Do not Murder (Love Life)
You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13)
Our God is life. In God, life, and death cannot coexist. God is life. And God is demanding something from man in order for Him to dwell amongst man, namely to have love for life. One can hate life. Man can give up on life. Such a person is not worthy of God. He cannot live with God. We have to love life. Therefore He says, “do not murder”. Do not destroy life. What is the worst kind of murder? It is killing oneself. That is a terrible murder.
God gave His own life to save our lives, but if man hates his life and gives up on life, there is no hope. Even though God wants to do so much for him if he gives up on his life and destroys it, he is choosing a way that is completely contrary to God, and therefore God cannot do anything about him. Also, if one harms, sheds blood and destroys others, God definitely cannot be with such a person. Furthermore, anyone who harms himself and gives up cannot be with God. Thus God tells us to love life.
God says, “I have set before you death, life, blessing and cursing. For you and your children to live, choose life”. This is not about whether God will save me or not. It is my own choice. God desires to save all men. It is not that He has chosen to save only some while others He chose to destroy. He actually wants all people, the whole of mankind to receive life.
Not only mankind but even the grass of the fields He wants to save. Thus Jonah was delighted when a plant grew to cover him and provide shade for him, but when it withered, he was miserable. God said to him, “You had pity on the plant which came up in a night and perished in a night, but consider your own heart. Should I not pity Ninevah, the countless people who cannot discern between their right hand and left, as well as their many livestock? How many livestock and how many animals? Can I possibly destroy that city? Should I not pity them?” This is what God said. So God pities even those things and wants them to be well.
Life. So the fundamental tendency we must have to be with God is to love life, to have an affection for life and to strive to live. The opposite of this would be having a “come what may” mindset, wanting to give up, hopelessness, thinking like it would end one day, or I want to die like this and so on. Life, however, continues to grow. It continues to grow and revive. Thus a church full of life has continuous revival. Even with people, those who are alive keep growing. A person doesn’t only grow physically but mentally and becomes mature in wisdom and knowledge. But if such growth ceases, the person is as good as dead. Though he might be alive, he is as good as dead.
We make endless efforts, grow, and learn as long as we are alive. For people of this world who are unaware of this, they simply think that as they become old, their life will go on and then end. But no matter how old we get, we endeavour to grow until the day we die. That is what God is pleased with. We are not of those who draw back to perdition.
What is life? Life is when everything goes according to God’s will. Look at man. If a man is dead, he has a body, and within the body, there are cells, bones, blood and everything. But he cannot move. Though he has eyes, he can’t see; though he has a mouth, he can’t eat; though he has legs, he cannot walk. He has lungs but cannot breathe. This is being dead. He has a body but cannot move. The body doesn’t function, although it exists. That is dead.
To be alive means everything functions. Why do we have eyes? It is to see. God made eyes for the purpose that man may see. So if one has eyes but cannot see, they are as though dead. Hence a healthy person full of life, as well as all creations, functions normally. But for a person who is unhealthy, some parts cannot function and do not move. He has eyes but cannot see; he has hands but cannot move. All of these are because the shadow of death is hanging over them. People who are fulfilled with life, they use it up to 100% of what they have, but those who are dead, hurt, and sick; these people are under the shadow of death. Such people are limited, and they cannot use everything even though they have them.
Even though people are full of life, they say that they can only use 2% of their brain, which God made. Even that is being limited. Everyone is already oppressed under the shadow of death and weakness. Why do you think God made our brains? For man to use it and utilize it to its fullest potential. But it is being restricted. If the brain were not restrained, it would function fifty times better. It would be incredible. Even with the 2% of the brain, man is so intelligent, so imagine if we could use our brain to its fullest?
Unbelievers think that these exist and function coincidentally somehow, but everything was planned and made according to God’s will. Hence when man’s abilities and activities align with God’s plan, there’s life. But this is zero. According to God’s original plan of creation, this was a hundred, but man’s functionality is zero. He is as though dead. The more life he has, the closer he gets to the full potential. Later when we receive eternity that is full of God’s life, we will be what God originally wanted us to be without any deficiencies. This is the life we will have up in heaven.
So what is life? There is God’s will which He determined, and creations that ought to fulfill that will. And when the two are in accord, that is life. Life is that God’s will is wholly fulfilled. That’s where life is. Therefore what must we do to gain life? Through the word. When we receive God’s word and obey, it becomes life because by doing so, God’s will is done. That’s when we have life. We try to eat well and eat good foods to have life, yet we cannot be full of life through that. Though we eat, we become worn out and limited in what we can do. But obedience to God’s word is the essence of life. The more we obey, the more life we will have in abundance.
Why is a person full of vitality and filled with the Holy Spirit? It is because he obeys. On the contrary, one might eat well and sleep well but always lack in energy. This is because he is away from God. It is already so obvious from their countenance. People start to have ugly faces when they are in temptation. Am I right? But when they recover and are filled with the Holy Spirit, they already look different, starting with their face. They look more beautiful. Our sister Gayoung had an ugly face for some time, but now she looks a lot better. We should always be good-looking and pretty.
Hence to be filled with life always, we must obey God’s word. That’s how we can be full of life. Demons do not have any life. They can’t obey. They didn’t obey, cannot obey and do not have a chance to obey. They are unclean. But the state of being full of life is being clean. God is life. He is holy. In the same way, man must be full of life to be holy and be with God. Without holiness, no one can see the Lord. Without life, we cannot see the Lord.
Therefore Jesus said, “I am the life.” In other words, “You must gain life through me to enter the kingdom of heaven. I am the way. Come to God through me. I am the light. I will show you the way.” He called Himself the light. We have to have life to go before God; we need a way to go to God; we need light to find our direction and go to God. The fervent desire to obey God’s word is the same as having an affection for life. An affection for life means we have the willingness to obey. We have to be filled with the earnest willingness to obey God’s word.
Man can freely choose to disobey in his life. It is written that nothing good comes out of a man’s heart. Everything that comes out is filthy. And it’s not at all unusual. From within us, doubts, distress, envy, jealousy, and filthy things constantly come out. Therefore we are not living our faith life according to our own hearts. By the word, we keep suppressing those things. We have to subdue them. There’s no need to think, “what’s wrong with me?” If you do, it means you have not yet repented. That’s the way we are. That’s the way I am originally. Hence I endeavour to live by God’s word.
If you think, “What’s wrong with me?” and try to live by your own desires, you will be destroyed. Thus we do not live according to what comes out of our hearts but according to what God desires. So don’t think, “Why am I doing this?” but acknowledge that this is the way you are originally. And because of that, be determined to live by God’s word. The result of living by the word is life and peace. Let us pray and ask the Lord to help us be those who fulfil God’s word. Whoever doesn’t do this is a murderer. Let us pray that we can obey the Lord’s word and therefore be filled with life.
God our Father, as Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and in fullness”, help us to be those who are in accordance with God’s will. Help us to have life and that in fullness and abundance. As we are working to let many others also gain that fullness of life, fill us with wisdom, knowledge, and power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center