But praise God. Because of Jesus, the order has changed in the new covenant. Where the law demanded from us, grace is now freely supplied to us. God will now never ask us to do something that He has not given us the supply to do. Let me give you a couple of examples.
Now instead of “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind” it is “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). He has supplied us with His love first so we can love Him and others in return. Do you know what a relief that is? This may come as a shock, but none of us can possibly love God with all our heart and soul and mind. Oh, we can try, but until we get to heaven where we receive a perfect body and soul, we will never be able to do that perfectly. What we can do is stop trying so hard to love God and just receive His love for us because it is by doing that which enables us to be able to love in return. Fill up with His love so you can pour that love back out toward Him and others. Look to His supply.
Now instead of “If you don’t forgive others then God will not forgive you,” God has supplied us with complete forgiveness from our sins so we can forgive others. Ironically, who said if you don’t forgive then your Father in heaven will not forgive you? That’s right. it was Jesus in Matthew 6:15, but one thing we need to discern and understand when reading the Word, a very important key, we need to read it with a postcross point of view. This was spoken by Jesus, but it was spoken before He went to the cross when the old covenant was still in effect. Jesus was ushering in the new covenant of grace, but it didn’t fully go into effect until after his death and resurrection, and sometimes He still spoke to them as under the law. I believe it was in an attempt to continue to break the people, to make them see their utter helplessness and inability to keep the law and to point them to their need for Him. In Luke chapter 7 when the woman anointed Jesus’ feet with costly oil at the home of the Pharisee, what did Jesus say to her? That her sins were forgiven (verse 48). He didn’t ask her if she had forgiven everyone who had wronged her. No, He knew that she knew she was a sinner in need of a Savior, and He spoke to her under the new covenant of grace. It was the Pharisees and self-righteous people that He still spoke to about the law to make them see their inability to keep it.
Am I saying we don’t forgive people since it is no longer required of us first? No, absolutely not. Unforgiveness is deadly. It is like a cancer that festers inside of a person, and the best thing we can do is forgive. When I struggle with being able to forgive someone who has hurt me, I reflect back upon the fact that God has forgiven me of any rotten thing I have ever done or ever will do and that enables me to be able to forgive others. He supplies us with forgiveness first so we can forgive others in return.
What wonderful, freeing news of the new covenant! We can stop trying so hard to perform on our own and receive His supply, which then enables us to perform through His strength, not our own. Thank you Jesus for being our supply. May your name be praised and glorified! I have much more to say on this subject of supply, so stay tuned.
Amber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through her AmberRiceMiller Facebook page
Published: May 30, 2016