1 January 2024

The TL's new year message 2024: Eternally loyal

Commissioner Jenine Main

A photo of Jenine Main

Territorial Leader Commissioner Jenine Main shares a new year message.

Throughout Scripture, we see God entering into covenant with his people - making eternal promises that will enable his people to flourish and know they are loved by a faithful, eternal God.

Since his very first covenant with Noah - promising that he would never again flood the Earth - and his covenant with Abraham - promising that he would become the father of many nations - God continued to covenant with his people with promises of compassion, faithfulness and forgiveness. 

The Old Testament is full of God promising to always be with us, showing his steadfast, faithful love. The New Testament sees the fulfilment of these promises in the gift of Jesus - his birth, death and resurrection. Jesus is the ultimate covenant that God made with us, revealing his faithful, eternal love.

God is eternally loyal to his promises and one repeated promise we read in Scripture is the promise of God's khesed to us. Khesed is the Hebrew word describing God's steadfast, generous, faithful love and kindness. God forgives because of his khesed - it's who God is. He is loyal because of his khesed - that's who God is. God cannot step outside his khesed - it is his covenant to us, his children.

There are too many verses to quote that refer to God's khesed, but you will know them well and I am quite sure that, if you were asked for a favourite verse from the Bible, you might quote one of them. 'I have loved you with an everlasting love' (Jeremiah 31:3). 'My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed' (Isaiah 54:10). 'Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments' (Deuteronomy 7:9). 

So, if God is consistently, undeniably steadfast, faithful and kind to us in love, what is our faithful response? I would suggest our response is to love, obey and serve him supremely all our days. 

Of course, there are plenty of people we could cite who evidence this faithful and loving response to our faithful, compassionate God - George Müller, Susannah Wesley, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, St Francis of Assisi, Thomas Merton, William and Catherine Booth, Phoebe Palmer, Joy Hixon... Who? Oh, that's my mum! You see, it's not only those whose names have gone down in history books around the world: God's covenant of his faithful, generous love and kindness is for ordinary people like you, me and my mum. We need to consider our response to his covenant and what our daily lives look like as we do so.

My mum sadly died very unexpectedly during the Covid-19 restrictions in October 2020 and was therefore not able to have the funeral her life really deserved - we were limited to 30 people in total. Somehow, we overlooked writing a tribute for Salvationist. I can't take the liberty of writing her tribute now, but my mind turned to her when I started writing about God's covenant and our faithful response. 

You see, I know for sure that she personally experienced the khesed of God, the promise of his generous and steadfast love and kindness, and her faithful response was to show unconditional love and dedication to others through faithful prayer and practical service. 

She was an evangelist and introduced many people to the Kingdom of God. She was a committed intercessor, a gifted fundraiser and offered pastoral care to many. This was her faithful response and how she lived in God's covenant.

It is in knowing and personally experiencing the promise of God's steadfast, faithful love - his khesed - that compels a response from us. It is the promise of his khesed that enables us to flourish, to find fullness of life with Jesus, to have the confidence to proceed in life when the way ahead seems perilous. God's promise of his faithful, steadfast love enables us to navigate a path through the difficulties of life, through heartbreak, disappointment, grief, loneliness and illness, and also through moments of joy and celebration. 

Our response can be one of gratitude to God at all times as we join with the psalmist in saying: 'Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever' (Psalm 106:1). His khesed is everlasting.

At the beginning of this new year, I encourage you to reflect on God's covenant to you - his eternal promise of faithful, steadfast, generous love and kindness - and then consider what your response will be. What will living in God's covenant look like? How will your response be evident? Will it affect the way you have or receive those difficult conversations? 

Will it affect the way you manage your finances? Will it be evident in the way you love your family? Will it affect the way you listen to and try to understand others? Will it affect what you prioritise and how you spend your time? Will it be evident in your giving, your social media interactions and your relationships?

God's promises are eternal and do not depend on our response - he will go on loving us generously and faithfully whatever we do or say. But you may want to consider your response to his loving kindness and allow it to influence your intentions in 2024.

Written by

A photo of Commissioner Jenine Main

Commissioner Jenine Main

Territorial Leader

Discover more

Commit the year ahead to God and live in covenant with him.

Join us in welcoming the new UKI territorial leaders.

Highlights from Salvationist Radio's Sunday Worship.

Explore our latest resources.

Related tags