Permission to Love

So often we think of the Ten Commandments as a list of “thou shalt nots,” but it is so much more than a list of forbidden acts. It is permission to love God and to love His image bearers. In this sixth word, we are invited to unwrap the gift of protecting life physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but in order to genuinely do this, we must ask God to show us where we’ve allowed selfishness to invade the hidden recesses of our hearts. We pray with the psalmist David, “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression” (Psalm 19:12-13).

A Rewarding Honor

Some might read the fifth commandment, which the apostle Paul reminds us was the first with a promise (Ephesians 6:3), as a form of prosperity theology, the belief that mustering enough faith and/or obedience to God will bring wealth, health, and power. But such a belief would be taking God’s Word out of context. This command paired with the other nine show us a picture of a right relationship with authority and the natural overflow of goodness that comes when wisdom is chosen over folly and surrender over self rule. In Psalm 19, the psalmist David reminds us of the beauty of the law of the Lord and how its very presence in our lives brings great reward.

Honoring Elders

Happy August, Sweet Friends. This week in our study of the Ten Commandments, we are in Exodus 20:12 — Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. We are praying that you will come away from your time in God's Word with a fresh, expanded appreciation for this command and the elders in your life.

Preparing to Rest

Our weekly sabbath allows us to refocus on this truth in worship and meditation, to evaluate where we have failed to keep God as the center of our days, and to talk to Him about where He wants to direct us in the week ahead. But if we don’t prepare ahead, our work will likely creep into our Sabbath days, and in the planning, we can find joy in the day.