Some people have said Christianity has too many rules. Yet these same people will follow a long list of rules every time they get behind the wheel of a car, when they want to keep their jobs, when they commit themselves in marriage to someone, or when they pay taxes, choose not to steal, murder, or destroy property.
I’m very glad people follow rules when I’m on the road. I feel safer knowing people are following rules in my neighborhood. It’s less stressful knowing I can trust someone who is following a set of rules. Rules are in place to make life better, safer, happier.
That being said, the reality is Christianity is NOT merely a list of do’s and don’ts. In fact, Moses tells us in 10:12, there are really only three things God requires of us:
- Fear God. Yes, we need to fear God who punishes disobedience without mercy. Moses said we fear, (that word could also be translated “respect,” or “honor”) God when we “walk in His ways.” That means obeying His Laws, of course. If you read the Ten Commandments, you’ll have to admit it’s nearly impossible to perfectly obey them all, all the time. Yet that’s what God demands. Now, here’s the amazing thing about God: knowing we are powerless in and of ourselves to obey His list of rules, He GIVES us the ability to obey. When we accept His grace, the forgiveness of sin Jesus bought for us on the cross, He fills us with Himself and gives us the means to obey Him. We are not at all on our own in this!
- Love Him. When you love someone you want to be near them, talk to them, talk about them. You make choices based on your love of them. God wants us to love Him like that. And honestly, once you get to know Him, that’s the easiest thing in the world to do!
- Worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. That kind of worship is an emptying of self, an offering of ourselves as a sacrifice to God. It’s laying our health, our family, our present and future at His feet in humble recognition that He is Holy God, Almighty, King of Kings, Creator God, and that He is worthy of our worship.
Now, why did God set down these requirements? Look at verse 13:
Keep the Lord’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good.
A right relationship with God, rooted in fear, love, and true worship not only honors God, it blesses us beyond imagination.
Follow these three rules. It’s for your own good.