The Ten Commandments: Ten Reasons to Rejoice

Over the past couple of weeks I have thought long and hard about what should be said in response to the challenge of the Ten Commandments in Newland’s Town Hall.  How should Christians respond during this time of turmoil?  We need to look no further than the Ten Commandments to find our answers…

First, and foremost, I feel we are blessed to live in a county that takes to heart “I am the Lord your God…you shall have no other gods before me.”  We should all be thankful for the fact that we live in an area that is still free from much of the religious oppression that much of the world faces.  We should continue to pray for this to be the case with our leaders and community!

Secondly, we should feel blessed that we have the Ten Commandments on the wall at the center of Newland’s town business, rather than a shrine to another god.  We must be careful not to make the Ten Commandments an idol in itself…we still must keep our faith in the One, True God.  God makes a promise that when we reject Him, we are not only hurting ourselves…we are setting a standard for our future.  Before you give in, remember, the future generations of this county are learning from your actions!

Third, I’m thankful that we have a number of people in leadership who do not misuse the name of our God.  We can all be thankful for this…we are not bombarded with polititians who continue to share that they have a “faith” in God and show with their actions that there is no truth in that statement.

I think we should also all be thankful for a place that still believes in resting and worshipping God on a regular basis.  There are many who still keep their Sabbath holy here in the area, and continue to attend church and keep their priorities based in the Bible.  Sadly, in many cities this is not the case, but we can all rest in the fact that we do not live in those cities!

We live in a community that still values the family…even, in some cases, when it is not your blood relation.  We are all part of the same family, the Family of God, and we can all benefit from the love and support of each other…do not give in, let’s stand together.  Let us all honor our mothers and fathers and hold fast to the beliefs they raised this great county under; but most of all, let us all honor our Father and stand for Him.

The next four paint a picture that is covered in every law that we are to live under.  Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, and do not bear false witness; all of which are covered within our law books in some way or another.  If we want to have a life that is fulfilling, we must keep ourselves pure in the eyes of the Lord and in doing so we will please the lawmakers.  The last of which we see in many different ways throughout our culture – DO NOT bear false witness to our neighbor.  Removing this will allow our community to lose sight of what is one of the key factors in all relationships…we must let truth settle our differences.

Finally we see that we are to keep ourselves from wanting what those around us have.  This may be one of the most important things we can glean from the Ten Commandments, and that is, take what you are dealt, do not try to be someone else.  The reason we are where we are is because of those around us who have become who they are and have done so honestly…

This group has asked us to remove our heart from the wall of Town Hall, but what we must realize is that we will face adversaries, and it is up to us whether we will give in to the world and live how they want us to live…or will we stand tall and overcome?  Please keep this in your prayers…do not let someone who does not know our God tell us who we can serve.  The first amendment allows us the freedom to exercise our worship as we wish, and we need to stand firm for our rights as well!  God will prevail in the end, the question for each of us is this…will you be standing with Him when it is all said and done?

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The New Covenant – Fulfilling the Old

Jesus came as a promise of God.  Throughout the Old Testament we see that the scriptures point toward a Messiah that would come and would save the world.  When Jesus came, He came to fulfill that prophecy and to create a new covenant between God and His people.

Throughout the Old Testament we see a people who are living by the laws of the land.  They had established laws that were to be upheld, but in many cases it seemed to be an impossible task.  The people turned their back on God and went after their own way as they sought to find personal gain and satisfaction from the world they were in.  Their attitude is not unlike the attitude of many in today’s society.

Sadducees and Pharisees were both seeking their own way in the time of Jesus, with a number of them standing on corners and praying aloud to gain attention for their “holy” ways.

When Jesus came, he came to abolish the law and to create a new covenant that would save the world.  It is through His blood that we can all come to know the abundance of a God-filled life.  We have this assurance through faith that we are a chosen people, chosen by God for the eternal life that He has planned for us.

In John 17 we see that this promise is truth, in the words of Jesus as He was praying in the garden:

19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” – John 17:19-21 (KJV)

We have been blessed in that Jesus prayed for each of us while He was toiling with the decision of facing the cross.  Jesus put aside his own needs for the needs of each of us, and in so doing, established a New Covenant between His Father and His followers.  We must look to this example in our own lives as well to know how we as Christians are to live.

The only way for us to reach eternal life is to give our lives for the same cause, to devote ourselves to the unselfish nature of this calling we have in our own lives, and give our all for our Lord and Savior.  Jesus died so that we might have life, and have it to the fullest.  Jesus came to establish a connection between God and man, and to give us a chance to enjoy forever with him.  Are you buying into this today, or are you living under the law with no knowledge of a Savior?  Are you committed to Christ, or seeking your own way?

In the Beginning … God

I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying over the last week, and it has been difficult to get focused on what I need with everything that has been going on around me.  In the loss of my Dad, it has been a week that has truly changed my life, but I was comforted in the first four words of Dad’s favorite book…The Bible.

Dad raised me and my sister on the scriptures.  He was always at the ready with a verse that would aid in any situation.  Those teachings that Dad gave throughout my life have stuck with me as I have grown and continue to guide as the days go by.

The first verse of scripture is Genesis 1:1, which states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  There is truth in this verse, and it is more than just a statement of fact about God creating the earth, it is a promise from God.

The first four words of Genesis 1:1 holds a promise of fulfillment.  “In the beginning…”, three words that state the start of something, the beginning, and a fresh new outlook.  Those words are then followed by God, the Creator, making it a promise that shows one thing…”In the beginning…God…”.

This promise tells us one major thing…God was there from the start.  Every new beginning gives us an opportunity to sit back and remember that God knows what you need because He has always been there from the start.  We can always look at every new beginning in life this way.

No matter the circumstance, God offers us comfort in diversity.  No matter what we are facing, be it a new job, a death in our family, or even a wedding…it all comes down to a new beginning…a chance to reflect on what is truly important in our lives, and a chance to rely on the only solution to every problem.  In the beginning….God.

When we face a new job…God.  When we get married…God.  When we face an untimely death…God.

No matter what we see in life…the answer to all of life’s problems is God.  Are you relying on God today to help you through your circumstances, or are you looking within yourself for answers that you simply do not have.  Make today the day that you begin to seek God in all you do.

This is something we can do each and every morning as we face the day…wake up, think about the beginning of the day and remember, “In the beginning…God.”