If there is a God and He really did create us, then we are accountable to Him. So what does He expect from us? God is a lot easier to please than many of us think. He simply wants us to—love Him and our fellow man.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, New King James Version)
This simple answer left the religious leaders of the day astounded. After having developed more than 600 laws to follow in order to be in “right-standing” with God, they were amazed at the wisdom in those two simple rules from the mouth of Jesus.
Following this golden rule leads to peace in every area—peace with God, peace with your family, and peace with others. God even provided us with a few details on how this golden rule applies in everyday life in His Ten Commandments to mankind…
Exodus 20:1-17 And God spoke all these words, saying:
- “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
- “You shall not make for yourself a carved image.”
- “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
- “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
- “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
- “You shall not murder.”
- “You shall not commit adultery.”
- “You shall not steal.”
- “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
- “You shall not covet.”
Our decisions in life should reflect our beliefs. When our decisions don’t reflect the faith in our hearts, Jesus calls that kind of faith vain–having no real value, worthless. Consider the third commandment which says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain”.
God doesn’t want us to be a Christian in name only—doing whatever pleases us without regard to what pleases God—that’s also taking His Name in vain. When we call ourselves Christian, it should mean that we hold the Word of God and its principles dear to our hearts, even when it’s not popular with the “in-crowd”.
Mark 7:6-15, English Standard Version – “And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!”
Have we truly made a decision for Christ? Here are a five questions we can ask ourselves to discover what’s really in our hearts…
- Do I make excuses for breaking God’s commandments? (John 14:15)
- Do I repent if I do sin and ask for forgiveness? (1 John 1:8-10)
- Do I follow Christ or do I follow the influential crowd and trends? (Luke 14:26-27, 1 John 2:15-16)
- Do I understand the grace of God? (Grace is for people who are sorry for their sins, ask for forgiveness and decide to make better choices through the power of the Holy Spirit) (Romans 6:1-2)
- Am I willing to be persecuted for Christ’s sake? (Luke 9:23-24)
It’s decision time. Making a decision for Christ means our lives show it.