Summary: Overcoming the competition for things to be number one in our lives through self examination.

God’s Top 10:

Exodus 20:3

August 2002

Joe Bedy Central Christian Church

There is a great deal of competition to be NUMERAL UNO in our culture.

Just in our advertising alone the lists is endless. For example:

Avis/Hertz, Coke/Pepsi, Ford/Chevrolet, UF/FSU

The competition in our own lives for #1 is equally as heavy. The lists can include the accumulation and love of money, career success, husbands, wives, families, sports, cars, recreation, golf, fishing, hunting, shopping, even church and church activities compete to be number one in our lives and when they do all sorts of ungodly things happen. May I mention Enron or Worldcom, maybe Martha Stewart or the promoter for Shaq who sold tickets to an event after being informed of Shaq’s uncertainty of being able to attend.

Exo 20:3 you shall have no other gods before me.

God is serious about this command and that is why He made it the first and foremost command. He wrote it in stone that we might love God with all our hearts, all our minds, all our strength and all of our very souls and then to love our neighbors as ourselves.

As we look in the weeks ahead at these ten commandments and how they are hooked into our lives as NT Christians, we will see that the first four commandments deal with our relationship to God, the last six deal with our relationship to each other.

It is so very easy for us to put other things or people first in our lives and when we do God is reduced to second place, third place and often totally removed from our lives.

When that happens we are a fraction of what we could be, we become less of a person that God intended for us to be and collectively we are a nation far away from God.

There are some serious questions we need to ask ourselves:

You must ask yourself several questions, in order to determine if you have other gods in your life beside the true God. One important question is: On what do you set your affections? In other words, when your mind takes a break from the complexities of daily living, where does it come to rest? Like a compass needle, which though spun around, will always come to rest pointing north, where does your mind point when it comes to rest? What is really important to you? What do you think about and long for? Is it your job? A promotion? Perhaps your home? Your car? Maybe another person? Or money? Material things? On what do you set your affections? Do you set your affections on God? We are told in the New Testament, to set our affections on things above.

Another important question is, whom are you trying to impress? We work, we buy, we plan, we push ourselves, we study, and we achieve, but why? Whom are we trying to impress? Some may say that they do it all for themselves and that may be true. We may be trying to impress ourselves. In other words, there is a purely self-centered motive for our ambitions. We work for ourselves. We accumulate for ourselves. We achieve for ourselves. Some may say they don’t do it merely for themselves but also for others, for their family, or for some other person or persons. In other words, it’s not just their opinion that counts, but other people’s opinions are important to them. They are trying to impress other people. Perhaps they are people-pleasers. Perhaps they are striving hard so they will look good in the eyes of others.

The First Commandment, however, exhorts us to be God-pleasers. The person we should seek to impress is God. We should seek to be a delight to Him.

An additional question is: What are we living for? In other words, what are our goals? What are our aspirations? What are our objectives? Does it all center around us? If you were to list your goals on a sheet of paper, would the spiritual goals be at the top? Would there be goals that relate to your walk with God, and your service to Him? Or would your goals simply be centered around personal achievement, job, home, family, money and the like? What are you living for? These are important questions, which will help us evaluate what we put first in our lives.

You understand that these other things are not bad things, I think we can agree they are honorable and worthy, but when we give them a higher priority than we give God-we become violators of God’s law.

When we lose sight of the first commandment, we lose sight of God. Is it any wonder that without God first in the lives of corporate America, corporate America would do anything less than look out for number one? Does it shock you that people who make their own gains first and foremost in their lives-would take the money and run?

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