What do you know about the Ten Commandments? Is this what you think of when you hear these two words? Moses with the Stone Tablets as played by Charlton Heston in the movie the “Ten Commandments?” Or do you think of them as an antiquated list of rules of everything that you should not do from your childhood Sunday School Lesson? Do you know any of them…Can you list all 10 Commandments? When was the last time you read the “Big 10”…Bigger question, how often (if at all), do you read the Bible? I just read an article that stated:
According to a study, “The Bible in American Life,” conducted by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, 50% of Americans read some form of scripture in the past year, and 48% of those read the Bible. Four in 5 read it at least once a month, and 9% of Americans say they read the Bible daily.”
Source: “American Bible Reading Statistics Reveal Who Is Studying The Good Book And Why,” Posted: 03/14/2014
This is a sad statistic when you think that only 9% of Americans read the Bible daily, it is no wonder that people don’t have a knowledge of the bible. The purpose of the study was to understand better how Americans use the Bible in their personal daily lives and how other influences, including religious communities and the Internet, shape individuals’ use of scripture. You can download the report here.
Are you part of the 9%? This “Thought for the Day” is not intended to condemn you for not reading the Bible, rather it is intended to emphasis the importance of knowing the Bible for yourself and not relying on passed down information from your parents or forgotten Sunday School lessons or just flat-out misinformation to stop you from reading the Bible for yourself. I know that the thought of reading the Bible at all, let alone everyday can ne intimating but it is so worth it for it is the blueprint for life! There is incredible wisdom the pages that can help you in your marriage, connecting with your children, your finances…you name it, it’s in there! I am not going to lie to you, some weeks are better than others but I try read hard to read some amount of scripture each day. Just recently, I read about the Ten Commandments which is outlined in Exodus 20:3-17 which are listed below from the New Living Translation (NLT).
#1 “You must not have any other god but me.” Exodus 20:3
#2 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.” Exodus 20:4-6
#3 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.” Exodus 20:7
#4 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.” Exodus 20:8-11
#5 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12
#6 “You must not murder.” Exodus 20:13
#7 “You must not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
#8 “You must not steal.” Exodus 20:15
#9 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16
#10 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17
Many people view God as some sort of “cosmic killjoy,” and believe that Christianity is all about what you cannot do…but if people only knew what the bible says, that is the farthest thing from the truth. Yes we study and learn what the Old Testament says, like the Ten Commandments, but when Jesus came to earth to restore the relationship between us and our Heavenly Father, everything changed!
In the New Testament Book of Matthew, it recounts when an expert in religious law, tried to trap Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
“Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39 NLT)
You see the Ten Commandments can be summarized with these two mandates which all centered on love. If you love God with everything you have within you, and you love your neighbor as yourself, then the “Big 10” will be fulfilled automatically! When you believe in Jesus and have a relationship with Him everything changes. How do you develop a relationship with Him you may ask? Well just like making friend on the playground or when you started dating, you get to know to know them. The same is true here, by reading God’s Word (the Bible), you will get to know your heavenly father, all that Jesus did when He came to earth and so much more!
Do you see how different the Bible can be when you know it? I highly recommend that you get yourself a Bible and start reading today. You can even get it electronically. I use the “YouVersion” App (www.youversion.com) which is a free Bible on your phone, tablet, and/or computer. YouVersion is a simple, ad-free Bible that brings God’s Word into your daily life anywhere you go.
You can jump to anywhere in the bible, highlight passages that are important to you, and start Bible Reading Plans. My 10-year-old daughter has discovered that she can actually listen to it being read to her as she reads along…It has made reading the Bible so easy.
How are you on your Bible Reading? It doesn’t matter how much or how often you read, just start today and earnestly seek to know God and His Word better.
So dust off your Bible and get reading…you will never regret the time investment, it will pay dividends for generations to come!
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