the ten commandments 2007 sep 19
the torah is the ten commandments 2007 oct 02
the first and greatest commandment 2007 oct 11
loving the Lord our God 2007 oct 17
loving means doing 2007 oct 31
take heed not to forget 2007 nov 07
I noticed right away that the facts which Moses admonished us to remember in order to keep our hearts knit in love to the Lord our God, so that we will worship and serve Him only, were designed to thwart the enemy’s common traps for the elect. A huge trap that a lot of us fall into, is a simple absence of gratitude toward the Lord for all that He has done for us. It is characterized by discontentment and maybe even a touch of bitterness in our hearts.
Oh, this is a common one, even among American Christians, we who have been blessed above all the peoples on the earth with possessions, freedoms, and an abundance of godly worship, Bibles and Bible teaching. We can get snagged into this sin by expecting things to go a certain way because we are holy to the Lord, because we have been chosen to belong to Him, because He does love us and He does regard us as a special treasure above all peoples (Deu 7:6-8).
And then when various trials, tribulations, and deprivations happen to us (and they happen to everyone, perhaps only in different areas for different people; no one gets a free ride on this earth) we can become discontent, or disappointed, or bitter toward the Lord, because of the suffering. So the Lord warned us in advance that we would suffer a wilderness experience, and that it is in the wilderness that He tests us to see whether we will obey His commandments or not (Deu 8:2). Even Jesus did not escape, but He suffered in the wilderness too, and He learned obedience through the things which He suffered.
The suffering of the wilderness is like a giant pressure cooker: because it is when the pressure is on, that what is really in the heart comes out. Once what is really in our hearts comes out (and some of it will be dross, so don’t be shocked that ugliness will need to be purified away by a trial by fire), the Lord then chastens us where we have disobeyed Him, as a father chastens his son, so that we will learn to be obedient to Him and His ways (Deu 8:5-6). Why chasten us? Because He is just a stickler for rules and regulations? No! We parents know this by chastening our own children. We know that if they are allowed to continue in some ungodly character trait or habit, it will cripple them as adults and leave them open to the devastating consequences of foolishness. We do not want that kind of suffering for our children, the suffering which is reserved for fools and the wicked, so we allow them to suffer a temporary and light suffering for disobedience now so that they can learn obedience. And the Lord is the same way with us.
So even when we are in the wilderness, let us not test the Lord by complaining about His care of us or the life He has given us (Deu 6:16): the house, the husband (or wife), the children, the job. Well, perhaps they are less than perfect, but be grateful that you have a house when Christians in other places don’t; be grateful that you have a family when Christians in other places lose their families for their faith; be grateful that you have a job when Christians in other places cannot find employment for the sake of Jesus Christ. Let us be characterized, church, by an attitude of gratitude toward our God, and let us repent of every trace of discontent that tries to get a foothold within us, because when we are discontent, we are really saying to God: “You are not a good God, and I am unhappy with the life You have seen fit to give me.” It is ugly. Let us give Him thanks in everything. He could have left us a slave in the kingdom of darkness, but didn’t; He brought us out from there by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm (Deu 6:12, Deu 7:18), so let us never charge God with wrong.