Abraham was the mediator of a covenant with God sealed with blood. The terms of reference of this covenant were that all that entered into it would love, obey, fear God, serve God, and keep the commandments. This covenant was meant to be an everlasting covenant between God and Abraham and his descendants, never to be broken by either party. But guess what? the children of Israel fell into a cycle of breaking the covenant, repenting and asking God to take them back only to break it all over again. Enter Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ became the mediator of a new and better covenant the new covenant which promised three things:

  • to be inclusive, not just for the descendants of Abraham but for all
  • to give access to an eternal inheritance
  • to set people free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant

Therefore Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, now that He has died to redeem them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. Heb 9:15 BSB

Just like the old covenant, the new covenant was ratified with the blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. And all who are willing to partake of this covenant enter into it by the circumcision of  the heart

For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter. That man’s praise is not from men but from God. Romans 8: 28-29 HCSB

And how does one circumcise the heart you ask? You are to have put off, concerning the former way of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to its desires of deceit (Ephesians 4:22 BLB) and you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips (Colossians 3:8)

But you know the best part of all of this. Jesus did not come to invalidate the old covenant ratified by God or nullify its associated promises. He came to offer this opportunity to all.

And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Galatians 3:29 NLT

This means that all the blessings of the old covenant are available to me a non-Jew through the new covenant. this also means all the stipulations of the old covenant are also enforceable: the covenant is a blood covenant that can never be broken and the parties involved are blood partners and everything one has is placed at the disposal of the other.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3 ESV

Pentecostal Christians know how to claim the blessings under Abraham’s covenant. We sing … “Abraham’s blessings are mine!”…perhaps too often… and rightly so because everything God has is placed at our disposal. we have full access but is the flip side true? Can God count on our everything to be placed at His disposal? Abraham, of whom we sing placed everything at God’s disposal even to the point that when God said “give me your beloved son”, he was prepared to give up Isaac! Are you prepared to lay it all down?

Secondly, the terms of reference remain the same:

What does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God by walking in [obedience to] all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am giving you this day for your own good? Deuteronomy 10: 12-13 BSB

So I ask you: Do you love God? Do you fear God? Do you obey God in all things? Are you serving God with all your heart and with your soul? and Do you keep the statutes and commandments of the Lord? I know I fall short of these most days and if you are like me and you fall short too, then I pray this day that God will help us   to be intentional in our covenant relationship with Him, to keep our part of the covenant so we can fully experience and enjoy the blessings of Abraham.

Yours truly.