2014-09-07 - The First Commandment
Now it would seem if we first know God, and second acknowledge who He is, if we worship Him and put Him before all others, then one would hope there would be certain effects in the quality of our walk.
One quality we have been discussing a great deal is dependency on Him. So much of modern life is focused on making us independent. Men are taught it is macho to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps. Women are taught the day has come when they should depend on no one but themselves. Where the need for dependence is recognized, it is often filled with "religion," philosophy, drugs, escapism - everything but what is truly needed, the Lord. But for us, as believers, we must learn to be truly dependent on God.
"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:31-34 esv).
Some say religion is a crutch, therefore something we should learn to get along without. Better said that if one is crippled from sin, then the crutch that Christ offers, Himself, His Spirit should be gratefully accepted.
"And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick" (Matthew 9:11-12 esv).
With dependence on the Lord must also come submission.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7 esv).
Why should there be such a problem submitting to the one who gave up all for us? The problem is that our sin nature gets in the way. Webster's Dictionary tells us "submission is yielding control to another." Can we do any better then, than to submit to the God of the universe? I think you can see that when we are talking about the first commandment, we are really talking about our relationship with God, and the fact we are called to put Him before all others, that we are commanded to worship Him. I want us to think in terms of worshiping the Lord, ourselves, not in terms of something the church leadership does on Sunday mornings. I also want us to take seriously the fact that the worship of God should be the first priority of those who really want to respond to Him.
"You shall have no other gods before me.” for "I am the Lord your God" therefore "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, Blessed are all who take refuge in him" (Exodus 20:3, 2; Psalm 2:11-12 esv).
"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
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