2014-08-31 - The First Commandment
How Should We Practice Monotheism: Worship
What are the ways that we practice Monotheism? What do we mean by putting God before all others?
The whole issue seems to revolve around the question of worship. The Israelites were to not worship other gods. Their adoration belonged only to the God of their fathers, the One who brought them from Egypt, freeing them from their slavery. To love God, as Christ calls us to, is to worship Him, and to obey Him. For Israel, the focus of life was centered on the relationship with God.
What are the ways our life can be focused on God? How do our lives reflect an attitude of worship, versus how should they? What are some of the ways we can demonstrate a worship- oriented life, keeping in mind that we are called to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever?" We are preparing for a life of eternal worship. It is no wonder that this command comes first.
Now the first thing that must be present, if we are to truly worship, is an understanding of Him whom we worship. Allen and Borror describe worship as "...declaring God's worth, God's plan for us, a matter of art and of the heart." Even from these few words, I suspect that you can already think of some additional ways that we can worship the Lord.
We can see, then, that the first thing we need to do - in order to be obedient to the commandment -is to know God. As we've said before, the true result of knowing God should be an outflowing of worship.
Second, if we know the Lord, there needs to be an acknowledgement of His greatness. This is why much of what we consider witnessing can be considered a form of worship. What did Allen and Borror say about worship? They said that it is " declaring God's worth . "
What are some of God's properties that make Him praise worthy? He is to be highly esteemed above all. His attributes include His justice, love, mercy, righteousness, patience, etc. He, in His love, was willing to take on human form, to come down here to die for each of us individually. If we truly understand these factors, and apply them to ourselves - then we will certainly put the Lord first - and will be in no danger of violating the first commandment.
To be continued.
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