Home Messages How to Delight in the Law of the Lord | Messages | Churchisonline.com

How to Delight in the Law of the Lord | Messages | Churchisonline.com

by Jen Wilkin
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. 38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. 39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. 40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God. —1 Timothy 6:17 Two friends were talking about a business entrepreneur who had just gone public with stock in his company. “I wonder what he’s worth now?” asked one. In most societies of the world, worth is determined by wealth. But if we take away the dollar signs, what something is worth becomes a very different question. Is something valuable because it is useful? Because of its ability to bring pleasure or prestige? Or perhaps because it is truthful? The Bible gives us many insights into the real value of things. In our reading for today, the psalm writer prays, “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things.” All our earthly possessions will prove to be worthless on the judgment day of Christ. In contrast, the Bible gives us the good news of complete forgiveness of sin and guaranteed eternal life. What can be more valuable than that? We need to be continually reminded to see value from God’s perspective, because worshiping wealth remains a powerful attraction. Jesus himself warned us, “You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24). Instead, he told us to store up treasures in heaven. Prayer Lord, keep me from wanting to get rich at all cost or any means. Your Word says it’s a trap that can ensnare me with harmful desires that will plunge me into ruin. Satisfy me with the supreme value of your Spirit’s presence. Amen. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23:6. I Prophesy goodness and mercy to your life and businesses this morning in Jesus Name. Almighty God will lead you right this morning, all your endeavors will prosper in Jesus Name. Jehovah will keep you under His canopy and no evil occurrence will before you in Jesus Name. From every corners of the world, Mercy will locate you in Jesus Name.  Sam Makanjuola         TAGSchurch devotiondaily devotionalsdevotionalsprayers FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppLinkedinCopy URL Previous articleThe Problem of Suffering | Devotionals | Q4KNext articleObedience to God’s Word | Devotionals | Q4K Sam Makanjuolahttps://churchisonline.com RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Devotionals Favoritism: an Old Infection  | Devotionals | Q4K Devotionals Redemption Comes Hard | Devotionals | Q4K Devotionals God’s Beautiful Word of Grace | Devotionals | Q4K LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your comment! Please enter your name here You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.



The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Jen Wilkin
I cannot believe that you wanted to come to this session. I saw the other things that people are talking about. And I think by now the cats probably out of the bag that I have titled the session and my book in a way that is supposed to sneak attack you by calling it the 10 words that maybe you wouldn’t know until it was too late that we were actually talking about the 10 commandments. Yes, I’m so sorry. Except I’m not sorry at all. You know, there was this whole trend a few years back, where and I think it still is going on where you’re supposed to choose your word for the year. Has anybody done this, where you choose your word, and it’s always things like, rest or, or a flight or aptitude or, and one of my friends came up with hesitates for her word. And I’m like, All right, I was like I was tempted to mock this whole thing. But that is genius, like hesitate for your word for the year would be fantastic. And so I’m wondering like if you had a word for the year, we just went through? What would you say? Pivot? Unprecedented, right. And so as I was thinking about the timing of this talk, and just this whole idea of what is your word, and here I am coming out with what I hope you would take with you for every year, not just one word, but 10 words. But I also hope that in thinking about those 10 words, you would in fact, think of one word when you think about them. And that word is delight. That word is delight. Those of you who are able Would you stand with me for the reading of God’s Word. We’ll be in Exodus chapter 20. Control your surprise. Starting in verse one. And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make 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, you shall not bow down to them or serve them for I the LORD your God and Majelis God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third, and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to 1000s of those who love Me and keep My commandments. 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. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work you or your son or your daughter, your male servant or your female servant, or your livestock or the sojourner who is within your gates For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth to see and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord bless the Sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 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 your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbors. This is the word of the Lord. You may be seated. Who on earth cares about the 10 commandments? Why would we even revisit them as my title suggests? Aren’t they just dusty and dreary, they’re back in the Old Testament where scary God was. We know that we get to hang out in the New Testament because of Jesus. Why would we even go back to the 10 commandments?

Jen Wilkin
And I think it goes to the idea of who the scriptures call blessed. If you’re familiar with Psalm one, those opening lines to the entire psalter, who does it say is the man who is called Blessed? It is the one whose delight is in what? The law and on it he does what he meditates day and night. My suspicion for why you and I don’t delight in the law is that we don’t meditate on it. And I propose that we would make meditation of it, that it might become for us the delight that it should be. Maybe you have heard this phrase, Christianity isn’t about rules. It’s about relationship. True or False? True or False? Well, Christianity is absolutely certainly about relationship. But to say that rules are in opposition to race relationship makes no sense whatsoever. Why? Because rules actually enable relationship rules are communal in their nature. And you actually know this, I’m going to give you an example and see if you can relate to it. Let’s say that you get home from this conference. And on Monday morning, you had a call that you need to substitute at the school in your town in a kindergarten class. And you have the choice between substituting in a class with a teacher whose name is Mrs. Smith, but she has the kids color, Susan. And she just loves them so much. They are just adorable, and she just wants them to feel loved and known and seen. Or you can substitute in Mrs. Jones’s class. Her children call her Mrs. Jones, or ma’am, she has rules posted on the board things like don’t hit people. Here are the expectations for being in my class. Now, let me ask you, which of those two classes do you want to substitute in? You want the class with the rules? Why? What does Mrs. Jones know that Mrs. Smith has not yet locked into that there is a purpose for them being together in that room, and that they cannot live with one another at peace and accomplish the goals of that gathering space if they don’t have some things that are agreed upon, as a community. Rules are not in opposition to relationship. Rules are what enable relationship to happen. And the rules that God gives us are the rules that show us how to live in relationship with him and with our neighbor. Rules are actually good for us. And the great commandment makes this connection right when Jesus sums up the law. What does he say says it’s to love God and love your neighbor. And someone said to me this week, when they heard that I was preparing this talk, he said, well, but are you he’s like, I’m thinking about this a lot and like, doesn’t basically love replace the law. And I had to just pause for a second and say, but you realize that all of God’s commands are loving. They come from a loving God, and the law matters to us still because it is a reflection of the character of an unchanging God. The God that we say that we love is the same God who speaks the 10 commandments from the top of Sinai. obedience to God’s law, is an expression of our love for Him. Listen to First John five, one through five. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well. Okay, so often I would read this verse and think, oh, that means that we love God the Father. So we also love the son, we love Jesus Christ, but it’s actually saying something different. Listen, I’m going to start back at verse one and read again, everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God, did you hear it, it just became plural, by loving God, and carrying out his commandments. This is how we know that we love the children of God by loving God and carrying out his commands. In other words, this is how we know that we love one another. Because we love God and we carry out his commands. And this is where it really grabs me, verse three. In fact, this is love for God to keep His commands, and his commands are not burdensome. His commands are not burdensome. Many of us have been a part of the movement over the last 10 or 15 years or so that has appropriately emphasize the beauty of grace in the gospel.

Jen Wilkin
But I wonder if we haven’t occasionally overcorrected? In our zeal to make sure that we don’t embrace moralism. Have we set aside a zeal for morality? You see moralism is obedience to the commands of God for the wrong motive for the purpose of earning for the purpose of self promoting or self elevating, but morality, that is obedience to the commands of God because we delight to obey the one who has called us by His grace. So with matters of justification, you cannot save yourself by obedience. with matters of sanctification, you demonstrate that you are in fact, a child of God, by delighting to do His will. I’m so thankful that the topic of the conference is the book of James because you’ve already had to start doing some of the mental math around what it is to call someone to obey. Without embracing legalism. Nobody wants legalism in the church. But you know what the other word is for morality and the life of the believer is sanctification. It’s growing in holiness, by seeking to do what pleases the Lord. But don’t miss that all laws are communal. And we are designed for communion with God and communion with others and the 10 words the 10 commandments, they show us how to have that community. The individualism has become so prevalent even within the church. So we don’t value ways of joining and community the way that we should. If it’s just a personal relationship between me and God, then I don’t need roll so much to live with you. You may drive me crazy, but I will just avoid you. But that’s not the call of the Christian life. We are not just called into individual personal relationship with God, we are called into community with one another as well. Laws are communal and they assume relationship, which means that individualism stated in its most clear terms is lawlessness itself. It is a desire to be a law unto myself. And what individualism will tell me is that I can commit a sin that will only impact me. And that’s a terrible lie. We all know that this isn’t true, but we need to say it to ourselves, we need to remind ourselves that personal sin always results in collateral damage, always. There is no such thing as a sin that we commit in secret that doesn’t in some way end up negatively impacting others. That is the relationship being articulated in the great commandment, you cannot have your own set of sins that only impact you. But here’s good news. Personal obedience, always results in collateral benefit. Personal obedience always results in collateral benefit. When one of us obeys God’s law, it is good for all of us. Just think if many of us did. So here are two primary misconceptions I want to give you about the 10 words, the 10 commandments, first, they’re no longer relevant. They’re just not binding. They’re not helpful. You know, Jesus fulfilled the law. So it’s not binding on me anymore. But you’re seeing in the book of James, that he refers to the law as the law that gives freedom. It’s actually something that frees us up to live the way we were designed to live in communion with one another and in communion with Him. And that when Paul speaks about the law as a burden, he is referring to our justification, not our sanctification. So you’ve got Paul and James often pitted against each other, when in fact, they’re tackling two different aspects of our salvation. Paul is worried about making sure that you know, there’s nothing you can do to be saved when it comes to your justification. But James, reminding us, those of us who have the great gift of salvation are eager to do what is pleasing to the Lord.

Jen Wilkin
Now, many people will say that teaching the 10 commandments promotes legalism. I mean, we all know about the Pharisees, right? And there is this sense that if you look at a spectrum, you’ve got over here, the lawless people, the law breakers, and over here you have the lawful people, the Pharisees, but what you really have on this spectrum are two different forms of law breakers. Because the person who embraces license and says I will be a law unto myself, is flouting the will of God. But so also is the person who takes the law and uses it as a means of self elevation. You see the Pharisees were act Surely not good at obeying the law. They were consummate law breakers because they’ve taken the law of God that was meant to bring holiness about in the children of God, and they’ve used it to build self righteousness. Instead, they have right behavior and wrong motive. They have confused obedience as earning with what obedience was intended to be obedience, as worship. Think about when the law is given at Mount Sinai. Do you remember what Moses was told to go and say to Pharaoh with regard to the children of Israel, he was to go to Pharaoh and say, Let my people go, that they may worship Me in the wilderness. And we find out later that they’re going to offer this worship on the site of a particular mountain. But have you connected that statement to what actually happens when they get to the mountain because when they get to the mountain, they’re given the law. It is through our worshipful obedience, that we approach God as he would want. You know, other where other places in the Scripture is spoken to people who, who acknowledge Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. But what we see here is that obedience offered from the right motive is actually worship. It is is I will talk about tomorrow, are reasonable act of worship. Many people believe that law and grace are oppositional, we’re under Grace, the law is an enemy to us. But in fact, the miracle of our justification is that the law which once hung over us now lies underneath our feet, as the very narrow path that Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount. The law becomes miraculously in the life of the believer, a means of grace, because it shows us how to please God. And it is grace that fuels our obedience by the work of the Spirit in our hearts. Listen to Titus 211 through 14 It says, For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness Did you hear it, Grace instructs us to obey. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age moralism or morality. That’s morality. While we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are his very own catch this last part, eager to do what is good. Those of us who are redeemed who have grace extended to us should be eager to do what is good. Do you hear the language of the light creeping back in we should delight to do what is good. But the second misconception about the 10 words is this, that they are simple to obey. Like, really, if you’re thinking about the 10 commandments, and I just read through I mean, I don’t even know if you did this as we were reading them aloud. But were you kind of like mentally grading yourself just a little bit. And if you do, what would you give yourself? Like, What score would you come up with? There’s 10 questions. So it’s not that hard to grade this pop quiz. And you’re ticking them off, and you’re like, nope, haven’t whittled anything today. You know, no, haven’t said swear words. So I’m rocking along. You know,

Jen Wilkin
what do you get up to like, Oh, but I have before, right? Like, you can think of things that maybe you have done before, but pretty much most of us are going to hit at least two of them. We’re going to be like, Well, I haven’t done that. Right, we get murder and adultery. And you’re like, Nope, no, you don’t have any there so many of us would give ourselves around an ad on that pop quiz, even if we’ve had some bad days in there. And why is that? Well, I think it’s probably because we haven’t meditated on them. Because we haven’t meditated on them. And we do we want a test that we can pass or at least do fairly well on but if you know enough about theology, you know that an ad isn’t actually a high enough grade on the 10 commandments because you gotta get all 10 So I propose that we meditate on them just a little bit. Now there are 10 of them, and I have 25 minutes left. So it’s going to be an introductory and brief meditation I will warn you that the last time I did this talk, it took me one hour and 20 minutes. And I think people would be displeased with me if that happened again. So we’re going to try to move for them at a fairly big, fairly rapid clip. But I don’t want you to think that because of the pace at which we are moving, that they are not worthy of greater consideration, because they absolutely are, I can tell you that in the time that I took to write the book and to spend time thinking on them, I went from, what on earth am I going to put in this chapter to? How am I going to end this chapter? That is way too much. And this is what we want. We don’t want to look at them for a checkbox obedience. We want to be pushed toward what Jesus pushed us toward and the Sermon on the Mount. When you hear God’s commands, are you looking for the underlying idea? And are you seeking for an expansive obedience? Not a bare minimum and expansive obedience? Well, sure, I could just be a not murderer. But what if there was a better way to show that I love the Lord through obedience to this law a deeper way, a meditative way? So let’s go You ready? Number one, you shall have no other gods before me. So you may tell yourself, okay, I’m doing fine. I’m not worshipping other gods. I mean, I get it. We’re monotheistic. And this really was the message to the original audience. One God wasn’t a significant message. Why? Because they had just come out of Egypt, and they were headed into Canaan and Egypt and Canaan are both polytheistic. But we also live in a polytheistic world, do we not? It may not be overtly so. But there are 1000 things telling us that we need to worship them, worship them in the place of Gods certainly, but that’s not usually the way that idol worship functions. The reason that polytheism exists is because people don’t just want one God, they want a lot of gods. And so when you and I are tempted to break the first command, we are tempted to break it, not by setting aside the one true God. But guess what? By adding another god to our mono Theon. And so we enter into a I need God plus fill in the blank relationship with something in our lives. So if you want to try to identify what is my I need God and this thing, I want you to ask yourself, what is it? What is the thing that if it happened, you would doubt your face. Now, I don’t mean to say that there are not legitimate times in our lives where we go through a crisis, and we doubt our face. I’m not discrediting that or saying that that is a terrible thing for you to have to walk through. And you’re terrible Christian, if you do. But what I am saying is, if you want to pinpoint the thing that you are adding to your worship of God, you can usually trace it down to what is my deal breaker. And so for some of us, it’s, well, I need God, and I need children who are wildly successful, or I need God, and I need this much money in the bank to feel calm, or I need God and fill in the blank, I need to look eternally youthful, something like that. And what the first commandment is telling us to do is to pledge allegiance to God alone, to give all of our honor to him. We’re talking about in the book of James, the double minded person. And this is what James is getting at. It’s the person who says, I need God and I need something else. So when we talk about obeying the first command, it is not enough for us to say, Well, I haven’t you know, I don’t like worship Baal and God. It’s to say, no, no, what is that thing that I think I have to add to God, in order to feel like I’ve got everything under control?

Jen Wilkin
So how have we been double minded people? To what or whom are we tempted to swear our allegiance to in addition to God, I think we’ve had a nice year of testing to kind of show up some of those things for it’s just me. I need God and Netflix, I need God and a whole lot of chocolate, I need God and it whatever it is, that has to be that brings you your peace of mind in addition to your relationship with him. So the second word I told you, we were going to move quickly. You shall not make for yourself a carved image. Why? Because God is a jealous God. So hang on, something has shifted here we had don’t add anything to your worship of God. And I would just add that when you add anything to your worship of God, any worship you are offering to God is then defiled because you’ve added something to it. This is why it’s so important that we have only one God and also I would just note that the reason we are told that We are to pledge our allegiance to God alone that we should only have one god is because there is only one God. Like, the first commandment is an invitation into reality. But when we get to the second command, you shall not make for yourself a carved image. It feels like maybe we’re we’ve already been here before, didn’t we just talked about this. But a different thing is going on here. Making a carved image is actually referencing diminishing God in some way by representing him in created form. So if you think about any kind of carved idol, and if you were one of those people who’s like, well, I don’t widdle so I’m good on this one. I think we all will, just a little bit. If you think about the story of the golden calf back in Exodus, which alarmingly happens while the whole 10 commandments thing is playing out. Do you remember what it is that Aaron does when he makes the golden calf? He he makes it as a representation of Yawei like they hold a feast to Yawei when they they give their worship to this golden calf, but have you ever asked yourself why is it a golden calf? Like, why not something else? Why not an eagle? Why not? I mean, why did he go with the golden calf? Do you know why? Do you know what the principal deity in Egypt looked like? One of them was a bull. And you know what one of the principal deities in Canaan was also a bull. And so when Aaron decides that he is going to fashion an idol to represent the one true God, what does he do? He looks around at the pantheistic world that he lives in? And does he make your way to look like a bull strong and terrifying. Now it’s like a cute little version of it. It’s an adorable little calf. And then he says, Let’s worship this as Yahweh. He domesticates and diminishes the one true God. Well, we do this. God is a God of love, guys. And then full stop. We don’t talk about the other things that are true about God. So we whittle away at his sovereignty. We talk about mercy, and we talk about grace. But we never talk about justice or wrath, or even jealousness, which is mentioned here. And why is God jealous? He’s jealous, not in the way that you and I are, we are jealous, because we’re petty and ridiculous. God is jealous for what is rightfully his. For what is rightfully his, he is not a dumbed down version of himself. And so to obey the second command, we seek to worship God in the splendor of His Holiness, we seek to worship all that we can know of him to be true, not simply picking and choosing the pieces with which we are the most comfortable or the pieces with which we are historically the most familiar. We seek to know him as fully as we are able to know Him and to offer our worship to Him. And notice that this idol worship thing that is being talked about here, this diminishing of the one true God, it says you will not bow down and you will not worship or serve. So it impacts our posture, and it impacts our actions. And not only that, but you will notice that idol worship is contagious. It moves from one generation to the next. What are we supposed to do we’re supposed to tell the next generation of the works of the Lord not hand down some lesser version of him that we have crafted for our own suit suitability and preferences.

Jen Wilkin
Not only that, but the reason it is such a terrible thing to make a lesser image of God is because John 14 Nine tells us Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father we have the image of God in Jesus Christ. And not only that, but we bear the image of God and as those who are being restored to that image we should want to image him well ourselves. Okay, number three here we are you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain I wasn’t teaching you the hand signals would you like me to okay number one what was it no other gods before me. Look, there’s just one god number two Oh, he looks like him only slightly different. What is it? Don’t make a graven image right? Number three, you shall not take the name and Lord your God in vain. Do you see the words W words don’t take the Lord’s name in vain you got it. It’s gonna be great. Because the Lord will not hold him guiltless he takes his name in vain. So literally this is you shall not bear up or lift up the name of the Lord your God to falsehood. God’s name is not to be used as an incantation. nation. Have you ever heard someone pray in Jesus name as though by saying praying in Jesus name was going to make the prayer come true. We’re not to use the name of the Lord in that way we pray in Jesus name understanding that when we talk about the name of God, the Bible uses that to signify the sum total of his character. It means according to who you are, may it be done, it is actually a statement of submission to His will. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God in vain. Everything that we say or do will either illuminate or obscure the character of God. So your memory tool I gave you was for words, but I have bad news, because I’ll tell you what I grew up thinking as long as I didn’t say certain swear words that involved using God in them, then we were good on this. But if you didn’t say those words, lightning was coming through the ceiling and frying you on the spot. Like that was the what my mom communicated to me and my siblings, and I still am scared. If I’m watching a movie and someone says one of those words I’m like, oh, here it counts. I’m not over it yet. But it turns out, it’s much bigger than that. Anything that we do, that obscures the character of God, as an image bearer, redeemed by the blood of Christ, we are breaking the third command. But what if we were people whose words and actions magnify who he is, we would not just fulfill it, we would have meditatively delighted in it. We are to be those who lift up the name of the Lord to glorification not lifted up to falsehood or emptiness. So an expansive obedience looks beyond simply avoiding certain words. Expansive obedience looks beyond just whittling a little figure and expansive obedience looks beyond just not choosing something to replace God with and says, How can I go above and beyond in showing that I delight in the law? Okay, the fourth commandment, what’s this little guy doing here? He’s taking a nap guys. What’s the fourth command? Keep the Sabbath holy. Right. Okay, except that as it turns out, the Sabbath is actually about more than naps. Here’s the deal. If you remember what the full command said, it said that on that day, you should not work you your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your livestock or the sojourner who is within your gates, you remember that I mentioned that laws are communal in nature. Now we’ve been looking at how the first three show us how to be in communion with God. And with the fourth, we begin to shift a little and see elements come in about communion with others as well. God Institute’s regular patterns of rhythm, regular rhythm of rest in our lives. I’m not here today to work out the squabbles between the sabbatarians and the non sabbatarians. And if you don’t know as that is, What a blessed existence you live in, praise the Lord for you. But we can all acknowledge no matter where you fall on that conversation that the Bible says we need to rest. And we need to rest not just so that we can refuel and recharge, like I think that sometimes we have confused Sabbath with self care.

Jen Wilkin
But more than the deliberative the deliberate cessation of work for the purpose of decompressing Sabbath is the deliberate cessation of any activity that might reinforce my belief in my own self sufficiency. In contrast to cultural ideas of rest marked by self care, Sabbath Rest is actually marked by self denial. We cease, even though we really don’t want to, so that we might learn some important lessons about who keeps the universe in motion. But if I do not cease from my labors, it means that others cannot cease from their labors either. So when we think about the importance of Sabbath rest, we need to understand that it is communal, when we don’t rest, we prevent others from resting as well. So we should ask what it is that steals our rest? Is it screens? Is it our ambition? Is it our sense of self worth? And we should be willing to love the Lord our God with our heart, soul, mind and strength, even in the moments where we cease from using our strength, so that we can acknowledge who he is. But we should also ask how does our inability to rest steal it from others? And the thing with Sabbath is that it just stretches throughout the Bible, right? You remember Jesus heals the hand of the man on the Sabbath and He gets all these questions about it. And he basically He demonstrates to that group that comes against him. That while the letter of the law might say that we should seize from our labors, that the heart of the Sabbath law is actually that we would labor to secure the rest of others. So the man with the withered hand he receives a reprieve from his suffering. But the Old Testament laws on Sabbath show us that we are to give a reprieve to those who labor for us there were reprieves for debt there was reprieves for servitude. reprieves for the land. That those of us who are responsible for the labor of others should be asking, How can I grant rest to them? But beyond that, if we know someone who is laboring under a burden of suffering, how can we be a means of bringing Sabbath rest to them? Sabbath is a massive concept. If only all we had to do was nail down, whether it’s one day of the week or not. All right, next, we’re on number five. Here’s your hand motion, do you like how original they all are, I’ve really worked hard on these for you. The way you can remember this is I solemnly swear to honor my father and my mother, that your days may be long on the land that the Lord your God is giving you. So we start to see a shift. All of the 10 commandments are about showing honor, the first four are about honoring God. And now with the fifth one, we begin to see that there are other forms of honor that we should show. So we go from honoring heavenly authority to honoring earthly authority. The Westminster catechism would teach us that the expansive understanding of this commandment is not just that you would send a Mother’s Day card or a Father’s Day card, but that you would honor all superiors in age or authority to yourself. That anyone who has lived longer knows more than you has a position of authority over you falls into this category, spiritual mothers, spiritual fathers. These are who we can give our honor to. And I have to tell you, this is really good news, because I’ve been in ministry long enough to know that some of you have difficult relationships with your earthly parents. But guess what, though an earthly parent may be a hard person to show honor to, and we should try hard to anyway. We should be at no loss to find spiritual mothers and fathers in the family of God who we can give our honor to and our deference to how countercultural is this? In a society that says that the elderly are no longer useful to us? That we, as the children of God could show something so remarkably different by valuing those who are advanced in age and experience. You know, the 10 commandments are actually not written to children. But this is the verse that we love to quote to our kids, is it not. So I’m not saying you don’t tell that five year old where it’s at. But when the 10 commandments are given, they’re given to adults. Honor your father and mother.

Jen Wilkin
You are responsible for making sure that they are cared for and seen and loved. And listen, I know about difficult family relationships. And if it’s impossible to show honor to an earthly parent, either because they just missed it so badly, or because they’re no longer even around for you to circle back and try to clean that thing up. I believe you still show honor to them indirectly. When you seek out those who are in your life who were the person you needed, and you show honor to them. Children of God should never be the last know who they can show honor to. Okay, so parents, teachers, pastors, government officials, people who have been spiritual mentors to you in the faith. And so we progressed from a discussion of how we relate to our heavenly parent to our earthly parents, and now to our brothers and sisters, to our neighbors. Like essentially you could say that the last five of the 10 words speak to the proper treatment of our siblings. And we start with this one number six, You shall not murder you under the hand signal. Kapow. Okay, you shall not murder. Honor your neighbor’s personhood. Your neighbor is made in the image of God. Jesus addresses this in the Sermon on the Mount. He addresses the attitude of those who would say well, I’ve never shoved a knife into someone’s back. So I’m good on this one. And what does he do? He links murder to Anger and to contempt. Oh, no. Like, since you woke up this morning, have you been angry? Probably more than why you’re at a conference, you might be sort of writing a high right now. But think about your typical morning, you know, like I can be angry like 10 times before lunch. And anger is a normal response to having our wills violated. Okay, so it’s like a natural in its in its in its first instance, it’s just a negative emotion that triggers when our will has been violated. But when we nurture it, and sit on it, which happens, basically a nanosecond after we feel it for most of us, that’s when it begins to turn into sin. And if it’s left unguarded, it will degrade even further into contempt. And so anger would say, I don’t like you, you made me mad, and contempt would say, you are worthless. This is the teaching that Jesus gets to when he talks about anyone who says, Thou fool and all of that, and he gives us progression for them so that they can see Do you see where this is headed? Because listen, if you never got angry and sat on it, and you never got to the point where you started to think of someone as not being worth anything, you wouldn’t murder. The only way you can justify killing someone is to say that they are worth nothing. So Jesus is not equating the sins of anger and contempt with the sin of murder, it is still better to only be angry with someone than to kill them. Everybody gets that right. But what is he saying? He’s saying, I want internal obedience. I want internal motive attached to external behavior. I don’t want just external behavior, because you can be a not murderer and still be filled with contempt. Get to the root of it. Martin Luther, John Calvin, Aquinas all taught that we become murderers, when we just fail to recognize the plight of others. When we are unaware of the world around us, those who are dealing with difficulty when we’re too busy with our own concerns, to reach out to those around us, because it’s not enough to simply be a not murderer or we should be people as the children of God who are life givers, life preservers, life valuers and nurturers and protectors. That will involve simple things like opening our hands to the poor and needy but it will involve being involved in a whole life pro life ethic where we value life from birth to the grave. Where we reach out to help those in need and to raise them up. So sure, congratulate yourself that you haven’t murdered anyone. But if contempt is harbored in your heart you’re probably not loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Alright, number seven, you ready? Do you know what it is? You shall not what? commit adultery

Jen Wilkin
you know what the after lunch session is the worst Okay? commit adultery. They’re standing at the altar of bride and groom you got it? We’re gonna have to move so we can get through this. So if we had honor your neighbors personhood and you shall not murder now we have on your neighbor’s personhood part two, because we often say well, as long as I haven’t slept with someone, I’m good on this one. But the seven command is not just about sex. As the Sermon on the Mount shows us. It begins with lust. And don’t get confused on this lust is not about an adultery. It’s not about an illicit romance. It’s about unchecked lust. That’s what’s being addressed here. Lust is an act of contempt, it reduces someone to a source of sexual gratification, and nothing more. If the six command prohibited regarding our neighbor as expendable, the seven prohibits regarding our neighbor as consumable as consumable. If we want to keep the Seventh Word in a hyper sexualized culture that says lust is something we just have to deal with instead of what the Bible says that lust is something we are to put to death. Then the children of God will operate very differently than the world around them. They will actually believe the way that the New Testament speaks of us that we are brothers and sisters. We will treat each other as human beings made in the image of God. We have to remember Adel Foy if we are to obey You shall not commit adultery, adultery is about consuming. Not about having a romantic encounter with someone and listen, I know some of you women are like, Oh, well, lust that’s kind of that man thing. You know, the whole sexual lust thing. I think that we have ways of last thing we lust for intimacy. We want something from someone because we want to feel a certain way, but we don’t want it within all of the normal boundaries in which it flourishes. This. But if we would remember a Delphi boy, this is my sister, this is my brother, we would not consume one another. Number eight, you ready? Hold up four fingers. You’re in jail. You know why? You stole you son of a gun? What’s the eighth command? You shall not steal. So we had honor your neighbor’s personhood. And now we have honor your neighbor’s belongings. We have to understand the principle of stewardship, what makes someone want to steal it, why they want to steal because they believe the boundary lines have not fallen for them in pleasant places, and they want what someone else has. And so we’re getting now to an expansive obedience that relies on us having an understanding ourselves as a distribution point for things instead of as a terminus. So if you understand yourself as a terminus, you are living as a taker and not as a giver. And when it comes to matters of wealth, you will perceive yourself as where things come to have their final resting place. But if you view yourself as a distribution point, understanding that God actually is the one who owns all things, you will labor to give away that which was never truly yours to begin with. So rather than saying, What can I take, we become a people who expansively embrace this command and say, what might I give? What might I lend without expecting repayment? How can I help someone in need so they will not want to steal themselves? All right, number nine, we’re moving fast. Look, here’s some guys over here. Here’s some other guys over here. This guy, he’s talking to these guys about these guys? What’s the knife command? don’t bear false witness. So honor your neighbor’s personhood, honor your neighbor stuff. And now we have honor your neighbor’s reputation. Proverbs 2518 says a man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club or a sword or a sharp arrow, could there be a more timely word for us to think about in today’s social media age? Because it is not enough for us to fastidiously steer clear of speech that harms our neighbor, although we should absolutely do that. Because many of us who would never contemplate murdering someone are more than happy to commit character assassination on them with our words. It ought not to be so we should steer clear of speech that harms our neighbor, but we should steer clear of people whose speech harms our neighbor as well. Pay attention? Because I’ll tell you what, one of the least pastoral things you will ever hear is someone who continually attacks the character of others. I don’t know why it isn’t easier for us to see it. Why are we so surprised when someone who has been nothing but aggressive on social media toward others, suddenly turns out to be not who we thought they were? Who is the accuser of the brethren in the father of lies?

Jen Wilkin
It is Satan himself. The children of God should be those who speak not just the truth about others, but who build one another up in our speech. So we’ve had don’t do it with commands 567 and eight, and then we’ve had don’t say it with command number nine. And guess what number 10? Is? Don’t even think about it. What’s the 10th command? Give me all your stuff. You shall not covet shall not covet a whole bunch of things, your neighbor’s house, his wife, his male servants, female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that is our neighbor’s. There is something in coveting that is not just I want your stuff, it’s that I wish harm upon you because of the stuff you have. To be cannot love our neighbor and simultaneously want what our neighbor has. And going back to my point I just made about slander, what is more like Satan than wanting what is not ours? And what is more like Christ, than desiring the well being of others, above our own? These are short meditations on the 10 words, they require much more thought on our part for us to have an expansive obedience, but think about it. If the children of God lived according to these good rules of engagement with God and with others, it would be for us a foretaste of what eternity will be like. Because in the new heavens and the new earth, God’s law will everywhere and in all places be perfectly obeyed. And you know this like you know the punchline to this you know, that Jesus Christ perfectly obeyed them all. Not only did he not worship other gods, he worshipped God perfectly. Not only did he not fashion less than images of God, He bore the image of God perfectly. Not only did he not break the Sabbath, He secured eternal Sabbath rest for us. Not only did he not dishonor his parents and earthly authorities, he honored them perfectly. Not only did he not murder, he was murdered on our behalf and the ultimate life giving act. Not only did he not commit adultery, he was pure in all of his interactions for the sake of the Church, His Bride. Not only did he not steal, he gave to the uttermost, holding nothing back. Not only did he not bear false witness, he embodied truth itself. And not only did he not covet, he emptied himself and took on the lowest place willingly. Why? Because of love for God, and love for others. You know, we know that Christ fulfills the 10 words. But do we picture him delighting to do it, that it was his delight. The 10 words pressed the believer toward communion with God and others, they show us how to love and honor God. They show us how to love and honor our neighbor. They show us how to look like Christ. And they point us toward the New Jerusalem. You know, so many people want to know what God’s will is for their lives. And here it is. Here is a means to be holy to be conformed to the image of the sun, on earth as it is in heaven. If we were to delight in the 10 commandments, we would begin to live on Earth as a citizen of heaven, anticipating that future sweetness. When we like Christ, fully obey the law. May it be said of us as it could be said of him. I delight to do Your will. Oh, my God. Your law is within my heart. Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, make delight our word. We pray, Lord, that that word would be written on our hearts as the sum total of how we feel about your beautiful good and pure law which shows us what is pleasing to you and what keeps us in right relationship with you and with others. Lord, we thank you that because Christ has fulfilled the law perfectly, we now are given grace by the power of the Spirit, to walk as He walked.

Jen Wilkin
Give us courage, give us strength. Give us the sweet communion of saints that helps us to move forward together, that we might increasingly look like the bride that Christ came to ransom. And we ask all these things in His name. Amen.

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