God is Love and He loves us! His Word tells us so: “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7).
God loves us so much that He gave us Jesus, and when we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives, we enter into a covenant of love with God Himself. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
What better month than February to celebrate this Covenant of love we have with God! He has made us part of His family, something that is precious to Him. Long before the beginning of time, He loved the thought of being surrounded by sons and daughters made in His own likeness. His heart yearned for a family of people He could love and BLESS.
All the magnificent splendor of creation we see around us today came out of that divine desire. God made it all for one purpose only—to BLESS His family. He created the earth and everything in it for us! We were in His heart and mind long before we ever showed up on the planet. His dream before the foundation of the world was to prosper you and me and all the rest of His family in every way imaginable as we spend eternity building our lives and world together with Him.
If you know the story of Creation, then you know that God’s dream first sprang to life with Adam and Eve, the great-great-grandparents of us all. You also know that things didn’t go well for them, nor for God pretty much from the beginning. In the Garden of Eden, Adam committed high treason. He bowed his knee to the devil, a spiritual outlaw and thief who at one time had been an archangel created by God. When Adam surrendered his authority to the devil, he became the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). As a result, from then on, many times throughout the course of history, God would be faced with situations that threatened to destroy His dream forever.
So, in His endless wisdom and foresight, God put into motion the truth and power of blood-backed agreement—or Covenant! You could say that Covenant became God’s way of holding on to His family for dear life. What love!
Develop a Covenant Mindset
The word covenant comes from the Latin phrase that means “a coming together.” In a general sense, it’s simply an agreement between two or more people or parties. It brings those parties into relationship through a formal commitment made binding by arrangement, a testament or will, or a legal contract.
In the Bible, whenever a covenant is made between God and man, it’s always God who initiates it. In each case, He sets the conditions and standards of the agreement. He determines how the people with whom He is making covenant gain access to the benefits of the arrangement. God has done and is doing everything He possibly can to squeeze every one of us as tightly as He can into a place of BLESSING—once and for all. It’s the reason He wants you in Covenant with Him.
His motive has always been relationship. He desires more than anything to be in constant fellowship with you and shower you with His goodness. When you enter into Covenant agreement with Him, you are obligating yourself by faith to a relationship with Him. You’re binding yourself to Almighty God. Once you make that connection and commitment, He can release His purpose and desire for you, your life, and all creation, through the promises and BLESSINGS of the Covenant.
Imagine what this can do for your life, your marriage, and all the other relationships in your life. How important, then, it is to renew our minds to the value and significance of covenant, and that we learn to read the Scripture with a covenant mindset and listen to the preached Word with covenant ears.
To help renew your mind to think about covenant the way God does, consider the following 3 Step Process of Covenant—God’s Language of Love.
1. The first step in the covenant process is the calling to covenant.
God, the Father, takes this step by graciously inviting us to join ourselves to Him. Then He, in turn, can join Himself to us, bringing all of who He is and all of what He has into our lives. Nehemiah 9 tells us it was God who chose Abraham. It wasn’t Abraham who initiated their covenant relationship. God approached him first. He brought Abraham up from his homeland, and gave him a new identity. He even promised to give him all the land as far as his eyes could see (verses 7-8), an offer seemingly too good to be true.
God has essentially done the same for us as believers today. He has called us just as He called Abraham and made us an astounding offer. He’s offered us the opportunity to enter into a relationship with Him for all eternity. He’s promised to BLESS us and assured us, as Romans 8:28 NKJV says, that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Do you see it? As believers we are “the called”! That means God has already taken the first step in the process of establishing Covenant with us. He has extended to us a personal invitation to join ourselves to Him.
2. The second step in establishing a covenant is the actual entering into the covenant.
This is where the terms of the covenant are agreed upon by both parties, and the agreement is executed or acted upon. In Hebrews 11:8-9, we see Abraham taking this step. We see that, “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise.”
Imagine how much trust it took for Abraham to say yes to God’s call without knowing where that call would take him. Imagine how much faith it took for him to leave everything behind without having any idea of exactly what lay ahead. When he acted on God’s promise in Faith, he entered into covenant. He accepted God’s invitation and joined himself to Him.
Hundreds of years later, when God gave the people of Israel the opportunity to enter into a covenant relationship with Him, He added to this a second step. He required the Israelites to agree verbally with His covenant conditions. He had them declare out loud together all the BLESSINGS and the curses of the Law. Like the reading and signing of a contractual agreement, this formalized their agreement to enter covenant with Him (Deuteronomy 27-30:19).
We take this step today by believing on God’s Son, Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, and receiving Him by faith as our Savior and LORD!
3. The third and final step of the covenant process is keeping or maintaining the agreement.
A covenant relationship, like any relationship—whether it’s in a marriage, in parenting, business or simply a friendship—requires maintenance. Relationships need nurturing. For them to remain healthy and vital, you can’t just forget about them. You must remember and attend to them.
Jesus spoke about this to His disciples just before He left them to go to the cross. During their last Passover meal together, He took the bread, “Then he broke it in pieces and said, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.’” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
When Jesus instructed His disciples to do this “in remembrance of me,” He was pointing back to what their Hebrew forefathers had done for thousands of years. When they ate the Passover meal, they remembered how God had delivered them from the bondage of Egypt (Exodus 13:3; Deuteronomy 4:9). This remembering kept their minds focused on their Covenant with Him.
This is why Jesus established under the New Covenant what we today call “Communion.” By telling us to eat and drink the Covenant meal, He provided us with a simple action step we can take to remind us that we’re in Covenant with God through Him. He gave us a powerful way to release our Faith in that Covenant. A way to nurture our connection with Him and keep it not only intact but healthy, active, strong, thriving—alive!
How Weddings Mirror God’s Covenant of Love
Most marriage ceremonies contain three major covenant elements and are revealed in the Bible. Each one, in its own way, reflects a major aspect of our ultimate union with Jesus Christ.
First, most traditional wedding vows exchanged at the altar begin with the words: “I promise.” God-initiated covenants begin the same way. Each of the biblical covenants start with a promise. The promise is made by God the Father when He initially lays out the conditions, standards, and BLESSINGS of the agreement.
Second, there is the cutting of the covenant. In weddings, this cutting is signified by the bride and groom proceeding down the center aisle with her family sitting on one side and his on the other. This symbolizes the fact that two families are being joined here. Two families are coming together in covenant and becoming one (Genesis 2:23).
When God cut Covenant with us, the same thing happened. Two became one. Only in the cutting of God’s Covenant, Covenant Blood was shed. Jesus stepped in as the living sacrifice on our behalf and joined us to God.
Third, there is the seal of the covenant. In weddings, the marriage covenant is sealed first with the exchanging of rings and then a kiss at the altar near the end of the ceremony. Our Covenant with God is sealed by the Holy Spirit. His presence in us is the seal or guarantee of our Covenant with Him.
No doubt in some way, you will celebrate love this month. Whether it be with roses and chocolate, or cards and a special dinner, why not celebrate God’s Love first? Why not celebrate Covenant—God’s language of love.
Adapted from Kenneth Copeland’s newest book written with Greg Stephens, God, the Covenant and the Contradiction, available at KCM.org.
© 1997 – 2024 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.