Several times I have shared certain habits that I have found helpful in my life of faith. For instance, every day I not only read my Bible, I study my Bible. It is my passion, my delight and it quenches the thirst I have. I use many different Study Bibles, reference books, studies, dictionaries, commentaries from many different authors and books that have been used and read throughout all of Church History.
Over the years I have devoured the writings of several Theologians, Scholars, Rabbis, Mystics, and Scientists. Many writers and deep thinkers have inspired me. In my “Old Testament” understanding, I have enjoyed the writings of Rabbi Mark Kinzer, David H. Stern, Tom Bradford, Hugh Ross and many others. If you are at all interested, you can obtain a tremendous amount of information from Ariel Berkowitz‘s book, Torah Rediscovered and the Torah Commentary Set by Chaim Potok.
Looking back to the early days of my faith, I absorbed the writings of men like Juan Carlos Ortiz, Charles Swindall, A.W. Tozer, J.I. Packer, Charles Colson, Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brother Lawrence and many others. But my studies have gone beyond those authors. I found myself influenced by the heart and passion of many different and varied Theologians and Evangelists. Such as, Oswald Chamber, C.S. Lewis, Gen. William Booth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, E.M. Bounds, A.B. Simpson, Kathryn Kuhlman, Charles Spurgeon, Aimee Semple McPherson and Charles Finney, Keith and Melody Green & Last Days Ministry. And there have been many others who have shaped and formed my faith.
I also find myself continually reading and re-reading the Psalms. I often use them in my times of prayer and worship. One thing I have found helpful (and I encourage each of you to develop) is the practice of reading one chapter of Proverbs each day!
A new habit I have developed is reading the covenant given on Mt. Sinai, which Christians typically call the “Ten Commandments,” or The “Law” (that consist of far more than ten fundamental principles of God).
In this newest covenant, you discover that it is a new type of covenant. As Tom Bradford points out, it is a “conditional covenant; a covenant that is bilateral; a covenant based on men, as well as God, each doing his part. It is a mutual covenant between God and Man.” Which makes it entirely different than the covenant He made with Abraham some 600 years earlier. You see, as Bradford pointed out, that covenant, which eventually established what the Bible calls the “line of covenant promise,” was unconditional. It was unilateral. It was one-way, not mutual. It all depended on God. There was nothing a Man could do that would cause God to pull back from that covenant, nor to change it. In other words, the earlier covenants were promises from Yahweh to Abraham. However, the new covenant required something of men.
The new covenant that Moses received on Mt. Sinai did not replace the different and older covenant given to Abraham. It was never intended as a “newer and better model,” with all the latest technology, replacing an older and outdated one. No, it was simply another covenant built on the previous, yet, it was entirely distinct in its purpose and nature, from the one Abraham received. In the same way that the first half of the Bible is the foundation of the second half, so is Abraham‘s covenant the foundation on which the new one, given to Moses, was established. So, the covenants of Abraham and Moses are different — but connected — just like chapters in a book.
Over the next few days, I want to you to take another look at this Covenant and see if it can increase your fascination, wonder, and amazement of the Love and Mercy of our Father.
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