We have the Ten Commandments as a guide on how to live our lives and we are to observe these rules God gave us. The group MercyMe has a cute little song that helps us to remember them with the chorus teaching:
And the Lord said
Have no other gods but God
To worship idols just won’t do
Be careful with the way you use God’s name
And keep Sunday special too.
Honor your parents, don’t take any lives.
And when you’re old enough to marry, be true.
Do not steal or lie
Or want those things that don’t belong to you
These are ten simple rules God gave to me and you
Ten simple rules God gave to me and you. Moses explained it this way:
“And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: ‘Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire. I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain. He said: “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” ‘These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.’” (Deuteronomy 5:1-22)
Everything that we need to live a life that is pleasing to God is included in that passage. Oh yes, but Bro Dave it is so hard to keep the commandments daily. Yes, but as I reminded a brother last night and as I am wont to on occasions teaching Sunday school, simple does not mean easy. Simple means you don’t have to be a genius to understand the principles laid out by God. And our Lord was careful to explain the principles in some details to those that might have been a little difficult to understand. But reading these 22 verses from Deuteronomy 5 should clear up any confusion.
The difficult part is living our lives in such a manner.
Now the men who should have clearly understood the simplicity of the Commandments were the ones who made it difficult for the people to the point of an unbearable burden. And having done so they wanted to try to trip up Jesus to discredit our Lord:
“But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’” (Matthew 22:34-40)
The religious leaders in Jesus’ times had taken ten simple rules and turned them into hundreds of legalistic laws and here the Living Word takes the ten simple rules and further simplifies them into two rules. Jesus is telling them that the Old Testament can be summed up in loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.
Why do we try so hard to confuse and confound God’s laws?
It is because we want to excuse our immoral behavior. We want to worship our wallets over Jesus and explain as just providing for our family.
We want to make idols out of our homes, or cars, or boats, or whatever materialistic item we love and explain it as just taking good care with what the Lord’s blessed me.
We want to swear to God, call Him the Big Guy upstairs, call Jesus “J-Man”, and explain that we’re trying to make God and Jesus relevant to a hip word, when we are simply taking His name in vain.
We want to turn Sunday into play day instead of a holy day where our main focus is on the NFL and NASCAR instead of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
We fight and curse with our parents and explain as not dishonoring them but defending oneself and yet God clearly commands us to honor them. And when we don’t we cannot understand why we are falling apart physically and mentally.
We support abortion in cases or rape, incest, or the mother’s life is in jeopardy and then try to defend it as not being murder.
We say we do not commit adultery and yet we look lustfully upon another person and clearly commit adultery in our hearts as Jesus taught.
We find ways to cheat on our taxes or shortchanged a customer and yet we are holy Christians who do not steal.
We say we don’t lie or break the ninth commandment and yet we participate in a juicy piece of gossip, not knowing if it is true or not.
We look at our houses, cars, or even our spouses for that matter and then compare them to our neighbor’s and somehow desire more than what we already have. And yet we swear up and down we do not have a covetous heart.
In MercyMe’s song they sing, “Now the good Lord said, ‘you better listen to me; if you follow these rules, then they will set you free.’”
Dear friend do you want to be set free? Do you want to avoid the Great White Throne of Judgment where Jesus separates the wheat from the chaff? There are two guaranteed ways to get into heaven.
The first is to never break the Ten Commandments; keep all these simple rules all your life without breaking one. In other words you have to live a perfect life.
C’mon Bro Dave you know that’s not true. Yes it is, or at least it was when God created Adam and Eve. But since they sinned the first option is impossible for humans to attain. Nevertheless it is still a guaranteed way into Heaven.
The second option my friend is to accept the sacrificial life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you see your need for a Savior and accept King Jesus as your Lord, then He will save you from your sins. He will also, as a down payment of the promise to return to earth to rule, send the Holy Spirit into your life to help you keep these ten simple rules God gave to me and you.
I am praying for all of you. I am praying that if you are a Christian that you will live a life obedient to Jesus. Please pray for me too.
I am also praying for you if you are not a Christian that you will finally surrender your will and pride and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ; to accept His free will offer of salvation and receive forgiveness, the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, and life everlasting.
May the Lord richly bless you this weekend and please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers