I think it’s truly fascinating that before giving the 10 Commandments in the Bible (see Exodus, chapter 20), God first announces a relationship: “I am the Lord your God.” Everything that follows is based on that statement! One of my favorite Bible verses (repeated a few times) is: “I will be your God, and you will be my people.”
The best way for us to live is to have a relationship with God in Christ. Someone posted a quote on the internet: “Do more of what makes you happy.” Someone else crossed about the word “happy” with red lines, and printed in red: “HOLY.”
The calling of believers is to “Do more of what makes you HOLY.” This won’t just make you happy (in fact, you might be going though something in life that makes you truly unhappy), but it will give you true, lasting, soulful JOY, including everlasting joy! Joy in Christ is far better than being “happy!” According to God, our relationship with God means this: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (This is found in both Old and New Testaments: in Leviticus and in First Peter.)
Before giving the Commandments, God said one other thing: remember that I led you out of slavery. I think that the first and most important part of having a right relationship with God is remembering what God has done for us. Remember the big things: like creation, God forming a people, freedom from slavery, sending leaders and prophets, giving us the Word to live by, miracles, and most of all the sending of God’s Son and his sacrificial love on the cross for our salvation.
But we also are to remember the small things (small when compared to the awesome events of “Salvation History”). Remember a moment when God gave you a sense of inner peace, joy, or guidance. Remember when you were healed. Remember when God spoke a word of encouragement to you though someone who cared about something you were going through. Remember an experience of divine presence at sunrise or sunset, or during worship. Remember countless “God Moments!”
The standard for our clocks is Greenwich Mean Time: a non-debatable FIXED reference point for keeping time around the planet. At sea, ships in the northern hemisphere have a non-debatable FIXED point of reference: the North Star. Musicians have a tuning standard called “Concert A” which is EXACTLY 440 vibrations per second. Believers have a fixed standard: our relationship with God. Paul defined that relationship as: CHRIST CRUCIFIED.
The fixed, unchangeable, standard of salvation is the cross of Jesus Christ which is the way to salvation. Let us remember this, above all! That’s being holy! Remember and believe in the Cross of Christ!
Hear this word from God: “I am the Lord your God. I love you. I love your neighbor. In and through my Son’s faith, love, and sacrifice, you will be made holy, and you will be with me in eternal joy, forever!” Amen.