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Posts Tagged ‘ten commandments’

“Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” [Leviticus 19:11] Period. 
We are living in a culture in which lying has become a norm. I think we always knew that our leaders were lying but up until recently, there was a kind of unspoken understanding that the “lies” were somehow for our good, that we were being shielded from the ugly truth of dangers around the world. We were like little children who were not ready to hear about sex or how babies are born or that our beloved Uncle was a raging alcoholic and wife beater. Everything is fine.

But now, we are discovering that the lies are bigger and more dangerous. They are so pervasive that it has become difficult to discern the truth anywhere. We have one side exposing truth as breaking news and the other side proclaiming that all news is fake. Like the barrage of violence in games and movies and in real life on our streets and in our neighborhoods, we are becoming desensitized to it.  So it seems, with lies.

So what does this have to do with me, right here, sitting in my quiet chair in prayer?

First of all, I’m not much better inside my little life. I exaggerate and pretend, I withhold and I cheat. I too am a liar. So was I convicted this morning as the notifications ran across my screen about the lying game in Washington. I am no better and before I get all self-righteous about others, I must clean up my own house.

Forgive me God.

Because the political climate right now is so charged and the people so divided, my only comfort comes in praying for the power of truth to prevail. I pray that Truth expose evil and lies and danger.

But I also pray for truth in my own life. Fill me Lord with the Truth of your Holy Spirit, fill me with your kingdom that truth be my natural way. Stop my mouth before I speak, soften my heart before I judge, breathe into me.

Lying is a choice and for this reason, it is sin. We all know better, whether Christian or Muslim or Jew or Buddhist or Hindu or Atheist. Let us all carry the banner of Truth today.

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Photo By Irm Brown

Is this the ultimate Sabbath-rest — is this heaven? Having gotten excited about Rob Bell’s Love Wins and the idea of heaven on earth and the manifestation of the Kingdom within now, I have to ask, what is this? Or is it a call to a 7-day week with a rest day?

Hebrews 4:9-10
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

Instead, I’m thinking it’s more inclusive. The 6-day work week and the 7th day rest has been a classic model throughout Jewish history. It was cultural as well as mandated by the law. Why, it’s even in the Ten Commandments: (Number Four) “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 . . .” [Exodus 20:8-10a]

But, when I look more closely at these rather convoluted passages from Hebrews Four, I must re-think this idea of work and no-work. The Sabbath is a no-work day, but really, who’s doing that? We still cook, we teach Sunday School, we check e-mail, we cut the grass, we go shopping. And these are the light days! We are the lucky ones who don’t have to show up and stand behind a register all day or take food orders or hold bedpans. Are we sinning to “work” on this day?

Or is their another rest? Is there a rest that comes merely from entering and operating in the world of the Christ? Wasn’t it proclaimed that the Messiah would complete all things? There would no longer be sacrifices for sins nor striving to be good to be accepted by God. Jesus said, at the last, “It is finished.”

Perhaps we need to worry less about doing the right thing on the 7th day and spend more time building the 8th day, the time of new beginnings. Followers of the Christ are actually living in that day and time: grace above all, without condemnation, ongoing forgiveness, love as a force, while transparency and authenticity reveal the life to those who don’t know.

“This is the Day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” [Psalm 118:24]

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Where is this glory of the New Covenant? Some would say it is totally manifested in the Christ through the Holy Spirit. That’s fine to say, but where is it today? I have heard others say, the glory is the character of Christ. Is that all there is to it? Really? Just a concept?

II Corinthians 3:7-8
Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?

This scripture references the specific glory that was reflected in the face of Moses as a result of his time with God and the creation of the ten commandments. It wasn’t just his demeanor and it wasn’t the Holy Spirit shining out from within. But it was Light and it was Power and it was evident. And according to Paul, the glory of the New Covenant, the power and light of the law of Spirit written on the hearts of believers, that message is brighter and stronger.

I think the Light has been shuttered by unbelief.

There’s so much talk about “scriptura sola” (by scripture alone) and the inerrant Word of God and yet, some of the most potent statements are tamed: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” [John 14″12] or “. . . I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [Matthew 17:20b]

Until we are operating in these arenas, we have not experienced the fullness of the New Covenant.

Until we are loving God and loving others fully, we are not functioning according to the truth of Christ.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is Light and power and strength. But the Holy Spirit will not do battle with us either. We must work together.

I’m still going “my own way.” I confess. I make a plan and constantly ask God to bless it (or fix it when things go badly). And, in His grace and patience, God waits for me to get it, to really let go.

Dying to self [John 12:23-25] is not be just some nice poetry. It is the true “way” to the out-flowing of power, the unshuttered Light, the glory.

But to die to myself is change like no other change I have ever known or seen. It’s a total unknown. What does that dying look like? What does that feel like? What do I say or do? Or not do or say?

Some people have sought out this place of Spirit flow . . . they’ve laughed themselves silly, they’ve twitched, they’ve dropped gold dust from their fingertips, and they’ve spoken in tongues for hours and hours. But until the Glory manifests through the presence and release of the Holy Spirit, these are interpretive manifestations.

I don’t have any answers at all, but I do sense a missing piece.

Like the Kingdom that is within so is the Glory. It’s there. It’s here. Holy, holy, holy.

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