Posted by: Michael Stevenson on Fri, Nov 25, 2011
WHEREFORE, God began to speak His laws—revealing to His own people of Israel—the laws of life that would bring about true success and happiness and real peace if they were obeyed! In our day of human reasoning, we do not rightly understand this. For we have set up before ourselves, our own ways and we have rejected God’s ways and His laws—those which would be eternal and binding upon mankind. Today, man is in a world of materialism and disobedience—for rather, we choose to do as we please and ignore God’s voice in all things. God’s ways are about obedience and worship of the true God—the Creator and Ruler of all the universe—and the personal God of those who really do obey Him in service and in love! “And God spoke these words, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me’”—Exodus 20:1-3. This was given at the very start—and a very important commandment to be given first and foremost—for it would prove that His people are faithful ONLY to Him, rejecting all other gods. If this would be followed, then we would find that we would have no problem in obeying God’s other laws and commandments from this point—but, the fact is, we must not establish other gods before the Eternal God! David studied and meditated upon this very commandment and he understood that “I am the LORD your God”—a more revealing phrase than what we even realize! First, we find in this phrase alone that God is revealing who He is—that He is the very ETERNAL—the One who has always been. In this, He was demonstrating for us His power as the Creator and as He visited Mount Sinai to give His commandments, He was showing His very reality that He is the Creator—the One who has all power!
The First Commandment and What It Means to You
Now that we have seen how God displayed His great and marvelous power and might in revealing Himself when He had spoke the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai, let us now look at how each one of these commandments—starting with the very first commandment applies to each one of us personally. For if we will make any claim as to our really being Christians, then we must remember that Jesus Christ—the founder of the true Christian faith—said that we should live by every Word of God (Matthew 4:4) and since we should live be each and every of God, then it only reasons that we should also obey the very laws and commandments which God gave to us so that we can be sure that we are doing as Jesus Christ has told us we should do. We should also remember that it was Jesus who set the very example by which we should walk. Therefore, let us observe those very ways of which God has commanded to His people. Through God’s assistance, we must walk in accordance to the very ways which would bring us to eternal life (Matthew 19:17). How then, does this first commandment actually apply to us individually? Remember that first, God says that “I am the LORD your God” which therefore means He is actually pointing out to us who He is! He is telling us that He is our God, that He is our Creator and the Eternal. Then He goes on to tell us not to have any other gods. How many of us have created in our own imaginations other gods which have become first and foremost in our own lives? Jesus warned that there are those who are worshiping God in vain (Mark 7:7). Therefore we are not able to rightly worship the Creator as we are intended to worship Him.
To the true Christian, God has said that He is the One that has “brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Therefore, within the Bible, Egypt is a type of sin while Israel represents each one of us. All of the unconverted are held in slavery in their own spiritual Egypt (sin) while those who are brought forth from their sins are pictured by Israel being delivered from Egypt. Those that are unconverted are held in bondage to paganism, false teachings such as Sunday observance and many other false teachings which hold people in bondage. To those who are brought forth from these, God delivers us out of these types of slavery and sin and brings us to a personal freedom—a personal land of promise. When someone is fully converted, he becomes willing to obey God on every level—being willing to recognize that God is the very One who has created him or her and who has been faithful in bringing them to a personal level of satisfaction which is only found through the obedience to His laws and commandments. Thus, when we truly repent of our sins, we are repenting—promising that we will forsake our sins.
God has commanded that “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Have you ever thought that perhaps whatever you put before the Eternal is a “god” and that it is worshiping something which God has forbid? How about your time, money, job, family, television, many other things? These all can become gods and therefore, God has condemned our practices of having false or other gods before Him. What about you? Have you ever placed an idol or something of which you desire first and foremost before God? But, when we begin to put God first, when we begin to properly study His Word, when we begin to talk to Him and to focus on Him, then we will find that “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiworks”—Psalm 19:1. Through the Bible, God has declared His creation and His power and majesty. Throughout the Bible, God has also given to us an instruction manual by which we will find truth and we will be brought closer to knowing Him and His ways. But, we must be willing to faithfully read it and then obey what God has told us within His Word.
Today, the greatest deception is not communism or atheism or anything such as evolution—rather, it is the false, pagan doctrines and beliefs and practices. Satan has deceived the eyes of the whole world into believing lies and into believing falsehoods about Jesus Christ and about what His Gospel Message really is. From Satan comes evolution which is to try to do away with a Creator, then comes pagan holidays which are meant to “replace God’s holy days” with false holidays which actually, in reality, are worshiping false pagan gods and goddesses. We then get Sunday which is the worship of the sun-god rather than the true Sabbath which is the worship of God Almighty who is the Creator of the creation. The wisdom of the world is foolishness. Even our educational system is caught up in the foolishness of this world. We read “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”—1 Corinthians 1:20. God is revealed through the Bible not only as the Creator, but also the very One who sustains and rules all of creation through His great power—intervening in the affairs of His faithful to guide and to bless and deliver them. We further read from David that “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, my stronghold”—Psalm 18:2. Literally, we find David and the other prophets and apostles all calling upon God for their deliverance and also we find that today, there are those in God’s own Church take Him at His Word and call upon Him. This brings us closer to relying upon Him and realizing that He is our God.
You Must Understand God’s Great Purpose
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:9 that we are to address God as our “Father.” All through the New Testament, He has been revealed as the One in whom we are to go with all of our problems with which we face each day. Luke our own human father, He watches over us and blesses and protects us. He wants us to also be chastened when we do wrong and He wants us to learn that He loves us (Hebrews 12:6). From the start, God has been the Father of all mankind. When He created mankind, He said “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness: let them have dominion over the fish of the sea…”—Genesis 1:26. We therefore are created in the very physical image of God—the outward form and shape of God. Mankind therefore had been given certain duties and prerogatives like God—rulership over all the various creations of earth. We therefore are given certain limited powers to be able to create new things which never existed before in the exact form. In this way, man has been able to show some of the very abilities similar to what God has. For God has planned and has purposed that we would become as He is—glorified just like Him (1 John 3:2). Mankind is to become born of the spirit—becoming literally spirit—composed of spirit (John 3:6). We then will become a part of the God Family. God has therefore planned that those who will overcome human nature in this present age and who will learn—through the assistance of His Holy Spirit—to keep His perfect laws will be able to become like Him and be born into His Family and be a part of His Government! Then, after this life of growing and overcoming, after this spiritual rebirth which He desires for us, we then will be able to exercise some of the prerogatives that God Himself has. We will then become qualified as an additional member of the awesome Government of which God is going to have Jesus Christ establish upon this earth—provided that you would thus become willing to live in obedience to His laws and His commandments which He has set in place!
Yet, even in this, science and civilization loves to compete with God—thinking that they know better and therefore, they set up false gods in various ways. Modern science is always trying to give mankind the power far in excess of its mental and spiritual abilities for handling such forces. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower has said that “Science seems ready to confer upon us as its final gift the power to erase human life from this planet.” And now, science is working hard also to try to colonize the heavens—seeking so desperately to make his home wherever he chooses. Here on this earth, mankind is still continuing their paganized ways and teaching that mankind is the ultimate judge of what is right or what is wrong and putting himself above God and His laws. So then, we now see that mankind is seeking always to set himself over God—just as Satan desires to set himself in place of God.
Whatever You Serve Becomes Your God!
Most of those who go each week to church and who take their religion for granted do not really know what real and true worship is. They believe that “worship” is something you do only once a week in church, not understanding that it is something which we should have on our minds each day of our lives—worshiping God through study of the Bible and prayer and dwelling on His Word in everything which we do in our lives! In all that we say, think, or do, we should be serving God rather than our own lusts and Satan the devil! Paul the apostle had been greatly inspired to say that “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”—Romans 6:16. Paul was explaining that there is no middle ground—that whatever we do, we have that as our god and that therefore, if we worship other things rather than God, then we are serving false gods. Likewise, if our actions, our attitudes, and all that we have is dedicated toward God, then we are leading a path which is leading us toward righteousness. Either we are going to delight in God and His ways, or we are going to delight and serve other things rather than God. Therefore, if we choose to serve other things rather than God, then we are serving Satan the devil who is the “god of this age”—2 Corinthians 4:4. One key to this situation is how you spend your time. Time is life. The Bible tells us that to be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil”—Ephesians 5:16. Therefore, the truth is that we should be spending our time that we can focused on living a godly life, living life dedicated to God and serving God in every opportunity. Therefore, how much time do you spend focused upon God? Just how much time do you spend dedicating to doing God’s will? Do you earnestly awake in the morning focused upon God before anything else?
Most of those who profess to be Christian often think of their religion as just something which just occupies time—filling the time gap in life. But, in all fairness and love, we say that the day will come when they will realize that that particular type of religion is false and that they are in reality serving a false god. Jesus Himself said that we “shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the fist and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets”—Matthew 22:37-40. Therefore, Jesus was explaining that through our love, through what we do, we will be loving God and our fellowman if we are doing that which we should, that which would bring true happiness as a result of that kind of true love.
Whether we want to realize it or not, the destiny of all the nations and people really do rest upon these two commandments! If men will only learn to obey their God, to obey these two commandments as they are magnified through the Bible, then they will be blessed with great happiness and peace. Every prophecy which is written against a nation shows that God has foresaw that the nations would indeed go against Him and would turn away from His perfect laws. His laws are living laws and they really do rule the universe!
Learning to Love and Worship God Only!
When Jesus was teaching people during His mortal ministry, He said that to love God with all your heart and soul and mind is one of the things we should be doing. You are to worship God and to serve Him with all of your being—not just an outward appearance, but with all of your inner being as well, worshiping God in truth and in spirit. Whenever we think or speak, or hear anything which is good and awesome, then we should think of the Creator. We need to remember what James wrote when he declared that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning”—James 1:17. If we truly love God, then we are going to dwell on His law and will want to truly worship Him therefore. David had said that he dwelt upon God’s law and meditated on it. Likewise, we should be willing and desirous to also dwell upon God’s laws and meditate on them continuously through study of the Bible, through prayer and through faithfully obeying every Word of God. We should be doing all of this daily. When we do it, we should also be sincere in what we do. When we see things which God commands us, then we should be willing to do it with a yes attitude and a willing heart.
By knowing how to live and how to act appropriately will bring us more meaning in life and will help us to live a life of a living sacrifice as God tells us we should be doing (Romans 12:1). We should serve and obey God with all of our being—with a heart that is willing—and we should do everything to the glory of God. We should have an attitude which always is that as Jesus Christ showed us—for we see that He was our example of how we should live. Remember that Jesus had declared that “Not My will, but Yours, be done”—Luke 22:42. Therefore, we should remember that is not our will—but God’s that should be done each day in our lives as we live life continuously!
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