Saturday, September 18, 2021

Covenant Contract

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Government Contracts vs. Covenant Contracts

Today’s reading in Psalm 89 reminds us of Who it is that has offered to bless us through a Covenant Contract with Him! God offers a contract with us as the beneficiary, just to bless us. In return, He asks us to obey His Word, and to put all our trust in His Son, Jesus.

~The terms of God’s contract with us have never changed.~

WHAT!? That’s unheard of! No one keeps the terms of a contract the same from one year to the next. Rates must change. Benefits must increase. And the term of the contract might even change. And the overall terms of the contract will likely get more and more complicated as time goes by! That’s what we do. That’s how we do things!

In the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-20), the rich man lived sumptuously, while Lazarus hoped for just the crumbs from the man’s table. The man eventually died and learned that he had not racked up any treasures in heaven, only those on Earth which he hoarded for himself. And now in torment, he begged Father Abraham to send Lazarus with a drop of water to cool his tongue. But the request was denied because there were no provisions in the contract for post-mortem second chances (John 11:26).

Read, and re-read Jeremiah 31:35-36 carefully. It tells of God’s faithfulness to Israel as long as the Earth spins on its axis; for when day no longer follows night, Israel itself shall cease to exist. This is in full contradiction of the Abrahamic Covenant on Genesis 12. Or, is it?

God says He will be faithful to Israel throughout all her generations. How about when her generations stop at the end of the world? Now that’s food for thought!

If you are going through a trial of any kind, think about how faithful God is to His rebellious children, Israel. Are we Christians going to be forgotten, and slip through His fingers? Certainly not! Has not God warned us of troublesome times? Should we not expect trials and tribulations?

Believing in Jesus does not exempt us from the hardships of the world. They are all the more reason to believe in Him, and put our faith in Him!
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me, ye might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33

Today's Audio Message:

Matthew 20:1-19 - "Covenant Contract"

The LORD not only seeks to save sinners, but as transformed saints, He sends them out to work in His vineyards. We are called at different times in our lives. Some are called early, in the days of their youth; others are called later in life, and some even in the eleventh hour. The point here is that God does the calling, and it is He that sends the laborers into His vineyard. It is all His work in and through us. He saves our souls, indwells us with His Spirit and enables us to serve Him. In fact, we cannot be faithful servants until He does so, and when He does, we count it a great joy to serve Him.

Isn’t it interesting that God created each one of us individually with certain personalities, certain abilities and gifts. He calls us according to His timing and purposes, and then sends us out ,placing each one in His vineyard to the work that He calls us to. We don’t have to strive or compete for position. We are called to faithfulness and obedience to His Word and in His Service.

What a great joy it is to serve Him. Oh how thankful each of one of us should be to be counted worthy to be of service to our LORD. It is NOT our work, it is His. He is ever with us, leading, directing, enabling and equipping for the work He sets before us. All glory and honor to Him.

There is no place for pride, greed or jealousy. It matters not how long we have labored. What matters is that God called us and He sent us. Our reward is the same. Those who think they deserve more reward than others need to consider the sinfulness of their hearts, like the Pharisees who considered themselves to be above everyone else. We are all deserving of judgment, it is only by His grace that we are even saved. We are all equal in Christ Jesus our Lord, in fact scripture teaches that there is neither Jew, nor Gentile, bond or free, male or female….we are all one in Him.

This is the last time Jesus is in Judea as He and His disciples are heading up to Jerusalem. Jesus takes the twelve aside and tells them that He will be betrayed and put to death. Our compassionate Savior even prepares us for the difficulties we may face ahead. The disciples are about to witness Jesus being betrayed, conspired against, mocked, scourged, falsely accused and crucified. I’m not convinced that they are really grasping this fully at this point, we can certainly relate to the bewilderment of their hearts.

This was God’s plan from the beginning. That Jesus would suffer and die on the cross for the sins of the world. As always, God is faithful to His promise. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, that those who would believe in Him by faith, would receive salvation, forgiveness and newness of life. Jesus did not stay dead and buried in the grave, He rose on the third day and this resurrection from the dead is the gift He offers to all of us. A resurrected life, eternal life, for we too will rise from our graves resurrected to His eternal kingdom with Him forever. This is our great joy and hope!

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