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Faith: Timeless guidance

How the Ten Commandments continue to be relevant.

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Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

With the amount of animosity and moral decline taking place within our world today, where does one go to find ways in which we can counter this deterioration?

Perhaps another question to consider: Where does a parent look if you are trying to instill a good moral foundation within your children’s lives?

These are some of the questions we have been looking at in our family series at church. And to help us begin to answer some of these foundational questions, our journey has led us back in time to an old ancient set of stone tablets known as the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17).

This set of commandments was given by God himself to the children of Israel, and within these decrees we find God laid out to the people what their relationship should look like with Himself, as well as what the relationship should look like with one another.

Now it may be easy for us to want to disregard God’s Ten Commandments as old and outdated; however, if we put some thought into what God gave the people, what might our world look like if we lived within the foundational parameters of these commands?

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How might our world look if we honored and loved and worshipped God the way he intended us to? How might our world look today if we treated each other with decency instead of spewing out hate for one another?

Would we have a stronger bond with our parents if only we learned to honor and respect them? Could we imagine a world in which there were no murders taking place? How many marriages could have been saved if adultery was taken out of the picture?

Should we not strive to tell the truth instead of lying to one another. Do you think it's right that we bear false witness against a neighbor?

I believe our Creator saw the descension that can take place within a broken world and when he started to form the nation of Israel, he wanted them to look and act differently toward one another. It is almost as if God was saying, “Do you see what happens when people take their focus off me?”

“Do you see what happens when they cannot get along? It is a world of chaos, and I want something different for my people.”

We also find when Jesus came into this world he was asked which of the laws was the most important in which he wrapped them all up within the context of love.

Jesus replied, “'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

What if our world did wake up and start loving God the way he intended? Would that also lead us to make some changes within our attitudes toward one another?

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Perhaps if more of us would at least explore these timeless truths, our world could look a lot differently than it currently does. Maybe that is the challenge for all of us. We may not be able to change the world, but each of us can do something about how we live and treat others.

May our prayer for today be, Lord let me be the one to bring a little more love and peace and joy and even hope into the lives of those around me.

John Rister is pastor at Backus Nazarene Church.

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