Well, well, well…2013. Where did you come from?
I suppose I should catch you up on things around here since I have been M.I.A. (Missing-in-Action, for those of you who thought I was talking about Miami International Airport) for a few–did I say a “few”? I meant “SEVERAL”–months.
PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME–I finished Galatians in regards to committing it to memory (although I slacked on posting what I was learning on here). I completed the book at the end of November 2012, which left me with the five weeks of December for a SHORT book before I started my Scripture Memory work/plan for 2013. The Lord led me to Paul’s letter to Philemon…such a powerful little letter. I am so thankful to have those words of forgiveness and restoration memorized.
And now, I am two weeks into the beautiful book of First Peter! I am up to verse 1:11 this week. It is 105 verses and, Lord-willing, I will complete it in five months (21 weeks) and then move on to Ephesians. Paul’s letter to the Ephesian believers is 155 verses and will take me to the end of 2013.
So there you have it!
I am just in love with God’s Word…memorizing the very breath of God is the most fruit-bearing and fulfilling discipline I’ve ever practiced! This is the beginning of my third year in consistent and purposeful Scripture Memory and I can’t think of a better way I could’ve spent my time. Anticipating and praying that the Spirit has led you to do your own Memory Plan, here is a tool for you! It is a short booklet that was very helpful to me as I started to memorize books of the Bible in 2011. Also, if you need additional motivation and encouragement, or structure and planning, feel free to join Living Proof Ministries’ Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2013.
I pray that the truth of the last blog entry’s text, that Christ redeemed you from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for you, has really, and I mean really, begun to flesh out in your every day thoughts and actions. It really is a life-changing truth, if we let it do its perfect, freeing work in our hearts–DAILY.
If you’ll allow me to jump right back in where we left off, we continue today in Galatians 3:
15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
I am going to assume that everyone reading this blog has either been in a wedding ceremony, attended a wedding ceremony, or at the very least watched one on TV or in a movie. 🙂 So, what does the couple DO during the ceremony to “enter into covenant” (i.e. to get married)? This isn’t a trick question, I promise. They simply pledge their love and make a vow of commitment–they PROMISE.
Imagine with me for a moment: a couple you know gets married. Biblically-speaking, they enter into the covenant of marriage. They stand before their family and friends and make a promise of love and lifetime commitment. A few years pass by. Now, let’s say that you get a phone call from the wife (let’s call her “Sue”) and she tells you that her husband (we’ll call him “Bob”) has recently presented her with a list of things she must do daily, weekly, monthly, yearly in order for him to stay married to her. The moment that Sue does not do ALL that Bob’s list entails or if she doesn’t do them WELL ENOUGH, she is no longer his wife. Marriage is over. Covenant is void. Done and done.
I really hope that you would first ask Sue if she’s joking because what she has just explained to you is THE MOST RIDICULOUS and not to mention, one of the CRUELEST things that you’ve ever heard.
This is exactly the point the Apostle Paul is making here in Galatians 3. God made a promise to Abram in Genesis 12 that He would bless him and bless all the nations through him. God entered into covenant with Abram in Genesis 15, telling him that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. God instituted circumcision, the sign of the covenant, and changed Abram’s name in Genesis 17, promising the inheritance of God Himself to Abraham and his offspring.
The Law was given to Moses in Exodus 19. The Law, which came hundreds of years later, by no means, nullified the promises of God! God didn’t just come up with things all of a sudden that he wanted/needed human beings to do in order for Him to keep His promise of covenantal love! It would be even more wicked than what Bob had done to Sue in our fictional example, simply because of the eternal ramifications. That would be completely against the character of God. He is a promise-keeper (Psalm 119:140). He cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
So, if you are a Christian, if you have trusted Jesus’ life and death for your forgiveness of sins, then God made a promise to you. He made a promise of never-ending, perfect, all-encompassing, all-knowing, all-forgiving, all-redeeming, never-condemning, infinite, living, breathing, “I-love-you-the-most” covenantal love…
…and He WOULD NEVER come back to you and say, “Now this is what you need to do to keep it…” NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.
“For if the inheritance [God Himself] comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise, BUT GOD gave it to (insert your name) BY A PROMISE!!” (3:18)