December 1

Have you ever played a game with someone who was constantly changing the rules as the game went along?  I can remember when our kids were young and we were playing a game and they were losing.  Their first response was to change the rules to give them an advantage.  They would contrive all kinds of things to get the game to the place they thought they could win.  Of course, we would not allow the changing of rules in the middle of the game.  I can remember getting the top of the box out to read the rules printed there many times.

You know, our kids were no different from many of us who feel a bit uncomfortable with our sin and the guilt it brings along with it.  We sometimes want to change the rules that God has given us in order to appease our feelings of guilt and disappointment in our own attitudes and actions.  We do this by rationalizing our sin away, or by comparing ourselves to someone we feel has done something far worse off than we have done.  We all would like to “change the rules” that God has given us.

Take a quick look at the Ten Commandments: We are told not to have any other gods before God; that we should not have any physical, graven images to replace God; that we are not to speak God’s name without extreme value given to it; that we are to keep a day holy in each week; that we are to honor our father and mother; that we are not to kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, or covet anything someone else owns.  Let me ask you a tricky question … if you kept all 10 of these commandments your whole life, could that take you to Heaven?  The question is tricky, because none of us can keep these commandments.

Some thought they had done that … they had fully followed the “rules” of God.  Jesus made this statement: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery:’ But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).  Jesus was revealing to us that there is none righteous, and that our sin is a heart issue long before it is a physical action.  The Ten Commandments God gave Moses there on Mt. Sinai were never meant to give us eternal life, but to give us an accurate picture of the sin that would keep us from God!

I thank God for His clear expression of His rules.  I am more thankful for the Savior Who completely obeyed these rules and died in my place as my payment for sin!  Stop to thank God for His plan of forgiveness today!

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