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Laying down the law

(183)

Sermon shared by Chris Talton

May 2000
Summary: This sermon is a precursor to a series on the Ten Commandments. It explains what the law tells us about God and about us as well as what the law could never do.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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make you His special treasure above all other things (vs. 5)
God told Moses to tell the Israelites that if they would choose to enter into this relationship, that He would make them specifically His most prized possession of all that He had in the entire universe. Last Wednesday night, Dan and Stacie walked through the doors of the this church carrying their most prized possession – little Daniel. You know how people, especially women, react over a new baby. There were plenty of “awes” and “oh”’s, and people wanting to hold him. I imagine that if you tried to offer Dan and Stacie all the wealth of this world in exchange for their little son, it would not even be tempting to them. He is their prized possession. That’s the same attitude that God has toward us when we make Him our Father. Think about the other options that God has to make into His prized possession. He could have chosen the angels. They are not scarred with sin. They do exactly what he tells them to do without question or hesitation. They are in a constant chorus of worship toward Him. But God didn’t choose them as His treasured possession. He could have chosen the stars as His treasured possession. They put off great amounts of light and energy. They are beautiful. But God didn’t choose the stars. He chose us. He chose [begin to point at people and name their names] as His treasured possession. You are more important to Him, he would rather have you than any other creature in the whole universe.
 God communicates His goal to change you (vs. 6)
As many of you know, Tammy’s dad is a professional photographer, so he has been to many weddings. In one wedding, the bride was unusually nervous. She just wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to make it through the wedding ceremony without passing out. The pastor who was to perform the ceremony gave her a piece of advice. He said, “Instead of concentrating on everything that you have to do, just concentrate on one piece at a time. When the ceremony begins, just concentrating on making it down the aisle. As you make your way down, focus on the altar. Once you get near the front, turn your focus toward your groom and focus all your attention on him.“ The bride thought that was good advice, so she did just that. Only she was the type that had to voice her thoughts especially since she was so nervous. As she made her way to the front, everyone in the church could hear her saying, “I’ll alter him; I’ll alter him”. Many husbands and wives have entered into the marriage relationship thinking that they will be able to change whatever it is that they do not like about their spouse. The groom thinks that he will be able to change his disorganized, sloppy bride into someone who runs the house well. The bride thinks that she will be able to change her selfish, run around with the boys, don’t expect me to spend two minutes in the kitchen groom into someone who can cook and clean and take all his free time to spend with her. For one, it almost never happens that way. And two, the desired change is not for the benefit of the person changing but for the benefit of the partner.
The change that God wanted to happen in the Israelites, and what He wants to happen in us is for our benefit, our growth. He wants us to be changed in such a way that we can be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. You know what a priest is? A priest is
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