Monday, January 23, 2012
Yesterday we took a closer look at Hebrews chapter 8. This chapter makes very definitive statements about how the Grace of Jesus differs from the Law. This study in Hebrews is an amazing look at why Christ had to die for our sins, once for all. This chapter stands out for me in that it is full of the promises that come with this new contract we have with God today.
In verses10, 11, and 12 there is a comprehensive list of those promises, most of which are promises that God WILL. One is a promise that finally this covenant will lead to His people being completely, willfully, obedient to Him. We have much to look forward to.
The verse that caught my attention on a deeper level was verse 10. In the old contract (covenant) the Israelites were commanded to write the word (law) of God on their foreheads and to keep “packages” of His Law on their beings, even hanging on their clothing so that they would not forget it and could remind themselves and others about it at will.
Verse ten says, “…I WILL put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts….” I’m thinking amazing, here. What? Why? How?
I, myself, struggle with memorizing. I always have. Had I been in Awanas as a young person, I would have flunked, I am sure. Although I was always pretty good at memorizing jingles and songs back in the day, I was never good with dry poems. There is only one that I can recite today, that I learned in class in the past. It was four lines, and it rhymed. And it was irrelevant at the time. But when I recited it to Dr. Caulkins a few years ago, he raised my grade in his class…teehee.
It seems that for me to memorize anything, I have to actually use it over time. The verses I do remember from my twenties and thirties are all verses that I have shared or have turned to myself in time of need. I have no mental list to refer to. Sometimes I am even oblivious to the book and chapter that I once new by heart. I work hard these days just remembering those details as I find verses that bless me.
But this promise does not depend on my skills. This promise depends on God’s promise, “I WILL.” As I see it, this promise is one I need to claim often, as I struggle with memory. And what I try to do for my part is to understand what God is saying and why, plus where, through whom, and to whom he is saying it. Context is high on my list of priorities.
To me, this is my call to fill myself with His Word at every opportunity and to trust that the Teacher He has left with us, will bring these things to mind as I need them because He has written them there as I have faithfully read and studied His Word. I try to memorize, but knowing is much easier for me. Especially knowing that, if it is important to us, He will have the truth of it in many places in the Bible, not just one.
I am encouraged at this point to keep two journals this year: One will be salvation verses and messages. The other will be promises. Hebrews 8:10 is a great place to start, I think, so I have started there. Then I can refer to these when I need a promise, whether for salvation or for simply living my life. Claiming His promises is an integral part of prayer and it pleases Him no end. May we all keep busy this year keeping an eye out for the promises we need. God bless you.