- There is one God who is the Lord
- Do not Take His Name in Vain
- Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
- Honor Your Father and Mother
- Do not murder
- Do not commit adultery
- Do not steal
- Do not bear false witness
- Do not covet specific items
- Do not covet anything that is your neighbors
Certainly these commands are literally true, but is there more to being a Christian than avoiding these errors? The gospel according to John summarized the relationship between the Old Covenant laws and Christian practice by observing that, “the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17) So, what grace and truth did Jesus bring for us to see in these ten articles of His contract with the human race? What is the eternal message written into this text by the finger of God?
Far from being a simple condemnation of widely accepted moral errors, the Ten Commandments describe every believer’s spiritual bill of rights. Take a look at that list of laws again and then consider this list of rights that God is proclaiming through those words given to Moses:
- You have the right to know the Lord your God
- You have the right to talk to Him and call upon Him for help anytime you want or need him
- You have the right to worship Him in community with other believers
- You have the right to find mentors for your life’s journey, people who love you and support you in your walk of faith and who can teach you God’s Word
- You have the right to life and the power to give life in the name of Jesus Christ
- You have the right to pursue true love in a faithful marriage between one man and one woman
- You have the right to receive a multitude of good things, an overflowing abundance of blessings from God and you have the right to give what you have to others
- You have the right to acknowledge your faith to others and so spread the good news of salvation.
- You have the right to live free of sin and free of the desire to sin.
- You have the right to live without fear.
This is every believer’s spiritual bill of rights, the benefits of the covenant signed by the finger of God. God has promised great things to the human race. He wants to give us His love, His presence, His blessings, His power, His vision – in short, He wants to give us everything that He has…and that’s everything! The only limit on God’s goodness toward us is our own free will. He created us so that we can choose to live under His law and so enjoy the rights that it conveys, or we can choose to rebel, ignore, or dismiss the way that reality works and so limit God’s ability to bless us.
The choice is yours.
And so, today, pray this prayer. Choose the blessing over the curse, and accept all of the blessings that God has in store for you, right now, and forever.
- Thank you Jesus for Being God, for asking to be my friend and savior and leaving me in freedom to respond.
- Thank you for Your Creation, especially for creating me on purpose to find your purpose in my life and to become an angel in heaven.
- Thank you for Your Peace and Hope which strengthens me for the journey of life.
- Thank you for Providing me with Mentors, Supporters, Believers and Guides who can participate in Your leadership of my life.
- Thank You for Life every day, good and bad, weak and strong, I know you foresee all evil and provide all good. So thank you for the opportunity to choose every day to live in your presence and bring your vitality, love, and wisdom into my relationships with others as I follow your example.
- Thank You for true love and for providing me in this life or in the next with a perfect match, lasting love, and eternal bliss. Strengthen me for the walk toward faithful marriage today and everyday, to live not for myself but for others.
- Thank You for every blessing, every skill, every insight, every opportunity, everything. Remind me to give credit to you for all that you do and open my eyes ever more to see your presence and activity in my life and in the world around me.
- Thank You for bringing me into a community of believers that gives strength when I am down, clarity when I am in doubt, hope when I am desolate. May I come to see you more and more in each of their faces and may I strive to follow your example so that they might see your face in me.
- Thank You for the love that you place in my heart — may it always be new so that with every challenge, every temptation, and every hard time I may choose to let my old life die and be replaced by your life in more and more ways every day of my life.
- Thank You for life eternally new and happy, for faith which dispels fear, replacing it with peace and confidence in You.
All this we pray in Your name, our Lord and God, Jesus Christ. AMEN.