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January 18 I Saturday

Genesis 43-45

Matthew 12:24-50

“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”   —2 Corinthians 3:3

 

When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai in the form of two tablets of stone that were written by the finger of God, He gave it in a context of relationship and intimacy. God told Moses, after he came down from being on the mountain for forty days, “…I am pleased with you and I know you by name” (Exodus 33:17). This confirms that there was an intimate fellowship and a relationship between God and Moses that was very real, personal and deep.

But how could the law that is to reveal our shortcomings be understood in the context of relationship and intimacy? After the Israelites received the law, God said to His people as they journey through the land of Canaan, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14). In other words, the Israelites were not on their own but that God will be with them every step of the journey. In fact, God’s presence is what characterizes the Israelites and sets them apart. Their intimate relationship with God is the dominant feature of the journey they were on.

In Jeremiah, God spoke of the new covenant and a day that is coming when the whole relationship is going to change. “‘This is the covenant that I will make with the people 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’” (Jeremiah 31:33). While God’s relationship with His people will become more personal, the new covenant does not change the law that God originally gave to Moses. In other words, the commandments previously written on tablets of stone that are external are going to be written on the human heart and become internal. The new covenant is a relationship where God lives within us, and out of that, our lives are going to conform to His law.

Ezekiel also records what God said about the new covenant, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). In the New Testament, the Spirit of God was poured out at Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. Every person who proclaims faith in God will receive the Spirit of God in them as Paul tells us, “When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…”
(Ephesians 1:13).
God desires an intimate, personal and deep relationship with each person—have we made that decision to believe in Him?

 

Prayer: Glorious God, thank You for placing Your Spirit within me when I first believed. I am thankful for the intimate and personal relationship that I have with You.


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