Pastoral Letter February 2013

God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

– Exodus 2.24

 

Dear Friends,

By the time you read this, we will have just begun a new series of studies on Wednesday nights in the book of Exodus. Let me encourage you to join us at our friendly meetings, where questions and discussion are encouraged, and where prayer requests can be brought and discussed. But back to the text:

The great theme of the book of Exodus is, of course, the exodus of God’s people, Israel, from slavery in Egypt. Why did God set His people free? Of course, ultimately because it was through this nation that the Saviour of all the world would be born, and this was His grand purpose, but we read of how the people cried to Him, and He ‘remembered His covenant’ with their ancestors.

We have a God who makes, and keeps, covenants. A covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more parties. God’s covenant with Abraham was  gracious and unconditional – Abraham was not required to do anything, and the Lord promised to bless Him. Because of this promise, the Lord rescued His people from Egypt. As Christians, we are parties to God’s New Covenant (of which the covenant with Abraham is an early unfolding part) in which He undertakes to save us from sin, and grant us eternal life. This great promise does not depend on our good works, but rather on Jesus Christ’s blood shed for us.

At the end of this letter you will find a wonderful hymn by John Kent which expresses God’s covenant love in a clearer way than I ever can! It will be one of the hymns featured in our supplemental hymnbook.

Our God remembers His promises. If you have repented of sin and trusted in Christ, you are in covenant with the living God – a bond which cannot be broken by any failure of yours. It all depends upon Him – and He will not fail you

May you know His powerful covenant love!

*********

WITH David’s Lord, and ours,
A covenant once was made,
Whose bonds are firm and sure,
Whose glories ne’er shall fade;
Signed by the sacred Three in One,
In mutual love, ere time begun.

2 Firm as the lasting hills,
This covenant shall endure,
Whose powerful shalls and wills
Make every blessing sure:
When ruin shakes all nature’s frame,
Its promises shall stand the same.

3 Here the vast seas of grace,
Of love and mercy flow,
More than the blood-bought race
On earth can grasp or know:
O sacred deep without a shore,
Who shall thy wonders here explore?

4 Here, when our feet shall fall,
Its mercy we shall see:
Grace to restore the soul,
And pardon, full and free;
We, with delight, shall God behold
As sheep restored to Zion’s fold.

5 And when through Jordan’s flood
Our God shall bid us go,
He shall our souls defend,
And vanquish every foe;
And in this covenant we shall view
Sufficient strength to bear us through.

John Kent, 1766-1843 (altd)

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