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I am the Lord your God (2 of 6)

Shane Willard

Page 4 of 8
I've been here enough now, that I would consider the staff here my friends; and we treat each other with a lot of humour, a lot of joke telling. You think we're doing spiritual things, we're not. Our whole life is spiritual; but we're up there telling jokes okay; and we tell jokes, and we do a lot of things like that; and when it's time to pray, it's time to pray.

We have a good relationship, but all of us treat each with a certain amount of respect. I would never disrespect someone from up here; because he wouldn't tolerate it, nor should he. You could tell a lot about me, by what I tolerate from other people. You could tell a lot about how I think about myself, how I think about you, and how I care about the environment in the room.

What you allow to take place in your home, tells me a lot about you.

If you allow tension and anger and screaming and yelling and abuse to take place in your home, and let your kids see it, it tells me a lot about you. It tells me: you don't think much of yourself; and you ought to stand up, get your head up, get your shoulders back, and I'm not talking about be ridiculous.

I'm talking about have sensible boundaries around what people do with you. You can tell a lot about a person by the rules they establish.

Essentially, God's saying in the First Commandment: I want a relationship with you, more than anything in the world - but I'm not going to be #2. That's fair enough.

He says: “and remember, I got you out of Egypt”. Remember: I'm going to keep doing this the rest of your life. It's not like I'm giving you a free ride here - I just want to be #1. You could tell a lot about a person by the rules they establish.

2) You can tell a lot about a person, by the people with whom they establish rules.

You don't set boundaries with people, until there's a legitimate relationship in place - you just don't. Can you imagine being on a first date, just having a cup of coffee somewhere; and you say: listen, let me just set some rules for our relationship. You'd think: that was weird. Wait a minute, we're not even close to there yet. I don't even know what you do for a living. I don't know your mother's name. I don't know if you have children. I don't know what you like, what you dislike, and you're talking about rules? No, no, no, no.

See, once you get to a place where you have a relationship with someone, deep enough to establish rules, it tells me a lot about you. I can tell almost everything I need to know about you, with a couple of things: the questions you ask; and the stories you tell.

The questions you ask, and the stories you tell, reveal your values, and they reinforce your values.

I could tell a lot about what I need to know about you, by what you tolerate from other people; and I could tell a lot about what I need to know about you, by who you have a deep enough relationship with to have rules.

So this tells you a lot about God. These 10 statements tell you a lot about God; and what His heart is for us.

What is God trying to accomplish here with this statement: “I am the Lord your God, have no other Gods before Me”?

1) He is initiating a proposal of marriage.

2) He's offering a group of slaves the chance to be human, and have their dignity restored.

He's saying: listen, for 430 years you've lost your dignity, I'm going to teach you how to gain it back. We're going to create a culture, where everyone has the basic dignity in the image of God that I intended; and this is going to be so good, the whole world's going to want what we have.