And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
I once heard the comment ‘It’s just not fair that people can break God’s commandments all of their life and then repent on their death bed, be forgiven and go to heaven. Why should I be good and give up all that fun until I have to?’
There are a lot of things wrong with that comment. But since this devotion is on the Ten Commandments, let’s start with another question: When was the last time you felt really good after breaking God’s commandments? Was it still fun the next day? Through the Ten Commandments, God gives us the gift of telling us how to live life on earth with a clean conscious - the gift of peace on earth.
Unfortunately, as sinful humans we cannot keep the commandments, and for that affliction, God gave us the gift of forgiveness through Christ’s righteousness – the gift of everlasting peace.
Perhaps the gift of the Ten Commandments is summarized best in the hymn “Oh, that the Lord Would Guide My Ways”. I encourage you to read all of the verses of that hymn, and then close in prayer with the final verse:
Make me to walk in Thy commands – ‘Tis a delightful road,
Nor let my head or heart or hands Offend against my God.
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved
Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways – Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Collect for Lent 3 Series B – Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis