"Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”
I was recently privy to a lecture concerning the 10 commandments. The general theme was the importance of following God's original laws. The orator stressed that life just seems to fall into place if you do. "Are you a part time Christian?" he asked.
"Of course not," I contemplated and immediately counted off how many Commandments I could remember off hand. Funny, despite my intense faith, I could not recount each one effectively. Yet, these are God's governing laws imposed to make our lives easier to follow. How could I be so neglectful of such an important component in the Bible? These commandments have no compromise, no personal adjustment to fulfill my own needs. God clearly states that if you follow his commandments and hand them down to your children, "you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time." Let's become familiar together again:
The Ten Commandments
Exodus 20 1-17
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."
1. 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.
2. 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.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 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. For min 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.
5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land
that the Lord your God is giving you.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. 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.”
As I look through the list, I notice that many are moral principles I value highly today. Yet, there are a few that I need to work on. What areas do you slip under the rug and avoid by being a part-time Christian? Note the most important fact of adhering to these basic principals keep us mentally healthy and guilt free. They were established to keep us feeling whole, and full of peace and trust throughout our days. The sad part is, we irrevocably decide what areas we will and will not follow and wonder why we are not happy most days. Why we feel our lives are being unfulfilled? Go back up and check that list again. Then decide what commandments are not followed wholeheartedly and get to work on changing your views right now.
1. Do you covet your neighbor’s things? Are you constantly keeping up "with the Joneses?" Wondering why God has not blessed you with the same? Work on this issue and realize you are right here, right now, where you are supposed to be. God has never left your plan unattended in his hands. You can't see inside closed doors. There may be issues in that house you are unaware of.
2. Are you honest with your co-workers and acquaintances despite how you feel? Honesty is the best policy and bearing false witnesses by lying can come around and bite you.
3. Have you ever taken what is not yours? God does not define stealing as what is deserved. Stealing is stealing no matter what form it takes.
4. Do not commit adultery. There is no flexibility on your feelings and well-being here. We ultimately find ourselves spun out of control when we do and dragging those we love into our tangled web.
5. Honor your father and mother. Do you call and keep in touch with your parents? Now is the time to commit.
6. Keep holy the Sabbath day. Go to church. Gather with other
Christians. God planned not just the building as important, but the fact that we
gather together in his name no matter where it is. There is strength in numbers.
7. Do not take God's name in vain. JUST DON'T!