We had better open this one up with prayer;
Father God we need you! We call upon your name and believe. You told us that if we would call upon your name we would be made whole. You can bring together every area of our lives. You can heal our sickness, and bring us peace. You can supply our financial needs and mend our broken relationships. Right now LORD we turn our entire lives over into your care. We lay our burdens at your feet and we lift our spirits up to you. Hold us in your arms of loving-kindness and mercy, give us wisdom and grace and strengthen us in our inner most being, that we can stand strong and bring you glory. Let our lives be a living testimony to your ability to change lives. Thank you LORD for anointing this message and my understanding. Help us all to see and Know Jesus and your purpose for our lives. In Jesus name I pray Amen....
So the passage we are opening with today comes at the end of the giving of the Ten Commandments. I was thinking this past week about the difference between the Old Testament and the New. It seems, too often we as "Christians," look at the New Testament as our "ticket" into heaven. It is the wonderful story of our salvation and how we as sinners, will have a home in heaven.
Whereas, the Old Testament was concentrating on living our daily lives in accordance to the laws and precepts of God. In the New Testament we have come to learn that we are free from the Law. In the Old Testament we learn how important, right and good the law is.
I believe that one of the biggest problems this world faces today is our turning away to both the left and the right of God's law. Even in the modern Church we prefer to preach and hear about prosperity and success and happiness and joy and all the blessings, then to preach the truth of God's judgment of sin.
Let us not forget that Jesus taught more and spoke more about hell then he did about heaven. And don't give me any of that ballyhoo of how he was just refering to the dump outside of town. He was talking about the eternal lake of fire where there will be gnashing of teeth...
(Matthew 8:12 KJV)But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(Matthew 13:42 KJV)And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
(Luke 13:28 KJV)There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
(Revelation 20:10 KJV)And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
(Revelation 20:15 KJV)And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
So let's not be deceived. Yes, there is grace and for those who have accepted it. God has blotted out your transgressions. But the hard truth is, if your name is not written in the book of life, then you had better make sure that you are living up to every jot and tittle of the law.
But please, please.... we are not just talking about eternity here. We are not just talking about the great by and by. That is another deception that keeps people in the bondage of sin. And it is bondage. The hard part about understanding that is that you do not realize the bondage you are in until you get set free from it.
God's law is just as relevant today as it was the thousands of years ago when He first gave it to us. So, let's think about two things as we go through this study today. First let's concentrate on how God would have us live. Let's really look at His standard and make a new commitment to not living our own standard, but let's make a commitment to live up to God's standard.
Secondly let's thank God for His grace. We all know that we have failed, and more than likely, we will fall short in the future, But God has already paid the price for our shortcomings and that price was death. Jesus came to give us life, but it cost Him His.
So then, it is with both grace and truth that God draws us closer to Him. The grace to forgive us and the truth of how we need to be living our daily lives in accordance with His perfect law.
(John 1:14 & 17 KJV)And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
It is grace, which is God's, gift to us, His unmerited favor, and Truth, which never changes, that comes together to give us balance and freedom as we grow from glory to glory.
Let's once again quickly go over these controversial Ten Commandments and see how we can apply these standards to our daily lives, and how by doing so we can live a more abundant life here in the land of the living.
1. You really should not be putting anything above God.
2. Stop with the worshipping of material objects...
3. Don't be useing the Name of the LORD as a curse word.
4. Take a break from the rat race one day of the week and thank God for who He is!
5. Take good care of your Mom and Dad, They love you and your kids will treat you the same way you treat your parents.
6. Don't kill anyone. Life is a gift from God!
7. Do not cheat on your husband or wife. That is really low!
8. Don't be taking stuff that is not yours. In some countries they cut the hands off of thieves.
9. Please don't be telling lies. You end up just digging a worse pit for yourself to fall in.
10. Don't be so jealous of other peoples stuff. Enjoy who you are and what you have got. Wanting more and more will just make you feel worse and worse.
Excuse the Pastor Bob paraphrase version of the Ten Commandments, but I hope that maybe that will help you see both the importance of them all and how if you really just put forth some commitment and effort, along with the help of God's Holy Spirit you can live by these laws, and in so doing live a better life.
After all, isn't that what we all want, for ourselves and our children. I really do not know anyone who would not like to be a little better person then they are, or want things to go a little smoother in their lives.
OK, so ask yourself which of the above commandments are the hardest for you. Is it one of the first four which concern our love of God, or is it one of the final six which talk about our love for our fellow man? Because if you look at it, that is what it all comes down to; Loving the LORD your God with all your heart and loving your neighbor.
Remember the SHEMA?/ It is actually made up of Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21and Numbers 15:37-5
The Shama is the verses that the Israelites and all good Jews today memorize and read twice daily. It reminds us of the importance of following the Law and not going to the left or the right.
Oh, how self righteous we can get, each generation thinking it is better able to live their lives the way they deem fit rather then to listen to and obey some three thousand year old law. Well, yes when I was young I was foolish and thought the same thing. But know this and teach it to your children and your children's children. The truth is the truth and it never changes. Right is right and wrong is wrong.
If you start compromising with sin, sin wins. If you try to negotiate with evil, evil wins.
It is time for us to call sin and sin and go and sin no more. It is time for repentance. Most of the problems in your life are caused by sin! There I said it. And oh, you can argue with me and say how did sin cause this disease or that natural disaster... But the truth is we do not live in paradise and we are not without sin. Stop trying to rationalize and justify your walking in gray areas. Get into the light.
And do not give up! Do not give up on doing what is right. God is the God of second and third and fourth chances. God is the God that will give you both the will and the strength to do what is right. All you have to do is to call upon him.
I was going to talk today about how God is refining us with the fires of affliction and how we need to stay on the Potter's Wheel. But what we need right now more then anything is to really seek God with all our hearts. Seek Him right now, Call upon His name and you will be made whole.
Isaiah wrote about the coming of the Messiah some 700 years before Christ even came. He wrote how we have all like sheep gone astray, but God made a way. It was by the stripes that Jesus bore in His body that we are made whole. Your past sins can be as white as snow today, and you can be set free and guided by the Holy Spirit into a new and abundant life, by calling upon Him right now.
I challenge you to seek the truth of God's love right now. Ask Him into your heart, in fact, ask Him to give you a new heart today. I challenge you to live by God's standards, not your own, and watch and see if everything, I mean everything, starts getting better and better as we turn not to the left or the right.
Who will you serve today. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!!!
I want to pray for you, and with you right now. If you have never really excepted Jesus as your LORD and savior then now is the time of your salvation. If you have been, well, walking in areas that you know that you should not be, then now is the time of your deliverance. If you need a fresh touch, a special move of God's Holy Spirit in your life, then right now it the time for your life to take a new direction.
Pray with me. Pray these words out loud if you can:
Father God, I need you. LORD, I believe, help my un belief. Forgive me for I have sinned. I am asking you right now Jesus to come into my heart and wash away my sin. Change my heart OH, LORD, Make it ever true. Change my Heart Oh LORD, may I be like you!!! Heal me, body, spirit and mind. I am all yours, and from this moment on, I will stand upon your Word, knowing that all things are working together for my good, that You would receive all the glory. I pray all these things in my savior's name. In the name of Jesus! AMEN! SO BE IT!!!!!!