Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. - 1 John 5:1-4
God’s Ten Commandments
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make false idols.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your GOD in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.
Reading 1 John 5:1-4 takes me back some 60 years to my childhood church in rural Madison County, VA. Mt. Zion Baptist Church was a brightly painted, white ship lap siding and cinder block structure that seemed fairly large to this adolescent at that time. In reality, it was probably 60-70% the size of our RCPC chapel.
I have many vivid memories of my early years at Mt. Zion…. some of substance, such as attending Easter Sunrise Services outside on the lawn, enjoying my Sunday school classes, weaving vinyl key chains in the shade under the large maple tree during vacation summer Bible school, and being baptized down the road at the low-water bridge in the Robinson River. And yes, there were the occasional revivals. Then there was that embarrassing time when the preacher had to interrupt his sermon during a sweltering Sunday morning service to reprimand several giggling boys (me included) who had just witnessed a feisty wasp dive-bomb and spooked an elderly gentleman sitting in the pew in front of us. I could reminisce on many more Mt. Zion memories, but I’ll never forget the large brown plaque with gold letters containing the Ten Commandments that hung in the vestibule as you entered the front door of the church. Believe me, you couldn’t miss it!
We all know the Ten Commandments and try to honor them each day. The first four commandments tell us how God wants to be loved, and the last six show how God expects us to demonstrate our love for others. To love all others in the family of God means that we don’t limit our love to our own denomination or group, to our own race, to our own social or financial status, or to our own political perspective. I must admit, I have often failed miserably at this. However, when we live by God’s commandments, none of these things become an issue.
As stated in Verse 2 of the assigned scripture, when we love God and obey his commandments, we love all the children of God. His commandments are straight forward and definitely not burdensome. None of us are perfect (especially me), but I pledge to continually seek to live by God’s commandments as I go about my daily life. How about you?
Gracious and loving Father, I thank you for all your many blessings, and I thank you for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray that you will help guide my thoughts and actions as I seek to follow your commandments, and to love all your children. Amen.