A covenant is a contract, promise, agreement, pledge and bond between at least two parties. This sounds like an English lesson which I may not qualify to teach or talk about. But if we talk about a covenanted Christian, then I have a say in this. And this is what I am coming to you about.
In any covenant relationship, there must be at least two persons involved. If you think about it, in any decision we make in our daily conduct, there is a covenant component in it. That is to say if I decided to do something, I will need to consider the responsibility and the outcome of my action. If there is no other party, I will have to covenant with myself to finish the task. One side of me (the doer) will make a covenant to be responsible for the task, so that (the benefit) side of me will reap the outcome of my action. But if the covenant has two different parties, both will have to be held responsible in the covenant to make sure the covenant is carried out in the way that will benefit both parties.
A covenanted Christian is a person who supposedly made a commitment to accept Jesus Christ to be his/her savior, Lord and to follow His command. In this case all of us should have been a covenanted Christian. In every covenant there should be responsibilities where each of the parties in the covenant is responsible to make sure the covenant is maintained, and that the results of the covenant benefit both parties.
In our cases, God is covenanted with us to be our God, and each of us is covenanted to be his people (children). God is covenanted to love us, save us, forgive our sins, welcome us back to him when we confess our sin, and continue to bless us, provide our needs, heal our sickness, provide guidance when we are lost, comfort us in the time of our sorrow, and many of other responsibilities which God is gladly taking so we can have the full benefits in our lives.
We too have our responsibilities to the covenant. And that is to accept God’s love, to love him back, to follow his command to love one another as He has loved us, to worship Him, to praise His name and have him in our heart every day, every moment in our lives.
God has been faithful to his covenant to us, by keeping his full promises and responsibilities to make sure we benefit to the fullest from the covenant. We on the other hand, have knowingly and unknowingly failed in our part in keeping our side of the covenant. God has been in Full Time responsible for each of our lives, but we just want to be a ”Part-Time Christian and expect full benefit”, and more and more Christians today even move further out, not only a part-time with full benefit, but they want to be quarter-time or less with full benefit. Some even negotiate or just simply make themselves to be “Christmas and Easter Christians” and expect full benefit. Sadly however, when we demand the benefit, and we do not have what we want, we complain to God all the time that God does not keep His covenant with us by not giving us what we ask for from God. When we do not give God the love He deserves, the affection He wants from us, the faithfulness He wants us to have with Him, the praise and worship he deserves, we will say, God should understand that we are human, we are too tired, we are too lazy at times (or most of the time) to worship Him and serve Him. If you are a United Methodist, the covenant has yet another layer to that. Just in case you forget, or never have taken the confirmation and reception into the United Methodist Church, let me refresh your memory.
When you are being received into the United Methodist Church, the pastor (God’s agent) asks you to covenant with God and your church, “Will you be loyal to The United Methodist Church, and uphold it by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, and your service?” and your answer will have to be “I Will”, or you will not be a part of the body of Christ.
If this seems to describe you, then yes, I am talking to you. I just want to remind you that our covenant with God is that: God be our Full-Time God and get our full loyalty, and undivided heart of Love and attention. We, on the other hand, also need to be Full-Time Christian dedicating our loyalty, undivided heart and attention to receive the full benefit of God’s grace and mercy.
~ Rev. CherLue Vang