DEUTERONOMY 30:19-20: “I call heaven and earth to testify against you today! I’ve set life and death before you today: both blessings and curses. Choose life, that it may be well with you—you and your children. Love the LORD your God, obey his voice, and cling to him, because he is your life—even your long life—so that you may live in the land that the LORD promised to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” ISV
OBSERVATION: Has the pathway of life changed? Has God changed? Is there really a difference between the Old and the New Testament? If the pathway of life is the same, if the Word of God is the same, and if God has not changed – then what is the difference between the Old and New Testaments, the Old and New Covenant?
Many people dismiss the Old Testament as irrelevant. They believe the only thing that matters now is the New Testament. However, did you know that the early church did not have a New Testament for almost the first 30-60 plus years? And did you know that the Bible Jesus used was the Old Testament? In fact, if you read the book of Deuteronomy, and then read the Gospels, you will be amazed at how much of Jesus’ teaching was taken directly from the book of Deuteronomy. So then what has changed?
The Word of God is still the pathway of life – both Old and New Testament! The Word of God is still near our hearts, that is the word of faith which we preach. And there is still a choice that stands before every man and woman, a choice of life or death. God knew that left alone in our sin, we would never choose life. The history of Israel clearly conveys this truth. So God loved us so much that He sent Jesus, the Word made flesh, to choose life for us! Jesus fully and completely fulfilled the law of God, walked in the pathway of life, and opened the way for each one of us to do so also. The difference between the Old and the New Testament is not the teaching each one conveys, it is the New Covenant provision of a changed heart.
Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the New Covenant was extended to all those who believe. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we not only receive forgiveness of sins, the hope of eternal life, and an abundant life – we also receive a new heart. It is a heart that is made alive by the Spirit of God, and that naturally desires to choose life. It is a heart that responds to the love of God with a capacity to both trust and obey. It is a heart that lifts us up from the limitations of our selfish life, to live a sacrificial and giving life through the life of the one who now lives within us – Jesus Christ our Lord.
We still have a choice. There is still a battle. Our old sinful nature, what the Bible calls our “old man”, still has a bent toward disobedience. Yet, now we truly have a choice! We can choose life. We are no longer bound and weighted down by a heart of stone. We have been given a heart of flesh, a heart that delights in the things of God, and a heart that can overcome the pull of the “old man” through surrender and the power of the Holy Spirit who empowers us, teaches us, and guides us.
This is good news! This is the call of the Spirit! Lord – Today, as I hear the Spirit’s voice, help me to choose life! Today, as I walk in this world of darkness, help me to choose light! Today, as I encounter the anger of this present world, help me to choose love! This word of life is not far from me. It is not unattainable. It is in my heart and in my mouth. Help me to believe it and to confess it!
LORD, BY THE POWER OF YOUR LIFE IN ME – HELP ME CHOOSE LIFE!
In Jesus Name!