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Posts Tagged ‘Galatians 3’

Today is Anti-Bullying or Pink Shirt Day.3191069_f520

According to an article by Sherri Gordon, there are “9 Consequences of Name-Calling” (http://bullying.about.com/od/Effects/a/9-Consequences-Of-Name-calling.htm):

  • Erodes a victim’s sense of self
  • Causes kids to compromise beliefs and values
  • Affects sense of well being
  • Impacts a person’s identity
  • Opens the door to violence
  • Encourages internal criticism
  • Impacts mood
  • Affects mental health
  • Affects physical health

It is said that it takes anywhere from 2:1-6:1 positive messages to make up for one negative. Studies have shown that our human brains respond differently to negative messages than to positive ones, and some have even referred to how our brains receive negative messages as being like velcro, and that is why they stick, and re-play in our minds over and over.

As I read through those 9 consequences, I was struck by the first … Erodes a victim’s sense of self … and how that one consequence really impacts, or even creates the following eight. The words that others say about us, can change how we see ourselves, therefore impact the confidence (or lack of) that we communicate to others, therefore how we act in our relationships, our jobs, our future, therefore it impacts the direction our lives takes, therefore impacting our physical and mental health.

24c820409837ce84010841897dc8aeecBut God calls us by the names of a Creator, a heavenly Father, and the names He has given to us are the names that affect our well being in a very different direction. He, our Redeemer, claims possession over us as His finest creation, His pièce de résistance, His child, the one who He loves.

Like Steve Jobs with Apple, like Bill Gates with Microsoft, like Sam Walton with Walmart, like Dave Thomas with Wendy’s, like Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company …

God puts every effort into loving and protecting His creation … you and I!

He has named us His …

… and the names that He calls each of us are imprinted into our very souls, with the power to change how we see ourselves and therefore therefore it impacts the direction our lives takes, therefore impacting our physical and mental health, and even our eternal life.

The sticks and stones don’t break our bones…

The sticks held our Redeemer until His final breath, and the stones were hurled at Him …

So that we might be called children of God (Galatians 3:26).

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A covenant is more than just a promise. A covenant is something agreed upon by at least two parties … both knowing what they are agreeing to.

The Bible speaks of a handful of covenants between God and people.

God made a covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the Earth with a flood (Genesis 9:8-11), and gave the rainbow as a reminder of his covenant.

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” Hebrews 11:7

God made a covenant with Abram (later Abraham) when He said that Abram would be the “father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4).

Poor, old Abram, with his old wife Sarai (well beyond childbearing years) … this covenant sent Sarai into laughing hysterics. But, God did as he promised, and Sarah bore Isaac to Abraham, and God’s covenant flowed through his descendants.

By faith Abraham fulfilled his end of the bargain, and he went where God sent him (Hebrews 11:8). By faith, Abraham was circumcised, along with all males in his household, as a sign to set he and his descendants apart (Genesis 23:27). By faith, Abraham lay Isaac on an alter, willing to do whatever God asked of him (Genesis 22:8) … and so thankful that the Lord did provide.

God made a covenant, through Moses, with His people (not all people, but the children of Israel … the Jewish people), in the form of the Ten Commandments. This came after God, with force, brought His people our of slavery in Egypt. Before Moses had even written these laws in stone, the people, by faith, said, “everything the Lord has said we will do.”

And after he read the Book of the Covenant, Moses took the blood of young bulls that were sacrificed as offerings to God, and “Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”” (Exodus 24:8). The people, who, by faith, said “we will obey” were, quite literally, covered by the blood of the covenant … their sins were covered by God’s promise.

God made a covenant with David, that the Messiah would come through the lineage, the house, of David. David wanted to build a house for God. Instead, God sent a message to David, a house would be built, through the One who would come after him, through his very own bloodline. This builder “is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son” (2 Samuel 7:13-14). David responded to God: “your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant” (2 Samuel 7:28) … David trusted his God, he had faith, that that which God promised, and David would never see in his lifetime, would come true.

Over and over we see that when it comes to a covenant with God, the equation is :

Covenant = Blood (Faith + Promise)

I suppose we should consider that fulfillment of God’s covenant with David :

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel (the Jews)
  and with the people of Judah (the Gentiles).
I will put my laws in their minds (not just knowing, but understanding)
  and write them on their hearts (intimacy).
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
(Hebrews 8:8-10)

A new covenant, “has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). Previously, “the law required that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus Christ was the final blood sacrifice for sins. “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:14).

Jesus’ blood covers God’s promise and our faith.

And now, our part in the covenant:

Do we have the faith to follow, and obey? to be His?

 

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