Tag Archives: covenant

Timeless Lessons

Last weekend, I had to get a new cable box for our television. For the most part, it was working. The on-demand feature wasn’t, and we do use that a lot. Not that I am a big techie, but it would seem that the technology of our old box was out of date. It’s common in our world that, with new advancements in technology, equipment can get old pretty quickly and phased out.

I got to thinking about how that can be true of our attitude towards the Old Testament. When God established His new covenant through Christ, the old was done away with, at least in terms of sacrifices and communication with God. Much like the advancements in telecommunications allow me to talk to pretty much anyone around the world who has a phone, Jesus gave everyone access to talk straight to God; no more need to go to the priest or the prophet.

The temptation is downgrade the Old Testament to something less important than the New Testament, and that would not be wise. Sure, we should and need to embrace the fact that we live under grace and not under law, but we also need to understand God throughout all of history and maybe more importantly, learn the lessons that He has preserved for us from thousands of years ago to help us as we navigate our lives. Often, as I am preparing a lesson or thinking of an example, I find myself in the pages of the Old Testament. It isn’t that Peter or Paul (or, you know, Jesus) haven’t given us many words of wisdom, it is that God has given us so much more to help us along the way.

Some of the passages of the Old Testament can be hard to read; not making a lot of sense in today’s world. It is tempting to skip them, or gloss over without concerning yourself with the message. I have been there many times, and only my stubborn commitment to read every word has made me take a deep breath and read with the intent of learning. Often times, however, I am prompted by the Holy Spirit to pause and pray for God’s wisdom as I read. I don’t always come away with a life lesson, but more often than not, I am struck by something that I can apply in my life. It isn’t usually profound; just a reminder of God’s love or His concern for His people.

I can’t say that I will always remember to seek out God’s message to me. I mean, I am the guy who will reset the cable box about a million times before I figure out that it just can’t keep up any more. My hope is that the next time I start to forget the importance of all of God’s Word that I catch myself quickly, open my heart to what He is trying to teach me, and learn His timeless lesson.


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Jesus is the Message

“The medium is the message.” I studied this phrase, coined by Marshall McLuhan, during my college days. It means that the medium (or method) you use to communicate something has a direct effect on how the message is perceived. Though McLuhan was thinking of it in terms of mass media, you and I practice it throughout the day. We pick the best way to express our thoughts; we chose the best method (phone, email, Facebook, etc.) to communicate what we are saying. I especially notice this at work with customers and co-workers.

In John 1:14, the Bible records that “The word became flesh.” That Jesus, who is God, came to Earth in human form. The fact that God did this is very significant. It was time for a new covenant and a new way to relate with God. The message He wanted to get across needed a special way to communicate it.

Throughout the old covenant, the Old Testament, God communicated in many ways: prophets, priests, burning bushes and stone tablets. Sometimes, it is just recorded that God spoke. Was this an audible voice? Every time? Very possible, but I don’t know for sure. What the Bible does say is that after the first sin, people did not walk and speak with God face to face.

When Jesus arrived on Earth, He did walk and talk with people; as John 1:14 says, He “made his dwelling among us.” Why the change? Why did the medium for the message need to be profoundly new? I believe it is because God wanted to stress that He desires a relationship with us. Whereas stone tablets and burning bushes are inanimate, and prophets and priests put a layer between God and His people, Jesus coming to commune with us stresses the relational aspect of God.

In Genesis, the Bible tells how God, before The Fall, walked in the garden with Adam and Eve. He longs to get back to that place with each of us. He isn’t some distant being who has removed Himself from our daily lives. He isn’t simply a creator who set up the universe and moved on. He is a personal God who longs for personal relationships. The fact that Jesus “moved into the neighbourhood” as The Message puts it, is a significant point not to be missed.

Jesus had many teachings and commands, but the fact that He lived among us to commune with us and show us The Way is a statement all on its own. Jesus is the message, and He wants a relationship, a deep, meaningful relationship with you.

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