Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Derry James
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000237
00:30 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome again to
00:33 Issues and Answers. We have a very interesting
00:36 program today. We're going to be talking about covenant
00:40 partnership with God. Let me read something to you from
00:45 the Bible in Daniel 9. The Bible says this in various
00:50 places and various ways. Basically it says that God
00:54 keeps covenant with those who keep covenant with him.
00:58 Here in Daniel 9:4 Daniel is calling on God and
01:04 here's what Daniel says about God. He said: You
01:08 who keep covenant, mercy and loving-kindness with
01:12 those who love him and keep his commandments.
01:16 You know that reminds me of 1 John 5:3 where John
01:19 says this is love that we keep God's commandments.
01:23 Today we'll discuss what it means to be a
01:27 covenant-keeper and why we can look to God with
01:30 absolute trust and faith that he is a covenant
01:34 keeping God. I'm very thrilled to welcome back
01:38 again Derry James who is a chaplain. She has a
01:41 doctorate of ministry and she is a board certified
01:44 chaplain coming to us from Grass Valley, California.
01:47 Derry it's so good to have you back.
01:50 Thank you, Shelley. It's good to be here again.
01:52 You know you're always one that when you are on 3ABN
01:56 we get a lot of positive comments and people enjoy
01:59 because it's very obvious your sincerity, your
02:02 commitment to God and that you are walking in
02:06 submission to him. Well we don't always walk
02:09 in submission every minute. But we sure try and God
02:12 has a way of just reigning us back in when
02:14 we don't. Amen. Praise the Lord for that.
02:16 So today we are going to be talking about covenant
02:20 partnership with God. I know that is a principle
02:23 that you live by but for our audience why don't you
02:28 describe your definition of what a covenant is.
02:32 In talking about it today, we're talking about a
02:36 covenant altar that we make in partnership with God
02:40 as two people give themselves fully to each other
02:45 God and man working together in unison and in
02:49 in that covenant relationship that's binding and
02:52 unbreakable. It's interesting that God
02:58 covenanted with God in our behalf and we can talk
03:02 more about that later, but the covenant is working
03:06 together with God in partnership with
03:08 him in giving yourselves
03:09 fully to each other. A covenant is like a
03:12 contract. When we marry God's idea of marriage it
03:16 was to be a covenant relationship. Unfortunately
03:20 today not to many people really treat marriage like
03:25 a covenant relationship. But if we were to look to
03:29 the Bible where can we look and what can we say,
03:34 how did God establish himself as a covenant
03:37 keeping God? That unbreakable oath that
03:39 God makes with us that we can count on. I think it's
03:43 beautiful as we first hear about the covenant promise
03:46 with Noah in the covenant that God made that he would
03:50 not destroy the earth again, that he gave us that
03:54 sign, that symbol of the rainbow. My son brought it
03:58 to my attention as he was studying and preparing
04:01 for a sermon how God led him on his journey and
04:05 study that that rainbow is around the throne of God
04:11 and that symbol of the rainbow as God's symbol
04:15 to us is something that is so close to God that it's
04:20 almost like God getting as close as he can to showing
04:25 us his presence without showing his presence.
04:29 Do you understand what I'm saying?
04:30 Yes, that's beautiful. I thought that was really
04:33 beautiful when my son brought that out in the
04:36 sermon. Also that in everything else in nature
04:40 gives something and gets something in return but
04:44 the rainbow is just there as God's symbol.
04:49 You know when you were talking, the scripture
04:51 that popped into my mind if you could hear me
04:54 rustling the pages of my Bible, was from
04:59 Hebrews 6:18-19, let me start in verse 17.
05:04 It says: Accordingly God also in his desire to show
05:07 more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who
05:11 were to inherit the promise to show them the
05:14 unchangeableness of his purpose and plan, he
05:18 intervened with an oath. This was so that by two
05:21 unchangeable things, his promise and his oath
05:26 in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who
05:31 have fled for refuge to him might have mighty
05:36 indwelling strength and strong encouragement to
05:40 grasp and hold fast this hope. Now we have this
05:46 hope as an anchor for our soul and that's what
05:51 Hebrews 6:19 says this hope that we have in a
05:55 God who cannot lie who has given us all of his
05:59 covenant promises and he is just saying to us, he
06:03 is just constantly inviting us, come into covenant
06:07 with me. You keep covenant with me and I'll keep
06:10 covenant with you. That reminds me as we're
06:14 thinking of scripture too that the word remember
06:18 is a covenant word. Oooo, and what
06:22 commandment out of all 10 commandments begins
06:25 with remember? Remember the Sabbath day
06:27 to keep it holy. The fourth commandment.
06:30 That covenant and that's a day where the Lord
06:33 wants to spend it with us. That's our time, our day
06:36 together and he wants us to remember that time.
06:39 Tell us about a few more of the covenants in
06:42 addition to Noah some of the other covenants that
06:45 the Lord made. I especially like the
06:47 covenant that God made to Abraham as well, that
06:51 Abrahamic covenant where God called Abraham out
06:54 to a land that he doesn't know anything about from
06:57 his people, God calls him out and he tells him, come
07:01 and I will bless you. Let's just read it from
07:03 scripture shall we? That's Genesis 12 and I'm going
07:07 to start with verse 1. It says, Now the Lord had
07:10 said to Abram, get out of your country, from your
07:14 family, from your father's house to a land that I
07:18 will show you. I will make you a great nation. I
07:21 will bless you and make your name great and you
07:24 shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless
07:27 you, I will curse him who curses you and in you
07:29 all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
07:32 If we look through scripture from Genesis to Revelation
07:37 God takes that divine initiative with his people
07:40 all the time, Shelley, where he's calling them
07:43 out. What God wants is God's people in the place
07:47 he has chosen to dwell in his presence so that he
07:50 can bless them. That happened from the beginning
07:53 of time and that's how it's going to end, God's
07:55 people in the place he has chosen so he can bless
07:58 them and they can live in his presence.
08:00 You know, I wish people could learn. The thing
08:04 that took me the longest to learn, Derry, in my Christian
08:08 walk was that what God asked of me was absolute
08:13 total dependence upon him. I tried so long to live
08:19 for him with my effort. Then one day with
08:24 Galatians 3:3 the Lord just spoke it to my spirit.
08:28 It said, you foolish thing,
08:30 having begun in the Spirit are
08:32 you now trying to perfect it in the flesh?
08:34 I struggled so long trying to perfect my walk with
08:39 the Lord, not remembering Philippians 2:14 that it
08:43 is God who works in us to will and to act according
08:47 to his good purpose. That is part of his new
08:50 covenant with us is just us learning to trust in him
08:54 that he's going to write those laws on our heart
08:58 and any of his biddings are his enablings aren't they?
09:02 Absolutely. It's exactly true. God's desire is for
09:07 his people to be happy. I have thought of this
09:11 a lot and Shelley, if you came to my house, for
09:15 example, and I had small children sitting there at
09:18 the sofa and you were visiting with me and the
09:20 whole time that you were with me the children sat
09:24 like this. When you left me house, you would think
09:28 to yourself something like something is wrong with
09:31 those children. Something's wrong there.
09:35 I would think the mother must very cruel.
09:38 They are being abused or something is going on
09:41 there. You know it's the same thing with us.
09:43 If we're in church or if we're living our life and
09:47 we're not happy people and we're all locked up and
09:51 we won't speak and we won't interact and we always
09:54 are solemn or we're always sad or we're always
09:56 grumpy, what does that say about our Father
09:59 whom we serve. God wants his people to be filled
10:03 with joy. He wants his people to be happy and
10:07 when we live according to his will and I'm thinking
10:10 again now of the 10 commandments. I don't
10:12 think of them as binding rules. I think of them as
10:16 liberating. I think of them as joy-givers because
10:20 well for example, God knows that if we were to kill
10:23 someone we'd be miserable. He doesn't want his people
10:27 miserable. So as we think of covenant and as we
10:31 think of working together with God and doing what
10:34 God requires of us and is calling us to do for our
10:36 own joy and happiness, we need to exercise
10:42 obedience and in that obedience
10:45 is reward, a reward for a full life, a reward for
10:48 God's blessing, but his covenant with us is so
10:52 strong and he desires so much for us to be blessed
10:56 that when we fall short of our end of the covenant
11:00 he tries to woo us back in a little bit at a time,
11:04 a little bit at a time. When we don't respond
11:07 then he may have to discipline us into
11:10 listening again. You know when you were
11:13 talking what I was thinking is when I think of
11:16 the 10 commandments, I think of them as 10 promises.
11:19 that God will empower us to do. In Hebrews 8:10
11:24 here's what the Lord says: This is the covenant that
11:27 I will make with the house of Israel (and we are part
11:30 of the house of Israel. Paul said not only those
11:34 who born Jews are Jews but those who have given their
11:38 heart to the Lord and so we're part of spiritual
11:41 Israel.) He says this is the covenant I will make
11:43 with them after those days says the Lord. I will
11:46 imprint my laws upon their minds even upon their
11:49 their innermost thoughts and understanding and
11:51 engrave them on their hearts. I will be their
11:55 God and they will be my people. Then at the end
11:59 of Hebrews in chapter 13:20 he says, may the
12:04 God of peace who brought again from among the dead
12:07 our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep,
12:12 by the blood that sealed the everlasting eternal
12:17 gospel, may this God strengthen, complete and perfect
12:23 you. May God make you what you ought to be, may God equip you
12:28 with everything good that you may carry out his will. While
12:34 he himself works in you and accomplishes... Who's
12:38 accomplishing? The covenant keeping God who's put his love
12:42 in our heart. He's the one working in us that he may
12:45 accomplish that which is pleasing in his sight through
12:48 Jesus Christ, to him be the glory for ever and ever, Amen!
12:51 So that is our covenant- keeping God. He is just saying
12:55 come here little child. I will empower you. I mean, you talk
13:00 about the rainbow. If we could look at the promises of God
13:05 and see them through that prism of light like the rainbow that
13:09 is showing that he is a God of light. Wouldn't that be exciting
13:13 if they could get so excited about his promises.
13:18 Well that rolls right into the scripture that I turned to as
13:22 you were reading that, Shelley, which is in 1 Peter. What does
13:26 it say? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
13:30 who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to
13:33 a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the
13:37 dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled
13:39 which does not fade away reserved in heaven for you.
13:44 But actually, you know what, I wanted 2 Peter, Shelley,
13:49 But that's a good scripture. But let's turn over to 2 Peter
13:54 2 Peter 1 says grace and peace be multiplied to you in the
13:58 knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord as his divine power has
14:03 given to us all things (all things, not some things, all
14:08 things) that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge
14:12 of him who called us by his glory and virtue by which have
14:16 been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises
14:21 that through these we may be partakers of the divine nature.
14:25 Through His promises! Through his promises. Did you catch
14:29 that? Through His promises we partake of the divine nature
14:32 and escape the lust that is in the world through corruption.
14:36 I love that scripture. I do too. It's one of my favorites.
14:40 Mine too and there are over 3,300 some promises in the Bible
14:45 that God has put here for every thing in life that we can turn
14:50 to and just personalize and claim and present to Him for
14:54 fulfillment. I think that's pretty awesome.
14:57 You know, when we first were getting to know one another and
15:00 we haven't known each other all that long but I feel like I've
15:03 known her for over... when we first began praying together.
15:07 I remember the first time I prayed for you, you said you
15:10 pray just like I do. I mean everything that was coming to
15:13 my mind, every scripture. Then I remember I was having a
15:16 difficult day one time and you happened to call and I really
15:20 hadn't paused yet to pray, and you said, we need to pray and
15:24 I said you're right we do and as you started the prayer every
15:28 scripture that was coming to me mind, every promise, you were
15:31 praying it just as it would hit my mind, you were speaking it
15:36 before I could say anything. To learn to pray God's word back
15:41 to him, Isaiah 55:11 says it does not return void, when we
15:45 know he's a covenant-keeping God, he watches over his word
15:49 to perform it, that's what he says in Jeremiah 1:12, what joy
15:54 there is in praying these promises back to God and knowing
15:57 Lord this is up to you because this is what you promised.
16:01 That's right. You know, Shelley, sometimes I talk to people and
16:06 they're a little reluctant to do this. They think, well God isn't
16:11 going to listen to me or I'm not good enough meaning I've
16:15 done so many bad things or wrong things in my life that I
16:19 just can't ask that of God, but that takes us right back to the
16:23 cross again and right back to the victory at the cross and the
16:28 promise of what the cross is and that is that Jesus says that He
16:32 died that our sins would be covered and all we have to do
16:36 is receive that gift. But the other half of that promise is
16:40 that he will carry our pain and our suffering, our pain and our
16:44 sorrow and by His stripes we are healed and that means body, soul
16:48 and spirit. We just need to take God at his word.
16:52 And as we're taking Him at His word to recognize
16:57 2 Corinthians 5:17 says we are new creations in Christ whether
17:01 we feel like it or not. Romans 4:17 says he calls things that
17:06 are not as though they already were. With this covenant
17:10 keeping God it's obvious you want to be in relationship with
17:13 Him. How do we enter into covenant with God?
17:18 Well, Shelley, we need to take hold of His power and His
17:22 resources and by taking hold of His power and resources we need
17:28 to obediently follow His prescription for doing that and
17:32 we just read it here. It says here by these great and precious
17:37 promises. So we need to do our part by claiming the word of God
17:42 and allowing Him to enable us because God never asks us to do
17:46 anything He's not willing to help us do. So if He wants us
17:49 to be in covenant relationship with Him He's going to enable
17:53 us to be in covenant relationship with Him.
17:55 He's going to enable the obedience. We need to surrender.
18:00 We need to allow Him to fill us. We need to give ourselves to
18:05 Him. Sometimes we have to say Lord I'm willing but help my
18:11 unwillingness or we have to say Lord I don't know how. Do it in
18:15 me, do it through me.
18:16 So it really does start... say that there's someone who's
18:20 watching us or listening to our voices right now who doesn't
18:25 know God. It starts with that coming to Him recognizing that
18:29 we are a sinner and that He is God and just surrendering
18:33 control of our lives to Him saying Lord forgive us of our
18:37 sins. I want to accept Christ as my Savior. Please send your
18:41 Holy Spirit to live in me, because that is how he empowers
18:45 us is through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and the
18:49 transforming power of the word. But then what I understood you
18:54 to say just then, our part in doing this if we are to enjoy
18:59 the covenant relationship we need to understand the covenant
19:04 promises. It's like, Okay Lord, now that I have become your
19:08 child by adoption, and what a privilege it is to be a child of
19:13 God, I need to know who I am in Christ. I need to know what
19:18 promises belong to me and 2 Corinthians 1:20 says ALL of
19:22 God's promises belong to you if you are in Christ Jesus. But our
19:28 part is to get in here and let God... He can't put in our minds
19:33 nor can the Holy Spirit bring to remembrance scripture that we
19:38 haven't looked at before can he?
19:40 Right. I think the other piece of that too, Shelley, is the
19:43 importance of getting into scripture and finding out who
19:47 God really is. So many people I
19:51 meet have this illusion
19:53 of this tyrannical God and that's
19:56 why this is such a passionate
19:59 subject for me that God just pours Himself out for us over
20:04 and over to prove His love, to prove His desire for our
20:09 happiness, to prove how he wants to bless us and I want to help
20:14 dispel this idea that there is this tyrannical God that is out
20:18 to just cut us off at the knees every time we do something that
20:23 might offend Him. That just isn't true. You know, God wants
20:27 to come along side of us as we allow Him to, but God is a
20:31 gentleman. He's not going to force Himself on any of us. But
20:34 as we allow God to He wants to come along side and empower
20:39 us and enable us and walk with us and help us in this journey
20:44 of life. Did you grow up in the Adventist
20:47 church? When I was a young teenager, as
20:50 a child I did not. We had some knowledge of the Adventist
20:54 church but we actually didn't start attending church until
20:59 when I was about 12 or 13. But I did go to church with
21:04 girlfriends prior to that.
21:05 I know that in the denomination
21:08 in which I grew up which was not
21:11 Adventist I was taught
21:14 basically... the picture of God
21:17 the Father that was painted for me was that He was this
21:21 tyrant who was watching me ready to zap me when I did
21:25 anything wrong. Now see I grew up in a church that did preach
21:31 Christ crucified and I was in love with Jesus Christ, but I
21:36 feared the Father, not with a healthy fear, not that perfect
21:40 fear, the perfect love that drives out fear, but with a
21:44 trembling fear and it was Hebrews 1:3 that changed
21:49 everything as far as me seeing the picture of God. It says that
21:55 Jesus Christ is the exact expression of the Father's
22:01 nature and when I thought about how tender and loving and
22:07 compassionate and patient that Christ was and I realized this
22:13 is God in the flesh. He is the exact representation, the
22:17 outflowing, the affluence of the nature of God, it changed my
22:22 whole outlook toward the Father.
22:24 Oh absolutely. You can go back to the example that I just
22:27 shared a few minutes ago about the children sitting on the
22:31 sofa. I mean, what kind of a Father would we have if that's
22:35 the kind of life we lived and we felt that way and we were
22:39 under such fear that God was going to hurt us every time
22:43 we made a wrong move. How could we be happy children of God?
22:46 And how could we be good witnesses, because who would
22:50 want to have that kind of a Father?
22:51 It occurs to me there are several scriptures in the Bible
22:56 that say that God keeps covenant with those who keep
23:00 keep covenant with Him. So part of our covenant
23:04 contract with him is to walk in obedience that He's
23:09 empowering us to. Sometimes people get this idea of
23:13 obedience as being a duty. I think of the privilege of
23:18 obedience. But it's more than just obedience,
23:22 it's that personal relationship. Derry, I know from just
23:27 the short while that I've known you that you have a strong
23:31 personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
23:33 How did you develop that and how do you maintain that?
23:38 I developed it by personalizing
23:42 scripture, Shelley. I mean it's
23:44 that simple. Before I learned personalization of scripture
23:49 which proves God as a personal God. I Bible studied, I read,
23:54 I thought I was living a Christian life and I was to
23:59 some effect but I didn't know Jesus Christ as me personal
24:03 Savior. I thought that miracles were just for missionaries
24:06 across the sea, you know. I didn't realize I could live
24:10 a life of miracles every day. But I had developed not only
24:16 the need to commune with God, and commune is a two-way street,
24:20 you know. You can't just talk to God. You have to be willing
24:24 to listen to God until you recognize his voice and you
24:28 know that when you recognize his voice you need to follow
24:31 that voice. That has come by my daily devotionals, it's
24:35 come by claiming promises daily, it's come by
24:38 journalizing and in my journal...
24:41 That's so amazing. No wonder we were such friends.
24:44 We didn't discuss this but no wonder we were such
24:47 fast friends because your track and my track... I mean
24:51 that's exactly the way the Lord led me was to claim his
24:54 scriptures and personalize them and pray them back to
24:58 Him, to sit at His feet and listen and learn that prayer
25:02 was a two-way communication, to journal my prayers.
25:05 I mean if people haven't tried this they don't know
25:08 what they're missing do they?
25:09 I get more out of my time with God when I journal.
25:13 Maybe it's because I can listen better because I'm
25:17 really listening to hear what He says.
25:18 You're focused better. It filters out all the
25:21 distractions. And then you write that down
25:24 and you can go back to it later. So I love the journaling
25:27 because when you have down times then you can go back
25:30 and you can read what God has said to you and the
25:32 lessons you've learned or the answers to prayers that
25:35 you've had and it's buoying you know during
25:38 some of those more difficult times.
25:40 I know we're getting kind of near our closing time
25:44 and I just wanted to share my own covenant story
25:48 if I could for a minute. When I went back to school
25:51 I was several months into doing my school work and
25:55 I was trying to prioritize things in my life and it was
25:58 always God first, my family next and then my studies.
26:01 But I was getting by with very little sleep, just
26:03 a few hours a night and God would just fill me and
26:06 refresh me and revitalize me. But during that period
26:09 of time I certainly didn't take on any extra
26:12 responsibilities at home; doing deep cleaning or you
26:15 know, I just did the nominal things so that I could
26:19 concentrate and focus. It was Mother's Day and my two
26:23 precious boys, two of my sons, came in and brought me a
26:27 Mother's Day gift and it was a parakeet. They had
26:31 heard stories of when I had had a parakeet when I was
26:34 a very young girl and all these fun things that I had
26:37 done with this bird. But I tell you truly when they
26:40 brought that parakeet in to me at that moment
26:41 although part of me was so thrilled I thought to myself
26:45 oh no, one more thing to take care of. How am I
26:51 going to do this. I was so overwhelmed I just looked
26:54 at the children and I just said Oh I can't believe you
26:58 did this, because I couldn't you know, and I didn't
27:01 know what else to say. I'm usually pretty spontaneous
27:06 about coming up with names and I couldn't come up with
27:09 a name for this parakeet for three days. Three days
27:13 into having this little bird in desperation I sat down
27:16 with a baby book and I started going through the
27:19 alphabet. As I was in about the Cs looking for a decent
27:22 name for this bird I thought I heard God say Homer
27:26 and I said Homer, Lord that's a horrible name for a bird.
27:31 God said, Really, look it up. When I looked it up it said
27:37 sacrifice covenant. And God said your sons sacrificed
27:41 for you to get this bird, you're sacrificing to obey me
27:46 and I covenant with you to see you through.
27:48 Praise the Lord. We're out of time.
27:50 Derry, thank you for being here and I just want to
27:53 thank our audience for joining us