In seventh grade I was gifted my first cell phone. Because I was on the middle school basketball team my parents wanted to make sure that I was able to get a hold of them after games and practices. My first phone was a Verizon, Dark Knight, special edition flip phone. It was awesome. It was associated with the new Batman Movie, The Dark Knight, which had just recently been released. The phone came with the Batman symbol plastered on the back, and pre-recorded ring tones that had different lines from the movie. My favorite one was Heath Ledgers, "Why So Serious!" text ring tone.
I absolutely loved this phone. While it was hard to text and couldn't play music, it filled its purpose.
Fast forward 10 years.
Two weeks ago I upgraded to the iPhone 7 Cell Phone. I know, I am still way behind on upgrades but the 7 was plenty for me. This new phone has a calendar, apps, touch screen, voice recognition, Bluetooth, a fantastic camera, a full keyboard, FaceTime, a notepad, and so much more than I could ever need.
I will never go back to my old flip phone that I had in Middle School. While it was great for its time period, the smart phones that we have now are much better.
When Jesus came to establish something new, He replaced and eliminated what was old (Hebrews 8). While the Old Covenant that is found in Exodus was great, it fulfilled its purpose. Under the New Covenant that Jesus came to establish we no longer have to do "A" in order to receive "B." We no longer have to earn grace. Jesus paid for all of our sins through His Sacrifice.
No, it's not touch screen and doesn't play music, but it is so much better.
However, what is better, often requires more after we receive it. Just like a new iPhone is filled with 100's of features that are insanely difficult to figure out at first, following Jesus day in and day out is also difficult. Because we are freely given the gift of grace, we are called to love everyone under the New Covenant requirements.
Jesus says if you look at someone with lust than you have already committed adultery.
Jesus says that there is no room for hate in a loving heart.
Jesus says that there is no room for the Old Covenant if we are living under the New Covenant. However, the temptation to go backwards is stronger than ever.
It is so much easier to condemn and judge the world.
It is so much easier to follow laws and rules.
It is so much easier to exclude others from the table that are different than us.
However, Jesus did not die so that we could live an easier life (Romans 8). Jesus died so that we could love others whose lives are difficult.
The New Covenant is all about love.
Take these three next steps this week to prepare your heart for the teaching this week:
1) In what ways are you still living under the old covenant? Make a list.
2) Have you given to the Propel Vision? If not, pray about an amount and give online.
3) Pray for C3 family members that are not pursuing a relationship with God.