Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There we did it! Someone in the family was sick, we lost sleep, we had God-given duties to perform, we have a family to support, we have a long commute (we're trying to live in the country--isn't that good? But it means hours on the freeway), we are so pressed with responsibilities night and day, that we fall asleep at night exhausted. So now we haven't read our Bible and prayed as we should. We haven't maintained our relationship with the Lord. We have broken our part of the "contract” we have with Him.
Now it's up to us to re-build our "relationship” with the Lord. But under the New Covenant God's law is written in the heart, not on stone. Not only does He (a) initiate this blessed relationship with Himself (John 3:16, remember!) but (b) He "so loves” us that He seeks to maintain this relationship. In His personal absence Christ sends the Holy Spirit whose first work is to "convict ... of sin,” then "of righteousness,” and then "of judgment, because the prince of this world is condemned” (John16:7-12).
The Good Shepherd still seeks His "lost sheep” (Luke 15:3-7). This is the work of the Holy Spirit: "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isa. 30:21). The Lord of the Old Covenant is like your credit card company--miss a payment or be late, and the penalty begins. But the Good Shepherd of the New Covenant loves you so much that when you start to light up a cigarette the Holy Spirit tells you, "No! Don't do this!” If you're a glutton, when you go to the refrigerator at the wrong time He says, "No! Don't do this!” If you're an alcoholic and you begin to take a drink, He tells you "No! Don't take it!” He is constantly seeking to write that holy law in your heart.
You can beat Him off, you can refuse, you can be stubborn; but what are you doing? You are crucifying Christ afresh.
Now is the Day of Atonement, the time for New Covenant living. "Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20). And thank Him that He hasn't forsaken you.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 3, 2003.
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