Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

2. The Making of the 10 Commandments – Part 2

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Exodus 24:15-18

15“Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. 16 And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. 18 Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”

On the heels of the revelation we see second the:

  1. Reason

Exodus 24:15-18 reveals that Moses spend 40 days and nights on the mountain with the Lord. The reason was relationship. If it was about a list of rules it would have taken 5 minuets to receive them not 40 days and nights. So, let me ask you what’s your reason for coming to God, is it love based or list based? Why do you spend time with Him? When we make it about a list of rules our time is spent on doing not being, it’s the Mary Martha struggle, where we do things for Jesus instead of with Jesus. Martha was caught up in the dishes and the doing but Mary was caught up in devotion. It’s the difference between rule-based living that’s motivated by a list and relationship living that’s moved by a love for the Lord. List based living is exhausting and leads to burn out because we do it in our strength not through His strength. Have you fallen into the trap of making your quiet time in God’s Word just a check list? Many of us are checking of a list instead of checking in with the Lord. When we make it about a list of rules instead of a relationship, we make it about performance instead of His presence. We become defined by what we are against instead of who we are for. We talk about the problem of sin more than the provision of the Savior. It’s about His presence not our performance. But until you do life with the Lord on the mountain you are going to miss the meaning of life. We were created first to worship then to work. Today we have traded worship for work. We want to rush out and do things for God without first having spent time with God. Work for God should be an outflow of our worship of God. If you want to move mountains you have to spend time with the maker of the mountains. Work without worship leads to weariness but worship that fuels our work results in ministry not misery. Are you fueling your work with worship or trying to worship through your work? It’s the difference between performance based instead of presence-based living. Moses stayed on the mountain for 40 days and nights it wasn’t about getting a list of rules it was about relationship and doing life with God. How much time do you spend with God? Is it presence based, or performance based? When it comes to the 10 commandments most of us just see a list of rules, but it’s not a list its instructions for life. We have to look at the reason behind the rule? Because it effects our relationships. The first 4 commands revolve around our relationship with God this is the vertical dimension to relationship. Where the last 6 reveal your relationship with other people, this is the horizontal dimension to relationship. So many people see the 10 commandments as a list of rules instead of a response to relationship. But when you read through the list what you discover is that it’s not a list its about how to live and do life. Why does it start with our relationship to God, because how you respond to God will dictate how you relate to others. The Ten Commandments deal with our relationship with God and then our relationship with other people because one naturally flows out of the other. Without a right relationship with God, our relationships with others will not be right, either. The cause of the world’s problems is that people need to be reconciled to God. We will never love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not first love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. All of man’s best efforts toward world peace will fail as long as men are living in rebellion against God. If you disrespect God, you will disrespect others. Today we are trying to solve our people problems through political correctness, but our problem is not a lack of correctness it’s a lack of Jesus Christ. Why are we experiencing chaos in our schools because we refuse to respect God as the author of life. Why are our schools and society dying under the shadow of darkness because when the light leaves you are left with darkness. Darkness is the absence of light and when you remove the Lord of life you lose the light of life. Why are our kids bullying and killing each other at school? The media tells us it’s a gun problem. Yet 40 years ago kids showed up to schools with guns in the back windows of their pickup trucks and no one got shot? We don’t have a gun problem in this country we have a God problem. A lack of respect for the Author of life leads to a lack of respect for life. The media wants to make it about the objects instead of the Author. So, we make it about removing guns instead of repentance and a return to God. God’s commandments are not chains that limit our life but channels that point us to the Author of life so that we can live the abundant life. So, what did God’s people do with the 10 commandments they turned them into 613 rules. They took God’s list for living and turned it into legalism. Instead of letting it point them to Jesus they used it to puff up their pride and look down on others. We see this in Matthew 22:34-40 where the Pharisees try to trick Jesus by pretending to care about truth. “But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question:36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”Jesus responded to their trick with truth as he summed up the 10 commandments into 2. Love God, Love people. The reason revolves around our relationships. The motivation is our love for the Master. What about you, have you reduced Christ’s commands to a list of rules instead of a relationship? Are you making it about rule based or relationship based living?

 

 

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