Deuteronomy 4-6, Mark 11

Deuteronomy 4:2
You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

There is a lot of adding and taking away from God’s word today. I believe that this is why there is so much confusion among people today as to what true Christianity is. We must take to heart the words of the apostle John in Revelation 22:19, “…and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy (Revelation), God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Deuteronomy 4:23
Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you.

Idolatry would prove to be a curse to the Israelite people. I believe that it is still a curse to people today, except now we call it sports, recreation and entertainment.

Deuteronomy 4:29
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

The key to discovering the vast riches of God is to seek Him. This must never be done half heartedly, but rather with all of our hearts and all of our souls. When we do this, we will be amazed at what we will find.

Deuteronomy 5:1
1 And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them.

We must never be content with just reading, hearing or learning the commandments of God, but rather we must always be intent in observing them, in doing them. James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Deuteronomy 5:11
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

I recently read a fascinating commentary on this verse, one that I had never thought of before. Pastor Mark Devers writes, “God warned His people not to take His name in vain. By this He does not mean just avoiding profanity. More than that, He is saying, ‘Don’t take My name upon yourself, don’t claim to be My follower if you’re not going to live like one of Mine.’ That, no less than profanity, would be taking God’s name in vain.” To this point I say a hearty, “Amen!”

Deuteronomy 6:4-5
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Jesus said that this is the greatest commandment of all. If we would but focus all of our minds and hearts on fulfilling this one commandment, all of our concerns and burdens would simply and profoundly fade away.

Mark 11:9
Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! ’

This was the shout of Jesus’ triumphal entry. Many thought and hoped that Jesus would overthrow the tyranny of the Roman government and reestablish the proper place of Judaism. Fortunately for us, they were wrong. What made Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on that first ‘good Friday’ so triumphant, was that He would go to the cross allowing us to be triumphantly set free from our sin.

Mark 11:25-26
25 “ And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

There is no question, from the words of Jesus, that unforgiveness hinders our prayers as well as the Lord’s forgiveness of our sins. I am not sure to what degree this is the case, but rather than try to figure that out, I think it better to focus on how forgiving or unforgiving I am of others.

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