Tuesday April 10, 2018

So we all have a set of rules/guidelines we have to follow.  At work, when I started at Bell Electrical (and for every contractor I’ve worked for to date), I had to sign a statement which basically says how I am to act at work, what I am to wear, what language is acceptable, how I am to use the internet and the list goes on from there.  These rules were put into place to protect me secondarily and my company primarily from any law suites that could stem from not following these rules.  They are guidelines put in place to to keep peace and harmony in the workplace.  Our nation and communities have a set of laws all are expected to follow.  Gun laws, traffic laws, tax laws, etc.  What are their purpose?  Peace and harmony in our society.  My kids have a set of rules that Sarah and I put together – out of love for them, for our family and for those whom my children will encounter.  As simple as they are, it is key that our children (even now that they are grown) follow these in order to keep peace and harmony in the household and to all those we encounter.  They are as follows:

  1. Always show respect for your elders.
  2. Always ask with Please; always answer with Thank you.
  3. Don’t whine when asked to do things.
  4. Always clean up after yourself.
  5. We are a family, behave as one.

We finish up by saying – Those who Do will be rewarded; those who don’t will not.  These rules have been posted on our wall since September 5, 1995.  Sarah and I came up with these rules because we wanted our kids to have a basic set of guidelines to teach appropriate ways of behavior.  I can honestly tell you that rules 1, 2 and 5 are followed pretty closely – even to this day we are still working on 3 and 4 (with most of them).  So what is my point in all of this?  Let me post for you the reading from John’s first letter, our second reading from Sunday morning:

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one that testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.

What was that little gem written in there:

For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

And his commandments are not burdensome

Do you find the commandments burdensome?  Why?  Let me offer a suggestion again that I posted in an earlier blog.  Rethink the way you look at the 10 Commandments.  I’ve noticed that when asked to recite the commandments, people ALWAYS start with “Thou Shalt Not”…and I don’t think that is quite right.  God told us “Thou Shalt or Thou Shalt Not.  When asked, we should reply – I will not or I will. Take ownership of them; make them your 10 Commitments.  I started doing this (I say the “10 Commitments” every Tuesday morning as the 7th Salvation Mystery).  Try doing this now.

  1.  You are the Lord my God.  I WILL love You with all my heart, mind and strength.  I WILL NOT place false gods before You.
  2. I WILL always keep holy the Sabbath.
  3. I WILL NOT take the Lord’s name in vain.
  4. I WILL honor my mother and father.
  5. I WILL NOT steal.
  6. I WILL NOT kill.
  7. I WILL NOT commit adultery.
  8. I WILL NOT bear false witness against my neighbor.
  9. I WILL NOT covet my neighbors wife…
  10. I WiLL NOT covet my neighbors house…

Are those the exact order for the commandments – probably not…are they the exact wording of the commandments – again, probably not.  Do they capture the meaning of what God intended for us to follow – Yes.  And I’m telling you, try saying these with I WILL in lieu of Thou Shalt and they will take on a completely different meaning.  Thou Shalt sounded like I was pointing the finger at someone else for not following.  I Will places full responsibility on me.  Can you imagine the peace in the world if we all committed to these simple statements.  Are they burdensome?  Make them a habit and I would say not.  Were they given to us out of love?  Everything that comes from the Father is borne out of love – so yes, they were given to us out of love.  So please set the example for those around you and commit to these 10 ways of life.  They, like all the other rules we follow, have been put in place for a reason.  They are 10 steps that God has given us to show love of God and love of neighbor…for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.  And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.

Great day today.  My oldest daughter Grace is heading into Mo Bap today to give birth to their 3rd child, their first daughter and our 1st granddaughter (4th grandchild).  Please keep Grace and her family, our family, in your prayers today.  Stay tuned for pictures from a proud Grandpa tomorrow.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Commit yourself to the Commandments…today and everyday.

One thought on “Tuesday April 10, 2018

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