December 19

Jeremiah 31:31-33 (NIV) 31"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

"This is the new covenant in my blood," Jesus said. (1 Corinthians 11:25) He has made the new covenant. It is not based on the blood of animals, but on the blood of the sinless Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The first covenant is the one made on Mount Sinai. It depended on the obedience to the laws and rules of God. There was no way the people could keep it. God had to become a man and keep it for us. Jesus is the only one to keep the conditions of the old covenant.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature." 2 Corinthians 5:17a (KJV) When we are in Him, the law is in our minds and on our hearts, not the letter that kills, but the Spirit that gives life. We think of the new covenant as a ticket to heaven, but God looks at it as the transformation of our thoughts and desires. Taking on the mind of Christ and sharing in His obedient heart is salvation. It is salvation from sin in this life every moment we live in the Spirit, and it is salvation through eternity to come. Then we resemble the Father, so we are His children. He is indeed our God, the LORD of our lives. We are indeed His people, the sheep of His pasture. The husband relationship is restored, because we are the bride of Christ. We need never fear divorce, for the LORD is our Righteousness. I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine.

Consider: Are you living in the New Covenant with a new heart and mind today?

December 19

1 John 4:4-6 (NIV) 4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

John is teaching us that there are really only two spiritual powers in the world. The greatest spiritual force is that of Christ. The other spirit is against Christ. The spirit of antichrist is the spirit of the world. Those who have that spirit will always speak in accordance with the world's perspective. The world will readily listen to that perspective. That spirit teaches that God, if He exists, does not care about man. You are on your own to take what you can from the physical world to satisfy your body and soul. You are all that matters. That makes perfect sense to the world.

The Spirit of Christ in us teaches us to sacrificially love, as Christ did for us. His Spirit teaches us to lay down our lives for others. He teaches us that it is not about us, but it is about the glory of God. That sounds like foolishness to the world, but to those whom God has chosen, it is the music of truth.

Jesus Christ is the great dividing topic of every culture throughout the world. He will be Lord of our lives, or we will insist on being our own god. The Spirit of truth has prevailed and overcome the world in the heart of every believer. He is the Spirit who will reign supreme throughout eternity. Is He reigning in your heart?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, reign in me supremely! Where there is any vestige of the world's thinking and ways in me, purge it with the truth of your Word. Teach me to love with Your love.