Wesley Covenant Renewal

Wesley Covenant Renewal

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PROCLAMATION

Dearly loved brothers and sisters, the Christian life is a life found in Christ, redeemed from sin, and made holy and blessed by God. We are those who have entered into this life and have been admitted into the new covenant of Jesus Christ. He is the Mediator of this covenant. He sealed it with his own blood so it would last forever.
On one side of this covenant stands God. God promises to give us new life in Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith. Every day God proves his goodness and grace to us, showing us that his promise still stands firm.

On the other side stand us. We stand as those who promise to no longer live life for ourselves but instead to only live for Jesus Christ because he has loved us and given his life for us.

There are times in our lives when it is important for us to remember and reaffirm our promises and vows. In this same way, we come today to renew our covenant with God. Many generations have done this before us. Today we make the covenant our own, renewing with both joy and sincerity the covenant that binds us all to God.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION & WORDS OF ASSURANCE

We are those who seek to live as true disciples of Jesus Christ, but sometimes
we fall short. Let us now examine ourselves before God, humbly confessing
our sins and submitting our hearts so that we do not deceive ourselves and
cut ourselves away from God. Therefore, let us pray:

Father God, you have set forth the way of life through your Son
Jesus Christ, whom you love dearly. We shamefully confess that we

have been slow to learn of him and have been reluctant to follow
him. You have spoken and called to us, but we have not listened.
You have revealed your beauty to us, but we have been blind. You
have stretched out your hands to us through our friends, but we
have passed by them. We have accepted your gifts and offered
little thanks. We are unworthy of your unchanging love.

Please forgive us for the poverty of our worship….for the selfishness of our
prayers….for our inconsistency and unbelief….for the ways we neglect
fellowship and your grace….for our hesitation to tell others about Christ….for
the ways we deceive others.

Forgive us for when we waste time and when we misuse the gifts
you have given us. Forgive us for when we have made excuses for
the wrong things we have done and when we have purposefully
avoided responsibility.

Forgive us that we have been unwilling to overcome evil with good and that
we have not been ready to carry our cross. Forgive us that we have not
allowed your love to work through us to help others and that we have not
made their suffering our own. Forgive us for those times when instead of
working for unity we made it hard for others to live with us because of our
lack of forgiveness, inconsiderate judgment, and quick criticism.

Forgive us for when we have not tried to reconcile with others and
when we have been slow to seek redemption.

Forgive us also for these sins that we silently confess to you now….
God, the Father of all mercies, is faithful to cleanse us from our sins and
restore us to Christ’s image. Praise and glory be to God through Jesus Christ
our Lord! Amen.

INVITATION

Let us who are gathered before the Lord now in covenant commit ourselves
to Christ as his servants. Let us willingly give ourselves to him so that we
may fully belong to him.

Jesus Christ has called each us to serve him in our world in one capacity or
another. Some of these services are easy and honorable, but some are
difficult and outrageous. Some line up with our personal desires and
interests, others are contrary to both. In some we please both Christ and
ourselves; but then there are other works where we cannot please Christ
except by denying ourselves and doing the work despite our feelings.
Therefore, Jesus, we offer you this prayer:

Let me be your servant, let me follow your commands.
I will no longer follow my own desires.
I will give myself completely to your will in all aspects of life.

The power and strength to live as true servants is given to us in Christ. We
accept the place and work that he gives us, acknowledging that he alone will
be our reward.

Lord, I am not my own.
I am Yours alone.
Make me into what you will.
Rank me with those you will.
Put me to use for you. Put me to suffering for you.
Let me be employed for you. Let me be laid aside for you.
Let me be lifted high for you. Let me be brought low for you.
Let me be full or let me be empty.
Let me have all things or let me have nothing.

With a willing heart, I freely give everything to your pleasure and
disposal.

Christ is Savior to those who are his true servants. He is the source of all
salvation to those who obey. To be his servant is to consent fully to his will.
Christ accepts nothing less. Christ will be all in all, or he will be nothing.

Now confirm this truth in holy covenant. Make it a reality in your life in these
three ways:

First, set apart time in your day, more than once, to be spent alone with the
Lord. Seek to perceive God’s special care for you and gracious acceptance of
you. Carefully think through the words of this covenant and its conditions.
Examine your heart, even if you have freely given your life to Christ. Name
the sins in your life. Reflect on whether you are willing to choose Christ’s holy
laws and strict commands. Be sure you are clear in all of these, so you do not
lie to God!

Second, uphold a serious spirit of holy awe and reverence. (In the Bible, this
is called “fear of the Lord”.)

Third, claim God’s covenant. Do not trust in your own strength and power but
rely upon God’s promise of giving grace and strength. In this way, he will
empower you to keep your promise.

Fourth, be determined to be faithful. You have given your heart and life to
God. You have opened your mouth to dedicate yourself to the Lord. With
God’s power, never go back to your former way of living.

And last, be prepared to renew your covenant with God. Fall on your knees.
Lift your hands. Open your hearts.

COVENANT PRAYER

By God’s grace, and only by God’s grace, let us offer this our covenant prayer
to God:

My righteous God, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, see me
now as I fall down before you. Forgive my unfaithfulness when I
have not done your will. You promise mercy if I turn to you with my
whole heart.

God requires that you rid yourself of every idol in your life.

From the bottom of my heart, I here and now renounce every idol
in my life, covenanting with you that I will not commit any known
sin. By turning against your will, I have turned my love toward the
world. In your power I will watch for any temptation that will lead
me away from you.

Through Jesus Christ, God offers to be your God again, if you allow him to be.

Before all heaven and earth, I here and now acknowledge you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as my Lord and God. I vow to give all
of myself, body, and soul, to be your servant and to serve you in
holiness and righteousness all the days of my life.

Jesus Christ is the only way and means to God. God has given us Jesus as the
way and means to salvation.

Jesus, I here and now accept you and the only new and living Way. I
join myself in covenant with you. I come to you hungry, sinful,
miserable, blind, and naked, unworthy even to wash the feet of
your servants. With all my power, I accept you as my Lord and
Head. I renounce my own unworthiness, and vow that you are the
Lord, my righteousness. I renounce my own wisdom and take you
for my only guide. I renounce my own will and take your will as my
law.

Christ has told you that you must suffer with him.

Jesus, I here and now make this covenant with you and accept
whatever comes in life. Through your grace I promise that neither
life nor death will separate me from you.

God has given holy laws as the rule of your life.

I here and now willingly take on your yoke and burden. All your
laws are holy, just, and good. I accept them as the rule for my
words, thoughts, and actions, promising I will strive to order my
whole life around your direction. I will not allow myself to neglect
anything I know to be my duty.

The Almighty God searches and knows you, even the thoughts of your heart.

O God, you know that we have made this covenant today in
sincerity, without deceit or reluctance. If you find anything false in
us, guide us and help us to set it right. And now, glory be to you,
God the Father. From this day forward, I shall look upon you as my
God and Father. Glory be to you, God the Son. You have loved me
and washed me from my sins in your own blood. From this day
forward, I shall look upon you as my Savior and Redeemer. Glory be
to you, O God the Holy Spirit. By your almighty power, you have
turned my heart from sin to God. From this day forward I shall look
upon you as my Comforter and Guide. O mighty God, Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit, you have now become my Covenant Friend. And I,
through your infinite grace, have become your covenant servant.
You are mine and I am Yours. So be it. May this covenant that I
have made here on earth be ratified in heaven. Amen.

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING

May our God, who establishes covenant relationship with those who seek to
enter the Kingdom, be with you always. May Jesus Christ, who seals the new
covenant with his blood on the cross, bring you peace. May the Holy Spirit
guide your life both now and forever. Go in peace to serve the Lord!

Amen.

You are encouraged to make this covenant not only in your heart, but in
word; not only in word, but in writing. Therefore, with all reverence, lay the
service before the Lord as your act and deed. And when you have done this,
sign it. Then keep it as a reminder of the holy agreement between God and
you that you may remember it during doubts and temptations.

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