Thursday, May 4, 2006

Easter: Thursday, May 4, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Exodus 20:1-21

There have been hundreds of books written about the 10 Commandments throughout the years. Many of us know them by heart, having learned them from childhood. They are in many ways the foundation of morality and proper living. Each one of the commandments has so much to say to us in today's world, and they have never been more relevant than they are right now.

Lets look, though, at 2 important themes we see in the 10 Commandments. The first 4 deal with our walk with God, and the second 6 deal with our walk with each other. In both areas, we must walk with integrity. We must try in lives to do right by God and by each other.

But, this is nothing new for Christians, for our Lord told us that the greatest of commandments is to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10: 27). This truth is something that we know.

So, we talking about the 10 Commandments, the question really is not to we believe in them, do we believe that they are important, the question is do we obey them? It does no good for us talk talk about the 10 Commandments, for us to argue about them, for us to display them, unless we follow them. Do we love the Lord our God? Do we love our neighbor? For, we can talk all we want to about how great the 10 Commandments are, but if we don't live by them, what good have we really done?

Friends, our Lord wants us to serve Him not just with our lips, but also with our lives. For if our lives invalidate what our lips say, what good have we done? Our lives much match our lips, and if they do, then in that, we will give glory to our Lord and Savior.

New Testament Lesson

Colossians 1:24-2:7

Paul here warns that we must be shaken by smooth sounding arguments. My mama always told me that people can twist the Bible to make it say anything they want it to say. I have found during my time in seminary and during my ministry that to be very true. A couple of things that we should take note of.

First, we must make that we really know the Bible so that we will not be shaken by smooth talk. We have to know the Bible ourselves. It is not enough for your preacher to know it, your Sunday School teacher to know it, your parents to know it, your children to know it. You must know it yourself so that you will not be shaken. Do you spend time in God's Word so that you will know it?

Second, we must make sure that we don't twist the Bible to defend what we want to do. We are supposed to used the Bible to know how to live, not use the Bible to defend what we've already decided to do. We must let the Bible shape us, not twist the Bible to make it say what we want it to.

Gospel Lesson

Matthew 4:1-11

A couple of things from the temptation of Jesus. First, remember yesterday we read of His baptism? That baptism was the beginning of His ministry, not the end. So is it for us. Baptism is not the end of faith, rather the beginning. Likewise, conversion is not the end of our walk with God, rather it is the beginning as well. Our faith should be constantly growing, changing, and being formed. We must never stop growing in grace.

Second, this passage talks about what we talked about in the New Testament Reading. How did the Devil tempt Jesus? He quoted the Bible to Him. The devil knows the Bible just as we do. How did Jesus battle them temptations? He knew the true meaning of the text. He knew the truth of the Word of God, and responded by quoting the Bible correctly back to the devil. I know I'm beating a dead horse here friends, but we must really know the Bible. It was in His knowledge of the Bible that Jesus was able to fight off temptation.

We can do the same thing in our lives, if we know the Word. Today, do we know the Word well enough to stand against temptation?

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