God’s Rules for Living

INTRO: I wrote this Christian poem in 2014 after reading Timothy Keller’s book ‘Counterfeit Gods’. I memorised The Ten Commandments as a child in Sunday School. As an adult, I could say along with the Rich Young Ruler, in Matthew 19:20 “I have kept these rules since my youth.” But, from my study of this passage, I gained insight into how these rules of God relate to modern-day life in the 21st century. This poem explores the ‘not-so-obvious and often invisible, false gods that we may not realise we now worship. Beverley Joy.

PODCAST – God’s Rules for Living

The Ten Commandments – Exodus 20

We must worship only the LORD God Almighty
The one true God, our creator,
Our Heavenly Father.

God has supreme authority

Over everything everywhere
He demands exclusive devotion
From all of His creation.

Jesus said the most important thing is
Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul
Love Him and keep His rules

And love others as much as we love ourselves.

“By the grace of God let your Holy Spirit
Cause us to love others as Jesus loves
Make us willing to conform our life
And make God’s values the voids that we crave.”

We must not make, worship, or serve any false idols of any kind.

I ask myself these questions
I am troubled by my answers
“What is it I cannot live without?
What is it I want the most?”

We crave to satisfy our voids
Our voids are often ‘good’ things
Things that we ‘must’ have
What we crave we worship and serve.

There are many false idols in our lives
Which we long for them to satisfy
We want them more than anything else
They control our time, money, and thoughts.

False idols of, position, fame, recognition
Being respected, getting justice
Wealth, possessions, ownership
Pleasure, health, beauty, and leisure.

False idols of power and control
Knowledge and higher education
Hero worship, given or taken
All of which are good when pursued in balance.

There are many false idols of our world system
We create them, respect, and honour them
And we want them above anything else
We think they will solve what’s wrong with our world.

Politics, majority, or minority groups
Professionalism and Psychology
Megachurches and organisations
Outspoken victims and protest groups.

Self-governed, independent, self-sufficiency
Narcissistic hedonism – the selfish pursuit of pleasure
These will never solve the problems of our world.

“By the grace of God may your Holy Spirit
Cause us to recognise them
Break their hold over our lives
The craving for these false idols.”

God will not tolerate forever
The irreverent use of His name
Do we treat him reverently
As the King of all Kings?

“Do we passively listen to God’s holy name
Being cursed and used as jokes
As we sit in our homes and watch TV
Or Hollywood blockbuster movies?”

“Are we too busy to pray to God?
Do we avoid reading His Word?
Skipping church and fellowship?
But instead, watch TV Megachurch?”

“By the grace of God may your Holy Spirit
Cause us to recognise them
Break their hold over our lives
The craving for these false idols.”

Do we hear God speak in a whisper tone?
Hear His powerful command “Be still”?
Take time out of your busyness
To reverence and worship together each week?

“By God’s grace may your Holy Spirit
Cause us to take time every day
To talk to God through prayer
Let him teach us through His Word.”

Through Christ, we live at peace with God
At rest in our blessed relationship
With God our Heavenly Father
And Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Our parents gave us the gift of life
Fed and clothes us as helpless babes
They sacrifice much, educate and love
Impart their beliefs, wisdom and hope.

“By God’s grace may your Holy Spirit
Cause us to honour our Heavenly Father
By showing honour to our earthly parents.

Jesus said thoughts of hate can kill
And Shame and Contempt are the original sins
Our self-centred thoughts and actions
Destroy our relationships.

“By God’s grace may your Holy Spirit
Cause our thoughts and actions
To be inclusive and sensitive
Unselfish and forgiving.

Just as adultery is kept a secret
So too are some behaviours and thoughts
Whether meditative or fleeting
Secrets damage the mind and soul.

But nothing is kept secret from God
Jesus knows what we are thinking
He knows what we do in private
Nowhere can we hide from God?

“By God’s grace may your Holy Spirit
Reveal things unknown to us
Make us willing to conform our lives
And make God’s values the voids that we crave.”

We can steal someone’s reputation
Steal someone’s enthusiasm
Steal our friendship from others
By withholding, by being aloof.

Don’t steal from God what belongs to Him
Give to God by serving others
With a servant attitude

As Christ did here on earth.

Be transparent, not two-faced
Be motivated by truthful intent
Sometimes it’s tough, to tell the truth
But it must be done is God’s command.

“Oh LORD, be kinder toward us
Then we have been toward others
Oh, how the thought of our sin
Drives us to our knees.”

Do not crave what we do not have
But be content with our lives at present
Stop craving another’s talents
Wanting their health, money, or work.

By God’s grace, he will transform us
To become Christ-like within
Using our own talents and hardships
To glorify Him, whether they be small or big.

Beverley Joy © 2014 of Simply Story Poetry. All rights Reserved.

You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here

Exodus 20, Mat 22:37,39, John 14:15, Acts 20:35, Gal 5:22,23, Mat 4:4, 2 Cor 6:3
The Zondervan NASB Study Bible 1999 Zondervan Michigan U.S.A.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible 1960 Marshall, Morgan & Scott
God’s Psychiatry Charles L. Allen 1953 Fleming H. Revell Company

Counterfeit Gods Timothy Keller 2009, Hodder & Stoughton

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