Tender Commandments Introduction

When you marvel at all of creation and study even a little science or physics, it is easy to see there had to be a creator of the universe with far more knowledge than even the most intelligent human. One of the most amazing of God’s attributes is His omniscience. This means He is all-knowing. He not only understands all the complexities of science and physics, He created them. The same applies to every other discipline of study and activity. In speaking of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, Paul says, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).”

And, the Creator of the Universe knows all about each of us individually. King David said, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways (Psalm 139:1-3, NIV).”

Wouldn’t it also make sense that the infinitely knowledgeable Creator would know the best way for us to live? Wouldn’t it make sense that if He demands that we love Him with all our heart, mind and soul (Matthew 22:37) that He would give us instructions on how to do that? If His second greatest demand was for us to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39), wouldn’t it make sense that he would show us how to love them?

In my upcoming book titled “In The Image Of God,” there will be sections that explain how we can all love God with all our heart, mind and soul and how we can love our neighbors as we love ourselves by purposefully living our life with the attitudes and actions Jesus taught through the Beatitudes and Ten Commandments.

In the next the blog posts, I will give you a sneak peek at the book sections for the Ten Commandments. The first 4 of the Ten Commandments show how to love God with all our heart, mind and soul. The remaining 6 commandments show how to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

An often asked question is, if Jesus’ death and resurrection cleanses us from all our past, present and future sins and if there is no way for us to fully obey the intent of the commandments, why should we concern ourselves with them?

One reason to be concerned about following God’s commandments is over concern for our nation and even our world. Last week, I held our newborn granddaughter when she was only a couple of hours old. I did not have children of my own, so this was the first time I’ve held a baby who was that young. It was wonderful. Like I do with the rest of my grandchildren, I imagined the life we’ll have together as my wife Jennifer and I help her grow.

Later in the week, as I read the national news, a shadow of darkness and gloom tainted the dreams I have for my grandchildren’s future. Angry, and I suspect Godless, protestors were burning the American flag. Liberal senate members berated the president’s supreme court nominee because of his affiliation to a Christian denomination. They believe his decisions will be swayed by his faith convictions. In their opinion, there is no room for God in government affairs or in the judicial branch. Who do they think created them?

I believe the Bible states just cause for my concern for the future of my grandchildren. God said, “If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 8:19-20 (NIV)).”

Unless there is a major shift back to the God honoring values that shaped this country, the United States can expect to one day cease to be the prosperous land of the free. God promised He will destroy a nation that forgets Him and turns to other gods (Deuteronomy 11:16-17). And, He always keeps His promises.

But, God is “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15, NIV).” If we as a nation carefully observe all of the commands God gave us, “to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him (Deuteronomy 11:22, NIV),” then the Lord will drive out our enemies and bless our nation once again.

Moses reiterated God’s statement very clearly when he wrote, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods … (Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (NIV)).”

Another reason to be concerned about following the Ten Commandments is that following them is a way to express our love to God. God demonstrates his own love for us in that, while we were sinners, He sent His son to die for our sins (Romans 5:8). One small way to express our love back to Him is to understand the intent of His commandments and attempt to live our lives in obedience to them. The apostle John says, “this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith (1 John 5:3-4 (NIV)).”

We should also concern ourselves with the Ten Commandments because of everything God has done for us throughout our lives. Before giving the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, God reminded them what He did for them saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery Exodus 20:2).” In essence, God was saying, before I give you these commandments, I want to tell you how much I love you and only want the best for you. I will do anything for you.

If God were speaking this directly to me, He would say, “I am the Lord your God:

  • Who brought you through a challenging childhood.
  • Who brought you safely out of your rebellious college years.
  • Who did not destroy you when you used sex in the wrong way when you were younger, but brought you to a right understanding of it before I introduced you to your wife.
  • Who sustained you financially when you lost everything and provided work for you to recover.
  • Who is bringing you out of your prideful thoughts so that I, Your God, am glorified through your successes and not you.

What phrases can you use to remind yourself how God brought you out of a difficult situation to remind you why you should understand and attempt to obey the Ten Commandments?

Remembering all those times when God brought you out of difficult situations should give you a better understanding of how much He truly loves you. He could have let them destroy you. He didn’t because He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Because of this, He wants you to make Him your only God and follow His commandments. It’s for your own good that He should be your only God.

You won’t be able to fully obey the essence of the Ten Commandments all the time. While God desires for you to live a righteous life, Satan, the thief desires for you to fall. The gospel of John says that Satan, “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” But, Jesus has come that you may have life to the full (John 10:10).

It is my prayer that future blogs on each of the Ten Commandments will open up new ways for you to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbors as you love yourself.

 

 

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