Fresh Hope – 3rd January 2019

Deuteronomy 7:9, ‘Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations…’

A contract and a covenant – two opposites.

God’s love for us is a covenantal love, not a contractual love. Contractual love is based on terms and conditions, clauses and asterisks. Contracts are built upon the grounds that ‘if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’. They ensure that you are protected, and you get what is rightfully yours. Covenantal love operates on another level. A contract is based on earthly law, but covenant is a spiritual promise.

Nothing is more selfless than covenantal love. Why? Because covenant love is all about giving without terms and conditions. It’s not out to self-protect. It doesn’t think about getting its end of the deal. Covenants are about YOU fulfilling your promise to another party regardless of whether the other hold up their end of the deal. In fact, so selfless is covenantal love, that it will actually SUPPORT the failing party so they can meet their obligations.

501 years ago, Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. This document challenged the theology of the church at the time when it was taught that their sins would only be forgiven and punishments removed by giving money to the Church…essentially – salvation through “good acts”.  Luther called church leaders back to the truth and reality of the gospel of grace –that forgiveness, freedom from punishment, and restoration of relationship were free gifts that only God Himself gives because He loves us. God’s love wasn’t and isn’t a contractual agreement. It was and is a covenantalrelationship. He fulfils His promise to love us, regardless of whether we hold up our end of the deal or not! God isn’t out to self-preserve, self-protect, ensuring he gets His end of the deal. So secure is He that He can give without clauses and asterisks attached. He doesn’t scratch our back, based on how much we scratch His. He is just giving and forever will be fulfilling His promise to us.

‘Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen’.

1 Corinthians 13:7-10 

“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.”

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.