Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Irreconcilable Differences - Man’s Compromise vs. God’s Covenant

Our God is a covenant God—He is faithful, He will do it! We, on the other hand, are compromisers, throwing away our convictions and making concessions. We morph God’s Truth into our truth and foundations crumble around us. 

In the fifteenth chapter of the book of Genesis, God discussed with Abraham his future. He promised to protect and provide for Abraham. Abraham inquired about his reward and heir and God said an heir from his body would produce many descendants and possession of land. Abraham believed God yet asked for proof (it’s the human condition—Lord, I believe; help my unbelief—Mark 9:24). 

God demonstrated His answer to Abraham in a literal sacrifice, foretelling of a future one. He instructed Abraham to bring certain animals for sacrifice and cut them for the offering, shedding blood. When the sun faded, Abraham fell into a deep sleep and experienced terror as he watched his descendants in a foreign land as oppressed slaves. God then presented Himself in the form of fire and smoke, making a way for the salvation of Abraham and his descendants by cutting covenant (or walking between the cut pieces of bloody animal flesh). This life-and-death binding covenant of God with man meant that God Himself would suffer the consequences of a broken contract—His death, not Abraham’s. Sound familiar? 

God knew Abraham and all of mankind would fail in keeping the covenantal bond, so He planned to became our substitute. He would die in our place! Years later, at the perfect time, Jesus Christ shed His blood and died for the people He loves—you and me. He faithfully fulfilled the covenant of salvation. What a committed God! 

Throughout thousands of years from Abraham to Jesus, God never discredited His name with a compromise of His plan. But Satan attempted to change God's plan after Jesus' baptism. That crafty serpent met Jesus in the wilderness and enticed Him with earthly promises. Read below from the book of Luke how our Savior stood on His holy convictions. God remained committed!

Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” (3:21-22 NASB)

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”

And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written,

‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’

‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. (4:1-13 NASB)

Jesus understands the worldly allure we face. He confronted Satan and experienced temptations spewed from lying lips. Jesus refused to compromise. Instead He stood firmly on the Word of God and spoke with conviction. Satan left Him, but waited to return at a more favorable time. Like Jesus, we should always be alert to the prowling demon of seduction (1 Peter 5:8).

Yet temptation tends to delight the eyes of God’s creatures. Even as image-bearers of the Creator, human beings tend to follow fleshly viewpoints until hearts completely surrender to Christ Jesus. Acknowledging sin and repenting of it will put a stop to compromise. Accepting God’s covenant—His terms, not ours—guarantees salvation from sin. 

Our holy God doesn’t tolerate sin, yet He entered our lives, offering to take our sins upon Himself and die in our place. This faithful covenant God waits with compassion and love for our decision of surrender to His will, not our own. And then the shower of grace begins. Oh, what beautiful tears of love drench us when we yield to His perfect authority!

Compromise will eventually crumble and collapse around you. Choose to be reinforced by the Covenant-keeper and stand firm on His precious words of truth and love. Have the courage of conviction and act on your belief in the Lord Jesus Christ despite the disapproval of the world. He will give you strength!

Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.  Psalm 25:8 (NASB)

And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Mark 2:17 (NASB)

Look at it this way: At the right time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for ungodly people. Finding someone who would die for a godly person is rare. Maybe someone would have the courage to die for a good person. Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God’s love for us.  Romans 5:6-8 (GW)

The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.  Psalm 29:11 (NASB)

If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.         --Peter Marshall

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing with Lyrics Chris Rice

*If interested in a action-packed story of three men who refused to compromise to the King of Babylon, read the third chapter of the book of Daniel. These men believed and trusted in their Covenant God who eventually delivered and blessed them.

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