Friday, October 19, 2007
Exodus 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery." Plain and simple, but oh, so powerful. Adultery = to abandon one''s religious faith, political party or cause, to breakwedlock, to be unfaithful to a covenant. This commandment addresses commitment and faithfulness. Faithfulness in marriage is the main command here, but it goes even deeper than this. Jesus said in Matthew 5: 27-28, "You have heard that it was said You shall not commit adultery, but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
In Genesis 39: 9 Joseph was being enticed by the king's wife. He recognized that if he gave in, he would be sinning against God. Joseph is one example of how we are to resist temptation. He asked himself this question: how will my behavior affect my relationship with God? He had just been promoted and right after this is when temptation came. Temptation will persist and overtake you if you don't resist.
No one would have known about his affair. And probably not too many people would have cared. But he knew what sin was. He had to know God in order to know waht sin is. The world doesn''t care about such things. Joseph cared about God and how it would affect Him.
He put the devil and his temptation under his feet. The "heathen" recognize the anointing even if unconsciously and they tend to retaliate just like the king's wife did in the case of Joseph.
The world requires wht God forbids and forbids what God requires. Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, charge you more than you want to pay. And it has a way of coming back at you. What you sow is what you reap. God forgives, but you do reap. It's called consequences.
Another kind of adultery is emotional adultery. Let''s say your husband or wife (it works both ways) hurt you or did something that made you very angry. You tell a friend of the opposite sex at work what happened. He or she sympathizes with you, comforts you. You start to talk about much more than problems and become attached to each other in a way that could lead to adultery physically.
There is also spiritual adultery. God made a covenant, a New Covenant, with mankind. When we don't spend time with God, when we do things our way instead of God''s way, when we ignore Him or just plain flat out rebel, we commit spiritual adultery. God wants no rivals. We are His creation. If we don''t acknowledge God in our lives, we are barren of spiritual life. Adultery committed against God is vain worship, or no worship at all to Him.
Adultery of whatever kind DESTROYS homes, families, relationships, and trust.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Commandment # 8
Exodus 20: 15: "You shall not steal."
To steal = the act of moving, proceeding or acting in a concealed or hidden way; to deceive, carry away, secretly bring
Children are often prone to take things that don''t belong to them just because they want them. Adults often steal for the same reason; either they want something or need something. This commandment addresses our contentment and satisfaction. We want things. We don''t want to wait till payday. We don''t think we should have to buy something when we can get it free at work. Pens, paperclips, staples, pencils, tape, ink, stamps, postage, markers, scissors, the list is endless. I''m sure some of you could add to the list! What are some of the things you''ve stolen? Come on, be honest, we all do it.
But think about this: when you leave "just a few minutes early, no one will even notice" or call in sick when you want to do something and aren''t really sick, you are stealijng company time and money. When you cheat on your income tax, you are stealing from the govenment. What difference does it make? When you steal, that makes you a thief. 1 Corinthians 6: 9,10 says "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." That really narrows down the ones who will inherit God''s land, now, doesn''t it?
Let's look at something else her. Verses 13, 14, 15 of Exodus 20 lists three commands together. why do you suppose God listed them the way He did? I see these three commandments, you shall not kill, commit adultery, steal, linked to satan and our wicked nature. How, you may ask? In Joyhn 10:10 Jesus tells us about satan, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." Our evil nature causes us to do what satan does. We kill relationships, dreams, people, we destroy homes, relationships, lives, marriages, we steal. I think God was trying to tell us not to act like the devil when we are tempted by these things. God wants us to imitate Him.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Commandment # 9
Exodus 20:16: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
to bear = to support, to carry on one's person, to endure
False = contrary to fact or truth, unfaithful
Witness = one who has seen or heard something, to be present at or have personal knowledge of,to serve, furnish evidence of
God deisres truth; in fact, He commands truth. He hates lies. Proverbs 25:16-19 tells us of seven things that the Lord hates: "haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers." Twice He mentions lies just in one verse. God hates lies because He cannot lie and expects us not to lie either if we desire to be like Him. "God is not a man that He should lie..."(Numbers 23:19a)
To bear false witness does not just apply in a courtroom. It means paying attention to and responding to an untruth or without a cause in testimony. "Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow is a man who bears false witness aginst his neighbor." (Proverbs 25:18 A club can be a pretty dangerous thing in the hands of the wrong person, esp if he's angry; a sword can kill and destroy, and a sharp arrow can wipe the life out of a person in seconds. Deadly weapons. That's how God looks at lies. "Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit; with his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, but inwardly he sets an ambush for him."(Jeremiah9: 8). People can be as nice as pie to your face when deep inside they are killing you with their thoughts or by what they say about you behind your back or by planning how they will "get even" for something they feel you did to wrong them in some way. A liar or a false witness does a lot of damage. Our words can wound. The most used weapon is the tongue. The Psalmist said the tongue is as deadly as the sword. If this is true of lying and false witness, it violates two commands. Think about that.
Slander. Talking about someone in a negative way, and how about the times we take offense at something someone else says and then talking about it to other people trying to get them to side with you or agree with you. We often use this method to gain sympathy or feel somehow it adds to friendship. This sort of false witness goes on as gossip.
Monday, October 15, 2007
This is an old covered bridge in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where I grew up. You have to make sure no one is coming from the other side before you cross it because it's only wide enough for one care. It also represents an entrance and something that closes a gap so you can cross over a chasm or a body of water. Just like this bridge, God built a bridge for us to cross over to Him; that of His Son, Jesus Christ.
I know this may seem backwards, but in the end, it will be the one at the bottom of the list and so will be in sequence as in the Bible. I am starting a series on the 10 Commandments and you are welcome to comment as long as the comment is not to argue or be disrespectful to God or what I believe. I've been on some blogs where they just tear you to pieces and those who comment that way will be deleted. You don't have to agree with anything I write here, but those who don't agree can comment, too, just don't be hateful. Remember, God is God to all.
Exodus 20: 17: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."
To covet = to desire, crave or have an intense desire for, to set the heart upon, to long for rightly or otherwise, desire, lust after, to wish for.
How many times have you said or heard others say things like "I wish I had a house like theirs" or I wish I had a family like that or all the other things in this life that others have. In a nutshell, this commandment says don't want what isn't yours. Be content with what you have. We've probably all seen the commerical where a family has a house full of stuff. They get rid of it and then you hear them cry, "We need more stuff!" No doubt if the ad ran true to life, you'd see the family looking over the fence at what their neighbor had and right away they would be wanting what the neighbor has. This IS true to life, unfortunately. Plastic makes it all happen for so many. Keeping up with the Jones'' is how they used to define the concept of coveting. It is wanting things that aren't yours to become "mine."
Romans 7: 7 says, "What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "You shall not covet." God knew all along that man would fall. But He supplied us with everything we need for life and godlines. He knew we would want things. Proverbs 27: 20 says "Sheol and Abaddon (hell) are never satisified; Nor are the eyes of man ever satisified."
"With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor..." "He dispises his neighbor sins." We break this commandment everytime we hate our neighbor. How, you may ask? If that neighbor has something we feel we need or must have, we resent him secretly in our heart. When we can't have what he has and i f we covet, it can lead to hatred of that other person. Jesus considered our neighbor to be not just the people next door, but all mankind. He used neighbor as someone to compare ourselves to when saying, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
These 10 Commandments are exactly what you and I cannot keep. It reveals the nature of sin and its demand for perfection. We couldn't keep the Law then, and we can't keep it now. Jesus fulfilled the Law for us. He took the penalty of it for us, nailing it to the Cross. (Col.2: 14)
So when you see your neighbor with something nicer than what you have, be glad for him or her. And if you feel yourself wishing you had it, too, ask yourself this question: Do I really need that or do I just wish I had it? There is a big difference between needing something and just wanting it because someone else has it. So don't covet.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I'm keeping to my "diet"-- shouldn't call it diet anymore--it is a lifestyle change for sure! I've gone way over the amount of calories they tell me to burn, I'm well within the limits of the calories, sometimes lower, and yet I am not losing as much as I feel I should be losing. I am toned much more than ever, though, so I guess I can't/shouldn't complain. I just wish the scale would start to work like I want it to!! I just don't understand it. Does anyone else have this problem?
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