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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day Three: Commandment

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"I have wondered at times what
the Ten Commandments would have looked like
if Moses had run them through the US Congress."
~ Ronald Reagan

Day Three: Commandment
mitsvah: fem noun, "command[ment]"
From tsavah: verb, "to order, direct, appoint, command, charge"

And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.
~ Psalms 119:47 (NKJV)

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
~ John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Thoughts on God's commandments.

The Ten Commandments were instructions before the Holy Spirit came. Now that the commandments are written in our hearts, they are promises. "You shall not ..." describes what we are in Christ, instead of telling us what to do.

God gave His commandments not to reveal right and wrong—because conscience already makes such distinctions—but to make it easier for us to see ourselves as sinners in need of a Savior.

"Love is the answer, no matter the question." ~ Unknown

Jesus said that in the commandments to love God and love neighbor, all other commandments are fulfilled (Matthew 22:37-40). He also said that what we do to the least person around us, good or bad, we've done to Him (Matthew 25:40,45). We're told we can't love God unless we love our brother (1 John 4:20). So all of life really comes down to simply loving others.

"Duty makes us do things well,
but love makes us do them beautifully."
- Zig Ziglar

The command to love removes the duty of all other commandments, because love does not comprehend duty.

"I would thank you from the bottom of my heart,
but for you my heart has no bottom."

Wish I'd said that. It makes a nice paraphrase of this verse:

To all perfection I see a limit;
but your commands are boundless.
~ Psalms 119:96 (NIV)

Now go love on people. That's an order. (But not from me :D)

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. Beautiful post.

  2. Such a great post, and excactly what I want to do. I want to show love to everyone.

  3. These verses have also been helpful to me - John 14:21,23 - 'Whoever has my commands and obeys them is the one who loves me...if anyone loves me he will obey my teaching...'

  4. "'You shall not ...' describes what we are in Christ, instead of telling us what to do."

    In a marriage ceremony each "I do" carries a multitude of unspoken, "I don'ts." Love speaks without words.

    Very nice Anne, Thank you. Have a Merry Christmas - and that's an order.

  5. I love this! And I love you for spelling it out for the rest of us with such conviction. This time of year I definitely need to love others more.

  6. Will do, dear friend. :) In the hurriedness of the season, I missed this post yesterday, but so glad I read it today! Relationship is supremem in the new covenant of Christ. Loving Him, sin grieves us because it grieves the One we most want to please. And so it is with loved ones on earth--I strive not to bring grief but encouragement, joy and ease! God bless you today, dear Anne.

  7. Natasa, thanks for saying so. : )

    Denise, I don't take lightly a person who says they're willing to love everyone, and then does it as you do. Some really are harder to love than others, but NO one can't be loved. Thank you for your testimony.

    Quilted Nest, I'm delighted to meet you, and have a peek at your corner of PA. Yes, John had so much to say to spur us on in love. His chapters of Jesus' last day are precious encouragement and love in any hour.

    Doug, leave it to you to say something as beautiful as "Love speaks without words" and match it with that wisdom about do's and dont's. Thanks, Doug.

    T. Anne, I appreciate you saying I spelled this out with conviction. It's my prayer that my words provide insights that move people, and encourage them in stressful times. Stressful times like every day, or this season. :D

    Gwen, why do me miss that relationship with God and fellow human is supreme? Everything else should come second, but too often comes first.


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