The Commands of Christ
©Rhonda Pethoud 12/2/2014
I receive a daily email scripture from Blue Letter Bible. It’s my habit to open it first, before I look at any other emails, because I want to make sure my mind is right and give deference to the Lord, making Him first. It’s a small thing, but the small things add up.
Today, the Blue Letter Bible message was from John 15:10 –
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.”
The explanation of the Scripture that followed told how obedience is very important in the Kingdom of God and those that are obedient to His commands will abide in His love.
We all know God’s Ten Commandments (if you don’t, they’re in my book on page 7) but I wondered, do I even know the commands Jesus made? I thought about it for a minute, and “love one another” came to mind, followed by “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” but after that I drew a blank. I realized, there are probably lots of them but I never really thought about them as “commands”. So, off I went on a Google search to find the commands of Jesus.
As is usual when I attempt a search like this, I came across a website I’d never heard of before. It’s called the Institute in Basic Life Principles – www.IBLP.org.
Well! Let me tell you, there’s a wealth of information on this site, and I’m very pleased to have stumbled upon it. Questions and answers, seminars and conferences, family camp, programs and events, books and music; you name it, this site has it for people who want to live as God wants us to live.
Because I had Googled “commands of Christ”, the answer to my search came up in their Life Questions section. Turns out, this site lists 49 commands from Jesus. (After the brain buster from my last post, need I mention to anyone that 7 is God’s number for perfection and 7×7 is 49? Hmmm… “let us make man in our image” is 7 words; Genesis is 7 letters, there are 7 oceans, 7 continents… think about it.) Here is the deep link to the page that lists the commands of Christ from the IBLP website: http://iblp.org/questions/what-are-commands-christ
Since I don’t have permission to quote from these sites, I won’t take their information and post it here, but added the deep link to the page where I found this information in the hope that IBLP won’t mind because we’re all trying to forward the Word of God. (Yes, I researched the law about posting links, and I learned that it’s generally ok to post the link to the home page of a site, but the news of posting deep links is not always received cheerfully by the owners of the site. Rather than spend time trying to get permission to post the links, I try to post only the home page and only occasionally the deep links. I remain hopeful that the owners of these sites know I mean no harm to them; I mean only to share their wisdom.)
This site is amazing, prepare to spend some time there. In their store you can buy a pocket guide, a bit over 3”x5” that lists all the commands of Christ. (Evidently this question has come up before. Who knew?) Anyway, just about everything you have questions about is answered on this site, from life questions to bible questions.
Here are a few more commands of Christ:
– Honor God’s Law (Matthew 4:17) “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill”
(And by the way, this verse exposes the holes in the words of those who claim that the Old Testament is irrelevant and we no longer need to follow the 10 Commandments.)
– Keep Your Word (Matthew 5:17) “Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil”
– Do Unto Others (Matthew 7:12) “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets”
Are you recognizing any of these yet? Yes, many come from the Sermon on the Mount, the sermon Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 5-7. I’ve read it before and likely you have as well, but I always thought of what Jesus said as wisdom or teachings, not commands. It sort of changes everything when you realize that Jesus meant these words to be commands, not merely suggestions. It brings the act of obedience to another level, because we begin to understand more clearly what Jesus expects of us. We’re going to fail, you know that and I know that. Fortunately, Jesus included the one command that we can all use to secure our place in His good grace:
– Repent (Matthew 4:17) “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we serve this awesome God who is willing to forgive us, if we but ask? Your eternal life is secure through the blood of Jesus on the cross, and all you have to do is recognize Him as your Lord and Savior and be obedient to Him, repenting when you fail and trying to do better. I say “all you have to do” as if it’s easy – it’s not easy, and I don’t mean to make light of the effort it takes to be obedient. Sometimes it’s like ripping away your own flesh to do something God has asked of you. I know, because I’ve done it. But the one thing we can be sure of is, God never asks us to do anything that He doesn’t provide the grace for – this means, ask Him how you are to do it, and He will show you. He’ll give you wisdom if you ask for it. He’ll show you how to be patient if you ask Him. He’ll show you how to be gracious or thankful or financially responsible or whatever it is that you need to know. Be open to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit when you ask for what you need, and you WILL hear from Him. God wants to elevate you and bring you into a higher state of being – this is the process of sanctification – preparing you to live a more holy life.
Remember Philippians 1:6 – “(For I am) confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Some of us can’t claim to give Him a lot to work with, but if we take baby steps toward Him, each of our small efforts will cause growth and allow us to take larger leaps of faith in the process. This is the same wisdom behind the Japanese KAIZEN principle – “Small Daily Improvements Eventually Result In Huge Advantages”. It’s a principle that can be applied to just about everything.
I was never very neat as a teenager. My room was always messy and I had a hard time cleaning it up because I would let it go until it was such a BIG JOB that my stress level shot sky high and I became anxious about it. It was mostly clothing, most were pieces I no longer wore or didn’t like or had outgrown. I just didn’t know where to start. Sometimes there would be so many clothes on my bed I would sleep on the pile of clothes because it was less work than hanging them all up. (Lest you all think I’m still a slob, I do hang up my clothes now and make my bed every morning, but I still have trouble sorting out the things I no longer need or want. It’s an ongoing process. I once heard Joyce Meyer say, “just give the stuff away, bless someone else with it, you’ll feel better knowing you’ve blessed someone else.” More good advice I’m trying to follow. ) Years ago when I was that messy teenager, occasionally my mom felt sorry for me and cleaned it up for me and I remember being so grateful whenever she did that, because I really liked it when my room was clean, I just didn’t seem to be able to keep it that way. I can hear my own mother’s voice as I type:
“When you feel overwhelmed because you have a big job to do, start in one corner and clean that up, then move on to another corner.”
It’s pretty hard not to recognize that as something we can apply to many different problems in life.
Read the commands of Christ. It’s good to know we can start somewhere and God will meet us there.