If I asked you if you were a good person, what would you say? You might list off a whole bunch of reasons that shows your goodness. Do any of those make you good? How much bad does it take in order for your good to no longer be good?
Let’s say you take a glass of clean water. How much dirt would you allow to be put into a glass of water before you would say that it is no longer clean? If I add a pinch of dirt is it clean? The amount is not the issue; the dirt is the issue.
The law of God, which isn’t always popular, shows us that we are sinful people. The Ten Commandments is where God originally set this before the people. How hard can it be to follow 10 little rules, right?
1) “You shall have no other gods before me. – Exodus 20:3
God’s people have had problems with this. They made golden cows and worshiped them. There is only one God and he wants all of you.
My 5-year-old son told me that he only worships the real god because fake gods don’t do anything for him. And they won’t do anything for you either because they are not real. There is only one real God.
2) The second commandment is more specific; no idols. It deals with things that people put before God. There just isn’t enough room in our lives to have two masters. Our devotion needs to be first with God.
3) “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. – Exodus 20:7
This is God we are talking about! Scripture says that at His name nations crumble, demons tremble, sight comes, and salvation is given to mankind. His name is above all other names. We should never take it lightly.
Stop the ‘OMGs’! We do not want to throw God’s name around like that.
4) The next one is the Sabbath – rest and worship. This does not mean rest while you worship. It is important to set aside time to be still and know that He is God in order to let Him speak. This is not a way to get around work, but a way for you to make sure God stays first in your life.
5) The next commandment says to honor your parents so that you live long. (Exodus 20:12) There is blessing there because you avoid mistakes made by your parents. I know some people have strained parental relationships, but you can still respect your parents, pray for them, and love them.
6) “Do not murder” is the next one. I am so glad we got that one right. Except…
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” – Matthew 5:21-22
Whoops! I guess I have failed at that one too. If we have hated, or been angry, or called someone names, then you are guilty.
7) “No adultery” comes next. Surely we aren’t guilty of that one also! Jesus said that if we look at someone lustfully we have committed adultery in our heart. This isn’t looking good.
8) The next one is stealing. If it is not yours, you cannot just take it.
9) Then there is lying, which is the next one. (verse 16) This one gets tricky because people will find ways to justify lies. Lies are lies no matter how small they are.
10) The last one is “do not covet.” We could sum that up by saying “be content.” We realize that everything we have comes from God. We don’t wish we had other people’s stuff, but we thank God for all He has given us.
This is especially challenging during Christmas, but we need to be content with what we have.
You might look at this list and be discouraged because you have failed on every commandment. The good news is that our sin has been forgiven in Jesus Christ. We accept His gift of forgiveness and follow Him.
Jesus summed this all up later when asked about the greatest commandments. He told them to love God with all their heart and love people. Can you imagine how different the world would be if we did this even 50% of the time? Can you imagined how different our churches and homes would be?
We fail on our own, but are victorious in Jesus Christ!