Have you ever played a game where the rules kept changing? How much chaos did that create? Did you think it was fair when another person changed the rules to give them an advantage? God is just, so He values regulations and laws. Without laws, there is chaos, and people will follow their self-centered, sinful nature to do all manner of evil. In the last post, we learned that those who seek to do what is right and please God show that they have wisdom and understanding.
A nation that is not governed by laws will dissolve into chaos. The evidence can be seen in the cities that let criminals run free to do whatever their sinful hearts directed them to do. What makes a nation great? What is the difference between a wise leader and a foolish one? How can you tell if a person is wise or foolish?
What Makes a Nation Great?
In Deuteronomy 4:5-9, Moses teaches the Israelites the following.
5See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
6Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes [laws], will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
7For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?
8And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?
9“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.”
Summary of a Great Nation and People Who Are Considered Wise.
1. The leaders and the people obey God’s rules.
2. Having a God who is near when they call upon Him.
3. A nation and people who value the righteous laws established by God.
4. People and leaders who don’t forget God and all He has done.
Why America is Not a Great Nation:
Right now, there is a massive push by those deceived by the devil to remove all references to God from every part of our country. Prayer was removed from the school. Then killing children became legal. The schools stopped teaching the Christian foundation and heritage of our country. The Ten Commandments were removed from courthouses and other places. Many people are not saying the pledge of allegiance because it acknowledges God. We are to say “Happy Holidays” because Merry Christmas references Jesus Christ’s birth. Foolish people want to take the words “In God we Trust” off our money. Idolatry is rampant, even in the church. If a nation is considered great when they obey God, what happens to the country that removes God and lives sinful, self-centered lives?
New Testament Obedience
Moses was God’s spokesman for the emerging Jewish nation. The New Testament Christian is not bound to the Laws given to the Jewish nation though the 10 Commandments still apply to us. God gave laws so everyone lived by the same rules, and there was order, not chaos. The principle of obedience still applies. So, what rules are the New Testament Christians required to obey? Let us see what Jesus, our spokesman, said to do in His first sermon in Matthew chapters 5-7.
1. We are to be the salt and light for the world by doing good works and giving glory to our Father in heaven (5:17-20).
2. Do not be angry and insult a fellow Christian; instead, be reconciled to them (5:21-26).
3. Do not lust because even if you have a lustful intent toward someone, you have committed adultery. Whatever is causing you to lust, remove it, such as the internet, books, movies, etc. and avoid places that tempt you to lust (5:27-30).
4. Do not take oaths. Let your “yes” be yes, and your “no” be no (5:33-37).
5. Do not retaliate (5:38-42). Matthew 5:42 states, “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”
6. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so as sons of God, “You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (5:43-48). This sounds impossible but with God’s divine power in us, we can be perfect if we obey God’s laws.
7. Don’t let people see you giving to the needy. Matthew 6:1 states, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”
8. Pray to your Father in heaven and forgive anyone who has sinned against you just as your father in heaven has forgiven you (6:5-15).
9. Serve God, not money (6:19-24). Matthew 6:24 states, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
10. Do not be anxious (6:25-34). Matthew 6:33-34 states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
11. Don’t judge (7:1-6).
12. Ask, seek, and knock through prayer (7:7-11).
13. Practice the golden rule (7:12-14). Matthew 7:14 states, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
14. Recognize false teachers by their fruit and avoid them (7:15-20).
15. Do your heavenly Father’s will (7:21-23). Matthew 7:21 states, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
16. Do what the Word of God says to do (7:24-27). Matthew 7:24 states, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Most importantly, you are to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, then love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40 and Luke 10:27). Do you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind? Do you love your neighbor as yourself? Are you morally upright and call upon God? Do you obey God’s commands to show yourself wise and understanding to those around you?
Playing a game by the rules makes the game fun, and everyone knows what to expect. The Christian life is rewarding if we live by God’s rules established in the Bible. We learned that following God’s laws makes a nation great. Jesus gave us some standard rules or practices in His first sermon. The Apostle Paul wrote letters to the new churches, instructing them how to conduct themselves toward those outside the church and toward each other in the church. If you haven’t read the New Testament yet, please do that and note the rules the Apostle Paul lays out for the new and mature believers.
All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share this link with your friends and family; hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website.