June 11, 2012
The Ten Commandments, sometimes called the Law, are a very powerful resource and tool. But they don’t have the power to save us. New life and true heart transformation only come through Christ and the Cross. But in order to be saved we need to know the diagnosis. And to get a diagnosis, we need a test to accurately examine our hearts. We all break The Law frequently, and the Law shows us that we aren’t holy. Only Jesus and God are Holy. Going deeper, the 10 commandments of the Law are the main prompts that help us see if something other than God is at the center of our hearts; they indicate how strongly our hearts are beating for Him.
The Ten Commandments focus on our relationships with God and others. Here’s the bottom line: God and love. The first commandment, “thou shalt have no other gods before me,” calls for undivided faithfulness to God. Because we have been created in God’s image, our relationship with God is at the very core of our human needs and affects everyone we contact.
“Other gods” usually brings to mind a wooden or stone image … or the proclaimed god of another religion. But there are subtler and more prevalent “other gods.” Anything that takes our time, attention and allegiance can become our “other god,” if that thing takes our focus off Christ. It might be food, money, sports, sex or a high. It could be “nice” things like our job, a relationship, or even our marriage, kids, or involvement in a ministry.
It is so easy to get sidetracked, even by doing good things, and letting our personal relationship with the Lord suffer. A periodic self-evaluation and reality check can be enlightening … because even if you don’t check and correct, God certainly does. He wants your heart to beat well with maximum cardiac output. When Him shows us our “other gods” and takes them away, life feels more acutely distressing than when we make the effort find those “other gods,” repent, and draw closer to Him on our own.
What’s true for physical health holds true for spiritual health too. We use a scale, go for regular health checks, and monitor our blood pressure and heart rate. Well, having a spiritual heart test is even more important. It’s so easy to inch away from God and toward another object of “value” without even realizing it. Recognizing these issues as early as possible saves us from the heartache and distress that occur if we let disease settle in and progress.
Today, ask yourself these questions: Am I asking God for guidance … or doing my own thing? Do I trust my job, another person, or my own abilities more than I trust in the Lord? In what areas do I have the mindset, “my kingdom come, my will be done,” instead of “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”? If you find that you have wandered off the path, confess, repent, and begin to refocus on Jesus. Our curriculum is designed to help you look at your decision making, and it provides an easy method to deeply examine your heart. When you keep your heart spiritually healthy, your mind and body stay healthy as well. Choosing a heart that beats for the Lord is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, Forgive me for getting sidetracked and making other things or people a more important part of my life than You are. Thank You for the Law that helps me examine my heart. But also, thank you for the grace You continually extend to me even though I mess up and replace You with other impotent and uncaring pursuits. How sad this must make You. Help me to refocus on Jesus and on my relationship with You. Teach me to treasure the wealth in it. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One to whom I give my undivided faithfulness, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
You must not have any other god but me. Exodus 20:3
For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5