God is a Covenant Maker 

If you look through the Bible you can see many instances in which God made a covenant with people: (1) Adam & Eve, (2) Noah, (3) Abraham, (4) Israel, (5) the Levites, (6) Phineas, (7) David and (8) of course, there is the New Covenant that he made with all of us. Christ is the mediator of that covenant and the Holy Spirit is the administrator of it. 

The sheer number of times in which God made covenant should give us a hint of how God works with a people. A covenant helps us to keep our promises, to manifest our love, to agree on certain things, to remember, to pass important things on to the next generation, to walk in God’s abundant blessings, to remain rightly related to the Lord, to instill in each of us a healthy godly fear. A covenant can also help us to understand the everlasting nature of God’s covenant, to be more God-like, to love with a deeper commitment, to obtain the mercy of God, to learn how to worship, to tug God’s heart, to set apart certain things for the Lord, to be free and to be better brothers and sisters to one another.

We are a covenant people and we keep covenant in all sorts of ways: not neglecting to meet together, keeping holy the Lord’s Day, worshiping, tithing, praying, serving, doing works of mercy, etc. We meet in covenant gatherings to do the Lord’s business together. This is our time.  We need each other more than we could ever imagine. The glaring example of righteous lives is in our midst. We need the challenge to outdo one another in zeal. If you shoot low, I will only shoot lower, but if you reach for the stars, then I’ll reach for them with you as well.

Small groups provide a pastoring, caring environment to spur or aid growth. Where else can we find acceptance, worth and compassion, but with the brothers and sisters? What if, like Solomon, you prayed for wisdom and knowledge and God sent you to your men’s or women’s group to receive it?

What if we walked into our small groups looked around and said this: “These folks here are a means of grace for me today!” Growth isn’t optional. It is absolutely imperative for us if we are to reach our goal of being changed into the image and likeness of God (2 Corinthians 3:18). Let’s face it, sanctification (Romans 6:19), transformation (Romans 12:2) and growth (1 Peter 2:2) should be present continuous actions for us. We are called to offer our bodies in slavery to righteousness to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. If we want to mature in our salvation, then we need the on-going help and support of one another.

This reflection by Tom Mangan is excerpted from Conversion, Covenant, and Immortal Diamonds, published in the July 2010 Issue of Living Bulwark.

Top image credit:  charismatic worship and praise gathering at Winchester Church of England Cathedral, courtesy of the Diocese of Winchester.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *