Staying Within the Lines
Obeying God's commandments
A coloring book
And God spoke all these words: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:1-3 (NIV)
Do you remember when you first started to learn how to color? If you were like most children, you probably colored all over the page without staying in the lines. I imagine that some of your pictures looked a lot like this one (show picture colored without staying in the lines). And your choice of colors probably wasn't very good either. You might have colored the cow purple! I've never seen a purple cow, have you?
As you got older, your pictures probably looked more like this one (show a picture colored in the lines). You began to stay in the lines and your color choices were much better too. There aren't any purple cows in this picture. This picture is much prettier than the other one, isn't it?
These pictures remind me of the way some people live their lives. God gave us the ten commandments to tell us the things that we should and should not do. Some people don't pay any attention to these guidelines that God has drawn for them. They just do whatever they want to do. Often their choices are not very good. They are like the child who doesn't stay inside the lines on the coloring page. They think their life is beautiful, but when God looks at it, He sees that it is just a big mess.
There are other people who read the Bible and follow God's rules. They try to stay within the guidelines that God has set. Oh, they may still get outside the lines at times, but most of the time they make pretty good choices. When God looks at their life, He is pleased.
Do you want your life to be like this one (show the messy picture) or do you want it to look like this one? (show the pretty picture) Let's pray and ask God to help us.
Dear Lord, help us to remember that you set boundaries for us. Help us to stay within those boundaries so that our lives will be pleasing to you. Amen.