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Sovereignty in a List (part 2 of 3)

As Christians, we try to bring God to a "human" level. I guess we do this because, after all, we are human. We often forget, He is not us. Our feeble minds and hearts are not His and our purpose is not to make Him like us but to strive to be more like Him. We were created in His image (not the other way around) with a purpose to fellowship with Him (again, not the other way around) and without Him, life will truly never really make sense. It isn't supposed to. God gave us a choice: we can choose Him or we can choose to be without Him. He loves us either way. However, there are and will be consequences for our actions and the decisions we make.

When Moses delivered the "10 Commandments", he was delivering God's Word for His people. God was showing the true function and beauty of His laws.

Take a moment and read Exodus 20: 2-17: (for the below, I am using the NIV translation)

  • “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery- God wants us to be free. Free from sin - first and foremost. We should be grateful and remember the sovereignty we receive by following and obeying God's Word is a mighty gift; a Gift God gave us.

  • To have no other gods before Him is not merely referring to "gods" such as gods worshipped by others. It also refers to anything we elevate to a level worthy of worship or status of "god." (Money, social media, tv, fame, people, work, etc.) We forget this sometimes. We create "gods" of our own design.

  • To bow down to anything or anyone in worship is to accept "slavery" to it. It can be a thing, person, pleasure, addiction, etc. There is one true God and He is to be the central part of life - from where we draw our identity, meaning and purpose.

  • Taking the Lord's name in vain means "doing evil in God's name." While we, out of reverence should not casually throw out God's name (and we should remember scripture says there is power in the name of Jesus) this commandment means doing evil, bad, horrible, against scripture, leading man astray and doing it under the "guise" of God. God will never command you to do anything that goes against His Word.

  • Rest and peace are gifts from God. As He rested on the 7th day, so He wants you to rest as well. Take one day and rest. Use it to meditate and rejuvenate your mind and your body. It is a day to give back to God (worship) and be thankful. It is a time where you can worship without splitting it with anything else. (remember, if the enemy cannot make you do "bad" he can make you busy.)

  • In honoring our parents (and parents here can also be substituted with "elders") we need to remember there is a difference between loving and honoring. Love is a universal command. Elders (parents) who want their children's love more than honor threatens the family structure. Children become disillusioned that they are "their own boss" and that "their parents are their friends" not their parents (this is also true with older people in general) respect erodes and you start to see a slow erosion in societal constructs.

  • Don't murder - note, there is a difference between murder and killing. Murder as later defined in Scripture, starts in the heart. Harboring hate is actually murder.

  • Don't commit adultery - it isn't just the "act". Again, we learn it is in the heart - if you harbor lust (thoughts, actions, etc.) you have committed adultery. Think how much easier it is now with social media.

  • Don't steal - when we think of stealing, we think of physically taking something that isn't ours. But what about illegally downloading? copyright laws, plagiarism, taking time that isn't ours? There are so many ways we steal.

  • Don't lie - Is there really a "good" lie? Please note the wording here... don't lie against another person - gossip is the worst, especially when it simply isn't true. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.

  • Don't covet - covet is to wish to have what someone else has. It is one thing to admire; covet includes envy with a dash of resentment. Possessions are temporary. Whether you covet their job, their happiness, their car, house, family. The grass is not always greener, my friend.

Now, read what Jesus said in Matthew 22:34-40:

Did Jesus just do away with the 10 Commandments? ABSOLUTELY NOT! He fulfilled them!

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ How can we best accomplish this?

  • Do not forget God freed us (“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery)

  • Putting nothing before God (“You shall have no other gods before me.)

  • Not worshiping false idols (“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them;)

  • Not doing wicked, evil things or leading people astray in the name of God (“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.)

  • Keeping 1 day for rest and proper worship time (Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.)

  • Honor your parents and elders (Honor your father and your mother)

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ How can we best accomplish this?

  • don't murder

  • don't commit adultery

  • don't steal

  • don't lie

  • don't covet

It really is that simple and that easy.

It also goes back to what was mentioned last week... how can we do all those things?

"The Holy Spirit comforts us and guides us. He lives in us. And in as much, gives up hope and courage to endure whatever we face in this world. He also helps us avoid temptation. In all of that, He also endows us with wisdom, knowledge, our spiritual gifts and so much more."

Part of that "so much more" is doing what it takes to understand and live out the Gospel. As such, He helps us, when we need it - and trust me, we do - fulfill Jesus' words. Without Him, we will fail.

Take a moment and ask yourself, do you truly understand the freedom you have in God? Do you comprehend the gift He gave us in the simple 10 statements on a tablet? Do you see the correlation Jesus made and fulfilled (not abolished) when He said what He did? Do you do your best to live them out? Do you call upon the Holy Spirit? If not, why? Do you know if you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you? If not, if you remotely doubt, are you willing and ready to reach out right now with a pure heart and ask Christ to be Lord of your life and receive the Holy Spirit and start your Christian journey? Are you ready for the sovereignty you can and will only find in the one true God? He loves you. He has been waiting for you. He does not care how far you have run; He does not care how far you have strayed; He does not care if you have found yourself having broken every single one of the commands/guidelines above. He simply wants you to reach out to Him - right now - right here. He is ready to forgive you - wipe your slate clean. He has always loved you - He will always love you. He is waiting to extend His love to you and show you a comfort, mercy and grace you so need. Will you turn to Him?

Join us next week as we wrap up this series.

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