This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Hebrews 8:10
Contracts are drawn up all the time by two different parties to have written down what is expected by both parties. The purpose of it being written down is so that if there is any discrepancy about what to do, it can be seen and resolved immediately.
Following a contract has nothing to do with the heart, but just a matter of obligation.
Quoting from Jeremiah 31, the author of Hebrews shows that God had planned to make a new covenant with the people. This one would be written on the hearts and minds, so that He would be their God and they His people.
When a law is just a law on paper, but not in the heart, people obey it only when seen and only to keep from getting caught. It is not something that they want to obey, but just have to in order to keep from getting into trouble. Very few people desire to be in trouble.
If the law is not a part of one’s desire, it will be extremely difficult for the person to fully obey it. He will find ways to circumvent the law or just straight out not follow it.
The people of Israel had this problem with God’s Old Testament law.
When Jesus came, God changed how things would be done. Instead of being written just on paper, His law would be on the hearts and minds of the people.
Having the law on the heart and mind, makes one want to obey the law, not forced to. It becomes part of one’s own desire to do.
If you are like most people, you struggle with obeying God’s law. You want to, but often fail.
Allow God to place His law upon your heart. Instead of His law being something you have to do, make it something you desire or want to do.
Hide His law in your heart, so that it becomes a natural part of who you are. It will become easier to obey God, since you know in your heart that He is your God and you are His, not just on paper.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have God’s commands upon your heart and mind; that you will live to please God; that you will know God’s love for you; and that you will be a part of God’s family.
This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ Zechariah 13:9
Testing of people is something required in most areas of life. It is commonly thought that testing is only for children and college students. However, adults, outside of school, get tested on a fairly regular basis.
Many workplaces require annual testing on various skills to ensure the workers keep up on those skills. Workplaces also get inspected often to ensure that they are following certain guidelines.
God said there would be a small remnant of Israel left, after being scattered, who would be tested in a fire. As they are tested they will call upon God and make Him their God.
Very few people like to be tested and no one likes to go through a fire. Both can be scary and may destroy a person. The bitter-sweet thing about being tested is that it can reveal both strengths and weaknesses.
As a fire, the testing can get rid of the bad parts, cleaning up the life of a believer in God. It can cause a person to run to God and trust Him in the process. The true remnant will run to God, the rest will run away, not trusting God.
In America and the world, God is doing a time of testing to see who will remain faithful to Him and who will fall away. This fire is to set to burn out the impurities of sin and corruption in the lives of believers. A remnant will come through to say God is their God and God will say that they are His people.
As you are going through a fire, tough and difficult times, you need to turn to God and trust Him. Allow God to be your God. He knows what is best for you and is allowing this time of testing in the fire. Allow God to burn out the impurities and distractions in your life.
When you allow God to clean you up by His testing, your testimony will be even greater. God will be able to use you even more in building His kingdom. You will be a brighter light shining for God in this dark world.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to test you; that you will make God your God; and that you will shine for Jesus.
You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 34:31
Very few people like to be owned and controlled by someone else. They like their freedom. People like to be able to do what they want, when they want and how they want.
While everyone loves absolute freedom, everyone is also partially under control of someone else. Most people have a job and are controlled in what they can and cannot do while at work by their employer. Every nation has rules that govern what things can and cannot be done. So no one is truly one hundred percent free all the time.
God tells the people of Israel that they are His sheep and that He is their God. This is despite the fact that they have fallen away from Him. He will draw them back.
Every person is free in themselves, but at the same time, every person has to answer to God. The one who has chosen to follow Christ has chosen to give up his own personal rights and obey God completely. He is now a sheep of God’s pasture.
The sheep does not get to choose what he does or where he goes. The shepherd guides the sheep into what is best for the sheep. Left on its own, the sheep will get itself hurt and in trouble.
In the same way, the believer, left on his own will fail and be destroyed. Following God’s commands and word will bring life. The believer must allow God to be his shepherd, His Lord and God, the one who controls everything.
As one allows God complete control of his life, he will have everything that is needed at the time it is needed. Just as a shepherd provides all that is needed, God will also provide all that is needed.
You have a choice as you walk on this earth as to who will be your leader and guide. You can try to lead yourself, in your limited knowledge and wisdom and sight. Or you can allow someone else to lead you.
In allowing others to lead, you also have a choice. You can allow those with the same limited knowledge and wisdom to lead you, those in this world. Or you can allow God to lead you.
Allow God, in His infinite wisdom and love, to be your God and to lead you to a full life that will extend into eternity. Let God be your God.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to lead your whole life; that you will trust God with all of your life; and that God, alone, will be your God.