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Conditions to God’s Covenant

The concept of faith isn’t a feeling that comes from a conversation between God and Abram. God doesn’t want how you feel when you wake up each morning to dictate whether or not you’re going to spend time with God. Moses came to the same conclusion when he addresses Israel prior to entering the Promised Land in Deuteronomy 28: The only condition that God places on His covenant with Abraham is the expectation that Abe will habitually walk with God as stated in Psalm 1:1-3.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete), Genesis 17:1.

Jesus brings up one condition in His Sermon on the Mount. While addressing proper and improper motives, Jesus turns to the Golden Rule, “loving your neighbor as yourself.” At the conclusion of a prayer called the Our Father by Catholics or simply the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus places a condition on God’s forgiveness. If you want God to forgive you, you must first be willing to show others the same grace by overlooking the those who have trespassed against you.

And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [g]reckless and willful sins, [h]leaving them, letting them go, and [i]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their [j]reckless and willful sins, [k]leaving them, letting them go, and [l]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses, Matthew 6:13-15.

When you consider each condition, one found in the Old Testament and another in the New Testament, what does this all mean? Well, God’s conversation with Abraham is similar to the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 8:5-8. God’s expectation for Christian is to habitually walk with God by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. Meanwhile, Jesus’ condition on forgiveness ties into Paul’s analogy of becoming a new creation in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17. According to one of Jesus’ disciples, to love is to walk with Jesus, 1 John 1:7. While conditions to God’s covenant do exist, obedience to God and faith align with God’s call to die to self and clothe yourself with Christ, Colossians 3:1-9.

by Jay Mankus


We’re Not the Only Ones to Experience Regret

As a parent, there are many things that I regret doing or saying. Yet, the fallen nature within me has caused me to overreact through the years. From a discipline standpoint, I lost my temper a few times as well as being a pushover in other areas, too soft when I needed to be firmer. While I’ve tried to do my best over the years, I’ve fallen short like everyone else on earth, Romans 3:23. This is nothing compared to what God the Father experienced from heaven as He watched His son die on a cross.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart, Genesis 6:5-6.

From God the Creator’s perspective, his children didn’t get off to a great start. Adam and Eve broke the only rule God set in the Garden of Eden. This was quickly followed by the first murder due to a jealous heart. While godly individuals like Enoch came along every once in a while, to habitually walk with Him, human nature gradually perverted the inhabitants of the earth. Subsequently, as God watched from heaven, He regretted what had become of His grand design of earth.

So the Lord said, I will destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom I have created from the face of the ground—not only man, [but] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air—for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them, Genesis 6:7.

As an artist in the context of a writer, I know what it feels like what when you have to scrap everything you’ve been working on by starting over from scratch. Yet, the Lord was emotionally invested in the human beings He had created. It’s one thing to throw away pieces of paper. In God’s case, we’re talking about ending the lives of people. Before reaching a final decision, Noah followed in the footsteps of Enoch to curry favor with God. As you reflect upon 2022 as 2023 was ushered in on New Year’s Day, may you remember that you’re not the only one to experience regret.

by Jay Mankus

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