Tonight I watched a neat sermon titled, "Worship the Right God." The pastor talked about how our view of God's commandments are limited and reminded us of 4 reasons why we were given the 10 Commandments. Here are my notes below if you are interested in hearing more:
10 for Today (the 10 Commandments): Worship the Right God
Heritage Church – John Bray
Hug a Porcupine Skit:
“I just like porcupines.” “Porcupines are dangerous.” “Don’t knock it until you try it.” “I don’t have to try it to know it’s not good for me.” “Can you believe that guy? Trying to impose his judgments on my lifestyle?! If I want to go around hugging porcupines, that’s my business. It’s his job to get rid of my chest pains.”
We tend to do the same thing – we take worldly things that are damaging and hug them tightly to ourselves. Most of us don’t like it when others tell us what we have to do. There’s something in us that makes us want to push back. We tend to think of the 10 Commandments as rules and limits - that are old-fashioned and things that are trying to keep us from enjoying life. But anytime we do something God tells us not do to, it’s like picking up a porcupine. Anytime we violate God’s plan, we bring damage to ourselves.
Vs. 5, 6 – “If you will obey Me and keep My covenant, you will be My own special treasure from among all the nations of the earth… You will be to Me a kingdom of priests, My holy nation.” Does that sound limiting to you?
4 Words to Remember (about our attitudes on why the 10 Commandments were given):
1. Protection – the 10 Commandments were given for our protection; they are to act as guidelines to keep us from harm (ex: parent and child relationship – parents tell us no to things they know will harm us; they do this to keep us safe). The Lord loves us and wants to protect us.
2. Promise – “covenant” or treaty; He wants us to obey Him, so He can bless us. We need to remember that we pay the consequence for our actions. We are known to pay attention to Him some of the time, yet we want Him to bless us all of the time.
3. Personal – “Love the Lord YOUR God.” God is a personal God and He wants a personal response.
4. Synecdochical – define: a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole, the whole for a part, the specific for the general, and the general for the specific, or the material for the thing made from it; we have to take God’s Word as a whole and obey all of His commands rather than choosing which ones we will follow.
First Commandment = Have no other gods but Me and Me alone (idolatry – putting our trust in something in place of God)
Examples: Pleasure/Happiness (“I just want to be happy.”) God wants us to be holy and when we are holy, then we will be happy in return. Popularity is another example. We say or don’t say things in order to fit in, because popularity is more important to us than honoring God. Possessions/Security can also be an idol. We need to remember that possessions cannot protect us.
The problem is that we have made God the God of American culture rather than viewing Him as the personal God He has always been.
We tend to use these phrases:
“This isn’t exactly what God commanded, but I think…”
“I know this isn’t exactly right, but I think…”
“God may not be entirely happy with this, but I think…”
Or the ever popular, “This may not be the best thing to do, but I think…”
We think and so we do. And we think that is good enough. But in the end, these things do not provide enough security and they eventually will leave us empty. Seeking pleasure outside of God’s path often messes up our lives. We need to remember how fleeting popularity is.
Let us stop trusting ourselves to know what is right or to make decisions on our own rather than trusting in God and putting our faith in Him.
3 Affirmations to Consider:
1. Say, “God is passionate about me.” In the rest of the world, you matter based on what you can produce, how much money you make, if others feel you can help them, or how much power/popularity you have. But God looks at you and simply says, “You matter!” God values you. Not because of what you look like, how much money you have, or how much power you have. He just looks at you and says, “I am the Lord your God. And because I say you matter, you do.” Your life has incredible value. And since your life matters to God, it matters what you do.
2. “God can be trusted with my life.” God wants us to find true purpose, true satisfaction, and ultimate meaning. He loved us so much that He died for us.
3. Decision – “God is God in my life.” Acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. Place Him on the throne and keep Him there. Do not push Him off so that you can make room for your plans.
So what? So what am I going to do now that I have heard this message?
May we listen to God’s instruction, decide in advance to obey His commands, and stop picking up porcupines and squeezing them and then wondering why we’re in pain. I pray that today we say to God, “You are God, my God. I choose to live Your way.”
“I Am New” – Jason Gray