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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter: a Covenant Love Story!

"Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then He (God) said to him (Abraham), "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. ~Genesis 15:5-6

So why would I start off my Easter blog with this particular verse?

Because God revealed something to me this weekend that I think applies to His very Death and Resurrection.

I think for the first time I was able to identify that I have lived my life pretty much up to this point thinking that I had to "act right" in order to keep God's favor.  I felt like if I ever made a bad decision or lost hope then God would pull away from me...He would leave me...He would be frustrated with me and disappointed with me and would wash His hands of me.  It would go something like this in my head...."Oh Kerry, when are you going to learn?  You think you can do better than me and you can't.  So now that you have chosen to not trust my provision in this matter, I am going to leave you, bye.  I am tired of you not trusting me!"

But this weekend God showed me something in His Word that revealed to me that this is NOT POSSIBLE!

It was in the story of Abraham and Sarah:

1.  God made a covenant with Abraham.  He promised that Abraham's offspring would be as numberous as the stars in the sky.
2.  Abraham believed and it was counted to him as righteousness.
3.  The covenant was cut by blood shed.  A heifer, a goat and a ram where cut in two pieces and laid against each other.  A smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.  God initiated the covenant and took the walk of death.
4.  Almost immediately after the covenant was cut, Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands.  Sarah gives her servant Hagar to Abraham to bear her a son....and Ishmael is conceived.

Even in all this, God did not forget His promise nor did he change His affection toward Abraham and Sarah. He still wanted to bless them.  He gave them another son from their own seed....Isaac. And notice the order of events...God counted his belief as righteousness before Abraham had a chance to "prove" his belief.  It is not about our "works."

This means so much to me and is like an "ah ha" moment for me today as we celebrate the Resurrected Life of Jesus Christ.  His shed blood has meaning and purpose.  It is a covenant!  NOTHING can seperate us from the love of Chirst.  It is permanent!  Obedience for the exchange of a Christ-life.  But here is the kicker that I didn't get before......An obedient life doesn't mean a perfect life.  It is a surrendered life!

As in the words of the Apostle Paul...
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own."  Phillippians 3:12

Was Abraham perfect in his acceptance of God's promise?  No...but he had a heart that desired Him. And even though he detoured from God's perfect will, Abraham is still in the Hall of one who has gone before us and trusted in the Lord.  One to be honored and seen as one with Great Faith! An example to all!

So my challenge to you today is to live as one who is LOVED no matter what.  You can't mess this up even if you tried.  God's promises are as true in your distrust as they are in your trusting. He still has a purpose and a plan...He still will make something beautiful out of this....He still will be with you til the end....He still will be your shield and the lifter of your head.  Nothing changes on His part.  But you must change in the way you see...begin to see Christ more through the lens of TRUTH and not the lies of the Deciever!

Focus on His blood covenant today!  What does that mean to you?  How does this change the way you see your life?

It is so hard for us to recieve this TRUTH because we live in a world where covenants mean nothing. It can be hard to grasp if you lived a life where you were continually abandoned. 

But let me tell you as one who struggles the most with this TRUTH!  Once you get will weep. You will weep because you can't imagine being loved no matter what you can't imagine having a covenant partner who NEVER leaves you and who desires nothing but the VERY BEST for you even when you mess up! He wants to tell you today that HE is the REAL DEAL!!  His death and resurrection made if possible for you to have this kind of relationship with Him.  It is one like no other you have ever had before!  Embrace it!

Happy Easter my sweet friends!