Saturday, June 30, 2012

You Shall not Commit Adultery

Exodus 20:14 states this:

"You shall not commit adultery."

Now I would guess most of you have not committed adultery during your lives.  But there are probably some of you who have never heard this verse in Matthew 5:27-28.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

This verse should jolt us all.  If we have so much as looked with lust at the opposite sex, we have committed adultery of the heart.  You may not think it is such a bad thing, but since we have broken God's law, it is.

It seems like something that cannot be controlled to an extent, but it can.  You should do things like quote scripture.  Todd Friel gave an analogy once that when we have a bad thought, one thing we can do is instead of the thought, picture Jesus hanging on the cross.  On the cross with blood pouring down His sides, paying for your sin.

There are some verses that talk about this concept I would like to share with you.  They are pretty self-explanatory, so I will post them without commentary.

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." ~ Romans 13:14

"Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.  Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." ~ 1 Peter 2:11-12

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life." ~ Proverbs 4:23

There is one more verse I would like to leave you all with today.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.  Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."

You can do anything with Christ, friend.  Strive for the goal!


Friday, June 29, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Kill

My first thought when I read my commandment that I needed to write on was “Um, how do I relate with this?!” I’ve never murdered anyone!

However, my brother kindly reminded me of 1 John 3:15 “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

Have you ever hated any one? There have been a few times in my life where I have felt like lighting was going to strike me dead because I told myself that I hated someone.

So what is hate? What if I hate someone and I don’t realize I’m doing it? That would mean I am a murderer. The Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary’s definition of hate is: To dislike intently;detest; also, to dislike greatly; as, to hate to write. Hate, the general term, implies extreme aversion, especially with enmity or malice; detest suggests violent or intense antipathy1 or dislike.

Two Latin words2 for hatred are odium and invidia. Odium means hatred, dislike, displeasure, insolence. Invidia means envy, jealousy, ill-will; unpopularity.
I’m sure we have all felt envy and dislike at many moments of our lives. That means we have all hated; which means we are all murderers; which means that we are all guilty of the sixth commandment.

“ Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Psalm 45:7 (KJV)

Hang on a second, David is clearly saying that God hates. Wouldn’t that make God a murderer? Nope. God is perfect and holy in all things. He hates with a righteous anger. He doesn’t hate people, He hates sin: two totally different things.

For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 20-24 (KJV)

In this Psalm David is saying that he hates whom God hates, with a perfect hatred. Did you know that perfect means complete-finished? Complete means (Again, I quote from the Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary): 1.Filled up; with no part lacking; completed; 2.Perfectly equipped or skilled; Syn. Entire, perfect, whole. One of the Latin forms3 of complete is iustus: just, fair; lawful, right; regular, proper.

So David is saying that his hatred is the “right” kind of hatred. He hate’s whom God hates, he loves whom God loves. Does that make David a murderer? In the last two verses in the above passage, David is asking God a parallel of this question. “If this is wrong, show me, and re-direct my thinking.”- is basically what he is saying.

Passing on the question of whether David was right in his hate or not, the point is is that we have all disobeyed the sixth commandment. Most likely we have disobeyed every other commandment on the list. We’ve failed. Before the Jesus came, the only way we could fix this is by taking an animal to the temple to atone for our sins. Unfortunately not everyone is Jewish, so what hope is there for us?

Hope came in the body of Jesus Christ. He took our sins, our hate, our envy, our lies, our jealousy, our doubt, our fear, our shame and put it on Himself when He was crucified. When we accept that fact, that freedom, that gift; it doesn’t matter who we have hated in the past, what matters is that we love them now. Even if they hate us instead. When our own strength falls short, we can put our failures at the feet of Jesus. He will pick up where we have left off… and carry us with Him.


1- Antipathy (Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary): Opposition or disagreement in feeling; aversion, repugnance.
2,3- Definitions from Collins’ Latin Concise Dictionary

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Honor Your Parents

"Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Deuteronomy 5:16 KJV

Commandment #5, you're probably very familiar with this one.  Between Sunday school and VBS this one is pretty much hammered in good Christian kids' heads.  It's time for a fresh perspective.  Mostly, this verse is taken to mean "obey" you parents and while this is part of it, especially when you're a child, the Lord specifically uses the word "honor" here.  I am so glad I got to write about this commandment because I've been on a quest to find out what it means to honor a person.  To honor someone means to put them before you, to respect them, to put you, and how you feel, and what you want aside, and make a place for them.  So as a teen, young adult, or even full adult, we need to honor our parents, to pay them the respect they are due.  And if we do, God promises us a long and fruitful life.

As a young teenager, I may have obeyed my parents, but in my heart it was far from honor  no matter how good it looked on the outside.  Honor is a heart thing that comes out in your attitude.  I'm 19 years old now, and my parents don't "command" me or "make" me do things, they respect my age, but that doesn't mean I disregard their wisdom, or dishonor them by rebelling against the rules of the household that I still live under.

Honor your parents, if you're just doing what they tell you it's not enough, pray for a heart that is humble and willing to subject yourself to those in authority over you.  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Keep the Sabbath Holy

Ex. 20:8-11 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall 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 servent, nor your female servent, 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 al the is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it."

 In today’s world, it seems that Sunday has become another day for work. Businesses are now open on Sundays; people skip out on church to do yard work, and so on. Our culture has declined from the “Good Ol’ Days” in “Mayberry” where the people understood that the Sunday was a day to be reverent and spend in worship, both corporately and privately. In the 1800’s, church was an all-day event. You would arrive in the morning, get a break a noon for lunch and then came back to church and were there until dark. It was not an extra day to split wood, make hey or hunt, it was a day that the family was to rest and go to church.

God gave us 6 days to work and 1 to be set aside for worship of Him. Can’t we spare 1 day not to work? Can’t the choirs wait? Of course, this is not an excuse to not work. We are to be like Christ, doing our work on the 6 other days Christ made and then resting on the 7th.   2 Thess. 3:10 says “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”

This Sunday, remember that it is a day of rest and worship.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Don't Take the Name of the Lord in Vain!

Thou Shalt Not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain:

Deuteronomy 5:11 "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."(KJV)

From the past few posts (and probably some of the future posts), I think that one (of the many common themes) is that these laws almost always seem "easy to keep" but Satan has a way of deceiving us. He makes it seem like we can do these things and break these commandments in a way that seems "okay", but is compromising our conscience and breaking Gods law. This commandment is no different!

When I started writing this post, me and my pride had me thinking that I had kept this commandment pretty well. I mean, I had never sworn or anything! But the more I thought about it the more I realized that swearing might not be exactly what this verse is talking about. Have I ever said things like, "God Bless You" (or something like that) when I don't really mean it? Do I ever talk about God in a way that is bringing me more glory than it will Him? I have always thought of this commandment as "do not swear", but I realize that it is saying more than just that! The new meaning that it has for me is it is also saying is that the Lords name is Holy and Sacred, and should NEVER be misused because of how holy and powerful it is!

The first thing that came to my mind when I started to write this post was a video I had seen a long time ago. It was about a man who's name was Sean and how when things where going wrong around him, people would say, "Oh, Sean!" and he would run to them and say, "What?"! the people would say, "I don't want you." and walk away. All through out his day, that kept on happening, and he got super frustrated! The "moral" of the story was that when you say the Lord's name, you are "calling" Him!

As many of you know (or have discovered by reading my blog) is that music is a big part of my life. So of course, I have to incorporate a song into this post. I was listening to the radio this morning and I heard a song called "Your Name". It would be too long to put it in this post, so I decided to just put the chorus in it. It goes like this:

Your name is a strong and mighty tower
Your name is a shelter like no other
Your name, let the nations sing it louder
'Cause nothing has the power to save
But Your Name

Thank's for reading!

God Bless,

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"You shall not make for yourself an idol"

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." ~ Exodus 20 4-6

The second commandment talks about worshipping other gods, and replacing the One True God. The word "idol" is seen in different lights. One way is in the terms of a famous person, such as in the popular show, American Idol. But the other way goes back to what Josiah said about the first commandment. Things such as television, music, internet, and even food... All of these can be things you put above God. Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary has several definitions of the word idol. I will post one of them:

"[An idol is] Any thing on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment.

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5.

An idol is any thing which usurps the place of God in the hearts of [H]is rational creatures."

The last sentence is especially true. An idol is anything that usurps the place of God in the hearts of His rational creatures.

Look at the verse that is at the beginning of Exodus 20.

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery..."

The Lord is GOD! How dare we put things above Him in our lives? If we put anything above God, it is like saying that object is more important that He is in our lives.

"You shall not make for yourself an idol."


Sunday, June 24, 2012

"You shall have no other gods before Me."

I believe this commandment has a lot of arms and legs to it. First of all, God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5), and He hates it when His creation follow false gods. Think about when the Israelites followed other gods instead of the One who saved them? Or King Solomon when he started worshipping other gods instead of the One who gave him wisdom!

The word "god" has several different meanings.

1.  The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
  • 2. A superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.

  • 3. An image, idol, animal, or other object worshiped as divine or symbolizing a god

  • 4. Used as a conventional personification of fate
    • - he dialed the number and, the gods relenting, got through at once

  • 5. An adored, admired, or influential person
    • - he has little time for the fashion victims for whom he is a god

  • 6.  A thing accorded the supreme importance appropriate to a god

                   - don't make money your god

    Now, for the second "arm and leg" look at the definition #6. The example they gave I thought was very interesting; "Don't make money your god." It's true, do you love something or feel more passionate about something other than God? If you live for food, games, TV, money or something like that then you may be putting that in higher importance than God.

    I myself have had many problems with this in my life, and I have put worldly and man-made objects and entertainment before God.

    Don't put other things in the place of God, instead, follow the Lord full-heartily, and believe that He is the only One to make you Whole!

    God bless,

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    The Ten Commandments

    The Dedicated Christians team is working on writing TEN blog posts all about the ten commandments and what we think about them, and how they relate to us. This marathon of blog posts will begin next week on Sunday, the 24th!

    Thank you so much for reading, and please, don't forget to write us at with questions or comments!!

    God bless,


    During our trip through the south a few weeks ago, kudzu was a common sight.  In light of that, I did a little research on the plant.  I found that in 1876, the government imported a plant called kudzu from Japan and payed farmers to plant it for erosion, herbs, and food for their cattle.  They soon found out it would totally take over the south if not stopped... but they were too late.  It spreads fast and there is no biological way to kill it.  The above picture, believe it or not, is a house covered with kudzu.

    It starts with one plant, and spreads rapidly over everything, leaving destruction in its wake.  If you think about it, sin can do the same thing in our lives.

    When you sin, it can be like a vine, leading to sins that are worse and worse.  This creates a labyrinth, one that is hard to escape.

    We start to cover up the cross with our sin and guilt, forgetting what He has done to make us right, and instead indulging with pleasure in our sinful acts.

    Man's nature is sinful from birth.  The Bible says that from birth the wicked go astray (Psalms 58:3).  But there is hope for those of you who know Jesus Christ as your Savior.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says this:

    "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

    The best way to stop sinning is to stop it as soon as you realize your problem.  This verse offers a wonderful promise, that God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted above what we can bear.  It talks about a way to escape, and there always is.

    This verse is not telling us we can escape our sin alone, and I am sure most of you know that is impossible.  The way of escape is God.  Through the power He gives us we can overcome sins and find grace and peace at the cross.  He is the only way to free us, as He has give us salvation.

    If you do not know the Lord God as your Savior, please click on this website,

    If you have any questions about the Christian life we would love to try answering it.  Please email us at and we will do our best, with the Bible as our guidebook, to answer to the best of our abilities.


    Monday, June 18, 2012

    "When the Stars Burn Down"

    I first heard this song on the radio a couple of months ago on my way to church. It's called "When the Stars Burn Down" by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. I really couldn't understand the words from where I was sitting, so I came home and looked it up.
    I really enjoy this song.
    The songs words are taken from Rev. 5:13-14 "And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and Honor and Glory and Power be to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, forever and ever." And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever."

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

    The Misconception on Modern-Day Christian Music

    Is modern day Christian Music, turning us away from the Truth that Jesus put before us?
    I recently heard that Carrie Underwood, a well known country singer, who claims to be a true Christian; has done something terrible. Mrs. Underwood promotes gay marriage. She exclaims that people shouldn't feel bad about who you marry... It's sickening...

    Below is On The Box, a show that I highly respect from a group of evangelists from Living Waters. Ray Comfort and Tony, two evangelists, share their opinions about what Mrs. Underwood said.

    The main point I want to make with this blog post is that we need to remember not to idolize the singer or the writer of a song. Every singer and song writer have a unique gift, these gifts were given by no one else but the Lord. We need to focus on who the song writer was directing the song to.

    Why do we sing praise and worship songs? Because we are worshipping the One who created us, not because we want to sing a song that some popular artist sang...this should be our main purpose of singing songs.

    Psalms 33:1-3

    "Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the Lord with the harp' Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy."

    Psalms 67:3-4

    "Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah."

    There are many more references to how we should praise God throughout Psalms. David did a really good job praising the Lord. But we are idolizing him are we?? Not like we do with Carrie Underwood, and people like Philips, Craig and Dean. Everyone falls off the path sometimes, we just need to make it a priority not to idolize or "look-up" to singers too much...they are just people, like you and me.

    Praise God, not the singer. Follow the Creator, not the writer. Believe the Word, not the script. Idolize the One who made all, not the one who sang the song.

    Thanks for reading,

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Mining for Gold

    Every Friday we have a Bible Study at our house.  My pastor comes with his family as well as a few other people.  A few Fridays ago we were talking about something that really interested me, the different ways to read the Bible.  When people talk about reading the Bible a lot of terms are thrown around like "meditation" and "study", things like that.  What is the correct way to approach your Bible?  We broke it down into 3 sections and then compared it all to mining for gold.

    1. Basic Reading
    The title describes it all-you sitting down and just plain reading the Word.  You don't have any particular motive other than to just absorb what you can.  This method is is effective at covering a lot a ground and picking things up here and there.  Great for memorization and getting into the habit of thinking like a Christian.  Sort of like walking along the ground and finding pieces of gold, you don't find much but it's simple and effective.

    2. Studying
    What my pastor describes as "ripping apart Scripture and then putting it back together again".  You are reading the words, but with the distinct intent of trying to figure something out.  This where we get out doctrine and theology.  You don't just start and chapter 1 and and read to chapter 2, you hop around comparing different verses, taking into account audience, speaker, time line, context, etc.  This is like going deep into the darkest parts of the earth and searching for a vein of gold.  It takes a lot of work and time, but what you find is valuable and deep.

    3. Meditating
    Eastern religions have made us hyper sensitive to this word.  Meditation is not the emptying of your mind but the filling of it.  You take a single verse or a few verses and mull it over in your mind.  It takes time and it teaches you the meaning of verses that maybe you've heard a million times before.  You stop, think about each word and it's meaning and contemplate it as if you've never heard it before.  You already have your gold here, but now you're refining it.  Heating it, pounding it, weighing it and forming it.

    All three of these ways to read Scripture are needed, we need to be strong in all these areas or something about the way we interpret the Bible will be off balance.

     Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:13-16 NKJV