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Monday, January 7, 2019

New Covenant Grace

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
—Matthew 18:2-4 (NLT)

We, adults, make loving Jesus so difficult. A child comes with innocent wonder, and readily believes without all the “do and don’ts” the law produces. In these verses, Jesus tells the disciples that unless they become as little children, they will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Someone with childlike faith—someone without an adult’s need to reason and to analyze and struggle to be good enough—shall be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

“Every teacher of religious law,” Jesus also told the disciples, “who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old” (Matthew 13:52, NLT). The disciples did not understand that Calvary waited where Jesus would fulfill the requirements of religious law—where grace would change everything. Sin would no longer just be covered so God could look upon His children. In Jesus, sin would be entirely erased so His children could enter God’s presence. In Jesus, the Kingdom of heaven would come to live on earth, and those who taught law would come to realize that the grace of Calvary offered new gems of truth. 

At Calvary, everything did change! "Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God,” penned the writer to the Hebrews. “For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins” (Hebrews 9:14, NLT). Through Jesus, God, who had been unapproachable, becomes completely available. With cleansed consciences, we can come to Him as little children. We can come to Him without fear of not being good enough to meet the requirements of the law. “Sin is no longer your master,” Paul wrote, “for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NLT).

At Calvary, the fear the law imposed was erased! “You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves,” Paul wrote. “Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:15, NLT). We are no longer fearful slaves of not being good enough! Jesus has opened the door to God's presence. We are God's adopted children, and if we come to Him as little children—fresh with wonder to receive His gems of truth, we shall receive. 

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field,” Jesus told the disciples. “In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field” (Matthew 13:44, NLT). I yearn to discover His treasure. Will I lay down all my baggage so I can come fresh as a little child? I want to be as passionate for Him as He was for me on Calvary. The old law has gone. New Covenant grace has come!

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

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