Sometimes we forget that this, everything seen and unseen, all belongs to the Ancient of Days! This is His, He created it and because of this, He can do with it what He pleases. The same way we can do what we like with anything we have made, so can He. We have all rights to anything that our hands have created or our minds have spun. We would not expect anything less than complete control and neither does He. For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof 1 Corinthians 10:26. How blessed are we without even a single acknowledgement to the Creator! He is GOD. I mean really think about that statement. This being who is beyond our natural ability to comprehend decided to be a good, just, loving God! He has rules of course but then doesn’t the world? We live by rules everyday and if we break them, we will be held accountable. This is the same for God.
Sin is a word that means the breaking of God’s laws. The first four are about loving and honoring God, the last six are about loving others as yourself. This law was further simplified by Jesus in Matthew. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40 KJV. Lets take a quick look at this law God gave us. In the Bible it can first be found in Exodus 20:3-17.
#1: You shall have no other gods before me; Just put God first. Don’t replace Him with anyone or anything else. Deities are anything we allow to rule over us: “gods” from other religions, superstitions, horoscopes, bad habits or addictions (as I fight with cigarettes… yeah this one stung for me) friends or family, heroes, desire for money, fame or power.
#2: You shall not make for yourself an idol; Put your faith in God alone. Worshiping or serving any man-made thing that is thought to have supernatural power: statues of gods or things (yes, this includes pictures of Jesus or the cross or other things in the christian faith. There are no pictures of Jesus and He has long since grown up and He is not on the cross anymore.) crystals, jewelry, amulets, charms, a rabbit’s foot, or objects thought to have power or good luck.
#3: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God; I was once asked if I would use my mothers name as a curse word to which I of course said no. Neither should we use God’s name like this or with little to no respect. His name is powerful and raised the dead, caused the blind to see, made the lame to walk. Be respectful with the name of the Almighty. Never swear by it, or use it out of place or in carelessness. He is God and therefore requires our humble respect.
#4: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy; In the days of Jesus the religious leaders of the day made this law a burden to the people. Jesus told them that the sabbath was made for man not man for the sabbath Mark 2:27. We are allowed to do good. This law for some reason has come under so much scrutiny by so many. I know we are not supposed to hold it against others for the day they worship on but this day is supposed to be holy. Acknowledge that the Lord God set this day aside for us to rest.
These are the ones that Jesus spoke of when He said to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. If you love God and respect Him as Lord over all, these are not a burden but a blessing. We are not tied to anything but Him. Gone are the days of sacrifice, even to Him, We can’t lose Him like we could say a rabbit’s foot (which does not seem to hold much luck for the rabbit.) or a charm. We are told to rest and keep the Sabbath holy, I fail to see how this is a burden. As for myself, I am unsure exactly what number four truly means but a day of rest and reflection towards God are my aim for now.
#5: Honor your father and your mother; this is the first commandment with promise. He tells us that our days will be long on the earth for doing so. This is no light promise. Our parents, like them or not, have done a lot for us. They have cared for us and sacrificed a life of their own to do so. We owe them our gratitude. Over the years I have learned that without the ability to submit to our parents, we greatly hinder our walk with the Lord. We have to learn to submit to Him without practice and that is hard.
#6: You shall not murder; I know, I know, God killed people all the time. As I said above this is His creation, like it or not, and He can do with it what He likes. Also there is a vast difference between killing and murder. I know for me, God set up authorities and judges and rulers to deal with this on an earthly level. Wrong is wrong, sin is sin and I don’t envy them. If not done in a godly manner, they answer to the Almighty and that is a totally different kind of Judge.
#7: You shall not commit adultery; Respect your spouse. Period. The Bible tells us that we are one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain (two), but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Matthew 19:6 KJV. Your body is not your own once you get married. You belong to your husband and he to you. The Lord Jesus said it was wrong to even look upon another with lust. This includes movies, magazines, pictures, and the like. Keep your mind and your heart pure before God and your spouse.
#8: You shall not steal; Seems simple enough, don’t take things that don’t belong to you. However this includes things like downloading things like music and movies from unauthorized sources, taking things from your workplace or school, or using media or writings from others without their permission. Today we call that plagiarism and it’s a very serious offence in the eyes of God and the world. (finally a place man and God agree!) Besides if we steal, that is not relying on the Lord to provide, that you telling Him that He is not working fast enough. That you will “do it yourself”. Life is not a diy project, it’s a God project!
#9: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor; Be trustworthy. Don’t lie about your neighbor in any way. Keep your promises. Don’t gossip about others. Someone once told me that this is the same as murder and I laughed. They then explained to me that if we gossip about someone we are killing them or their reputation in the mind of whoever we are talking to. Ouch! I had never thought of it that way.
#10: You shall not covet… anything that is your neighbors; Be happy with what you have, take care of it, be a good care-taker of the gifts God has blessed you with. Don’t desire other peoples homes, cars, job, toys, jewelry, clothes, friends or anything else they may have that you feel envy over. Ask God to give you what you need and desire good character, wisdom and discernment over riches.
These are the ones that Jesus was talking about when He said to love your neighbor as yourself. Your neighbor is anyone other than you, not just the family next door. For my legalistic friends or for those that fear I am leaning towards that, I assure you I am not. These are the laws of the Almighty. These are what HE said to do. I understand that we are not under the law and under the New Covenant. However, If you love God and your neighbor as yourself, you will do these things anyways. So I fail to see how this is legalism. This is the moral law that God said He would write on our hearts.
For all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 KJV. None of us have kept His law and if we are honest about it, none of us had a person twisting our arm to do so. Like I have said before, we do this because it is how we are. And you hath he quickened (wake up or stimulate), who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:1-3 KJV. We as Christians once belonged to this world and are no different. But God! He loves us so much that He sent is only begotten son to die for us. We, as believers are set free of this and are free to love the Lord. As unbelievers, the same is true for you, just realize that this is a free gift. God came down and became His creation to save mankind. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. John 12:47 KJV.
How many times during the course of the day do we take for granted the amount of kindness the Lord showers upon us? I know for me, sometimes I forget just how kind He is towards my family. How I take for granted so many things. After all we did not create ourselves, therefore the air in our lungs is not ours but the Lords! Blessing number one. The ability to see, to see color, to see without help… blessing, blessing, blessing! I have two perfect hands, to perfect feet, two perfect legs, my body is healthy and I have the ability to do whatever makes me happy. which has turned into whatever makes the Almighty happy. Endless blessings in this alone and yet the list continues. I ate today, I drank clean water, I played with my children, I listened to music and the word of God with my two ears. I sat in my cool home on my clean bed covered with blankets and pillows. I don’t say this to boast, rather to my shame and the glory of God. I could go on but you get my point. All of this is the Lords. How often we forget to count our blessings and stop all the complaining. There are those that are not so blessed and they are all around us.
This made me think about grace and what it means. Grace is an undeserved favor that is given without holding back. I don’t think words were made that can adequately describe the goodness of the Lord! Our minds can’t comprehend what this even looks like on a God level. It is a supernatural favor that we ourselves don’t have the ability to give on the same level as the Almighty. I love my family but I can hold on to things that need to just be buried and tossed to the wind! We often say things like I am trying to forgive or I dish out what others deserve. I am so very glad that the God of everything does not look at me and think the same way! “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return to me; for I have redeemed thee.” Isaiah 44:22 KJV. The NIV says it a little differently; “I have swept away your offences like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
I am in everlasting amazement that the Lord of all decided that we are worth redeeming! Why, you might ask, would He want us if we are that bad? Because He loves us! He loves us because He loves us. There is no reason besides that. He created us to love and to be loved by Him. We are His pearls of great price, His bride, His beloved! Indeed, He paid a heavy price for you and me. He lived a sinless life, He never broke any of the laws he had set out and then suffered a terrible, shameful punishment and death on our behalf! He suffered for our wrongs against the Ancient of Days, not His own. He died a sinners death but God raised Him from the dead and this promise has been given to us. Take time today to thank God for being the God that He is and not the God we deserve. How many of us, even as Christians, treat others poorly because they have wronged us?