READ: Exodus 19-20
THINK: I want to spend some time with the 10 commandments today, meditating on them, pondering them, and filling up our hearts with God’s great Decalogue. It is easy to read them quickly and give ourselves a pass by saying, “Hey, I’m good. I’ve never killed anybody” but Jesus made it clear that God’s heart in giving us the 10 commandments wasn’t about providing us with some very specific laws to follow according to the letter. It was to see our hearts transformed and aligned with his. So today, I’m going to ask 10 questions. Please take some time to really reflect on them and use this as a time of confession to God for the ways in which you have fallen short. Be honest with God about the condition of your heart over the course of the last few weeks (or months).
1. What things have I placed above God in my priority list and sought after more than I seek him?
2. What objects or possessions am I clinging to and finding my identity in?
3. In what ways have I minimized God lately and made far to little of him?
4. How has my schedule crowded God out of my daily life?
5. In what ways have I been disrespectful or disobedient to those whom God has placed in authority over me?
6. What sort of hateful and spiteful feelings toward another person have arisen in my heart?
7. How, when, and where has lust shown up in my thought patterns and what have I done about it?
8. What opportunities to be generous and selfless with my resources have I passed up?
9. How have I been untruthful in my words and actions, either through outright lies or intentionally allowing others to be mislead?
10. What things have I seen that caused me to obsess over getting them to the point that I was distracted?
If you’re like me, sadly, you have an answer to each and every one of these questions. Hopefully your answers led to a powerful time of confession. But please understand this: the point of confession is not to feel guilty and the point of confession is not to tell God something he doesn’t know so that he can finally forgive you for it. He knows and he has already forgiven because he bore our guilt. The point of confession is to change our hearts. To help us fully realize the gift of God’s grace that has been bestowed upon us, to help us fully repent and turn from our sin, and to help us grasp a vision for how we can move forward in a more healthy way than the way which brought us to the point of confession. The Bible isn’t an oppressive list of rules that are meant to be followed, it is an incredible gift that serves as an instruction manual for life as it was designed to be lived! Confess, accept God’s forgiveness, and then go out and follow these commandments because that is what you were designed to do. 🙂