in moral areas, just like when selecting a campsite, choose the higher ground.
Some evangelicals teach that the commands of God are so high that it is impossible to keep them; therefore we must settle only for a sentimental feeling of love toward our Master and live each day as we feel (for many, that winds up meaning….helplessly succumb to the relentless pressures of increased subtle and overt worldliness).
Upon a close examination of actual scripture we find accounts of the exact opposite. Amazingly, several individuals are, in fact, pointed out as righteous—while living amidst very pagan worlds. In each case they were marked by belief in God AND they walked in a progressive obedience. These individuals didn’t have periodic bum chapters (couldn’t help it… waywardness), in their walk with God.
“He who loves me keeps my commands” (John 14:15, 21). “He it is who loves me” (i.e. obedience, apparently, is the identifying feature of the strong believer). As you read Bible stories to your young children, reinforce these truths.
Noah: “I have found you righteous in this generation” (Genesis 7:1). It was apparently evident that Noah had obeyed God in the past and, now, as soon as it was commanded, he would get right to work on the ark.
Job: “Job was blameless and upright” (Job 1:1). He feared God, and he shunned evil. He wasn’t foolin’ around with a little bit of waywardness on the Internet.
Enoch walked with God, and was not! (Genesis 5:24). He apparently had totally overcome the fear of men.
Elizabeth and Zachariah: “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s command and decrees blamelessly” (Luke 1:6). (Elizabeth’s tank tops weren’t cut lower and lower.)
Mary: “You who are highly favored… You have found favor with God” (Luke 1:28, 30). (Mary hadn’t shacked up with three or four guys already, insisting upon “instantness” before succumbing to the “bondage” of commitment.) “May your word to me be fulfilled !”
Daniel: “Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel” (Daniel 1:9). (Daniel hadn’t dabbled in Buddhism, just a little bit, during his college years. It is as if the Lord was saying to him, “You HAVE walked in obedience and I feel quite sure that you WILL walk in obedience.)
God implores us to “Be ye holy as I am holy” as if it were possible! It IS possible not to steal today.
[By the way, for a fun reminder of the Ten Commandments, download and print out our new foldable booklet of them.]