‘I have talked with you from Heaven.’ Exodus 20:22 NKJV
When God gave the Ten Commandments to His people, He said, ‘I have talked with you from Heaven.’ In other words, you have ‘the Word from the top’. End of discussion. Just do it! That being said, let’s spend the next few days looking at how the Ten Commandments apply to you.
(1) ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’ (Exodus 20:3 NIV) Have you seen the new all–purpose greeting card? The front says, ‘Generic card’ and the inside reads, ‘Happy whatever!’ The first commandment was designed to stop us from going through life doing whatever we feel like. It grabs us by the collar and says, ‘Hold on, Jesus is supposed to be Lord of your life, so put Him first!’
(2) ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol.’ (Exodus 20:4 NLT) Now, most of us wouldn’t dream of worshiping an idol. But how about your loyalty to things that have no eternal value, like pleasure, power, position and possessions? Isn’t that idolatry too? Anything that comes before God is an idol.
(3) ‘You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.’ (Exodus 20:7 NIV) But just because you don’t use profanity doesn’t mean you honour the name of the Lord. As a believer you must honour God in your speech, your conduct and your attitude. The truth is, you are the only Bible many people will ever read. Paul writes, ‘Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.’ (2 Corinthians 3:3 NLT)
A GENUINE FRIEND
Two are better than one. —Ecclesiastes 4:9
In the novel Shane, a friendship forms between Joe Starrett, a farmer on the American frontier, and Shane, a mysterious man who stops to rest at the Starrett home. The men first bond as they work together to remove a giant tree stump from Joe’s land. The relationship deepens as Joe rescues Shane from a fight and Shane helps Joe improve and guard his farmland. The men share a sense of mutual respect and loyalty that reflects what Scripture says: “Two are better than one . . . . If they fall, one will lift up his companion” (Eccl. 4:9-10).
Jonathan and David modeled this principle as well. Circumstances tested their friendship when David suspected that King Saul wanted him dead. Jonathan doubted this, but David believed it to be true (1 Sam. 20:2-3). Eventually, they decided David would hide in a field while Jonathan questioned his father about the matter. When Saul’s deadly intent became clear, the friends wept together and Jonathan blessed David as he fled (v.42).
You have a genuine friend in Jesus if you have accepted His offer of salvation—a friend who is always loyal; one who lifts you when you stumble. He has shown you the greatest love one friend can have for another—love that led Him to sacrifice His life for you (John 15:13).
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Jesus is your most trusted Friend.
JESUS YOUR HIGH PRIEST INTERCEDES FOR YOU …
Hebrews 7:25 – He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
The verse says that Jesus always lives to make intercession for us. Once, I used to think that this meant that Jesus is seated at the Fathers right hand today, praying all the time for us, waiting and hoping that the Father will do something for us.
But that is not true. Look at what Jesus prayed when He stood before Lazarus tomb. He declared, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. (John 11:41) He prayed these words even before Lazarus came forth from his tomb alive. Jesus knew that what He said would come to pass because the Father always hears Him. (John 11:42)
So what does Jesus always lives to make intercession for us mean?
Because Jesus is our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), we get a picture of what happens when we pray when we understand what the high priest in the Old Testament did with the burnt offering of a bird. (Leviticus 1:14-17)
The birds brought to the high priest are a picture of our prayers flying to the Lord Jesus because we pray to the Father in Jesus name. Now, just as the high priest removes the birds feathers after killing it, Jesus removes all that is superfluous and unclean from our prayers, such as unbelief and self-centeredness.
Then, just as the high priest offers the bird as a burnt sacrifice, a sweet aroma to the Lord, Jesus our High Priest adds His perfection, beauty, excellence and fragrance, which the Father so delights in, to our prayers. That is how He presents our prayers to the Father. That is how He lives to make intercession for you.
My friend, you don’t have to run to a church leader to get him to pray more powerfully for you. You can pray yourself. Then, take advantage of Jesus intercession for you and say, Lord Jesus, I don’t know what else to say please intercede for me. And when Jesus gives His personal touch to your prayer, you can be sure that it will be answered!
Two thousand years ago, Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us. At the cross, the full extent of God’s fiery indignation for our sins fell upon Jesus, such that He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” God turned His back on Him when He needed God the most.
God forsook His own Son at the cross so that today, He will never leave us nor forsake us. What is it that you are going through today? Know that even when you are down and out, God is still with you and His face of favor is shining on you. Because of Jesus’ finished work, you can come boldly into God’s presence to receive His comfort, favor, love and help.
ANSWER THE DOOR
…Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. – Psalm 30:5, NLT
Scripture says that joy comes in the morning. When you wake up each morning, God sends you a special delivery of joy. It comes knocking at your door. When you get up in faith and make the declaration that “this is going to be a good day,” do you know what you just did? You just answered the door. You just received the gift of joy that God sent to you. The problem is that some people never answer the door. Joy has been knocking for months and months, years and years saying, “Come on! Let me in! You can be happy! You can cheer up! You can enjoy your life!”
Why don’t you make up your mind to answer the door for joy! Decide to wake up every morning and say, “Father, thank You for another beautiful day. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to enjoy this day. I’m going to brighten somebody else’s life. I am choosing to answer the door and receive Your gift of joy, today!”
“Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:17).
Every born-again Christian should receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues enables you to bypass your mind (with its doubts and fears) and pray perfect prayers directly to God. As a result, you will experience supernatural manifestation and the power of God as never before!
GOD USES THE HUMBLE
…“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – 1 Peter 5:5
In his first 40 years as an Egyptian prince who was looked up to and admired, Moses thought that he knew everything. The Bible says that he was “mighty in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22). Yet, God could not use him to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt.
But in the next 40 years, something happened to Moses. He had fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, and went to dwell in the Midian desert. He became a shepherd and was no longer considered mighty in words nor deeds. In fact, he had even become a stutterer (Exodus 4:10). And it was at this point in his life, when he probably thought that he was a has-been, and that his glory-days were behind him, that God appeared to him and said, “…I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people…out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). God could finally use Moses!
The Bible tells us that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Beloved, God will not impose His grace on us. Whenever we want to depend on ourselves and our wisdom to succeed, He will step aside and allow us to do so. His grace is given to those who humbly acknowledge that they cannot succeed in their own strengths and abilities. So when we let go of our self-efforts and humbly depend on His grace, He will take over and do in us and through us what we cannot do for ourselves!
LOVE COMES FIRST …
John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Jesus didn’t say that all men would know we are His disciples by our doctrine, our rituals, our hatred for sin, or even by the way we express our love for God. He said very clearly, that the one characteristic that would cause the world to identify us as His followers, is our love, one for another.
This same night, the Lord prayed to His Father using this same thought saying, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (Jn. 17:21). The only way that Christ’s body will be one as the Father and Jesus are One, is through God’s kind of love.
Unity of believers, that can only come through a genuine God-kind of love, is the greatest tool for evangelism that the church has or will ever have, according to Jesus. The early church didn’t have the massive organizational structures that we see today or the ability to travel anywhere in the world in just a matter of hours. They certainly did not come close to spending as much money, in proportion to us, to spread the gospel. And yet, the pagans of Thessalonica said of Paul and his companions, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6). They had evangelized the known world in less than thirty years.
Before we can ever fulfill the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, there must be a revival of love in the church, where doctrine and ritual take a “back seat” to love for one another.
FROM PEEKER TO SEEKER
I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, and He answered me. —Jonah 2:2
When our daughter was too young to walk or crawl, she created a way to hide from people when she wanted to be left alone or wanted her own way. She simply closed her eyes. Kathryn reasoned that anyone she couldn’t see also couldn’t see her. She used this tactic in her car seat when someone new tried to say hello; she used it in her highchair when she didn’t like the food; she even used it when we announced it was bedtime.
Jonah had a more grown-up strategy of hiding, but it wasn’t any more effective than our daughter’s. When God asked him to do something he didn’t want to do, he ran in the opposite direction. But he found out pretty quickly there is no place God couldn’t find him. In fact, Scripture is full of stories of God finding people when they didn’t necessarily want to be found (Ex. 2:11–3:6; 1 Kings 19:1-7; Acts 9:1-19).
Maybe you have tried to hide from God, or maybe you think even God can’t see you. Please know this: If God sees and hears the prayer of a rebellious prophet in the belly of a big fish, then He sees and hears you wherever you are, whatever you’ve done. But that’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s actually a great comfort. He’s always there, and He cares!
Thank You, God, that You are there for us. We hear Your words: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).
We need not fear the troubles around us as long as the eye of the Lord is on us.
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