the land we are being given


aerial view of forest

Photo by Tom Fisk on

the land we are being given

Deuteronomy 11:31-12:1

Deuteronomy 11:31 You see, you are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land Yahveh your God is giving you. When you take possession of it and settle in it,
Deuteronomy 11:32 be careful to do all the prescriptions and rules I set before you today.
Deuteronomy 12:1 “Be careful to watch these prescriptions and rules in the land that Yahveh, the God of your fathers, has given you to take possession of all the days you live on the land.

the land we are being given

Did you notice the tense change? In 11:31, God “is giving” the land, and in 12:1, he “has given” it. From God’s standpoint all our salvation and all our inheritance is a gift already given. From our standpoint in space and time, it’s a gift in progress.

Life itself is a gift we have been given, but also a gift we are being given. Every good gift from God comes with a set of built in obligations. Abuse of the gift could lead to losing it.

For the Israelites, the land was a gift from God but also part of their mission to show off God’s holiness to the surrounding nations. That was where the law came into the picture. The prescriptions and rules for covenant living enabled them to accomplish God’s objective for the gift of the land.

In the new covenant, we have the same phenomenon at work. We have been saved by the finished work of Christ on the cross. But we are being saved in space and time. That is why Jesus did not just pop down for a few hours to suffer and die as our sacrifice. His mission involved more than the cross.

We need more than that. We need instructions for using the gift of salvation to accomplish God’s mission for us. Like the Israelites, God wants Christians to live holy lives to draw the nations to him. That was why Jesus spent years teaching us how to live in the land we are being given.

Lord, thank you for our finished salvation, bought by the blood of Christ. Thank you for the words of Christ which teach us how to live in such a way as to lead others to the same gift.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at -- !
This entry was posted in discipleship, Jesus Christ, missions, obedience and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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