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Thursday, September 07, 2006

8th Way to Delight in the Lord

As a child, I thought the 10 Commandments were simply a set of rules to follow. Then, I discovered I couldn't keep the rules, leading me to Christ for my righteousness. Then, the 10 Commandments no longer condemn, but show us the character of God. As a believer, I can look to these laws to see how to please the Father. For if Christ never once violated these laws, and my desire is to look more like Him, then these laws help me know Him.

You shall not steal.

Most people typically deny that they have stolen anything. However, after a few questions, they confess that they either stole something when they were young, or have taken something of very small value. (With anyone under 30 who claims to never have stolen, I simply ask them if they have paid for all their music. Typically, the person will then confess to theft.) I've also find people get philosophical, asking questions like, But if you've stolen from a corporation and not a person, is that really stealing? or If you steal so that your family could eat, is that really wrong? However, as God instucts Moses He gives no escape clause based upon value of the object, personal wealth, or even time expired. Simply put, don't steal. Paul says:

He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

To glorify God, Paul does not simply call the Ephesians to stop stealing. There is a higher standard that must be understood. Paul explains that the person must also labor, and that his labor should be productive. It's important to remember that in a perfect world, God gave Adam work and called him to be productive. Even in a paradise without sin, God did not intend for anyone to freeload. (This is also why a Biblical view of eternity shows us we will not be sitting on clouds playing harps, but will actually have work to do. Work which will glorify God.)

We must not simply ask quesitons about our job, whether it is productive and beneficial to others. We also must ask other questions about our lives. Regarding finances: Am I using my income to meet the needs of others and not only my own? Regarding my church: Am I attending simply for my own benefit, or am I looking for ways to encourage others and build up the Body? Regarding relationships: Am I seeking to share my faith, or simply see relationships for what I can get and not give?

To glorify God, we should seek to act like Him. He works, acts, gives and sacrifices. As we delight in His work, we should be motivated to work as well.

[Other commandments: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

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