2019-09-29 - How Should we Practice Monotheism?
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 do, is to worship Him, to obey Him. For Israel, the focus of life was centered on the relationship with God.
Application: 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 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&tsquo;s plan for us,… a matter of art and of the heart.” 4 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, the first thing we need 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?, 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.
Application: 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.
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).
Why should there be such a problem submitting to the one who gave up all for us? The problem is our sinful nature gets in the way. Webster 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 to 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 for 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,i … 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;
You will find more info about Pastor Geoff Kragen at GKragen.com, and you may find more of his BIble studies at http://cfdevotionals.org/links/authgeof.htm.
If you have a prayer request for Christian Fellowship's Prayer Ministry, or if you would like to receive prayer requests in email, feel free to write firstname.lastname@example.org (Jan), or email@example.com (Debbie)