#DailyDevotion The Lord’s Covenant With Us Always Begins With The Good News
Second Sunday of Easter
Read Ex 20:1–24
Exo 20:1-2 And God spoke all these words, saying, (2) “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
With these words, the Lord begins the words of the covenant he makes with his people Israel. I know, you probably want to get straight to the commandments. But each one of those could be a devotion in itself. But these words are what we need to focus on today. You see, these are gospel words. Gospel words tell us what the Lord has done, is doing or what the Lord is going to do for us.
When the Lord opens his mouth to make a covenant with Israel he begins with Good News! You see without the good news there would be no Spirit to move, shape or (I hate to say it this way) motivate us to obey the commandments. Without the gospel, the commandments are just dead letters. Sin uses the law to impel our sinful nature to break them. But the Spirit of God through the good news frees our hearts to desire to do them and to accomplish them.
The good news here is the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. He freed them from the house of slavery. If Israel would only focus on that, then they could meditate on the law of God rightly, desire to keep it and then do it (even if feebly due to the weakness of the flesh).
Like Israel, we too need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord before we can desire and fulfill the will of God in our lives. People often think the main thing in Christianity is obeying and fulfilling all sorts of laws and keeping to a certain form of morality. That could not be further from the truth. Though in truth, we do desire to keep God’s commands and to live according to a certain form of morality.
But the main thing in Christianity is what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us and for all people. It is about Jesus dying on the cross, being buried and rising from the dead on the third day. It is about Jesus ascending to the right hand of God and coming back to raise all who trusted in what he had done to raise their bodies to life eternal. It is about Christ Jesus winning for us salvation and giving it to us freely.
It is only when that is the focus of our lives that we move on to loving our neighbor as our self. For the whole law is summed up in those words. We only want to do and do do those words when our hearts are focused on what God has done for us freely in Christ Jesus. If your starting point in life is the commandments, well you can’t get there from here. And they cannot be the end point either. They are the fruit of the Spirit born of the Good News of Jesus Christ and we take great joy in doing them.
Heavenly Father, ever give us the gospel of your Son Jesus Christ, that we may receive your Holy Spirit and rejoice in keeping your commandment in loving our neighbors as you have loved us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.