Ten Commandments

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Ten Commandments • 1st

The Commandments Regarding Love of God

Jesus replied, "The first is this: 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'  The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:29-31).

I Am the Lord Your God

The full text of the First Commandment reads as follows:

"I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.  You shall not have other gods besides me.  You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments (Exodus 20:2-6).

The world needs nothing more than the reality, "I, the Lord, am your God."  This command by God has always been in force but there will be a time when God, who is mercy and long suffering, will stop waiting for man's free acceptance of such a great gift and He will make those who abused freedom His footstool.

When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert and showed Him the kingdoms of the earth he said, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me" (Matthew 4:9).  Satanic pride desires to be worshipped as god, even to the point of the Creator worshipping the creature.  When Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden he told them, "you will be like gods, who know what is good and what is bad" (Genesis 3:5).  Adam and Eve rebelled against God and rejected His will, His holiness, and His fatherly goodness (Jesus Son and Savior, pg. 19).  Unlike Satan, Adam and Eve did not desire that God worship them, but within pride there is the motive to be worshipped by others.

In the statement, "I am the Lord your God," God is telling us who God is and who God isn't.  God is not part of creation but is its Creator.  Man, created in God's image and likeness and given beauty, intelligence, and free-will, is not god, capable of determining for himself, "what is good and what is bad."  The world gives ample evidence of man's ungodliness, highlighted most profoundly in man's fallibility, the destruction he causes on earth, and his own death.

Man must recognize and worship the living God.  Man must reject the lie of Satan and recognize the true God and His goodness.  He must stop separating himself from God so to enter into life, peace, and happiness.  Every person needs to join in the proclamation of Jesus and say with his own life, "It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve'" (Matthew 4:10).

The ability to let God be, "Lord and God," begins with turning toward the true God and worshipping Him.  Worship of God reached its perfection and fulfillment in Jesus, manifested most profoundly on the cross.  Jesus' worship, His "Yes" to the Father unto the very end, is exactly what God desired and desires from every person.  Jesus' worship and sacrifice is re-presented in the Divine Liturgy of the Mass.  By entering into a corporeal and spiritual union with Jesus in the Eucharist we enter into union with His divine life.  From being united with Jesus and His sacrifice in the Eucharist, we are brought into union with Jesus', "Yes" to God and are given the ability to say "Yes" with our own lives, thus fulfilling the greatest commandment - love of God (Introduction to Christianity, pg. 285-287).


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