God's Guide to a Life Well Lived

 
Deuteronomy 6:6, "Never forget these commands that I am giving you, teach these to your children." 
 
I want to discuss the values that made us what we are, the values that are important to us, the values that we were taught as children, And I want to talk about the importance of communicating these values to the next generation, and to the generation after that and the generation after that.
In our society, it is fashionable to talk about family values as long as you don't identify which family values.  Because when you identify which family values, then you begin to divide people and classify people. So when we talk about family values, somebody says, “Well you need to get back to traditional family values.  We need to go back to the values of the 1950’s.” But, we need to go back further than June Cleaver and Andy Griffith!  We need to go all the way back to Moses and to the Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are the basis for the judicial system of our country today.  And the values of the Ten Commandments are the values that were passed down by our forefathers who founded this nation of America. 
The reason for the first commandment "thou shalt have no other gods before me", is because it is the foundation for all family values.  The foundation for all family values is to put God first in your life.  We are going to find that every commandment is built upon that 1st commandment. But before we even begin to look at this guide to life God has given to us, we need to first establish what we believe. I mean, if our basic belief system is flawed, then what God has to say about how we live our life may not mean very much to us. The basics, that I am talking about, are found in the very first four words of the Bible, “In the beginning, God”.  If you hold that to be the truth, “In the beginning, God”,  then the Word of God will be of great importance to you and your family. But, if you question that statement, then everything in God’s Word will have little effect on your life.  The truth is, that as we talk about family values, we don't get them from magazines, or television.  Or from some politicians speech, or some political parties talking points. No, we get our family values from the Word of God. These are the values that we want to pass on to the next generation. These are the values that we want to return to and when we look at the Ten Commandments. And so, my original question, do you hold that, “In the beginning God,” is true or not,” matters greatly.
The problem is: These truths are not considered to be “politically correct” Why? Because God says, "thou shalt not", "thou shalt not have any other gods before me", If you believe “in the beginning God”, then you understand that when God says "thou shalt not" He is saying it in a positive way.  Why did God give the Ten Commandments?  Why did He say, "Thou shalt not"?  Was it for His benefit or our benefit?  Well, it is for our benefit.  When we say to our child, "thou shalt not touch that hot stove".  Are we saying it for our benefit or for their benefit?  We are saying it for their benefit.
And when God says, "thou shalt not," God is saying don't hurt yourself.  God is giving a warning, God is giving a principle, God is teaching us something very important. What God is saying in the Ten Commandments is “Here are values upon which to build a successful life, a successful family, Build a successful business, a successful character, and a successful nation.” God says if you ignore them you are going to have problems.  But if you obey them He is going to bless you and you are going to have great success.
The foundations of the family in our nation are crumbling today.  We have more single parent families than ever before, we have the epidemic of aids; we have divorce that is at almost a 50% rate in this country. Every fourth baby born in America is born to an unwed mother.  Do you think it is time that we look at the Word of God when we look at our society?  How about when we look at the drugs, we look at the heartache, we look at the crime, we look at the violence and we say, what has happened? Here’s what’s happened:  We have strayed away from the values upon which our nation was built.  And we don't live in same country we use to live in because we have ignored the commandments of God. God said know these commandments and teach them to your children.  God said if you fail to do that, you are going to suffer and you are not going to be successful.  And you are going to be in a mess. And that is exactly where we find ourselves today. This message is crucial for parents and grandparents. It is crucial for single parents and young people. It is crucial to understand why God in His Word gives us some principles that are absolutely essential if we are to succeed in life. They are in essence, His Guide to a Life Well-Lived.
 
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)
 
1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”
 
 
 

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