Meditating on the Commands of Christ (23): Do Not Think That I Will Accuse You

Many people envision God as The Great Judge who will determine our eternal destiny by weighing our souls in the Balance of Life after we die. If our good works outweigh our bad works, we’ll be ushered into glory; but if our bad works outweigh our good works, we’ll be cast into hell. Is that what you think?

This is what the Pharisees thought, and this is what many religions teach, but this is not the way of Christ. He said, “If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48). Jesus told the Pharisees that if they would only come to him, instead of judging them, he would give them eternal life, but they refused.  When they refused to listen to him, Jesus told them:  Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust” (John 5:45).

What did Jesus mean by that? In the Old Testament, God—through Moses—gave us  humans a list of basic “Do’s and Don’ts,” commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments. Most people from Christian countries would say they believe we should keep the Ten Commandments, and many people agree that lying, stealing, and cheating are wrong. But in fact, none of us keep the commandments perfectly at all times. For example, how about the first one: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Who among us has never let some little god—some idol—come between God and ourselves?

Do you know what an idol is? It comes from the Greek word eidolon, which means “a reflection” as in water or a mirror. It’s not necessarily a literal image we bow down to and worship, but it is the representation of something we see and want. In Francine River’s  sweet devotional, Earth Psalms, she points out that idols are just “little nothings.” I like that. Idols are as ephemeral as a reflection in water . . . fleeting and without substance. We want them intensely, but they never really satisfy. They can’t.

On the other hand, God—our Father God, God Almighty—is unchanging and eternal. He is the only One who can satisfy us completely. Only God is worth worshiping, yet how often we chase some illusory vision or allow our own reflection to become our idol! Are we worshiping God, or ourselves? Who is the center of our personal universe? Whom do we love and live for?

So, if we can’t even keep the first of the Ten Commandments, I don’t think we should really want to be measured by the Mosaic Law. But, God does give us that choice: We can be saved through faith in the work of Christ, or we can be judged by the Law of Moses. Which would you prefer?

For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law” (Romans 2:12).

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

Be ye holy; for I am holy.17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:16-19). This is my testimony: I am not hoping that my good works will outweigh my bad works. I know that won’t happen. Instead, I have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, the perfect lamb of God, who died for my sins and for the sins of all who will put their faith in him. I hope this is true of you too! May we give up all our “little nothings” and place our faith and hope in Christ.

Texts for this week’s study:

And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.41 I receive not honour from men.42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:40-47).

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” John 12:47-50

The “Ten Commandments” from Exodus 20:1-17

“And God spake all these words, saying,

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

I Think We Just Ate Part of the World’s Longest Sundae…and It Was Yummy!

It's Done! at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptI’ve never been a part of any attempt to set a new record Baby playing with cell phone at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptin the Guinness Book of World Records,Selfie at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempt but Alan and I just happened to pick last weekend to go camping in Ludington, 6,000+ participants at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptand we joined some 6,000+ happy spoonlickers who had the privilege of helping Enjoying sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempteat what I believe will be officially the world’s largest sundae Waitress wearing tee shirt at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempt(pending 6-8 weeks for paperwork and approval). Police patroling line at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptAnd, in order to win,People had to EAT the sundae too at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempt the sundae had to be eaten, so we were definitely part of the team, Poster advertising at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempteven though we didn’t know about it soon enoughVolunteers at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempt to be  one of the hundreds of volunteers Scooping Out the ice cream at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptladling out some 12,750+ scoops of ice cream, Cherries on top at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempt spreading the 600 cans of whipping cream, I put the cherry on top at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptdoling out the 2,000 maraschino cherries Pouring Chocolate syrup on top at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempt or sloshing on 800 pounds of chocolate syrup, Hundreds of tables line Ludington Ave. at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempton this amazing 2970.71-foot sundae Gutter stretched between tables at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempt(that’s over a half a mile) Boy checking gutter at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptthat stretched along eight blocks of Ludington Avenue Keep Calm and Play Dead at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptlast Saturday, June 11, 2016.  House of Flavors at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptThe event was hosted by Barry Neal, third-generation owner of House of Flavors,Turkey dinner at House of Flavors famous in our family (and probably every family) for their fabulous turkey Scoops Sundae at House of Flavorsdinners as well as spectacular, homemade ice cream treats. Working on gutter for ice cream sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptThe current record holder for the title of World’s Longest Sundae is held by the town of Manurewa, which is a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. Table spread for 8 blocks along Ludington Ave. at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptThe sundae was made on February 28, 2015, was 1,957 feet,Pirate at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptand cost the town $17,000. Hats and Preparations at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptI believe the sundae made in Ludington handily  beat all these records, Baby waiting for ice cream at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptbut it was privately funded, Camera Man 2 at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptalthough many aspects of the event were similar, Camera Man at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptincluding the hundreds of volunteers who helped make it such a success. One end of the trough at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptLudington’s sundae trough was crafted from 2,971 feet of Superior gutter, Lining gutter with tin foil at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptlined carefully with tin foil, Pouring Chocolate Syrup at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptand then loaded down with truly scrumptious ingredients. Superior Seamless Gutter at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptThe whole process was probably a logistic nightmare, Tinfoil lining gutter at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptbut it was a culinary success, Little boy asleep in his father's arms at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempteven though it took until nearly 7:00 pm Drone checking out sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptbefore the artistic creation was completed and verified both by a drone above Camera Crew validating sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptand by a live camera team running the entire length beside it.Sunshine at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptIt was a beautifully sunny but warm day, Ice Cream at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptso all the ingredients had to be delivered and served very expeditiously, Scoops at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptbut everybody rallied to the cause, Ice cream scoops had to touch at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptand the whole enterprise was a smashing success! Sign in House of Flavors Ice Cream ShopBarry Neal made the comment that one of the best aspects of the event Young, old, and dogs waiting at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptwas how it “binds people together; it creates community.” Verfiying length Kathi eating sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptAfter the sundae was complete and verified, Receiving sundae Kathi eating sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attemptvolunteers scooped out thousands of individual sundaes for us to enjoy. Making sure all lis in order Kathi eating sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptI was also especially taken with one leader, who ran tirelessly back and forth encouraging “the troops” and making sure everybody had what they needed. Salt and Light at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptA vibrant believer, he was being “salt and light” in his community! Tourists waiting at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptThe whole event made me think of the great Supper of the Lamb,
which God is preparing for anybody and everybody who will come. Spoon lady at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptWhether we’ve known about it for a long time
and are hard at work as a volunteer, inviting others to join in,Kathi eating sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae Attempt or we just “happen” to discover God’s gift to us in Christ,
it’s all being provided for us completely free. All we have to do is come and enjoy!Streets lined at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptThere is a book so much better than the Guinness Book of World Records.
It’s called the Book of Life. Will you join the record-breaking millions
who’ll have their names written there?Little boy stepping over petunias Kathi eating sundae at Ludington's World's Largest Sundae AttemptAnd I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books” (Revelation 20:12).

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come
(Revelation 19:6-7).