"A New Law Written on Our Hearts"
Helping children become the men and women we believe God would have them be is difficult work that requires a lot of time, patience, and prayer. Our desire is for them to one day become people who do the right things for the right reasons. Rules are one tool we use as we are seeking to instill godly character in children. We pray that the use of explicit rules will be temporary. Our hope is that over time, obedience to the rules will transform their character so they almost instinctively live in a way that is consistent with the rules we have put in place over the years.
The stipulations of the Old Covenant were meant to help God’s people learn how to live as His holy people on this earth. Unfortunately, God’s people were never very good at living according to the Old Covenant. Rather than trying to understand the heart and intent of the Lawgiver, God’s people often did the least they had to do in order to meet the minimum requirements of the Law; they sometimes even totally ignored the Law altogether.
In Hebrews 8:8–13, we see that what we need is not more resolve to live in line with the Old Covenant. From the story of God’s people throughout the years and from our own experience, we know we have no hope of keeping the laws in our own power. Instead, we need a totally new Covenant and transformed hearts. Rather than trying to live according to external regulations, we need God to change us from the inside out. This is exactly what God has accomplished for us through the life, death, resurrection, and ongoing ministry of Jesus, our great High Priest. Today, ask God to continue to transform your heart so your obedience will flow from the gratitude you feel in response for all God has so graciously given you in Jesus. Ask the Lord to empower you to live in a way that is consistent with His heart.
Hebrews 8:8-13 (ESV):
8 For he finds fault with them when he says:
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”
13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.