Series:  Part One - The Ten Commandments
Psalm 139.23-24

Hello and Welcome to Our Church Without Walls. I’m preaching a series of messages called THE TEN COMMANDMENTS... Today’s text is found in: Exodus 20:3-17.

This is Part One...

We have all heard about and learned of them. There have been books and movies made about them. But when was the last time you actually studied the “Ten Commandments” or at least read them?

Yes, I know we are no longer under the Old Testament Law, and we are now under grace, but our standard for living should still be based upon the Ten Commandments. I think it’s a shame that some of the Ten Commandments are not illegal to break within our governmental system. For example, adultery is legal in most states, but it breaks the 7th commandment. As a matter of fact, some Christians would argue that since we are no longer under “The Law”, we don’t have to follow the Ten Commandments. So, let’s examine them and determine for ourselves what God says about it.

The first of the Ten Commandments is found in Exodus 20:3. It says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” The second commandment is much like it. ”You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Verse 4)

In Verse 2, God speaking making the claim “I am the Lord your God . . . “. There are some who try to claim that Israel borrowed legal patterns or concepts from the nations around them, but Verse 2 blows away their theory. God Himself is speaking and all other claims are unacceptable. Verse 3 begins with God giving the command not to worship other gods. We might think, “What other gods? There are no other gods in my life.” You might not think that other people you know worship other gods. What about your neighbors and relatives? Do they have gods you don’t know about?

The first commandment concerns the object of our worship. It should be God, Jehovah God, and Him only. You see, the Egyptians had many gods, called “strange gods” (which is polytheism) in the Scriptures. On the other hand, the Jews had been eyewitnesses of the great things God had done for their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. By redeeming them, God acquired a right to rule them; they owed their service to Him to whom they owed their freedom.

Now, being on this side of the cross of Christ, we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. It is by His death and resurrection that we have a new freedom. That freedom is one of spiritual freedom. We know from the Adam and Eve account in the Garden of Eden that Satan can and will control us spiritually. We do not have the power within ourselves to overcome him. But the death and resurrection of Christ proved once and for all that He has power over the devil. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we then owe Him the respect to serve only Him, and God. But this does not come as easily as we think.

You see, we make gods out of our own things. Pride becomes a god of self. Then there is the god of money. Money becomes the god of covetousness. Sensuality becomes the god of the belly. I could list many more things that become our “gods”, but I believe you get the point. In a “nut-shell”, whatever we esteem, love, fear, serve, or depend on more than God (Jehovah) has become our god.

Do we really worship God? Then we need to acknowledge that HE IS GOD, accept Him for ours (personally), adore Him with admiration and humble reverence, and set our affections entirely upon Him. We simply need to put God first in everything we do. But what is the first thing we do when we get up in the morning? (OK, maybe potty break, but after that . . .) The first thing we should do is pray and thank God for another day. We should tell God how much we love Him, even if we “don’t feel like it”. What about other things in our life? How many magazines, newspapers, and books do you read first thing in the morning? And speaking of the potty, why not read your Bible while in there “doing your business”? God is the one who created you, knows all about you, and sees you all the time anyway! (I think He would rather see us reading His Word than someone else’s.) What about your cell phone, the computer and the internet? Do you spend more time watching videos, or at the gym than with God? What about the gossip at work? Do you spend more time spreading gossip than in prayer to God? Which do you do first? Do you spend more time and do you depend on them more than God? Then these things have become your “god”. According to Verse 4 in our text, we are not to put anything before God. He is to be first in everything. As a matter of fact, prior to any activity you should pray and ask God to bless you with enjoyment for that activity or else put upon your heart that which He would have you to do first.

If you want the rich blessings of God in your life, maybe today would be a good day to re-evaluate the “gods” in your life. Remember, anything we put before God is a sin; it is evil, and wicked. Maybe it’s time we get before God and pray like David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23, 24.

If you really want to get closer to God, this is a good place to start. Say a prayer like the one there in Psalm 139:23-24, but be ready because God will reveal to you any “gods” you have placed before Him! God will show you what He wants you to change. But any change you make, no matter how hard it might be, will be worth it. And the changes, well, you just might enjoy making them, if you love God as much as you say you do.

This has been part one of a series on “THE TEN COMMANDMENTS”. Be sure to join me next time as we look at part 2…You won’t want to miss it!

I’m Pastor Robby teaching His Word, His Work, His Way

OUR CHURCH WITHOUT WALLS,

a ministry of Robert C. Phelps Ministries, Inc.,
St. Cloud, FL
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