Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Revelation 3:10.
God keeps a reckoning with the nations. . . . In this age a more than common contempt is shown to God. Men have reached a point in insolence and disobedience which shows that their cup of iniquity is almost full. . . . The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the earth. When the angel of mercy folds her wings and departs, Satan will do the evil deeds he has long wished to do. Storm and tempest, war and bloodshed–in these things he delights, and thus he gathers in his harvest. And so completely will men be deceived by him that they will declare that these calamities are the result of the desecration of the first day of the week. From the pulpits of the popular churches will be heard the statement that the world is being punished because Sunday is not honored as it should be. . . .
Satan will bring in pleasing fables to meet the minds of all who love not the truth. With angry zeal he will accuse commandment keepers. . . . Satan claims the world, but there is a little company who withstand his devices and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Satan sets himself to destroy this commandment-keeping company. But God is their tower of defense. He will raise up for them a standard against the enemy. He will be to them “as an hiding place from the wind,” and “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:2). He will say to them, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (Isaiah 26:20, 21). “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10).
That I May Know Him p. 355
—–update— the surgery is scheduled for Monday and we have to be there at 5:30 am. Thanks again for your continued prayers for the surgery to be successful, the Lord’s hand guiding the surgeon. Also for dad’s complete healing, and for a renewed heart not only physically but spiritually too. Kelly
—– Today I am morning the loss of my nephew who was killed in a motorcycle accident. I would appreciate prayers for my family. Bryce
—– I have some prayer requests for upcoming meetings: • India (Feb 18 – 26) It Is Written • Boston, MA (March 8) The New England Region Women’s Ministries of Seventh-day Adventist is sponsoring a one day International Day of Prayer Conference. Theme ” What Kind of Footprints will you Leave? Speakers: Dr. Deborah Harris, Dr. Katie Arnette, Dr. Gwendolyn G. Weeks and Elder Yvonne Collins. Diane
—–Please pray for my mother-in-law. She went to the ER last night and admitted her. Things don’t look good. Eileen
My grandfather had a younger brother, Harold, who when he was barely old enough, joined the merchant marines. Their father was so abusive, that they had both fled from home at an early age to escape. Buy Harold suffered far more in the merchant marines than he had at home. He returned a few years later full of a certain parasite that was in the South Pacific. How he wished he had obeyed orders. The men had been told not to swim in the nearby water. One hot day, Harold was looking at that clear pool, that was just inviting him to swim, and thought to himself, “My commanding officer just doesn’t want us to have any fun. I’ll just take a very short swim and he’ll never know.” That short swim cost Harold his life. In that water was a parasite that ate holes in his intestines. This was the reason for the no swimming rule.
Sometimes we think of God’s law in much the same way that Harold thought of his commanding officer’s prohibition. We are tempted to think that God just doesn’t want us to enjoy the “pleasures” of life. But the very opposite is true. God’s commandments are for our benefit: they bring true joy. He, Who made us, knows what is best for us. One pastor compared the Ten Commandment to the owner’s manual one gets with a new car. The manufacturer puts in that manual all that the owner needs to know in order to get the best service out of that new car. If obeyed, the car will last longer and be more problem free than if we treated it carelessly. When problems do arise, we realize from that manual that we need to go to a knowledgeable mechanic to fix it. Just so, the Ten Commandments contain the rules for a happy and successful life both here and in eternity. If obeyed, it will keep us from becoming entangled in the devil’s snares, and, if we do fall, it is like a mirror pointing out our sin that we may run to Jesus, our Master Mechanic for forgiveness and cleansing.
Our Great Law-Giver summed up the Ten Commandments by explaining that to truly keep them we must love God supremely and love our fellow man as much as we love ourselves. (Matt 22:37-40) And so it is. The first three commandments deal with our love to God and urge us to worship our Great Creator and to rightly represent Him in everything we do or say or think. The Great King of the Universe gives us life and supplies all of our needs. Every breath that we take, each beat of our heart, is a blessing from Him. He is “The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Ex 34:6-8 He, alone, deserves our worship and adoration, our obedience, our all.
The fourth commandment points us to our Loving Creator Who made heaven and earth and all things therein. (Acts 17:24) He has set aside a special time to remember this event. Genesis 2:1-3 tells us that after He was finished creating this world, He set aside the seventh day as a memorial so that we might remember that all things were made by Him and that we did not just evolve. Even more than that, He made holy the day as a time to spend with Him in communing with Him and drawing closer to Him. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: (set it aside for holy use) because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” The first angel of Revelation 14 has a message for us living today, to bring us back to Creator of Heaven and earth. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev 14:6,7
The last six commandments deal with our love to others. We are told to love and obey our parents. Paul expands on this commandment, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Eph 6:1-4
Jesus explained in greater detail the next two commandments when He said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matt 5:21-24 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” vs 27,28
So with the commandments prohibiting lying, stealing, and coveting. From these three sins spring much unhappiness. A person who violates any of these, violates our trust, makes us feel unsafe and unsure. Nothing and no one is safe around those who break these commandments.
May we always remember to keep God’s commandments out of a heart filled with love for Him, not because we think that by keeping them we will be saved. (Only Jesus’ great sacrifice can save us, not the keeping of the Law.) May we obey our Loving Saviour because He, alone, knows what is best for us. May our obedience to Him bring us the happiness that He so greatly desires for us to have is my prayer.