January 10, 2016
This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
NOTE TO COMMUNITY: Each Sunday, The Daily Text hosts a guest writer. Some will be from the past, as found in today’s reading. Others will be contemporary voices to our own. It is a way for us to sit in the “great cloud of witnesses” each week and receive the rich nourishment of the wisdom of God from others.
What we need in the Christian life is to get believers to want to do God’s will as much as other people want to do their own will. And this is the idea of the Gospel. It is what God intended for us; and it is what he has promised. In describing the new covenant in Hebrews 8:6-13, He says it shall no more be the old covenant made on Sinai—that is a law given from the outside, controlling a man by force—but it shall be a law written within, constraining a man by love. “I will put my laws,” He says, “in their mind, and write them in their hearts.” This can mean nothing but that we shall love His law, for anything written on our hearts we must love. And putting it into our minds is surely the same as God working in us to “will and to do of His good pleasure,” and means that we shall will what God wills, and shall obey His sweet commands, not because it is our duty to do so, but because we ourselves want to do what He wants us to do. Nothing could possibly be conceived more effectual than this. . .
God’s plan for us therefore is to get possession of the inside of a man, to take the control and management of his will, and to work it for him; and then obedience is easy and a delight, and service becomes perfect freedom, until the Christian is forced to exclaim, “This happy service! Who could dream earth had such liberty?”
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J.D. Walt serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. firstname.lastname@example.org.