This Covenant experience will guide participants in a comprehensive, in-depth study of the Bible over twenty-four weeks. Unlike the learning participants may have experienced in other groups, this in-depth study of the whole Bible emphasizes the biblical concept of covenant as a unifying pattern through all the books in the Old and New Testaments. It underscores the unique relationship that God chooses to have with us as God’s people. This relationship is grounded in the faithfulness of God’s love and on our ongoing commitment to stay in love with God while we share signs of that love with others.
Many participants find great personal benefit and contentment in an intimate connection with God through “praying scripture.” In addition to the once-weekly meditation in the participant guides (on Day 6), a set of sixty-six additional covenant meditations is included in this book.
A new heart
When I make myself holy among you in their sight, I will take you from the nations, I will gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you to your own fertile land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be cleansed of all your pollution. I will cleanse you of all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stony heart from your body and replace it with a living one.
Praying the word
At times our hearts harden. We become stubborn toward other people, different opinions and points of view, situations that make us uncomfortable, and even toward ourselves. After reading this scripture passage, sit quietly and reflect on the last time you felt your heart harden—or become “stony”—toward someone or something. What was happening at the time? Why did you respond with a stubborn heart? What would it take for your heart to soften again toward this person or circumstance? Offer a prayer that God might help your heart come alive again toward whatever caused your heart to become stony.