(Please ensure you’ve read ‘INTRODUCTION TO WEEK 8’ included in Monday’s blog. Link:
COVENANT FRIENDSHIP (PART 1)
After David defeats Goliath, we read,
1 Samuel 18:3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
What is a covenant?
A covenant is a serious commitment to someone. It’s a relationship that can only be made and broken under certain circumstances. So, for example, the marriage covenant can be made between and man and a woman who willingly make vows of commitment. The marriage covenant can only be broken through death and infidelity (there’s more that can be said on this, but this is not a devotional principally about marriage). What did it mean for Jonathan to make a covenant to David, what is ‘covenant friendship’? Simply put, Jonathan promised to be a loyal friend to David no matter what. He is promising to be his best ally. He is promising to seek David’s good because he ‘loves him as himself’.
Are you in covenant with your church family?
Church involvement is often treated like membership of a sports club or going to the theatre - people attend (the wrong idea to start with! - church is not a meeting!) all the while they are being entertained, their needs are being met, they are being given positions of influence or honour, they are not being challenged…
Identity shapes our behaviour. If we have a biblical understanding of our, and the church’s, identity, we will behave more like Jonathan to David:
Jesus loves and died to save His ‘bride’ - the church
The church is the body of Christ - He works through the local church
Christians are already united to other Christians by the Spirit
No Christian or church is perfect, but through its relationships she and her members are matured
Jesus continues to pray for His church
All New Testament letters are written to Churches, leaders of churches, or speak of the planting and growth of churches.
If you are a Christians, you are already in a covenant relationship with the church - you are unbreakably joined to Jesus and His people. But, is this spiritual reality shown in your attitude and lifestyle? Is your covenant relationship to a local church being expressed through your commitment? This is costly! Jonathan’s devotion to David cost Him the throne! Your involvement with church community will cost on all fronts, but it’s a cost that’s actually an investment with great reward.
Today, we continue to meditate on and memorise Matthew 22:37-39
(If you’ve not done so, please ensure you’ve read Monday’s response section where I’ve included notes and questions to help you).
Matthew 22:37-39. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”