Summary: God’s commands are "for our good" (Deut. 10:13). That means they are fences to keep us from pain, not from fun! This sermon is on Commandment #2 - Don’t substitute a different God for the real One! *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

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We’re focusing on 10 principles for preventing unnecessary pain in your life.

If you remember, I said there is some pain you can’t avoid. . . hurricanes and tornadoes. Some pain is caused by others doing wrong. . . often, that can’t be avoided. Some pain is necessary to make us more like Jesus. . . that’s not something you can change.

But unnecessary pain is caused by sin – and THAT’s something that can be avoided.

I asked the question last week: How many of you have ever heard someone ask “Why did this have to happen to me?” And you are just sitting there thinking. . . “I COULD TELL YOU!!!!”

Are you familiar with the game “Russian Roulette”? I’ve never understood that. . . what kind of drunk or high moron do you have to be to do that? But that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about. If you play Russian Roulette with sin, you lose every time.

I believe that everyone here wants to avoid unnecessary pain in your life. So this series is teaching you how to do that, by following God’s commands instead of ignoring them.

There are at least two uses for God’s commands.

1. It teaches us that we need a Savior.

“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24

If you’re not a believer, this one’s for you. You need to understand that you’ve sinned in the past, and you’re never going to be able to make up for that sin on your own, no matter how much good you do. What you need is someone to pay the price for you! And it just so happens that Jesus Christ has done that.

So, God’s commands as we try to keep them, show us that we cannot please God on our own – we need to put our faith in Jesus Christ to be our Forgiver. Keeping God’s law cannot and will not save you from sin and hell – only Jesus can do that.

But there’s a second use of God’s law.

2. It teaches us how to live according to God’s good plan.

“...obey the Lord’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good.” Deuteronomy 10:13

If you’re already a believer in Jesus, this one is for you. You see, after you’ve become a Christian, God has plans for you. He wants you to keep his commands because it pleases him and it’s good for you. So, when God gives you a command, it’s a chance to make him happy and help yourself in your own life at the SAME TIME!

Last week, we talked about the first principle for living a life that pleases God and stays free of pain: “PUT GOD FIRST.” Nothing is to take the #1 spot in your life but Him!

With that in mind, let’s talk about the second principle.


Today, we’re talking about the second commandment: “Do not make idols of any kind.”

Now, a lot of people would say that this doesn’t mean much of anything for us any more. “That was just for the days when people actually worshiped idols.” Well, consider this:

• In a museum in Egypt there is a monument to the scarob beetle.

• Hindus pray to cows. They also won’t swat a fly lest it be an ancestor of their paying for wrongs.

• There are 330 million gods of the hindus, 8 gods for every person. • In a buddist temple in Thailand, there is a 2 inch tooth supposedly saved from Budda’s funeral.

• In China a buddist statue actual fell on a man and the family sued the budhas in the temple and it was found guilty and it and 14 other statues were actually beheaded.

• The Roman Catholic Church has relics: Mary’s hair, Mary’s wedding ring, Mary’s holy girdle, the last supper basin, the burial cloth of Jesus, the lance which stuck in His side, actually footprints of Jesus, and John the Baptist: 3 shoulder blades, 4 legs, 5 arms, and 50 index fingers that supposed pointed and said ‘Thou are the lamb of God’.

Even in America, we almost have a culture of idols. No, they’re not wood & stone and gold. . . instead, they may be rap singers, movie stars, etc.

In fact, fill in the blank: One of the most popular TV shows in America

is American _________. . .

Now, I know we don’t pray to Carrie Underwood, or Reuben Studdard, or Clay Aiken. . . but sometimes, I think we come pretty close to putting them up in a place that God reserves for himself.

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