Saturday, August 30, 2014

7 Out of 10

I only recited 7. That was it. It was tragic.

I’m one of those from-the-womb Christians (meaning I was born into a family with an active expression of the religion). Still being in the practice of my faith over twenty years later, I quizzed myself on the Ten Commandments just to see if I still knew what they were. There’s only ten of them, right? It shouldn’t be that hard. I racked my blanked brain—without cheating—for the final three commandments. Thankfully, God’s grace covered my mental lapse with verses like:

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11)

But I also knew that Jesus himself said:

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me… (John 14:21)

Written in the Old Testament but quoted in the New Testament, the utterance is still a contemporary edict. While our faith is what will be counted to us as righteousness (Romans 1:17) and love is the greatest of laws (Matthew 22:36 - 22:38), there is yet a blueprint on which, at the inception of Israel’s proclamation as the chosen people, we are called to live by. Following the string of biblically thematic movies, perhaps it is time for a remake of the 1956 film?

John said it best:

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (John 5:2-3)
There’s that silly song I once adored “and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.” But John also says they’ll know we are Christians because we “observe His commandments,” and to love God means keeping his rules with out contempt.  Ouch!

In all this, I still couldn’t remember the three remaining commandments. When I finally read the words regarding Moses and the mount, I was not only convicted, but also challenged. The three commandments I had forgotten were exactly the three that I had forgotten to live by. Ouch again! 

It is now a personal challenge to return to my youthful obedience and keep the commandments. All of them.

Notice I didn’t list what they were? After you’ve quizzed yourself on the Big 10, take a look at the cheat sheet of righteousness in Exodus 20:1-17. I challenge you to reassess your lawful meter and look at the blueprint in a whole new way.