I am currently teaching my kindergarten students the ten commandments, so that will be my focus for today’s reading.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3 ESV)
No one is to be before the Lord, not my spouse, not my children, not my career. God is meant to be the center of my life. Anytime I am looking to something created to give me something that only God can give me, I have an idol.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20:4 ESV)
I need to keep idols like other people’s approval out of my life for that puts God second. But if I trust and obey God and raise my children to trust and obey Him, the lineage will go on for many generations.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7 ESV)
I need to be careful to never use the Lord’s name as an exclamation in a happy or angry manner. It should only be used when addressing Him or talking about Him.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8 ESV)
God rested after He made the world as a model for me. He needs me to rest because it’s good for me. This is very important just as keeping the Sabbath holy by dedicating one day a week to Him with my worship by attending church. Both are needed for spiritual rejuvenation.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12 ESV)
As an adult, my husband and I no longer need to obey our parents. But we still owe them respect, seek their advice as the wiser ones when needed and take care of them as they age. I believe this is how we honor them.
“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13 ESV)
God created all life. Only He decides when it is over. My life should reflect a belief that life is important from the unborn through the elderly.
“You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14 ESV)
Marriage vows are sacred. Jesus said that to lust after someone who is not your spouse you have already committed adultery in your heart. My marriage should reflect complete commitment to my husband.
“You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15 ESV)
Whatever does not belong to me, should not stay with me. I have been convicted to return money at a store when they give me too much change. They look at me with surprise because many people aren’t honest, but I know it is the right thing to do.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16 ESV)
To a child, this sounds like a foreign language. I explain that we are not supposed to lie or make up stories about other people. As hard as it is sometimes to admit things we have done, honesty is always the best policy.
“You shall not covet.” (Exodus 20:17a ESV)
I need to be thankful for what I have and not be jealous of what others have. In recent years I have learned to get my eyes off of other’s “stuff,” and it has made me appreciate what I do have, to not put so much value on things that don’t matter. I only want to be remembered as a Christ follower not what I owned.
Thank you, Lord for the ten commandments. They are clear guidelines for how we should live our lives. I know that I will always fall short of your standard, as we all do. But that just reminds us of the reason Jesus came. We could never be good enough. We will always miss the mark. Jesus came to save sinners from the wrath of a perfect God. I know I don’t deserve it, but I am eternally grateful.