Two robbers…

Two thieves with Jesus

Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,
    and He will divide the spoils with the strong,
because He poured out His life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For He bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12

Yesterday’s post was entitled, “The thief on a cross…”  but we know that it was not one thief but two – There they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle (John 19:18).”

We also know that both men were guilty of transgressing the Roman government for  Isaiah 53:12 (above) declares that Jesus was numbered with the transgressors. This is truth because it is a statement from God. These men transgressed the law.

We also know that the guilt of the transgressors was completely opposite, so unlike, Jesus for He never transgressed anyone, the law, or God. In fact, He is God. God on a cross. He is absolutely Holy, Righteous, Pure, Perfect, Sinless. This Great and Awesome God so desired to identify with man that He has come to rescue him and He willingly bears the shame of hanging among the transgressors.

Both men were robbers and both joined the others in heaping insults on Jesus. One would think that they would so concerned about their own condition that they would not be caught up in the crucifixion of Jesus. Perhaps they thought they would gain some type favor with the Romans by taking part. We don’t know.

We are not told the specific nature of the crimes these men committed but it must have been far greater than petty since they are hanging on a cross.

38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. 39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. Matthew 27

So here we are at the take-away again. The moment of the so what…what do I take from this portion of the story that will grow my relationship with this same Jesus who was willing to bear shame to identify with me and my condition as He gave His life for me? Selah!

It would be easy to quickly say that I am no thief, never stole anything from anyone. I cannot relate. But there is a need to move from the obvious to ask a more meaningful question, have I ever robbed God or am I robbing Him even now? I believe this to be an important question for all mankind is at the Cross of Calvary.

The easy one is from Malachi 3:8, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” But there are other ways of robbing God so let’s begin a list below:

  • Worship and devotion – so many ‘g’od’s today.  The Lord desires that we have no other “g”ods…that would be no one or nothing loved, treasured or valued greater than we do Him. Surely the cross tells that He deserves our love, worship and devotion, that there can be no other ‘g’od, no competition. Jesus and Jesus alone, not Jesus plus anybody or anything. Am I robbing God? Exodus 20:3, Matthew 22:37-38, Romans 1:25
  • Love – Is it possible to not love the One who first loved us and proved it at the Cross giving us redemption and forgiveness? Does my life demonstrate my love…with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength? Am I robbing God? 1 John 4:19, Luke 10:27, John 14:15, 1 John 5:3
  • Fellowship, communion, pray – we are a busy, busy society with time for everyone and everything but God. He created us for Himself and yet in our busyness is it possible that we do not have time to spend with Him in fellowship, communion, prayer…to behold His beauty, to hear His voice, to know His touch? Am I robbing God? Luke 10:39-42; Psalm 27:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • Praise – The LORD is Creator, Redeemer, I AM, Sovereign, the Giver of Salvation. We live, move, and have our being in Him. He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory…we know this. Is it possible that we sometimes we manage to praise ourselves, our children, pocketbooks, intellect, possessions and connections more than Him. Am I robbing God? Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 45:5-6, Hebrews 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3
  • Service – Our God has given us so many gifts, talents, and skills. We use them in our daily lives but am I being careful to use them for the cause of Christ and the building of His Kingdom? Jesus said “to whom much is given, much is required.” Am I robbing God? Luke 12:48, Matthew 25:14-30, Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:6-8
  • Time – Am I giving my Savior more than the quick prayer in the car on the way to work? Am I taking time to encourage and serve others? Do I have quiet time with Him each day? Am I robbing God? Mark 6:30-32, Ephesians 5:15-17, Colossians 4:5
  • Obedience – My love should be for God should be proven in obedience, demonstration of faith and trust…am I robbing God? Mark 12:30, Psalm 18:30, 1 Samuel 15:22
  • Growth – Am I coming to the feet of Jesus that I would grow in His grace and Word so I could know Him in greater ways and He could use me in greater things in His Kingdom?  Am I robbing God? John 17:3, Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:12, 2 Peter 3:18
  • Glory – Am I robbing God of His glory and trying to establish my own? Isaiah 42:8, Ephesians 6:11-14

Certainly there are more ways to rob God than listed above and the Scripture listing could go on and on…but I believe the Lord would have so love Him and so express our gratitude by not robbing Him of the what He endured shame, brutality, shedding of blood and life to give Him. May He strengthen us by His Spirit and Word that we would be found faithful.

We will continue with the robbers on tomorrow. Bless you today!

John 4.23-24

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Speak truth

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“Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16

We understand this command to be given in the Old Testament and in regards to untruthful testimony in the court. Even as I type this, I smile at the thought of the many who place their hands on a Bible that they do not believe in and swear to tell the truth.

I was getting side tracked. 🙂 The point is that this command has application for today. “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (Colossians 3:9-10).” Yes, it would include court testimony but also slander, gossip, idle talk, false accusations, deliberate exaggerations, etc.

These are interesting times in which we live. A time when people are making a turn from God’s moral laws to laws created by self and endorsed by others (as long as they do not effect me). Truth is relative to people and circumstances. It certainly helps me to understand why the all-wise God knew that we need moral laws.

My, my, my…we live in a time when lies, deceit, excuses, and the new one – alternative facts abound! Please don’t misunderstand, this is not a political comment, although it is very much true in today’s political arena. As I meditated on it, in many cases, the reason or purpose of the lie, deceit, excuse, alternative fact usually routes back to self. This helps us to understand that lies and deceit can be harmful to not only ourselves but our family, neighbors, community, churches and the world. Jesus told us in Matthew 5, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

We will do well to embrace this command, let’s remember that the Lord has told us that He delights in truth in the inward being (Psalm 51:6).” When the inward being is one of truth, the outward will be as well. Perhaps this says to us that if any part of us is a habitual, practiced false testimony, lie, deceit- we need to spend more time in the Word and prayer to seek a deeper, more personal and intimate relationship with the Lord that bears the fruit of righteousness, both in position (the cross) and practice (how we live these new lives Jesus died to give us to His glory). 

“You must not pass along false rumors. You must not cooperate with evil people by lying on the witness stand. Exodus 23:1

Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool. Proverbs 10:18

An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies. Proverbs 12:17

 A false witness will not go unpunished, and a liar will be destroyed. Proverbs 19:9

Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them. Proverbs 2:28

They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:2

Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. James 4:11

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 1 Peter 2:1

16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
    feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
    a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6:16-19

 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:25

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We are not to steal

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“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15

It would be so easy to skip over this one and declare that I have never stole anything from anyone. Just thought I would list a couple of things to help us understand that to correctly examine ourselves, we would did the Holy Spirit’s help in thinking deeper than breaking into someone’s home. May we be mindful that Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17). God says stealing is wrong and that we believe God got it wrong when He did not give what we steal to us.

May God help us to guard our obedience and devotion to Him in regards to stealing in the following areas:

  • Taxes
  • Unpaid debts/loans
  • Tithes
  • Work time
  • Relational fellowship for gadgets
  • Incorrect change, not returned
  • Business deals
  • Business overcharging
  • Office supplies
  • Reputations
  • Time with God for selfish pleasure
  • Blessings that should be passed to help others but kept for ourselves
  • Etc.

The Word of God:

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Ephesians 4:28

 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”  We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11

 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. Malachi 3:8

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

So when we do not honor what belongs to others, we are more like our enemy than our God. May God help us to see all things through His eyes and Word.

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Honor human life

 

exodus-20-13“You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:13 NIV

In this command, God speaks to the sacredness of life and our responsibility to be mindful that every man is an image bearer of God. 

“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
    by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in His own image.” Genesis 9:6

In early years, this text was translated to say “Thy shall not kill.” Most modern translators agree that the correct translation is murder. It is important because The Jews were allowed to defend themselves (Exodus 22:2) and accidental death was addressed separately as well (Exodus 21:12-14).

The Word of God:

 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10

So I expect that some are you are expecting a great discourse on abortion or the senseless violence that we see in our nation every day…and rightfully so, BUT if you are expecting this, you already know truth. Sssooo…let me ask another question. Have you ever murdered someone with your mouth (gossip)? Or in your heart (anger, hate, jealousy)? 

“After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.” Jeremiah 31:19

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:7-10

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Honor your dad and mom

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Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Exodus 20:12

Remember, one of the Pharisee tested Jesus by asking:

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.”
We have looked discussed the first and greatest command. Today, we begin to look at the second greatest command. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

The Lord begins with the foundation of loving our parents and authority. God expects His children to love others and that it be proven out in how we respect and treat one another. My, my, my…as God has granted knowledge and the life expectancy to extend, it seems that as a society as we have become so self-centered and focused that for some this commandment has been put to the side.

Isn’t it something how we know the application of this verse so well when we are the parents and we relate it to our children…”children are to honor their parents.” But as our parents age and have greater needs, for some, it slips by us that God has commanded that children are to honor and respect our parents.

My granddad use to say as he aged – “once a man, twice a child.” He was speaking of his own recognition that he was aging and his need for help. My aunt loved, honored, and respected him so much that she brought him into her home and cared for him until the age of 96. She was able to do this in his old age because she loved, honored, and respected him in the early years and all the years between. We can’t all bring our parents home but we can all love, honor, respect and watch over their care and spend time in fellowship with them no matter where they reside.  It should be a lifetime of love, honor, and respect demonstrated with action.

It is one of those times that we will let the Scriptures speak to show us how seriously God took this command in the Old Testament:

Exodus 21:15, 17, “Anyone who attacks their father or mother is to be put to death. “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.”

Leviticus 19:3, 32, “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God….“‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

Deuterontomy 27:16, “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Proverbs 1:8, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 20:20, “If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.”

Proverbs 23:22, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”

Proverbs 30:17, “The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions
will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.”

From the lips of Jesus:

For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matthew 15:4-9

“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” Mark 7:9-12

And Paul:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”  Ephesians 6:1-3

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return.”
Galatians 6:7

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Loving God with ALL

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20 And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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 or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of 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. Exodus 20:1-7

37 And He [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

The Lord begins the Ten Commandments by reminding the people that He is God and that He has the authority to give these commandments. In fact, He repeats “the Lord your God” five times (vs. 3, 5, 7, 10, 12). These commandments were to help the Israelites know and understand how they were to love God with ALL…just some thoughts:

  • There are to be no other “g”ods…that would be no one or nothing loved, treasured or valued greater that the Lord whether it was a hand-carved idol or the image of creation or something on earth. No false gods, period. There is an entire listing that is appropriate for today…possessions, money, intellect, self, status, etc. the list of what is treasured more than the One True and Living God is far greater than I could list here.
  • The Israelites were not to bow down to them or serve them, nor are we. In 1 John 5:21, the Lord speaks, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” I believe this important to understand in this day and time when the enemy has sown the lie that we can love and worship Jesus and an idol. The enemy really doesn’t care which idol we choose as long as it is one that keeps us from loving the Lord with ALL. The Lord speaks to say, No other gods for I Am the Lord your God and I am jealous for you (Exodus 34:14). Please note, not “of you” but “for you.” I love you so much that I will not share you with an idol who cannot be compared to Me and can do nothing for you. God is our Creator, Deliverer, Rescuer, Redeemer and Savior! Surely, He deserves an exclusive relationship!
  • In verse 5b, the Lord is not saying that the children will punished for their parents sins (Ezekiel 18:4) but that the sins of the parents will impact the lives of their children. This will cause the children to sin and be punished. On the other hand, the right relationship with God, serving no other god, loving God with ALL will lead the children into blessings (John 14:23; John 3:36; 1 Timothy 4:8). Choices have consequences…we should make choices with the view of blessing our children instead of passing on the spirit of disobedience and rebellion.
  • The Lord is Great and greatly to be praised (Psalm 145:3). God is Great and greatly to be honored. We are to honor the Name of the Lord in all we say and do. The Name of the Lord encompasses His total being, His character and nature. The Israelites were to bring honor to His Name rather than throwing His Name around loosely in any kind of way: cursing, swearing, absent-minded invoking of this Name, promises made in His Name and then not kept. Jesus taught the disciples to begin prayer by hallowing the Name of the Lord (Matthew 6:9). Philippians tells us the honor that is due:  Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

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Wisdom Wednesday

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Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and the Lord continues to speak in regards to His commands. I pray you will be blessed and encouraged by the following Scriptures and quotes. Blessed is the Name of the Lord!

the-commandments-1 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:2-4the-commandments-2

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13the-commandments-4Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. Psalm 119:129
the-commandments-5

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love. 2 John 1:6

the-commandments-6I delight to do your will, O my God;
    Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8the-commandments-7“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17the-commandments-9“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19

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but My Words will not pass away

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As we have stated before, the ceremonial/sacrificial system was fulfilled by Jesus:

“First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Hebrews 10:8-12

Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

God remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever…the moral law remains intact. Man’s intellect, wisdom, self-will, self-interest expressed in rebellion will never change this truth.

 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

A careful reading of the New Testament will help those who want to discount the Old Testament to know that nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. The exception is the Sabbath Day but the principle regarding rest remains intact, we will discuss later.

We are saved by grace through faith into a new and abundant life. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” No longer enslaved to sin but set free to live for Christ as a display of His glory. It is our blessing to be reminded of at least a couple of things Jesus spoke in regards to the commandments:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

“Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” John 14:21

“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” John 14:23-24

“If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.” John 15:10

and from John:

“By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.”
1 John 2:3

For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). 1 John 5:3

“And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love.” 2 John 1:6

 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

The Ten Commandments helps us to see and know the character and nature of the True and Living God and His great love, grace, and mercy. The Commandments will also show us His expectations of just how we live out the new lives He has given us! It is our privilege, the overflow of our love is our obedience.

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The commandments of the Lord

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Blessings today! The last time we saw Moses and the Israelites, they were at the foot of Mount Sinai: “There was loud thunder, a very loud trumpet blast, lightning flashing, fire, a thick cloud which brought darkness, and billowing smoke like from a furnace…” and the whole mountain trembled violently” as the Most High God of the universe made His presence known. Moses spoke to God and the voice of God answered him. The Presence of God on the mountain to a people He has rescued, delivered, and chosen for Himself! WOW! Selah!” Only Moses and Aaron could come up the mountain. 

Exodus 19:25, “So Moses went down to the people and told them.”

Today, we read Exodus 20 as we ask God to speak to our hearts today and in future posts on this chapter. May God ever bless you as we journey in His Word together.

The Ten Commandments

2And God spoke all these words, saying,

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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 or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of 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.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

Laws About Altars

22 And the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it. 26 And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.’

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To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord

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“So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.” Exodus 19:7-8

So remember the Lord presented a covenant before the people in verses 5, “if you will obey…then you shall be.”

The people enthusiastically promised with one voice, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do (verse 8).” It is a vow that we hear them repeat in Exodus 24:3 and 7.

 When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” Exodus 24:3

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”

I will not question their sincerity for only God truly knows the heart of any man BUT I will look to Deuteronomy  5:27-29

“Go near and hear all that the Lord our God will say, and speak to us all that the Lord our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it.’

28 “And the Lord heard your words, when you spoke to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. 29 Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!”

In theses verses, we heard God’s heart for the people He has chosen and His desire that they delight in His Word. We no longer live under the Mosaic law:

For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14).”

For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written: Everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law is cursed. 11 Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. 12 But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.” Galatians 3:10-13

Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! Selah!

But this is one of those ‘don’t get it twisted’ times. As believers in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we rejoice to know that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” BUT please know that the moral law is still in effect. We are to abide in the Word of God, the commands given in the New Testament. It is called the abundant life. There are many passages I could point to but the following is the one that God brings to my heart right now – Galatians 5:

16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law…22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. 26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

“When God “chooses” a person for His purposes, He does so according to the person’s heart! The person must have a loyal heart full of trust and faith. God must have a person who loves Him “with all [the] heart, with all [the] soul, and with all [the] strength” (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37). 

Listen carefully. Recognizing God is not the same as coming to Him. Hearing God in your heart is not the same as answering. Working for the kingdom of God does not mean living in the kingdom of God. Christianity is not believing the truths of the Bible; it’s acting upon them and allowing God control of your life. You must respond to God and make the choice to interact personally with Him. Henry T. Blackaby 

“If Christians around the world were to suddenly renounce their personal agendas, their life goals and their aspirations, and begin responding in radical obedience to everything God showed them. the world would be turned upside down. How do we know? Because that’s what first century Christians did, and the world is still talking about it.”  ― Henry T. Blackaby

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To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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