Friday, May 13, 2016

Written on our hearts

Thirteen years ago, Ted and I were still dating and writing daily emails about the Bible chapter we had each read separately. We eagerly looked forward to these emails. Sharing our thoughts brought greater perspective. We found that we often commented on the same points but expressed different ideas. This reinforced our like-mindedness and also helped us appreciate our differences.

Now, these emails are like mini Bible studies. What a treasure it is to still "study with Ted."

On May 13, we were reading Hebrews 8 in the Message.

First, here are some of the observations I emailed to Ted:

The new covenant is not on paper or chiseled on tablets. It's inside of us -- God carved it on the lining of our hearts (a very intimate place). We can get to know God firsthand by being forgiven, by living the example set by Jesus with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, by accepting a personal relationship.

I'm glad God is so personal with us. He invites us to intimacy with Him. He gives us everything we need, and even dwells right within us. What commitment! Where the tablets were cold and impersonal, there is nothing impersonal about the new covenant.

I remember being allowed to borrow something special of my mom's or dad's. How good it felt to be trusted with it. I could treasure that feeling and the luxury of the item all day. It brought intimacy and made me know that they loved me. (I don't even remember the items, just the feeling.) We are trusted with God's most precious gifts every day. How blessed we are to have His lavish love!

Here is what Ted wrote to me:

Our priest isn't before God, He's beside God because He is God. He doesn't offer sacrifices, He is the sacrifice. He is the full picture of what Moses got a glimpse. Jesus is part of a plan that really works. The author may be quoting from Jeremiah 31 about the new covenant.

This covenant isn't on tablets of stone or paper but written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. I'll be their God, they'll be my people. What beautiful words. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Ps. 100). Those who had no mercy will be shown mercy and those who were not my people will be my people. What mercy to be chosen by God.

They will know firsthand, everyone. Not by a cloud or thundering or indirectly -- but clearly; we saw him and beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father. Boy, this sure is a better way! We have to be careful  not to neglect the new way God has given us. This relationship in His blood needs to be maintained for us to enjoy its benefits.

I'm so glad we can do it together," Ted had written. He signed this one, "You are ever in my thoughts. Lovingly yours, Ted."

God, I am so thankful you want to be so intimate with us. Thank you for writing your covenant on our hearts. I am also very grateful Ted and I chose to write emails and that these emails have been preserved. You knew then how much these would mean to me now.

More stories about our emailing is included in Life, Love and Loss.

Join in this study by adding your observations in the comments below.

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