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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 44 : Keep My Commandments | Day 302

Keep Christ's Commands!

During the days of wind-driven ships, a captain struggled to steer his vessel as fierce winds and high, rolling waves pushed the tall ship off course. Thick, dark clouds closed in around the ship for several days. The captain knew he was far off course but had no way to correct it until one night when a patch of clear sky became visible. He quickly got his sextant and calculated the latitude and longitude of his ship's position by identifying the location of the stars. He was then able to determine where he was and in what direction he needed to go to get back on course.

The commands of Christ can be used in a similar way—as dependable lights providing a point of reference to keep us on course throughout life. We can easily see the practical benefits that Jesus intended us to have when He commanded:

Command Forty-Four: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Scripture makes a distinction between keeping God's commands and doing them. Both words are often used together in the Old Testament. One example is found in Leviticus 22:31: “Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD.” (See also Deuteronomy 19:9.)

In John 14:15, the Greek word translated keep is tereo, which means "to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon ...)." Just as a sea captain could ensure that his ship was going in the right direction by keeping his eyes on the stars, so those who keep Christ's commands before their eyes will have a sure course for their daily decisions.

Keeping God's commands before our physical eyes can provide valuable reminders that help us keep them before our spiritual eyes. This is what the nation of Israel did: “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates” (Deuteronomy 11:18-20).

Keeping Christ's commands is not optional. It is essential for the success and well-being of our entire lives.

If we were told to keep the treasures of a great king, wouldn't it be logical to first take an inventory of all the treasures and know where they were? Clearly, Jesus has given us specific commands to keep. It is important for us to identify them so that we can keep them before our eyes on a regular basis.

Several years ago I went through all of the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and identified general commands of Christ that are applicable to all believers. The Daily Success e-mails are based on these, and you are to be commended for your faithfulness in keeping Christ's commands before your eyes in this way. I am confident that God will richly reward you. He has promised, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).

“If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard