and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Backwards Through the Ten Commandments- #6

       If my memory serves me right, I was a teenager when I murdered my Mom and my sister.  For whatever reason I no longer remember why I screamed at my Mom in anger (only once I think) “I hate you!” and another time I smashed a piece of bread and then a piece of bologna on my sister’s face yelling each time, “I hate you”.  Those are the only times I remember being out of control, and they certainly aren’t proud moments.

6.  You shall not kill. Ex. 20:13

You shall not hate your brother in your heart… Lv. 19:17
He who does not love his brother abides in death. Everyone hating his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer has everlasting life abiding in him. 1Jh. 3:14,15

hates- miseo- detests, loves less
brother- adelphos- brother by blood, full or half
                            - countryman, co-worker
                            - any fellow or man
                            - fellow believer

       So according to Scripture, by hating my Mom and my sister, I became a murderer.  I wonder if there are people out there who have never hated anyone.  This is the second time the Lord Jesus shows us to be a ‘cut above’ by living more holy by watching our thoughts as well as our actions.  See, He’s saying it’s not just good enough to follow the basic words, but to honour Him we should excel above and beyond the basic requirements.
       Anyway, there is more to this command than just hate in our hearts.  Let’s consider the other ways we kill people.  Whether or not we believe it possible, we can kill people more than just physically.  There is emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Here’s a list of some of the things I think about when checking my heart for murder:

           Hatred or loving less.
           Extreme breaking of someone’s heart.
           Killing a person’s reputation at work, church, in the community.
           Killing a child’s trust by breaking promises often.
           Killing another person’s dream.

     Killing someone’s ideas at Christian service. “That’s stupid” “That won’t work”
     Killing anyone’s self worth.
     Showing less love to a person because of their lifestyle, job, wealth, etc.
     Killing a child’s innocence by any method.
     Hating the driver who cut us off.

           Killing everyone’s good mood around us because we’re miserable.
           Treating anyone as less than us.
           Choking the life out of our family.
           Killing another’s peace of mind by our actions or words.
           Killing someone’s financial ability to live by cutting their salary for our profit.

     Killing a person’s trust in God because of our hypocrisy or 
     lack of love.
     Keeping others from being honest because we condemn 
     them thus spiritually killing their life.
     Killing someone’s spiritual journey because we don’t pay 
     our bills on time or ever.
     Hating a person because their life is better than ours.
     Killing our own spirit by feeding it bad food (watching, 
     listening to immoral things).

       I’m sure there are many more ways we kill without ever realizing it.  God is a God of life, not of death and bringing death into any situation would be working in the devil’s kingdom rather than the kingdom of our God, and life.  So, how are we doing?

Commandment # 6 –probably broken daily

Friday, March 07, 2014

Backwards Through the Ten Commandments- #7

7.  You shall not commit adultery. Ex. 20:14

        Hey, I’ve got this one covered!  I have never had sex with another person while we were married.  I’ve been faithful to him.  This is one commandment that I’ve not broken, finally.  Is that what you’re thinking?  I would honestly be surprised if that was the truth and here’s the reason why from just the sexual side of things.

       Adultery in Webster’s 1828 dictionary means “all manner of lewdness (indulgence of lust, all sexual sin, *remember this but don’t look down yet) or unchastity (indulgence of sexual appetite) and *don’t look yet.  Remember in the last post I said Jesus wants us to be a cut above?  He said, “But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.(Mt. 5:28).  Tomorrow I’ll write another verse that indicates thoughts are as bad as actions!

       Okay, let’s put some of this together.  When we check ourselves for breakage of this command, we can’t just check what we’ve physically done, but have to check our mind as well.  Do we ever indulge in lust (fantasy- whether sexual or romantic, pornography, adult movies, certain swimsuit calendars, etc) or indulge our sexual appetite in any way physically (self pleasure) or in our mind?  For me, it was fantasy about the ‘perfect relationship’, playing out emotionally fulfilled relationships in my head that satisfied my needs more perfectly.  (Just as dangerous to a marriage as pornography imo.) Others use romance books with sexual scenes for example.

       Then there are tv shows and movies that are far too easy to watch when in pops a lust filled scene, but do we turn away or turn it off?  No, we usually leave it on.  And sometimes the shows get us cheering for the adulterous couple finally getting together!  It’s crazy!  So we watch these things and it gets our blood pumping for others, or others than our spouse.  How ‘bout listening to radio shows where they speak of these things and it can stir feelings as well or laughing at sexual innuendo?  Now remember, all these things are for unmarried people as well.  How we doing so far?

or God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Hb. 13:4 ESV
Flee fornication… 1Cr. 6:18
For you know this, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (who is an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Ep. 5:5

Even looking with lust...
Now go back to the definition of adultery and read the asterisks (*) to find out what adultery includes.

       Yes, that’s right, adultery (in the Bible) included idolatry (worship of idols, any other creation/ creature or any thing made of human hands; excessive attachment or veneration for any thing)  Since this topic will be covered elsewhere, I will leave it at this.  If any thing is taking our affection, our time, our money, our thoughts, more than we give God, we then place that thing above God and are being idolatrous.  That could be anything, especially today with so many things vying for our attention.

To almost finish, this verse brings out God’s will for us and how we should not be the same as others:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification, for you to abstain from fornication (married or not), each one of you to know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor (not in the passion of lust, even as the nations who do not know God)For God has not called us to uncleanness, but in sanctification. 1Th. 4:3-5,7

So, in the deepest parts of our hearts have we kept this commandment?

Commandment # 7 -broken often

*idolatry, licentiousness
*idolatry, or apostasy (desertion of god) from the true God. Jer 3.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Backwards Through the Ten Commandments- #8

       My hubby used to work for a furnace manufacturer where at least one employee was caught stealing furnaces!  I’ve heard about people walking out of stores with tv’s under their skirts, products in baby diapers, and items hidden under large purchases.  Most of the stealing I’ve seen is at work.  (I’ll clarify that statement later.)  To constitute stealing or theft, the taking must with an intent to take what belongs to another, and without his consent.  In other words if you accidentally walk out of a store without paying for that carton of cream under your child’s coat, it’s not stealing if you go back to pay for it.

  1. You shall not steal. Ex. 20:15
You shall not steal, nor lie, nor be deceitful to one another. Lv. 19:11

       This commandment seems fairly straightforward, even obvious.  We are good Christians so most of us don’t steal, right?  Not so much actually.  Since it should be such an easy concept I’ll just list some things many people don’t consider as stealing…

In the workplace:
   Taking longer breaks- stealing the company’s time and or money.
   Taking sick days when you’re not sick- same as above.
   Texting or talking on the phone at work (or doing other things) when you should be working.
   Taking home supplies from work- pens, paper, tools, fasteners, etc.
   Stealing credit for another person’s accomplishment.

Eating grapes or food in the store which you haven’t paid for (and leave without paying).
Picking fruit from someone else’s yard without their permission.
Illegally downloading copyright music, video you didn’t legitimately pay for.
Using someone else’s parking stub when it says on the back no transferring.
Using someone else’s Netflix number or satellite deal without paying for your own.
Watching cable tv series online when you don’t pay for cable.
Keeping excess cash a cashier gives you by accident.
Not claiming purchased items at the border when asked- this is stealing from the government.
Taking money from your child to pay bills because you can’t control your spending.
Buy clothes/ shoes to return after wearing them.
Using hydro or gas we don’t pay for.

Less tangible:
   Steal hearts away 2Sm. 15:6- trying to steal David’s kingdom.
   Stealing someone’s dream- can be done in a variety of ways.
   Investors or management cutting wages just for more profit- stealing fair wages.
   Stealing the rights of the poor. (Is. 10:2)
   Stealing words or effort from someone else and not giving them credit.
   Steal someone’s innocence (I’ll let you figure that out).
   Working instead of spending family time like you’re supposed to.

Most of us should know these are wrong:
   Lying to a buyer to make more money- actually steals their money.
   Making false insurance claims (for more than what we had)
   Falsifying documents.
   Plagiarism- copying another’s work and making it your own.
   Using something (like photos) of someone’s without consent

       This isn’t an exhaustive list yet I’m sure most of us could find some things on here that we steal.  Yes, us good Christians that follow the Ten Commandments, right?  If you feel some of these aren’t really stealing then you’d better check your heart for Jesus said even looking at a woman with lust is adultery (Mt. 5:28) so He is obviously expecting us to be ‘a cut above’.  Would Jesus justify doing any of these actions?  I think not.

So, how are we doing on following this commandment?

Commandment # 8 -broken often

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Backwards Through the Ten Commandments- #9

       He was a co-worker of mine.  It seemed like no one could pass his standards in life and I wondered why he was so critical.  It made him difficult to be around.  The funny thing is, he rarely uttered actual negative words about anyone but rather inferred it by his tone or non-specific words.  Even if the words were only inferred, it would be difficult to look at that person spoken of in the same way again without those negative comments staining your view of them.

9.  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (anyone). Ex. 20:16

"You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. Ex. 23:1-3 ESV
Keep far from a false matter… Ex. 23:7

       Oh sure, we may never lie about another person at a trial, but this commandment is about false testimony no matter where or whom it is spoken to.  In the expanded version, we are to be fair and impartial, keeping ourselves from the kingdom of the enemy which is based on lies and deception.  False witness is anything that will injure another person, and includes slander, gossip*, libel, etc.  All of these could be true, partly true, or completely false, and could even be done with ‘good’ intentions, yet by delivering negative information it puts another person in a bad light.

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Jh. 8:44 ESV (deception, Rv. 20:10)
He is called the "accuser of the brethren" (Rv. 12:10), adversary (1Pt. 5:8), and the word "devil" literally means "false accuser, slanderer."
But the things which come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; Mt. 15:18,19

       James 4:11 states not to speak evil about a brother for if we do, we become a judge- and only God should hold that position.  Speaking evil of another damages their credibility, reputation, character, and injures them.  As my parents said, if you cannot say something to a person’s face, you should not say it at all.  If a man sins, we should be following Mt. 18:15+; Gl. 6:1,2; Jm. 5:19+; and Ep. 4:25 to deal with it or if it is against us, let love cover it (1Pt. 4:8; Pr. 17:9).

       These six Jehovah hates; yea, sevena lying tonguea heart that plots wicked plansa false witness who speaks lies…” (Pr. 6:16-19)  God hates these things so much He made a rule that the false witness was to receive the punishment he had intended to bring on the person falsely accused (Dt. 19:16+).  You wanted them to lose their job, you lose yours.  You wanted them to be kicked out of the ‘church’, you get exiled instead.

       Why is it we are quick to judge the character of another person, assuming they meant to be hurtful when most people aren’t out to hurt us?  Why do we speak these things aloud to others?  Are we intending on hurting those of which we speak?  Could it be we have a root of animosity, bitterness or resentment in us?  Certainly we can’t claim to reflect God’s character when we allow defamatory things to flow out of our mouths.

Perhaps we’re not guilty of giving false witness, but how often do we listen to it without confronting the speaker?  Isn’t that allowing the devil to steal, kill and destroy another person?  Is that what Jesus would do?

Commandment # 9 -broken daily

*Gossip is second or third hand information that someone dumps on you without your prior consent and without the consent of the person being gossiped about.
Slander is accusatory speech that is injurious to a person's name and reputation. It's essentially character assassination.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Backwards Through the Ten Commandments- #10

       Mommy, Mommy, I wannit!!!  The child’s loud cries could be heard ringing throughout the store.  I felt bad for the Mom, and wondered if she’d give in to the child to quiet him or if she’d stand strong.  Truth is, we’re all like that kid at one time or another.  We want what we want when we want it!  We want that flat screen tv though we owe on our credit card.  We want that ipad for Christmas even though work is unstable.  We want those new shoes though we don’t need them.

       The thing is, we cater to our fleshly desires/ wants all the time and though we don’t usually scream about it, don’t we do what is necessary to make our wants come true?  Why do we want all this stuff?  Because the world tells us we need it, that we can’t function properly without it.  But that’s a lie.  Most of the time we are fine without filling our desires.  In fact, filling our wants usually prevents us from our true need of filling ourselves with Jesus Christ.  “Aw, but everyone has one…”

10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house, you shalt not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbour’s. Ex. 20:17

       First off, the neighbour here in Hebrew is really speaking of anyone near or far.  Covet means to desire, take pleasure or delight in, desire greatly.  A friend hands us his new device with all the cool new features and we just have to get one two.  We see that commercial and are sure we can afford it if we only pay the minimum on our credit, or put off those new tires we need. (And I won’t even touch on coveting (desiring) someone’s spouse we see at work, church, on tv)

       We subconsciously use all kinds of excuses to justify our covetousness: I won’t be accepted without it, it will be difficult for me to share Jesus if I’m too different than everyone else, I need this car to look professional at work, and I need to pay for housekeeping once a week so that I’m like everyone else.  I really want a house like that, did you see that new garage they put up, look at her new dress and shoes, mm mm.  Wish I could get me a new front load laundry machine, there’s no reason to not get it…

       Over 10 million people worldwide die of hunger every year but we need that updated cell phone.  The U.S. and the E.U. spend US$13 billion on perfume each year; smelling good is more important than the world's sanitation and food requirements we could satisfy with that money.  I find on average most people spend $200 to $300 on each child for Christmas, despite the fact a $75 dollar goat could provide milk/ cheese, and income for someone in need.  “But everyone eats out once a week, why can’t I?...  But I need that Timmies every morning…”

       The truth is, we don’t even see the extent of our covetousness anymore because we are used to living in excess.  Overindulgence of things is rampant, but good morals and genuine love of others is deficient.  Covetousness.    North America is full of it.  It even lights up the church pews on Sunday, doesn’t it?   

Commandment # 10 -broken daily