Jesus, Mediator of the New Covenant

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But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days—oracle of the Lord. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jeremiah 31:33

What is written on your heart? To help answer that question, ask yourself: What is the first thing that comes to mind when I’m in a stressful, scary, or uncertain situation?

Select a verse from the Bible, write it on an index card, and post it on your bathroom mirror. Work on committing that verse to memory this week. Need some ideas? Check out these verses:

I Thessalonians 5:16-18, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 40:31, Proverbs 3:5-6, Mark 12:29-31.

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Going Deeper

Read Jeremiah 31:31-34. After quoting Jeremiah, the author of the letter to the Hebrews goes on to explain how Jesus brought about the New Covenant, offering himself as the perfect sacrifice. Read Hebrews 9:11-15.

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A covenant is defined in secular dictionaries as a contract. But in the context of the Bible, it is so much more than just an agreement between parties. A Biblical covenant solidifies a relationship. The actions outlined in the covenant, agreed to by both parties, serve as an expression of the relationship and help the relationship to mature and deepen. A covenant is sealed not just by signatures, but by a solemn rite, reminding the participants that they are entering into something much deeper than a legal agreement.

The covenants of the Old Testament helped to prepare the people for the new and everlasting covenant, ushered in by Jesus. In contrast to the Old Testament covenants, which were made between God and a limited group of people, the New Covenant is open to “everyone, from least to greatest” (Jer 31:34).

What action will you take today to demonstrate your commitment to God and to enrich your relationship with him?

Advent Reflection:Let Go and Let God

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The Lord favored Hannah so that she conceived and gave birth to three more sons and two daughters, while young Samuel grew up in the service of the Lord.

I Samuel 2:21

Recall a time when you had to give up something or someone that was very important to you. Have you seen the Lord turn that sacrifice into an even greater blessing? Do you trust that he will?

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Going Deeper

Read I Samuel 1:9-28 and I Samuel 2:18-21.

Hannah prayed that she would conceive a son, and promised God that, when she had a son, he would be dedicated to the service of the Lord. I wonder, when the time came to drop Samuel off at the house of the Lord in Shiloh, if Hannah was reluctant to keep her promise. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her to leave her young son under the care of the priest, Eli, knowing she would only get to see him once a year.

Has there been a time in your life when you have relinquished control and turned someone in your life or some aspect of your life over to God? When we truly let go and admit that we can’t do it on our own, there can be a great sense of loss. But we are confident that God knows what’s best for us and our loved ones, and that he can handle our problems much better than we can.

Hannah longed for a child. In response to her faithfulness, God blessed her with not just one child, but six. When God calls us to let go, he promises abundant blessings in return. We may not always be able to see the connection between the sacrifice and the blessing, or it may seem like God takes a long time getting back to us with that blessing, but we know that God will be true to his promises.

Join Hannah in her prayer of praise to God (from I Samuel 2:1-10).