Do This; Not That

Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments (Photo credit: glen edelson)

I have often wanted a concise list of what God wants of me and I want it to be straight from the mouth of Jesus.  You, too?  There are actually several in the Bible like the Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes, Phil. 4:8 (I call it the ‘whatevers’), The Fruit of the Spirit,…  But notice I said concise.  Guess what?  There is actually a ‘Do this, not that’ list, and all the others seem to fall into this categorically. Check out Luke 12.

ESTEEM GOD; NOT PEOPLE

Verses 1-7.  Jesus is talking to the disciples and tells them that they may be persecuted for their belief, they may be tempted to fake their faith, they may even be martyred for it.  They are to own God, to treat Him with great awe.  We, too, are to be always aware of Him, in every thing we think, do, and say.  We cannot afford to be posers, there is too much at stake. 

SPEAK UP; DO NOT BE SILENT 

Verses 8-12.  To deny Him can be forgiven. When we say “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and then speak against the Holy Spirit, by not proclaiming Him, there is no forgiveness.  Also, if we say, like Moses, I cannot speak well, we are to ask Him and the Spirit will provide the words.  Remember if we do not proclaim the rocks will.

SEEK GOD; NOT THE WORLD

In verses 13-21 He uses the parable of the rich fool to help us understand the dangers of making the world our god.  Already a greedy and wealthy man the ‘rich fool’ determines he needs more.   After he achieves his goal of getting more than enough, he dies.  And that’s the end of the story for him because at no point in his earthly life did he lay aside any heavenly treasures…always thinking of himself.

An interesting side-story is in verse 19.  The rich fool thinks if he has more he will be able to eat, drink and party for the rest of his life.  The way I see it the more one has, the more there is to take care of, which, in turn, requires more work.  As my mom always said…there is no rest for the wicked.

DON’T WORRY; SEEK GOD

Verses 22-34  Once again we are told to keep our thoughts on God and His Kingdom.  He provides all we need and in abundance.  We need only ask.  Let’s break out of Luke for a moment and turn over to 1 John 5:14-15.  We can ask for ‘anything’ and that which is in His will is provided.  These two passages fit very nicely together.  To know God we must know His Word.  To ask within His Will we must know His Word.  He has it all and wants to give it all to us.  What is really holding us back?

So, there’s the list.  Much shorter than the others but including all of them.  Let me say this again….Knowing the Word is to know God and then we can know what He wants.

Heavenly Father, help me know You through Your Word.  Keep me constantly desiring to know You more.  Forgive me when I get lazy about sharing, caring, and knowing You.  Put the words in my mouth and hands Father.  In Jesus’ name I lift this prayer.  Make it so!