The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week, we change our focus to healthy living, and our Bible reading comes from Numbers 34-36, Deuteronomy 1-15, Mark 11-16 and Galatians 1.
As part of our boys’ bedtime routine, my husband and I sit with the two of them and read from one of their many children’s Bibles before we tuck them into bed. After carefully selecting the Bible for the night, Xander, my 4-year-old son, handed me The Story for Little Ones and asked if we could read “the rules,” referring to the Ten Commandments. He likes the idea of words written on stone tablets, though I’m not so sure he likes the idea of rules.
We read that portion, and at the conclusion of the chapter, it summarized the Ten Commandments as a way to live a good life and love God by following His rules. We then talked about what that means to Xander, and I got an answer one would expect from a 4 year old: to be a good friend and to help Alaster, his 2-year-old brother, put his shoes on, share his toys and pray to Jesus, and to tell Him “thank you” and “I love you”—all things that warm a mom’s heart.
Xander then turned to me and asked me how I live a good life. I paused for a moment—while it is part of our bedtime routine to talk about what we read, I didn’t anticipate how the question posed would challenge me.
How do I live a good life, and how does it reflect loving God?
With a 4-year-old’s perspective in mind, I shared with Xander that I love him, his brother and daddy, and I told him that I love Jesus and try to do the things that He wrote in the Bible. Xander was pleased with my answers, but the question struck my heart in a very personal way.
I have read the Ten Commandments hundreds of times. I have memorized them and strive to live them out in my daily walk. Some are more easily accomplished than others. As I left my boys’ room, I continued to wrestle with the idea of the Ten Commandments and whether or not I was living a good life and loving God as I should. Ultimately, in my day-to-day life, yes—I haven’t taken the life of another, and I go home to my husband every night. But this simple summary made me press in and ask questions specific to a few of the Ten Commandments that could easily be overlooked in my life.
- Do I have any other gods in my life?
- Do I have any idols?
- Am I observing the Sabbath?
- Am I coveting?
The four commandments above were the ones that I took time to examine closely in my heart, and then repented of and made adjustments. For some, other commandments may be in question: adultery, or stealing, for example. I encourage you to take the time to search your heart as I did.
An integral part of healthy living is living out the Ten Commandments in our daily lives, finding the balance of loving God and loving His people—including loving yourself. This is only accomplished when we stand vulnerable before the Lord and say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart,” so that we all may have a fear of the Lord and keep His commandments (Ps. 139:23, NKJV).
“Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments” (Deut. 5:29).
By: Lisa Penberthy, operations director for the Foursquare National Church Office
Download the yearlong reading plan (PDF, 80 KB), or sign up for the full, online version of the Life Journal. To purchase a Life Journal for your own use, or to place a bulk order for church-wide use, visit FoursquareJournal.com. Learn more about Foursquare’s 2013 Life Journal project.