February 24, 2024

Self-Examination 2: Have We Kept Our Part of The Covenant of Jesus?


Readings begin with the Covenant of Abraham and end with the Covenant of Jesus. The Covenant of Abraham required him to ‘walk before God in faithfulness and be blameless” God rewarded Abraham with long life, children and land. The Covenant of Jesus requires us to deny ourselves, take up our Cross and follow Him. Lent is a time to examine our own relationship with God. How have we:

·     Denied Our self?

·     Taken up our Cross? and

·     Followed Him?


1. How Have I Denied Myself?

·      Clarifies the depth of love expected – put God first

·      Beyond warm fuzzies

·      Does not mean harsh self-punishment – denial of love

·      Means on the really big things do it God’s way

·      How have I denied myself in the last year? – Reflect on this


2. How Have I Taken Up My Cross? 

·      What is our cross? Our cross is the thing that immobilizes / kills us – 

·      What has immobilized me? – reflect on this

·      Sloth and addictions can be like a cross

·      Anger, unforgiveness can be like a cross

·      Avarice, greed, lust can be like a cross

·      Fears, guilt and shame can immobilize us

·      We can be a prisoner to false religious beliefs 

·      We are challenged to pickup & move our cross

·      Become free from the power of our cross



3. In What Ways Have I Followed Jesus Example?

·      Do what He did?

·      Follow the teachings he gave?

·      Live our lives as He lived His?

·      Jesus modeled self-sacrificial love as self-denial

·      Jesus probably liked working as carpenter, having a family life

·      Probably feared rejection, pain & death

·      Chose to give what He wanted up

·      Chose to put what God asked first

·      Modeled self-sacrificial love for us

·      Followed Divine rather than human wisdom


4. Have I stepped Out in Faith and Experienced God’s Part of the Covenant:

·      Forgiveness of sins in Jesus – experienced Confession and Absolution

·      Accepted God’s forgiveness?

·      Gifts of Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, patience, healing?

We need a way to be forgiven so we can stand in the presence of God now and after we die without guilt

·      God accepts our faith in the death of Jesus on the Cross in our place, as restoring us to right relationship

·      Covenant of Jesus is based on a new love relationship

·      We have to read the Bible and know about Jesus

·      Relationship is based on personal experience

·      Our relationship grows as we pray and follow Jesus

·      Can know about God in our heads and do all kinds of good works – but still not really love God

·      Need head knowledge as well as heart knowledge

·      The Good News is that if we love Jesus in our hearts, this love includes us in the new Covenant of Jesus by the grace of God!


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