There are numerous commands in the Bible. Of course, God’s commands do not just constitute the “do not do this or that”, they involve many positive actions – such as love my neighbor, care for the poor, look out for the vulnerable, as well as cultivating of positive virtues – kindness, gentleness, patience.
Can I honestly say I am always kind, gentle and patient?
Impossible! This is especially so in Singapore where we demand the fastest and the best in every facet of life. Anything that defies this narrative is judged and criticized.
The sobering truth is that we can’t match up to God’s standard. Not by a long shot. In that case, why would He bother detailing commands to such an extent?
Before God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, He reminded the Israelites who He is and what He has done for them.
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2).
This bears great significance! It’s like a blanket of grace that covers the commandments that follow!
Before Jesus commanded his disciples to continue the Great Commission, He told them who He is (Matthew 28:18). It’s like a blanket of grace that covers the commission that follows!
Leviticus 19 speaks of many laws, with God punctuating them by saying “I am the Lord your God.”
Pick up your Bible and read now. How many times does this statement appear?
Can we keep the commands with our own strength?
No. We need to fix our eyes on the Ruler, the Saviour whose grace enables us to follow His commands.
Surely, the commands still stand, we must abide and follow them. However, God in His great grace is present as we carry out these commands, and is merciful when we fall short. We can be assured of His presence with us.
Jesus said “and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” He really meant it. Not in the sense of “Oh, I’m just a phone call away”, but “here, take my hand let’s walk through obedience together.”
Maybe you’ve given up altogether, resigning to the fact that it’s impossible to follow all the Christian commandments.
Remember, even in our failures, God is with us. Let His truth penetrate our motives and spur us on to grow in obedience.
Therefore, stop dwelling in the futility of our efforts but look to God in the faithfulness of His character.
The first step to complete obedience is to recognize that without God’s own hand, we cannot do it. May you fix your eyes on Jesus as you carry out his commands and grow in Christ-likeness.
by Lester Tan