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Years ago we watched a TV serial titled “Perfect Strangers”. Balki came from an island where everything was ideal. At a certain stage Balki asks why Americans lock their houses; where he came from, people never do. Then his cousin Larry asks whether they’re not afraid their goods will be stolen, whereupon Balki replies: “No, it’s against the law.”

But would it not be wonderful to live in a country where no keys are required, where old people can live on a farm without fear of being attacked, tortured or murdered, where women can walk alone at night without fear of rape, a country where all obey the law? But that is exactly how God wants his kingdom to be on earth. After all, it is what He requires from us with the Ten Commandments: we shall not steal, murder, or be sexually promiscuous. The Spirit of God wants to cultivate the following in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control (Gal. 5:22 – 23).

People often see God’s laws only as rules limiting their freedom, and if one transgresses these, then one sins. But sins are things such as: theft, murder, unforgiveness, grudges, unfriendliness, selfishness, pride, sexual offences, etc. To sin is to do things that harm yourself and your fellow man, and that is what God, in his love, wants to protect us from. That’s why the Psalmist calls out: Praise the LORD! Happy is the person who honours the LORD, who takes pleasure in obeying his commands (Ps. 112:1).

He who sins, punishes himself. Solomon writes: Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded (Prov. 13:13). The teachings of Jesus Christ are all about love for your neighbour, help for the poor, being honest, etc. Each day many people are robbed, murdered, raped and misled with drugs. How can anyone within this godless situation in our country still see his/her calling to declare that there is no God, and that the criminals can ignore Jesus’ teachings?

 

Our heavenly Father, help us to find joy in your commandments because You gave them to us out of love and because You know what is good for us. Amen.