Ten powerful guidelines for living through the COVID-19 pandemic
George Methodist Church
With Peter and Debbie Veysie
Sunday 3rd May 2020
From home In Lockdown
The Ten Commandments
Exodus 20 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “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.”
18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
Exodus 20: 1-20 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21
430 years of bondage and now free but they needed to have some boundaries and so the Lord gives them 10 love boundaries that will keep them in love with Him and in Love with each other in the thrid month on the first day.That is why Jesus summarises it in one sentence in quoting Dt 6:5 in Matthew 22:37/ Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27. We also need to note that when Jesus brings his disciples together on the Mount of Beatitudes, he expands on these very same guidelines from Matthew 5 -7 and broadens their understanding of their simple rules for living. Paul does the same in Romans 12: 9-21.
Faith for daily living – John Borman
When Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, he saw God face to face, but when he presented the law to the people there was a veil over his face. In Paul’s reckoning that veil remained whenever the law was read to the Old Testament Israelites. But when people came to know Jesus, they saw God face to face. They knew that Jesus was “the real thing” and that the previous faith was only a partial representation of God.
Jesus clears away all manner of warped perceptions for us. He shows us that sin is more than just doing wrong things – it is alienation from God. He shows us that real faith is more than believing you will get to heaven if you just behave yourself – that letting the grace of God in Jesus fill you is what it’s all about. Jesus enables us to see the world around us and the people in it in the light of his glory and love. And Jesus takes away our sin and fills us with his Spirit, making us ever more like him. And he calls us to serve and love people because of what Christ has done, not in order to earn our salvation.
John Borman Faith for Daily living May/June 2020
When you think of the Ten Commandments, do you picture a stern schoolteacher or an unsmiling drill sargeant explaining rules to you? All those “thou shalt nots” can be intimidating at first. But behind each one is God’s love and wisdom. God presented the Ten Commandments to guide us and protect us from choices He knows will harm us.
Here are some principles to keep in mind about the Ten Commandments:
- 1. God needs to be your top priority. If you give more time, energy, or attention to anyone or anything else in your life, you cannot live the abundant life that God wants to give you. It’s only when you commit yourself completely to God that you invite Him to transform you completely so you can grow to your fullest potential.
- 2. Idols Remember that you will become like the image you pursue. Who do you want to look like? If you pursue Christ, you’ll be transformed more and more into His likeness. If you chase empty images created by society’s whims, you’ll end up feeling empty and looking impoverished.
- 3. God’s name -When you take God’s name in vain, you’re debasing it, because you’re treating it much too casually when it should be spoken with great reverence. God’s name has great spiritual power – speaking it actually causes things to happen in the spiritual realms. Using it in a careless way – such as to “damn” a particular person or situation – can set unintended consequences into motion.
- 4. Sabbath rest -God has designed you to need rest on a regular basis as part of His established rhythm of life. If you don’t take a Sabbath break each week, your physical, mental, and spiritual health will suffer. If you do observe the Sabbath by worshipping and reflecting, you’ll discover an eternal perspective on all aspects of your life that will help you tremendously the rest of the week.
- 5. Honoring your parents is important; God used them to give you life. If God sees you visit them at inconvenient times when they need help, call them to express your love, and forgive them for any past mistakes, He will be pleased and decide to bless you as well.
- 6. Murder -Most people can’t imagine that they would ever murder someone. But when anger goes too far, that tragedy actually can result. And there are more ways to “murder” someone than physically killing that person. Anytime you injure anyone with your words or wish bad things to happen to them, you’re committing murder against them in your heart. Take your anger to God and let Him heal your heart.
- 7. Adultery -Just as with murder, the seeds of adultery are sown in a person’s mind. Don’t your mind with images and experiences of which you know God doesn’t approve, and ask God to help you focus your sexual desires on your spouse. Adultery can seem very enticing at times, but it never delivers any true satisfaction. Instead, it will destroy your relationships with God and other people. Remember that love is not feeling – it’s an action. Whenever you choose to act in love toward your spouse, feelings of love will eventually result.
- 8. Stealing -You don’t need to steal because God has promised to provide everything you need. And He is a Father who loves to give good gifts to His children. He genuinely cares, and He has your best interests at heart. Decide to trust Him.
- 9. False testimony -When you speak untrue or unkind words against your neighbors, you’re committing injustices that will inflict great harm on people God loves. But when you encourage others with your words, you become a channel through which God’s love flows, and the overflow will bless you. Be accountable to God and another person (such as a prayer partner). Spend time regularly worshipping and praising God so there won’t be any room in your mind for false or negative words.
- 10. Coveting -Envy will destroy you. God wants you to have the peace that contentment offers. The strain of constantly wanting something you don’t have and the burden of dealing with something you weren’t meant to have can rob your life of the joy God intends for you.
(Adapted from The Tender Commandments, copyright 1998 by Ron Mehl. Published by Multnomah Publishers.)