David Letterman was famous for his "Top 10" lists. He would begin with 10 and count back to 1 as we anticipated his #1 answer.
God gave us a Top 10 list and I'm want to see how you do with it…
1. "You shall have no other gods before me.
2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol
3. "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God
4. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
5. "Honor your father and your mother
6. "You shall not murder.
7. "You shall not commit adultery.
8. "You shall not steal.
9. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. "You shall not covet
YOU shall have no other GODS before ME
So what does #1 mean?
· Who is "you"
o That of course is us…mankind. So this verse is meant for everyone.
· Who are the "Other gods"?
o Could it mean Zeus?
Could these be the 'gods' the verse was referring to? I guess it could be. We certainly aren't meant to worship any of the Greek Mythological Gods. But don't you think we are much too intelligent for that today?
I find it hard to believe that the Israelites in Moses' day made an idol (calf) to bow down and worship. How can an image of gold…or even stone, wood…anything deserve our worship.
What can we possibly get from a 'god' that isn't real?
***So do we not need to be concerned about the first Commandment today? Are we too smart to worship 'Other gods'?
I don't think God wrote His 10 Commandments for a limited period of time.
Just as I don't accept the explanation given me about the 4th Commandment being no longer relevant to today's society, I don't believe the First Command is no longer relevant, either.
So what are our "Other gods"?
Let's begin by defining "GODS".
· A spirit or being that has great power, strength, knowledge, etc.,
· A person who is greatly loved or admired
· A person or thing of supreme value
According to these definitions, could we have 'other gods'?
Let me focus on the third definition at this time…
"A person or thing of supreme value"
If this is "MY GOD" does that mean I get to determine the value? (I would say 'yes'.)
If we value something very highly don't we refer to that as 'worshipping' that object?
· Could I worship my job?
· Could I worship my house, car, boat, etc.?
· Could I worship my spouse?
o How many times have we said, "I worship the ground he/she walks on."?
· Could I worship my grandchild?
Is there really anything wrong with that?
· But I love my job.
· I love my wife
· I love my children and certainly my grandson.
I place Supreme Value on them.
I would lay down my life for any of them without hesitation.
Is that really wrong?
Didn't Jesus say there was no greater love than to lay down your life for another? (John 15:13)
That is true, but only half the equation.
Matthew 22:36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
Love that will lead us to lay down our lives for another comes from our love for God and His love for us.
***God wants us to love others enough to lay down our lives for them. That's how much Jesus loves us…
But that doesn't change the first Commandment.
You shall have no other gods BEFORE Me.
Loving others enough to lay down our lives for them is what God wants. He just doesn't want us to love them more than we love Him.
We all have 'gods' in our lives…'persons or things on which we place great value.'
We just have to be sure these gods aren't placed before Him.
By the way, who is 'He'? Who is the "ME" in this command?
Of course it is
And who is HE? There was one more definition for god…
o The Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe
This one is spelled with a capitol G…not a lower case g.
When introducing Himself to Moses He simply referred to Himself as "I Am".
Let's take a look and see who "He Is"!
158 times in the NIV He says "I Am the Lord".
10 times He says I Am God
Check out some of these other 'I Am's"
Gen 17:1 "I am God Almighty
Gen 26:24 "I am the God of your father Abraham…I am with you;
Gen 35:11 "I am God Almighty
Ex 3:14 "I AM WHO I AM.
Lev 11:45…be holy, because I am holy.
Isa 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
Isa 43:19 I am making a way in the desert
Ezek 13:9 I am the Sovereign LORD.
Mal 1:14 For I am a great king,"
And when Jesus entered the earth He continued the "I Am" statements;
Matt 8:3 "I am willing,"
Matt 9:28 I am able
Matt 11:29 I am gentle and humble in heart,
Matt 28:20 I am with you always..."
Luke 22:70 "Are you then the Son of God?"
He replied, "You are right in saying I am."
John 6:35 "I am the bread of life.
John 7:29 I am from Him and He sent me."
John 8:12 "I am the light of the world.
John 8:23 I am from above…I am not of this world.
John 8:58 "…Before Abraham was born, I am!"
John 10:7 I am the gate
John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd"
John 10:36 'I am God's Son'
John 11:25 "I am the resurrection and the life.
John 13:13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am."
John 13:20 I am He. (Capital 'H')
John 14:6 "I am the way and the truth and the life.
John 14:11 I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
John 15:1 "I am the true vine,
Rev 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega…who is, and who was, and who is to come…the Almighty."
Rev 22:20 I am coming soon."
PPT #10 Blank Screen
I love the way John lets us know God and Jesus are the same…
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
We are watching an apologetics video series in TNT on Wednesday nights and a great point was made this past week.
We think we are so smart that we have to explain everything.
We come up with theories of how mankind and the animals came to be.
We come up with theories of how the earth came to be.
We want to be able to explain everything from our own brains.
That reminds me so much of God's question to Job…
Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? "
We try so hard to explain everything when we weren't even there.
Only ONE was…
He created everything.
He set it all into motion.
And He wants a love relation with us.
He knows it is best for us when we don't allow ourselves to have any other gods before Him.
· He is God
· He was there
· He created the earth
· He sent His only begotten Son to live the sinless life and die in our place.
· He is the One who inspired the writing of the Bible
· He IS who He says He IS.
o When He says He is the Creator He is THE Creator. There is no other explanation.
o When He says He is the way, truth, life, He IS the way, truth, life, the means to salvation. There is no other.
o When He says He is love, He IS love. He doesn't love by any other definition…HE IS the definition of love.
We are all Christians in here. We believe all these things.
· We would never worship mythological gods.
· We would never worship Buddha, Mohammed, or any of the other gods in today's world.
· We certainly aren't like the Hindu that worship 100's of gods.
Our God is 100's of things to us, but He is one God. Even in the 3 persons of the Trinity He is still one God.
For centuries the Jews have quoted
Deut 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Jesus even reaffirmed this verse when asked which was the greatest commandment…
Mark 12:28 "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
Paul confirmed it in…
Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men
Throughout the entire Bible, throughout history, when an "I Am" statement was made it was referring to the One True God…either spoken as the Father or the Son…either way, the same person. Hundreds of traits…ONE GOD!!!
And we all have hopefully entered a love relation with Him.
So we really don't have to worry about the 1st Commandment after all. We'd NEVER worship another god above Him.
He loves us too much.
The God of the Universe promises to watch over me and provide for me. He promises to never leave me…
I Am your shepherd; you'll never be in want.
2 Even though I may make you lie down in green pastures: I'll lead you beside the still waters.
3 I promise to restore your soul: I'll lead you in the paths of righteousness for My name's sake.
4 Yea, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you will never have to fear evil: for I Am with you; My rod and My staff will comfort you.
5 I will prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies: and anoint your head with oil; your cup will overflow with blessings.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life: and you will dwell in the house of the LORD, in My House, forever.
How could it get any better than that?
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and He will provide everything I need in this life. And the live to come when I get to spend eternity with Him.
Why would I possibly have any other gods before Him?
We love our families, spouses, children, grandchildren…
We love our church, our Sunday School classes, our Bible studies, our prayer groups…but not more than we do Him.
***We have no other gods before Him!!!
As Lee Corso would say…
Not so fast.
Let me pose one more thing to consider.
What if Jesus told us like He told the Rich Young Ruler?
What if He made it clear to us that we were to sell our house and move somewhere else? Farther away from our grandkids?
What if He told us to take some money we had saved and give it to a needy family?
What if He told us to donate a possession we cherish and support a particular ministry?
Are your possessions a god in your life?
Could they have more meaning to you than God Himself?
***What happens when we pray for a loved one to be healed and they don't?
What if we pray for something very important to happen and God never makes it happen?
Do we question God?
Do we tell God what we will and won't do in life?
***What if He speaks something to us in a church service, in a Bible study, in our Quiet Time and we refuse to do it?
What if we read 'Turn the other cheek' and we don't?
What if we read the commands of the Bible and refuse them?
What if we read 'not to look lustfully' and we go to a movie we know is going to cause us to 'look lustfully'?
What happens when God does something in our lives or to someone around us we don't agree with and we question God?
ISN'T HE GOD?!!!
DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO QUESTION HIM?
DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL HIM WHAT WE WILL AND WON'T DO?
DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN BECOME CLAY IN THE POTTER'S HAND?
The answer is always NO!!!
No Other gods!!!
When we place our logic above His we have become god in our lives.
We are telling Him NO.
Thus we have become a god before Him…we follow our own desires, our own logic instead of His.
When I put my own thoughts and desires above what He tells me I am my own god.
*****So how do we deal with this?
We don't listen!
We don't read God's Word. "I didn't know that".
Don't you know the Bible is God's instruction book to us?
To know it and not find out what it says is no excuse. It's actually disobedience in itself.
We excuse our actions by comparing them to everyone else.
Doesn't that make THEM your god?
How many have heard the verse, "Be still and know that I am God"?
Do you do it? If not you have become your own god.
Jesus said, "When you pray, when you give to the needy, when you fast"…do you do it?
To know God's word and not follow it is to be own god.
How about this one…
Ps 139:16 All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Jer 29:11 I know the plans I have for you…
Wouldn't you agree that God has a plan for your life?
Is your effort in finding out His plan for you or are you more content to tell Him what you want Him to do in your life?
If we're deciding the plans for our own lives…
Who's God? You or Him?
Are you looking for God? Listening for Him? Seeking His direction for your life or are you telling Him how you want Him to bless your plans?
One other thing…we don't get to pick and choose the qualities of God we want for our lives.
But He is also
He calls us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses (Instruments of death…die to self and give life to Him) and follow His words, His example, His commands.
Love Him with all your hearts…have no other gods before Him.