During our life, with age, we often get thoughts about how to live right, to act properly, where to look for happiness and the true meaning of life. We do not find satisfaction either in expensive purchases or in our achievements ...
We've heard about Jesus saving our lives. Is that enough or we actually need to do anything ourselves?
Bible describes a journey of individual people and nations from the beginning of times and allows to form a pretty good picture of who God is, why He created us and what is expected from us. But let’s start at the beginning.
Let's take a look at the 10 commandments from Old testament delivered to us from God by Moses. The 10 commandments were given to people thousands of years ago, they are short and simple and serve as a great start to those who want to know what God wants from us.
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- Do not bow down to an image of anything...
- You hall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- Honor your father and mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Before we get to the details of each of the commandments, let's look at a more recent writing to get a word about these commandments from Jesus Christ, the only Son of True God.
( 22:36-40 )
As per Jesus, the basis for all of these commandments that we are going to review is love & care for others.
1. You shall have no other gods before me. Or, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
Throughout the history, people were creating gods from silver, gold, wood, clay and worshiping them with sophisticated rituals, sacrificing innocent animals and people, often newborns… In modern age the most common gods or idols are wealth and power. To serve these idols, we only think of how to get more money or power despite having enough already. We turn away from helping others, lose compassion towards our friends, neighbors, people in need. Instead, we need to put the God first. Love first.
( 10:37-39 )
What does it mean to love God and put him first? If we do not see God in our daily lives, do not hear him, how can we love him? Where can we find God?
It's probably more difficult to understand our God from Old Testament, where His care for us was often perceived as a meaningless set of strict rules and restrictions. But Jesus came down to Earth to show us the true image of our Father, our God.
( 14:7 )
Therefore, to understand who God is, we need to learn more about Jesus Christ, his story and his story in the New Testament.
What does it mean to love God?
( 14:15 )
And the same thing Jesus did himself. To show the world that he loves the Father, he died on the cross, for Father had asked him to do so.
( 14:31 )
Let's show our love to Jesus who came down to represent God on Earth. Let's study his works to understand the true meaning of love. And the result of such love would be obeying his commandments.
( 4:7 )
2. Do not bow down to an image of anything
( 20:4-6 )
It's very hard to resist the temptation to worship something we see with our own eyes. Apart from making images of idols, we like to bow before the pictures of saints, kiss a painting of Jesus Christ and his mother Maria. And that leads us to a false view of who God is… Our God is not that picture in the church that can get burned or stolen. God is not a Bible, or Torah, or Quran or any other book or a scripture.
If we put our love, faith and hope into an image of something, with that image gone our hope will die. We forget that nobody has ever seen God. Nobody knows what Jesus Christ looked like. If the physical appearance of Jesus is that important, wouldn't God deliver a detailed description of him in the Bible?...
In real life Jesus unlikely looked like anything we've seen on any images of him. For his appearance was of nothing remarkable… Jesus is not meant to be recognized and remembered for his external appearance. Here is the description of the coming Messiah from the prophet Isaiah.
( 53:2 )
God does not want us to worship any images of anything. Instead, he wants us to know that God is love, and God can abide within us. We do not need any things to have or images to see in order to talk to him and to be with him. Poor and rich, healthy and disabled people - all have equal access to God.
( 4:8 )
( 4:16 )
We invite God to be with us forever, and nothing can separate us from him.
3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God
( 20:7 )
The "name" in this context means the image and reputation. It's very easy to misinterpret and misunderstand the Lord our God. If we keep hearing "I swear by God…" or "Oh my God, this is…", "God did this with me…", "God is a lie from a fairy tales" or misusing God's name ourselves, even just saying without meaning it, we lose the meaning of sacred and powerful God. And with that we'll lose the hopes of finding Him.
( 19:12 )
( 5:4 )
4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy
What do we know about Sabbath in the bible?
( 20:12 )
( 17:22-24 )
( 58:13 )
Sabbath was given to us to have a rest from our daily routine, to not worry about things or work to do, and to free up our head from the burden of this world… However, we’ve been certainly misusing the Sabbath for thousands of years… The commandment that supposed to help us unload our burdens from our minds and clear up the pathway to God was used by people as a way to punish others.
( 6:7 )
As mentioned above, this is not a day on which we are looking for benefits for ourselves or our business. And what to do when someone needs our help on a day when you can't work?
( 6:9 )
( 6:10 )
Let us keep Saturdays a day in which we will not work or seek any benefit for ourselves. But even on Saturday we will not shy away from work if it helps someone else.
5. Honor your father and mother
As we grow older, parent’s role and share in our life gets smaller. Now that we've grown older, we better understand now that our parents were actually right when they taught us something, yet it takes us years of age difference between them and us to understand that. And now as they get older, it’s get harder for them to walk, sleep, and even breathe, and the laughter of their kids that they loved to hear, moved away from their house alone with the kids. And we are still years behind to understand their sorrow.
God loves us, but he also loves our parents, and wants them to do well. So let us help him, and give a little love to those who generously gave us their love, and help them at least a little brighten up their old age, which we will soon meet ourselves.
( 5:8 )
6. You shall not murder
There is not much we can add to this, except that we should not murder not just physically, but spiritually as well. Instead, we need to love our neighbors, as well as our enemies, encourage them and help them succeed.
7. You shall not commit adultery
Here we quote Jesus himself.
( 5:27-30 )
And from apostle Paul.
( 4:3-6 )
8. You shall not steal
Do not steal any things. Do not steal a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Do not steal any right for freedom, for the place under the sky…
Do not delay payment to the one you hired.
( 19:13 )
( 10:2 )
( 6:10 )
9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor
Or, in short, do not lie… It may happen when we think that someone obviously did something wrong, and we add to our words more than we have actually seen or heard, ruining someone's life. God warns us about that.
( 25:18 )
( 19:9 )
( 4:25 )
( 23:1 )
10. You shall love your neighbor as yourself
From old testament we see a simplistic view of this commandment.
( 20:17 )
( 19:18 )
Yet, as we already know from Jesus, this commandment is the foundation of the law, which is also reminded by Paul.
( 5:14 )
It's hard to overestimate this commandment. And at the same time it's hard to fulfill it. Let's be mindful to those around us. Do not turn away from those who need help. It's a blessing to be able to help others in need.
It's natural to us to look at the riches of this world. The news of this world are focused on successful, rich people, stocks & markets… Following them brings us anxiety, envy, impatience, and dries us out. And it's not where our neighbors are. Our neighbors are not in the news. They are often the poor ones who are truly grateful for the food they get, for they do not get a lot of it. They thank God for an extra day of life for their dying child. They praise God for a new friend they get, for people often avoid them. They get happy from a single word of encouragement, for they do not get much of them in prison where some of them are. For our God is with these people, as well as those who care about those around them.
( 19:17 )
Helping our neighbors in need is what fills the emptiness inside of us. And that is what makes us closer to God.
Let's look around. We'll see co-workers, family members, our neighbors, poor people on streets. If we help these people around us, we help God.
( 25:35-40 )
( 7:12 )
( 6:27 )
These are the 10 commandments, the ten simple instructions that God gave us long time ago. They are given to us from the one who loves and cares for us. The 10 commandments is a good start for us to start following now and to get a deeper understanding of who Christ is, who showed us the true meaning of the law and the sinless life.
We highly recommend reading the Gospel from Bible covering the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his Earthly life.
And below there are some quotes from both Old and New testaments that can help us tune up our lives further.
( 1:9 )
( 1:14-15 )
( 4:11-12 )
One of the most difficult things to do is to understand what our wealth is really for…
( 2:13-14 )
( 6:7-10 )
Be humble and don't think highly of yourself.
( 25:6-7 )
( 25:27 )
( 15:2-5 )
( 4:6-8 )
( 5:14,15,18 )
( 3:13 )
( 6:16-19 )
( 6:22 )
( 4:3 )
( 3:9 )
( 12:2 )
( 1:5-7 )
( 2:15-17 )
And remember, whatever you do, do it with God in your hearts.
( 127:1-2 )