There was a young man who was tired of living at home under the thumb of his parents. He ran off to join the Marines, because he said, “I was tired of being told what to do!” I hope you see the irony of this. In life, it seems that we move from one set of boundaries to another. While we despise being told what to do, and covet our freedom, boundaries actually allow us to reach our potential as human beings.
At a newly built school, the playground did not have any equipment or boundaries. The principal noticed the behavior of the children was a little odd. They all chose to cluster in the middle of the play yard, in small groups. He did not think anything about it, until the school installed a fence around the playground. The children immediately began to explore the whole playground, because they knew where they belonged, and where they did not.
Think about it:
In Proverbs 3, the wise writer says – “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.”
It’s amazing to think that God puts a limit on our behavior so that we will grow and have peace!
I remember when I was young, I had an expired driver’s license AND expired plates on my car. Whenever I drove, I spent more time looking in the rearview mirror than through the windshield. I chose not to go out or to drive down side streets. I chose not to do things I wish I could have, for fear of being caught. On Valentines’ Day, I nearly missed an important date because of my failure to stay within the boundaries. I was pulled over on my way to ask for my girl’s hand in marriage. The officer gave me more grace than I deserved, and sent me on my way. My lack of judgment could have changed my wife’s and my future!
Jesus says in John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments.” He also says in verse 24, “He who does NOT love Me does NOT keep My words;”
I think people have forgotten that we need to continue to live in God’s boundaries. Jesus did not abolish the 10 commandments. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Even in the last few paragraphs of the Bible it says, in Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
When our country was founded, the Bible was used in schools to teach children how to read. Harvard, Yale, and other fine institutions were started by ministers to train men of God. Everyone applied the Law of God first in their lives. The law of the land was considered when God’s Law was not specific. I picture it in my mind as sifting dirt through a window screen (the Bible) and then catching what falls through with a fishnet (the US Constitution). Today, the Law of God in the Bible has been taken away, and we are left with only the US Constitution, which can’t catch all the dirt, just the big chunks. What is happening? We live in fear, because of people abusing our freedom. We are losing our freedoms, because we don’t know our boundaries. Ironic isn’t it?
What are God’s Ten Commandments again?
1. Love God
Jesus said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”
2. Have no other gods or idols (or things or lifestyle that distract from serving God)
3. Don’t use God’s name foolishly (see #1)
4. One day a week is God’s (go to church)
5. Honor your mother and father
6. Do not murder (or say hateful things about people to destroy their character)
7. Do not commit adultery (or think lustful thoughts about someone)
8. Do not steal
9. Do not lie – not even a little, and especially when speaking about others
10. Do not look at things others have and compare your life to them, to the point where you’re obsessed (don’t covet)
Get the first one and the rest come easy.
Pastor Jay Merritt
Pastor Jay Merritt writes about God in every day observations.