[CF Devotionals] 2010-10-10 - Unexpected Ways That We Christians Can Steal

The Ten Commandments ~ Part 47
Eighth Commandment, Part 3

Maybe the thing we have stolen the most frequently is the honor of the Lord. We represent ourselves as believers, as His ambassadors. But sometimes we fall, and don't live up to our position. Do people sometimes look at us and say: "If that is what being a Christian means, I don't want any part of it?"

Another behavior I struggle with is stealing God's credit, by accepting praise for things that are really his. Now I'm not saying that it is wrong to be appreciated, or to praise someone. But I have to be careful to remember that any "success" I experience is due to God's mercy, graciousness and willingness to let me be used by him. We need to pray for sensitivity in our lives, so that we are aware of just where we are failing.

It was this behavior, taking God's honor, which got Moses into such trouble.

"So Moses took the staff from the LORD's presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" Then Moses raised his arm, and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy, in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them"" (Exodus 20:9-12).

I don't want to come down so heavy on this one command. But I think it is important to realize that we don't really think about some of the commandments, because we look at them and see them in a fairly superficial way. We think: "I obviously haven't violated some of these, except in the context of `if you break one, you have broken all.' That isn't all that bad."

I don't want our lives to become joyless because we spend so much time examining ourselves, our sinful condition. But conversely, I don't want to fall short of the mark because I have been lazy, and not taken God's call seriously. I'm sure each of us desires to serve Him as best as we possibly can. This necessitates that we really understand the issues here.

To be continued.

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

Additional studies by Geoff
Podcasts of Studies in Matthew can be found at www.GKragen.com