I know many of you like to play games like I do. It’s a lot of fun to get together with family and friends, and there are all sorts of games we can play too: card games, board games, and activity games. Every game, though, has rules that we must understand and follow before we can actually play. The rules make the game enjoyable and fair, so we can have fun. The rules are usually written on paper and included in the game’s packaging.
Did you know there are rules that we are supposed to follow in life, too? Where do you think we can find those rules? They were given to us by God, and He put them in the Bible for us to read and remember. They are called the Ten Commandments and are found in the Old Testament.
They are: 1. Put God first. 2. Worship only God. 3. Use God’s name with respect. 4. Remember God’s Sabbath. 5. Respect your parents. 6. Do not hurt other people. 7. Be faithful in marriage. 8. Do not steal. 9. Do not lie. 10. Do not be envious of others.
The religious leaders in Jesus’ day all knew those rules. They like to sit in the Synagogue and discuss the “law” as it was called. They especially liked to ask Jesus questions about the law, hoping to trick Him into saying something that would turn the people against Him. One day, they asked Him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
Jesus answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Wow, what a wise answer! None of the leaders dared to ask Him any other questions that day. Think about it. If we all could just love God with our whole being and love all our neighbors like we love ourselves, the world would be a much different place. Each one of us can love and honor God by being kind to everyone. If we did those two rules, the other ones would be followed, as well. Think about Jesus’ answer this coming week and try to love Him, our friends, and ourselves.
Let’s say a prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, help us to remember Your rules to live by. Let’s us always love You, take care of people, and take care of ourselves too. In Your holy name we ask this. Amen.
Ann Moody is a retired pastor, formerly of the Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.