Dear church,

We enter into the new covenant with God by faith, and we remain in that covenant by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). We must never forget this. But we also must never forget God does require something of his chosen ones. 

Jesus said we are to love one another and to obey him (John 13:34; John 14:15). The disciple John announced we are to walk in the “light” (1 John 1:7). We are not to look at this as some heavy burden but as the honor we are given as children of God, saved by grace through faith. And we have the help of the Holy Spirit.

God’s requirement of the Israelites was no different than what he requires of those living under his new covenant. God chose Israel, and it had nothing to do with their own righteousness. (See Deuteronomy 9). 

“Fear the Lord your God.” We live in reverent fear of God. He is capable of so much more than we can imagine. His justice is perfect. His holiness sees through all our flimsy defenses. He knows who we are.  

“Walk in all his ways.” We are on a journey through life, and this requires us to act. We do not simply think about God and his character. No, we mimic his character when we wake up, as we do our chores, as we interact with our neighbors, and as we sit with our families.  

“Love him.” Where is your heart today? Do you think about the Lord and his grace often? To love God means we are devoted to him. We want more of him in our life. 

“Serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” A servant is humble and looks only to the needs and desires of his master. We are not half-hearted servants, counting down the minutes until we can clock out and pursue our own desires. We are all-in for the mission of Jesus Christ.

“Keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” The Sermon on the Mount tells us what we need to know about kingdom living. We do not accept the grace of God and continue on our selfish paths. We do whatever Jesus commands us to do. 

Chris

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