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God?s Blessing-Favour is not just something that you pray for at certain moments. God?s Blessing-Favour is a COVENANT. When you understand this covenant that you have through Jesus Christ, you will go beyond merely catching glimpses of His Blessing-Favour here and there, and become conscious of how His Blessing-Favour permeates every aspect of your life, beginning with your relationship with Jesus. You will begin to see His Blessing-Favour manifest in your family life, career and relationships. When the Presence of the Lord is with you, everything you touch becomes blessed. You are a blessing waiting to happen.
A covenant is a legal contract that you have with God. Throughout history God has cut several covenants with man. These include the Adamic, Noahic and Abrahamic covenants, just to name a few. But the two central covenants are the old covenant of Moses and the new covenant of Jesus. If you understand these two major covenants, and know how they are distinctively different, you will have an unshakable foundation for your faith and confidence in God?s Blessing-Favour.
Various terms have been used to describe these two covenants.
Theold covenant is so called because it is old and has become obsolete. It is also known as the Mosaic covenant (because it was given through Moses), the Sinaitic covenant (because the Ten Commandments were given on Mount Sinai) and the covenant of law (because it was based on man?s keeping of the law). On the other hand, the new covenant of Jesus, which is the covenant that we live by today, is also known as the covenant of Grace (because it is based on God?s undeserved, unearned and unmerited Favour) and the covenant of Peace (because it expresses the Shalom of Jesus).
The difference between the Old and New Covenants:
?For the law was given through Moses, but grace (unmerited Favour) and truth came through Jesus Christ.? ? John 1:17
Notice that truth is on the same side as God?s unmerited Favour and both grace (unmerited Favour) and truth came through Jesus Christ. In its original Greek, ?grace and truth? are actually referred to as a singular unit, since they are followed by the singular verb ?came?. In other words, in God?s eyes, grace and truth are synonymous ? unmerited Favour is truth and truth is unmerited favour. You cannot separate truth from grace and grace from truth as they are both embodied in the Person of Jesus Christ. Just a few verses before this, John 1:14, referring to the person of Jesus, says, ?And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace (unmerited Favour) and truth.? Grace and truth came together through the person and ministry of Jesus. Grace is not a doctrine or teaching. Grace is a person. His name is Jesus Christ. God is very precise in dealing with the two covenants and does not mix them together. Grace is grace and law is law. Grace came by Jesus whereas the law was given through Moses. Jesus didn?t come to give us more laws. He came to give us His Blessing-Favour, which is His truth! Every time you read the word ?grace? in the Bible, you translate it mentally as ?unmerited Favour?, because that is what it is. Grace is the Blessing-Favour of God!
We are under the new covenant of Grace (Blessing-Favour), and Gods? unmerited Favour is upon us. His blessings and His provisions for us are based entirely on HIS GOODNESS and HIS FAITHFULNESS. When the Israelites journeyed from Egypt to Mount Sinai, they were under the Abrahamic covenant of ?grace?. Therefore, in spite of their sins, God delivered them out of Egypt and provided for them supernaturally, not based on their goodness and faithfulness, but based on His goodness and faithfulness.
The terms of the old covenant:
Deuteronomy 28 records the wonderful blessings from God that affect every area of our lives including our families, careers and finances. Let?s look at some of these blessings:
?Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle, and the offspring of your flocks?The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.? ? Deuteronomy 28:3-4, 12
These were blessings that were promised under the old covenant of law. How would these blessings come upon you if you were under the old covenant?
God answered the question when He said, ?And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail?if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.? The key operative word to access God?s blessings under the old covenant is one big IF ? IF you can keep God?s commandments perfectly, then you can enjoy His blessings! This basically means that the old covenant of law was entirely contingent on your works and ability to keep God?s commandments impeccably. Only then could you be blessed!
But what happens IF you fail to keep God?s commandments perfectly? Under this old covenant of law, the Lord said:
?But it shall come to pass, IF you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country? Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, and the increase of your cattle, and the offspring of your flocks? The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.? ? Deuteronomy 28:15-16, 20
Under the old covenant, you would be blessed only if you kept God?s law perfectly, but you would also attract horrific curses when you failed! The old covenant of law was not God?s best for the children of Israel. They asked for it when they boasted in their ability to be blessed based on their own works. They rejected His Blessing-Favour. They rejected the Abrahamic covenant and declared that they wanted to be evaluated based on their own goodness rather than His goodness.
God wanted to bless his people based on His Blessing-Favour, but because they wanted to be blessed on their own law-keeping, He had to humble their self-consuming arrogance. He showed them His perfect standards that no man could ever maintain ? He gave them the old covenant of law. (TO BE CONTINUED?)