So you shall observe to do just as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left. You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.
I like commandments with promises. Like, the Fourth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother so that it will be well with you and your days will be long on the earth.
I like it when God tells us the consequences of doing something, whether right or wrong. He doesn't have to. He's God. He could use that most annoying of all reasons: Because I said so. Sometimes He does. But sometimes, He gives us a reason, and I think He does it to soften the blow.
Fact is, following God's commands is hard. Not that the commands are particularly difficult most of the time, but they tend to go against our own desires.
Don't steal (yeah, but I want it).
Don't lie (yeah, but I'll get in trouble if I tell the truth).
Don't murder (but, he's really annoying).
I'm using some of the Big Ten as illustrations here. God gave lots of commands. Fortunately, Jesus boiled them down to two.
1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and
2) Love your neighbor as yourself.
Boy howdy, even those two aren't easy. My sin nature wants to put itself first all the time. It's all about me. Except it's not. God is all about the other guy. This comes up again and again in the Bible, how the real neighbor goes out of his way to do the right thing for the other guy, even if it means taking the hit himself.
I'm a ridiculously selfish person. My faithful readers may have a sense of that, but you really have no idea how truly selfish I am. I do not find it easy to follow those two commandments Jesus gave. I am trying, though. I'll be trying the rest of my life.
I'm just glad He gave me some reasons to keep in mind as I try.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
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