Hate

Re:Verse passage –Exodus 20:13 (day seven)

All of us have faced the grave temptation to harbor hatred for another in our minds.  At times we may find great joy indulging the flesh by imagining revenge and we can use that anger to fuel ourselves forward.  But be warned by this passage from 1 John that notes the attitude of Christ in the believer:

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.(1 John 3:15-18)

A follower of Jesus Christ does not take another’s life, they give their own on behalf of the other.

Hate your father and mother

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:12 (day seven)

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

When discussing true discipleship Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26 & Mt 10:37)

and on His own family He said, “A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.” Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:32-35)

Family comes with a footnote.  Your family IS eternally important, but they never come before God nor come before the 1st or 2nd commandment.

Busyness

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 2:8-11 (day seven)

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

When God calls us to a Sabbath rest many respond that we are too busy to rest.  We try to devise ways to turn 7 days into 8, while God asks us to turn 7 days into 6. Two books that have been particularly helpful for me on this issue are The Contemplative Pastor by Eugene Peterson and The Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel.

Both of these works set forth a way to turn busyness into a productiveness that allows a Sabbath.  As Peterson puts it we are too busy because we are prideful (wanting to do everything ourselves) or because we are lazy (and let everyone else in our lives determine our schedule), but there is a way to Sabbath rest if we will be intentional with our lives and seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.

In the Name of Jesus Christ

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:7 – (day seven)

Jesus’ name is as powerful as it gets.  By His name we believe, we are baptized, we prophesy, we work mighty deeds, we heal, and we thrive.  Jesus’ name is not an incantation though, it is a relationship.  The sons of Sceva learned this lesson in Acts 19:

But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”(Acts 19:13-15)

The authority of the Creator of the universe is bound up in His name that His children bear, may we cherish this relationship and live in the boldness of the name of Christ.

Worship

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:4-6 (day seven)

Idols promise to enhance the worship experience.  The craftsman imagines that if you enshrine the person of God in some visible form then every element of worship will reach new heights.  However, you do not need one more thing for worship.  Everything we need for worship and all that we need for relationship with God has already been given.

The best thing you can do today to enhance your worship is to prepare your heart in repentance and focus your attention on the Lord.  Gilded external stimuli is unnecessary to accomplish this, you have the Holy Spirit. There is no need to wait on a craftsman or rely on a minister, God is creating in you a new heart honed for worship this very moment.

Quiz Time

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:3 (day seven)

9 questions to determine who your god is:

Who do you love?
What do you get excited about?
What does your heart desire?
Who do you turn to in times of trouble?
Where do you run when you need something?
What occupies your mind?
Where do you spend your energy?
How do you spend your money?
What fills your schedule?

As we answer these sorts of questions we get the most accurate answer of who our God is.

Instructions

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:1-17 (day seven)

This week begins an exciting new study of the 10 commandments, and there are a couple of things I would like for you to do with me along the way:

  1. Since through much of the summer we will be studying a verse a week, and since the 10 Commandments are critical to our life as believers, I would like for us to memorize the text. I believe God will bless that effort and grow us more than we can imagine through a memorization exercise.  We will start with Exodus 20:1-2 this week.
  2. As I study I am going to work through 4 questions for each commandment to help set a baseline for what we are looking for:
    A. What is forbidden?
    B. What is required of me?
    C. What does this say about God’s character?
    D. Where is this commandment referenced in the New Testament?

I hope you’ll do both with me through the summer and see how God uses them to grow us.

Worship

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 24 (day seven)

However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24a)

I’ve wrestled with this passage all week, and I don’t think it is about what I thought it was about. I’ve wondered how this passage developed theologically and why God’s wrath is described the way it is.  I was greatly excited to have one more chance to call us to be a repentant people (v.10, 17), and then I got to the last verse of this last chapter of David’s reign.

The final verses cause us to consider worship.  We find David worshipping where the wrath of God stopped, and 1 Chronicles notes this is the exact spot where Solomon would build the temple.  From David until Christ, God’s children would make their way back to worship in that very spot where the mercy of God reigned.

Fruit of the Spirit

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 20 (day seven)

Galatians 5 provides a good standard of measurement: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:19-23)

This week we see more of that first list in Joab: stabbing an unsuspecting man in the belly (v.10), wreaking destruction in Abel Beth-maacah (v.15, 19) while we see more of the second list in the woman of Abel Beth-maacah: wise (v.16, 22), peaceable and faithful (v.19).

If you find yourself entertaining any of those on the first list your flesh is stealing you away from God, but when you find those characteristics listed second appearing in your life the Spirit is molding you into something holy.  May we be filled with the Holy Spirit bearing abundant fruit to bless all those around us.

Unexpected

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 18 (day seven)

There are two unexpected moments of David in our text for today.  1) David tells his military commanders to be “gentle” (v.5) on his son Absalom even though Absalom is the enemy.  2) When David hears that his enemy has been slain he weeps over the loss of his treasonous son (v.33).  In these moments David seems to care more about his villainous son than his own kingdom.

David was in a no win situation facing untold guilt in either outcome.  In those days, when there is no where else to turn, turn to God:  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.  (James 4:8-10)