April 4 - God's Covenant People Through Christ

By Willard Teague

Devotional Scripture: Deuteronomy 26:19

Central Thought: God's people are to bring glory to Him among the nations.

    Chapters 12-25 of the Book of Deuteronomy deal with the law that flows from a worshipping community with gratitude for the acts and gifts of God. In chapter 26 there is a renewal of worship from a people who have obeyed God and are a part of His covenant. There is the possibility of a wonderful cycle of blessing and obedience and then further blessing. The land given to Israel is a gift of God's grace. It is not that God is obligated to bless the Children of Israel because of obedience, but rather that He had blessed them in the past and present and their response was obedience to Him with continued blessing. In Deuteronomy 26:19 Israel is seen among the nations. Her place among these nations was never meant to be a matter of national pride, because she was chosen by God and her place was not the result of numerical strength or moral superiority (Deuteronomy 7:7). Israel's reputation in the nations was really for the sake of God's own name.

    We are also a people of a covenant, a new covenant in Christ. Through our service and worship we are to bring honor and glory to the name of our Lord. He has chosen us through grace to act as His agents to 'bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Romans 1:5). With His blood He has 'ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

    A young medical student in Algeria was given a Bible by a Christian student from Africa who had come from Sub-Saharan Africa to study. The young man had never seen a Bible, known a Christian, or seen a church. He was a practicing Muslim. But as he secretly read the Bible, the Holy Spirit revealed to him that God had a covenant people through Christ. He gave his life to Christ and began to witness to those around him in spite of the extreme danger to his life. Although Islam is the only legal religion of this nation, the young man, who is now a medical doctor, has been able to bring many to the Lord. Christ has a people in every nation.

    What lesson can we learn from this? We are meant to manifest the grace and blessing of His covenant with us through obedience to His Word in order to bring others into a saving relationship with Him.

Devotional Prayer: Our Father, may we recognize and rejoice in the new covenant that we have in Christ and share this glorious 'Good News” with those around us.

Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-27:26; Luke 10:38-11:13; Psalm 76:1-12; Proverbs 12:15-17