Friday, January 30, 2015

OT DAY 145 - If You Want to Be in Relationship with Me, Show Me Your Commitment (請按此處收聼廣東話 )

Let us praise the Lord:

Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
                                             Psalm 63:3
Today's Reading: Exodus 20:1-3

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Bible Study

      The Israelites had not been in relationship with God for more than 400 years and they lived everyday as slaves under the rule of Egypt. Exodus 19 is the turning point that after how God led them to have the miraculous Exodus experience.  God declared to them, "You have seen and experienced my love and power. If you want to have relationship with me now, show me your commitment." Here comes the famous Ten Commandments as commitment of those people belonging to God.

Let's take a look at what Professor John Goldingay says ( :
       The Ten Commandments begin from the point God made at the beginning of Exodus 19.  God brought Israel out of their serfdom in Egypt.  That gave God the right to lay down expectations of Israel if they want to be in relationship with God.  It is to be an exclusive relationship.  The first command is not concerned to deny the existence of other gods but to deny Israel the right to treat them as gods.  There are at least two contexts in which they will be tempted to do that.  They will live cheek by jowl with local peoples in Canaan who seek the help of other gods to make their crops grow and their animals and families fertile, and to enable them to stay in contact with their family members after they die in order to get their wisdom and help.  The heads of Israelite families are to rely on God for all these needs.    

John Goldingay. Exodus & Leviticus for Everyone. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010, p.80.

       In another word, it is to cut all kinds of possible relationship with those local gods, no contact, no commitment and no everything from then on. And then, be willing to have a total commitment with God from then on. Are they willing? Are you willing? 

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to Felix Mendelssohn's On Wings of Song played by one of the greatest violinist Isaac Stern:

Spiritual Journal

    The title I heard from Jesus today is: If you want to be in relationship with me, show me your commitment 

    What I receive from Jesus today is something nobody want to hear and that is one word: commitment.

    People nowadays do not want to have any commitment in any kind of relationships. Many young people want to be in relationship with someone, but no commitment, no marriage. Many people want to be a member in a church, but no commitment, no daily devotion, no tithing, no service. Don't bother me and I'm OK!

     I pray that you can have that kind of Exodus experience so that you come to a point as in today's passage, the point of God giving you to see what is true relationship. True relationship needs true commitment!

     The first Commandment is to challenge us whether we truly have God as God, denying other gods. Who are those other gods? Anything or any one giving command to you more important than God, overriding God's commandment.

     We are now living in a similar society as those Israelites lived who were surrounded by people worshiping so many gods. We have Christians still going to see fortune tellers, doing some kind of weird actions like worshiping something hoping to have luck or even to receive some blessing or wisdom from their loved one who already die. We call that superstition. God calls it worshiping other gods. Is that clear? 

     You need to believe and experience God is the only God and Provider! 

     If you really want God to be your only God and Provider, you need to be in a true relationship with Him and you need to show Him your commitment. Without commitment, no relationship. 
Dear Lord Jesus,
Help us to know that without commitment, we cannot have a true relationship with God. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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