â€œThis is the covenant that I will makeâ€¦I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.â€ (Hebrews 8:10, HCSB)
The writer of Hebrews explained that Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant between God and His people. This covenant agreement is based on a love relationship. As our Lord and King, God has given us His commands to obey so we can experience life abundantly.
This is the covenant that I will makeâ€¦I will put My laws into their minds
and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people Â (Hebrews 8:10, HCSB).
But Jesus warned, â€œNot everyone who says to Me, â€˜Lord, Lord!â€™Â will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heavenâ€ (Matthew 7:21, HCSB). We enter a saving covenant relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by works of our own (see Ephesians 2:8-9). But our obedience to Godâ€™s will is one clear way we demonstrate that our love relationship with Him is genuine.
If you and your fellow church members have found that you have drifted away from your first love and from obedience to the Lordâ€™s commands, God invites you to return to Him. Hear Godâ€™s invitation:
Let the wicked one abandon his way and the sinful one his thoughts; let him Â return to the LORD, so He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for Â He will freely forgive (Isaiah 55:7, HCSB).
Return to Meâ€¦Â and I will return to you, says the LORD of Hosts (Zechariah Â 1:3, HCSB).
As I described in discussing consecration in day 2, Christ is seated on His throne with open hands waiting for the sacrifice of your life.
â‹ PRAY about the life of love, obedience, and holiness you will bring to Christ. Return to Him with all your heart!
Read the Scriptures and statements on page 16. Be prepared to renew your covenant commitments to the Lord when you gather in sacred assembly with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Reader 1: 1 Peter 1:13-16; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Colossians 3:1-14
People: Father, because You are holy, we have consecrated ourselves to be holy as You are holy. Through Christ we have put to death the things of our old sinful lives. We have put on the new self, and we ask You to continue to renew us and conform us to the image of Christ. We will seek to live lives that are spotless and blameless.
Reader 2: 1 John 4:19; Romans 5:8; Ezekiel 36:25-27
People: We love You, Lord Jesus Christ, because You first loved us and laid down Your life for us. We want to love You with all our hearts. We have put away the idols of our hearts. Forgive us and grant us renewed hearts of love for You.
Reader 3: 1 John 2:15-17; Matthew 6:25,32-33
People: Sovereign Lord, today we choose to put away our love for the world and the things of the world. We will seek first Your Kingdom rule in our hearts and through our lives. We will pursue Your righteousness in our lives, in our families, and in our world.
Reader 4: Malachi 3:6-10; Matthew 23:23; Matthew 6:19-21
People: O Lord, we have been greedy and selfish. We have robbed You of things rightfully Yours. Forgive us and enable our repentance. Today we choose to give to You the things that are Yours, including money, justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
Reader 5: Matthew 28:19-20; John 14:15,21,23-24
People: Because we love You, Lord, we choose this day to obey all You have commanded us. Deepen our love for You and enable our complete obedience.
Reader 6: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Acts 1:8
People: Christ Jesus, we are Your ambassadors, and You have entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation. We surrender to Your calling to be Your witnesses and to plead with people to get right with You. We pledge ourselves today to be faithful to obey Your command to make disciples of all people to the ends of the earth.