The 1st Commandment

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

What does this 1st of the 10 Commandments mean?

How do you live it out in your life?

It relates to its inverted meaning in what Jesus said in Matthew 22 when the rich young ruler asked Him which commandment was the greatest and Jesus said ‘love the LORD God with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength’.

Our God is a caring, emotional person who deserves to be first and foremost. Nothing before Him. We are commanded NOT to worship anyone or anything other than He.

Our hearts were made to worship. If we don’t love and worship the God of the Bible we will by default worship something false and unfullfilling. The best way to avoid false worship is to lean into the Word with accompanying Spiritual disciplines. We spend time and talk about who and what we love.

Respectful Fear

“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.” Psalms 147:11

We see here in another passage, fear isnt necessarily a bad thing. It has its purposes. Fear here means respect, awe, and authority. Like David said, ‘Your rod and staff comfort me’. Successful children prefer consistency in rules and thrive in order yet also with liberty and space.

As children of God, He well knows this and thus we live best and ultimately under His sovereignty yet were created in His image with a free will. However we will go astray and be punished if we neglect His commands, principles and dare mock Him.

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

It is definitely unwise to forget or ignore His awesomeness. It is foolish to take His patience for permission to sin. God deemands respect, worship and praise, not because He needs it or us, because He deserves it.

When we, His creation, give the Creator His just due we are in turn are blessed.

And he did what was right

“And he did what was right

in the sight of the Lord;”

2 Kings 15:34

We all have a choice. I hope and aim to choose right and avoid evil.

Not necessarily easy but simple.

Thank God for God’s help in this matter otherwise impossible.

Psalms 141:1 — 10

Prayer for Safekeeping from Wickedness
A Psalm of David.
Lord, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
To practice wicked works
With men who work iniquity;
And do not let me eat of their delicacies.
Let the righteous strike me;
It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it.
For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.
Their judges are overthrown by the sides of the cliff,
And they hear my words, for they are sweet.
Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave,
As when one plows and breaks up the earth.
But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord;
In You I take refuge;
Do not leave my soul destitute.
Keep me from the snares they have laid for me,
And from the traps of the workers of iniquity.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
While I escape safely.

Prayer for Safekeeping from Wickedness
A Psalm of David.
Lord, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
To practice wicked works
With men who work iniquity;
And do not let me eat of their delicacies.
Let the righteous strike me;
It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it.
For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.
Their judges are overthrown by the sides of the cliff,
And they hear my words, for they are sweet.
Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave,
As when one plows and breaks up the earth.
But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord;
In You I take refuge;
Do not leave my soul destitute.
Keep me from the snares they have laid for me,
And from the traps of the workers of iniquity.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
While I escape safely.

Following Jesus

John 8:12
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

What’s the key word regarding our responsibility?
Could it be ‘follow’? Yes, I think so.

How about this analogy?
God’s word, the Holy Bible, is the navigational mapping system, prayer is the destination input (the address must be a good one to work), the Holy Spirit is its voice, designed by the Father, built by Jesus, updated and protected by Angels, and powered by faith.

Simple Trust in the Lord

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

“Lord, my heart is not haughty,

Nor my eyes lofty.

Neither do I concern myself with great matters,

Nor with things too profound for me.

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,

Like a weaned child with his mother;

Like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

We should focus and deal with things we can influence directly and not get lost in speculation, ‘pie in the sky’ concepts. We shouldn’t get distracted with the nebulous like speculative prophesying nor with anxiety about the future and stuff beyond us. We are time stuck and resource limited. But take heart, we serve a God who is well beyond all that. One day is as a thousand years to Him. He knows best. Before, during and after our work is done we just need to ‘trust, obey and pray’, simple as that. Not necessarily easy as a beginner or during challenging times but that is what we most certainly are called to do. Will we rise up or cower down? Will we allow Satan influence our old man to flex his anxiety muscles or overcome all that by abiding in the Spirit?

We need to trust God, simple true trust. We are wise to let go and let God with the things outside of our grasp. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have stretch goals and endeavor to do great works but rather we need to focus our efforts on the here and now and what is up next. Like Thoreau said, have lofty dreams but then put legs under them.

There is a time and place for everything not everything at once.

We are wise to take David’s lead and intentionally quiet our minds. It is a discipline to train ourselves to relax and be still. That is often when God speaks to our souls. Like weaning a child to eat on its own we must exercise control to not control. So then we can control what we can and forgo and trust God with what we can’t.

A wise person does the best he can, when he can, with what he’s got. Yes there will be rainy dark days we need to be prepared for but more importantly as we heed God’s commands, walk in His ways and put first things first we no doubt can be fully assured of His overarching and sure blessing. Let’s approach God not with complaints as the ungrateful, backsliding, idolic Jews who left Egypt but rather as trusting, obedient children of the most High.

All I can do is all I can do but all I can do is enough, good Lord willing.

God’s precepts are right!

Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right;
I hate every false way.

Psalms 119:128

Anything which is contrary to God’s word should hated so we can love more which is true and not get lost.

When things that clearly oppose fundamental clear teachings of Scripture, even when unfashionable or not fully understood by science, they need ignored and opposed.

These certainly include macro evolution, beastilaty, homosexuality, murder, stealing, sorcery, the occult, etc. Paul, Peter and other New Testament inspired authors make this case and point.

Are not God’s ways higher than ours?

Does He not oppose the proud?

Does He not confound the learned with foolishness?

Does He not enlighten the simple?

Where man’s understanding of science wains, is not God just getting started?

Yes and yes.

Tried and true: love the sinner, hate the sin.

The Word of God is true. Our perceptions and hearts are flawed. God does not move from perfect center, we do.

The Word says if we respond to His love and grasp His Son by faith where out sight diminshes, He will hold us tight and secure until we come out the other side of this world.

Boom! From Caterpillars to beautiful Butterflies some certain day!