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Devotional by Ray Stedman for December 18- The New Constitution

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Topic:The New Constitution

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,”? for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
Hebrews 8:10-12

Ray Stedman devotion
Ray Stedman

In the Upper Room, Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant made in my blood.” This as the new arrangement, the new constitution, from which the life of all who know Jesus will be lived. This is a covenant made between the Father and the Son. It is not made between us and God. If any man is in Christ, everything in this covenant is available to him. For any individual on the face of the earth who is willing to be “in Christ,” to let Christ live in him, this agreement is valid.

There are four provisions of the new constitution: God says, “I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts.” There is the answer to the problem of human motivation. Have you discovered that the problem in your life is not uncertainty about what is right; you have known that a long time. It is a problem of motivation. We are over-strained; we are simply under-motivated, but the new arrangement, this new constitution, makes provision for that. We are to look to Christ when we are confronted with the thing we do not want to do. We are to say, “Lord Jesus, you have promised to write your laws in my mind and on my heart, that I may do what you want me to do.” Then for his dear sake, we do it. There is a new motive, a motor, a new power to do what ought to be done. It is Christ Himself within us.

Then he says, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” What an answer to the search for identification, to the hunger to belong to someone. Here is the answer to the aching question of the human heart: Who am I? God says, “You are forever mine. I will be your God, and you will be my people.”

Then there is the promise, “They shall not teach everyone his fellow or everyone his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Here is the answer to the sigh of humanity for a hero. There is in the human heart a desperate hunger for a hero. We want to look up to someone, we want to know some great one personally. God says, “I will satisfy that in your life. You shall know me!” Do you know the one thing that one true Christian can never say to another Christian, anywhere in the world is, “Know the Lord,” for this is the one thing that is always true of even the youngest Christian — he knows the Lord. That is where we start in Christian living. It is the least common denominator.

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Then the last thing, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” This is the answer to the universal sense of condemnation. A man once said to me, “I have a very difficult boss. I never know where I stand with him.” Do we feel that way about God? We say, “I never know where I stand with God.” But God says if you are looking to the great high priest who is ministering to you all the effects of his sacrifice, this is never a problem. For he has written it down in no uncertain words, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1). None! He is always for you, he is never against you. It does not mean he ignores sin but he says, “I will be merciful toward it.” When you acknowledge it there is no reproach — and no rehash! He never gets historical, dredging up the past. God never does this!

Father, thank you for this look at the ministry of my great High Priest, a ministry that so many times I have not taken seriously. Instead I have looked about in all the broken cisterns of earth to try to find something as a substitute. Forgive me, and help me to claim my heritage in him, this new agreement for living.

Life Application

What four vital and radical provisions in the New Covenant made between the Father and the Son are available to us in Christ Jesus? How does this address our need for motivation and power to live as new creatures in Christ?

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