#6 Value Life

God made life, not death. Death, according to the Bible, was the result
of people stepping outside of God's plan -- it was not part of the
original blueprint for the world. Because God values life so much, He
has issued a clear commandment: "Do not murder."

Today, we must learn not only to keep the "letter" of this law, but also the heart of it.  And this is where most of us are guilty of breaking commandment six.

God wants us to value human life, because humans are made in the image of God. No one is "less important" and no life is "less valuable" than another. Whether an unborn baby or an elderly person, we must be very careful not to take death into our own hands. Here's a simple principle: God is the giver of life, God is the only one with the right to purposely take it away.

But this goes further than simply the taking of physical life.  The truth is that God looks at the heart, and long before a murder is carried out, the murderous sins of the heart have begun.

Consider what the Bible says: "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer..." (1 John 3:15). Jesus himself explained: "You have heard that . . . anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment" (Matt. 5:21-22).

In God's eyes, unrighteous anger and hate qualify as sins the same way murder does -- anything that de-values a person's life is a violation of the sixth commandment.

What should I do?

Instead of letting your heart get carried away by hate and anger toward others, you must learn to forgive them, love them they way Jesus does, and treat them with respect as a human being. It doesn't mean you have to like them, but according to the sixth commandment, you cannot kill (or wish to kill) them, you cannot hate them, and you cannot let anger get the best of you.

God has called you, and I, to a higher standard.

Practice the Commandment: This week, as you visit the store, pump gas at the station, or walk into your place of work, look at the people in a different way: as valuable individuals that God loves. Look at people's faces and think about their hopes, dreams, sorrows, and troubles -- consider how much Jesus wants to know and love them. Begin valuing life in your heart, and while you're at it, take some time to thank the Lord for your own.

Interesting to consider: People often ask me if I think suicide is a sin.  I believe it is, a direct violation of God's sixth commandment.  If you're considering taking your own life, think again.  God has a purpose for you that begins today and spans into eternity.  Don't sin against yourself, those who love you, and the God who made you by rejecting His life.  Rather than take your life, give it away - dedicate your life to serving God's purposes and fulfilling His mission.  You can learn more here.


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