“I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:2-3
Sometimes, with all of the craziness of everyday life, it’s good to get back to the basics. One thing that seems to go away from peoples’ minds is the fact that there is a right way to live this life and a wrong way. One way leads to life and that’s God’s way. Making your own rules up as you go along is truly the wrong way.
God created us as His children and He loves us very much. Just like all good parents, God wanted to instruct His children on how to live the best that we could. So one day, God made 10 rules, called commandments, for us to live by and He gave them to a man He trusted named Moses. God knew Moses would pass the commandments along to the rest of us. Moses lived over 3000 years ago, but the rules God gave him to follow are just as important now as they were back then.
It’s just like when as a kid, our parents give us rules to protect us: to look both ways before we cross the street, to not hit our brother or sister. They give us rules because they love us and know what’s best for us, and those rules never get too old to follow.
Please remember that each commandment is equally as important as the rest of them, one is not more important than the other. I’m only giving a brief overview of the commandments right now for the sake of time, but these really deserve a much deeper Bible study.
The first commandment is to put God first. This means that nothing should be more important than God – a hobby you enjoy, tv or video games, even your friends and family should not be more important than God. When you make our Lord the top priority, it will keep your mind and heart more focused on His desires for your life and not just your own.
The second command is to worship only God. This is like the first commandment in that God wants our love, and He doesn’t want us to bow down and worship a statue just because we can’t see Him. In other words God is the only one that we should pray to or look to for our completion. Not sports heroes, not movie stars, just God.
The third commandment is broken all the time nowadays it seems. God commands us to use His name with respect. Many people use God’s name like a swear word, or say it when they’re upset. God wants us to use His name when we’re talking to Him, or telling others about Him in a nice way. To use His name in these other ways is very disrespectful and hurts God to hear it. You wouldn’t say your mom’s name as a bad word, so don’t use God’s.
The forth commandment should be easy, we are to remember God’s Sabbath, which means His day of rest. God wants us to take one day of the week and just rest from all of the stress. When God made the world in six days, He rested on the seventh day. This gets harder when you get older, there always seems to be something to do, but remember God commands us to take a day off. Like my mom used to say, “it’s good for what ails you.”
The fifth commandment might be a little tricky for some of you, but it’s very important (like all the other commandments) that you follow it. He tells us to honor our father and mother. That’s a tough one if you had not gotten the blessing of a good set of parents. So many people I meet have dad or mom issues from poor parenting during their early years. Non-existent parents are sometimes better than abusive or addicted parents. That being said, God didn’t say to love them or even respect them, but honor them. You honor your parents by not only forgiving them of their shortcomings, but especially by becoming a better person yourself through a more godly life than what they lived. Frankly, even the best parent should be held up as a warning instead of an example. Honor your parents
The sixth commandment says don’t kill people. This doesn’t mean just kill, but the original term written means “an unlawful taking of an innocent life.” It doesn’t mean that a police officer or soldier who needs to take the life of an evildoer in order to protect the lives of good, law abiding citizens. God understands and the Bible is replete with God-sanctioned wars and the like. It is unfortunate, but there is evil in this world and true evil will never allow a harmonious existence with good. That being said, we must go as far as we can to forgive those who wrong us and lead a peaceful life.
The seventh commandment is for those who are married. God tells us to be faithful in marriage. He wants us to love our wife or husband someday and treat them with respect. Marriage is important and should be treated like it is. This even extends to what Jesus said about committing adultery of the eyes, so to speak. If you are married, you are joined with that one man or one woman. If you cheat or even look upon another person lustfully, you are not only defiling yourself, but your spouse as well.
The eighth commandment is don’t steal. This means that we shouldn’t take something that doesn’t belong to us. You wouldn’t want people to take your favorite item, so don’t take anything that isn’t yours. Remember that God is in control and He will provide what we need. You will never lack for anything if you are faithful to God.
The ninth commandment is don’t lie. It is always better to tell the truth, and while you’re at it don’t do anything that would make you want to lie. Usually parents, police, or other authority figures know when you’re lying anyway. We know you did it, just admit it. And if you do something wrong and don’t get caught by another person, God sees and hears everything and He already knows that you did wrong. Don’t lie about it and make the situation worse.
The tenth commandment is don’t covet. This means that we shouldn’t wish to have things that someone else has. I know there is always a new muscle car or pair of shoes – there is always something that we want to get. It’s important to remember that these things aren’t really important. God is the most important thing and should be in your life (remember the first commandment).
Now I know this list might seem nearly impossible to follow all the time, but God gives us His best and we should try to do our best for Him, too. When we mess up, and we will, remember that things will be OK if we stick close to our Heavenly Father. God loves and forgives us through the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
God’s blessings to you.