Summary: Sermon on the first commandment.
AM Sermon preached at Central Christian Church January 14, 2007
2nd in God’s Top Ten sermon series The 1st Commandment
“Life’s Most Important Choice”
[PROJECT ASAP AS COMMUNION IS WINDING DOWN… SERMON SERIES SLIDE----IT WILL AUTOMATICALLY TRANSITION TO SERMON TITLE SLIDE----THEN TO A BLANK SLIDE]
This man is more quickly recognized by his stories than his picture or his name. His name is Theodor Seuss Geisel. He’s perhaps best known for his story “The Cat In The Hat.” A less familiar story yet still a fun and thought provoking one is his story of a character he calls Zoad. It goes like this….
Did I ever tell you about the young Zoad?
Who came to a sign at the fork of the road
He looked one way and the other way too
The Zoad had to make up his mind what to do - Well, the Zoad scratched his head,
And his chin, and his pants. - And he said to himself, "I’ll be taking a chance.
If I go to Place One, that place may be hot
So how will I know if I like it or not.
On the other hand, though, I’ll feel such a fool
If I go to Place Two and find it’s too cool
In that case I may catch a chill and turn blue.
So Place One may be best and not Place Two.
Play safe," cried the Zoad,
"I’ll play safe, I’m no dunce.
I’ll simply start off to both places at once.
And that’s how the Zoad who would not take a chance
Went no place at all with a split in his pants.
Ah, life is so full of choices. Sometimes we choose wisely. Sometimes not so wisely---like the little boy whose older brother talked into letting him crack some eggs on his head. The two of them were getting ready to boil some eggs so they could decorate them for Easter when the older brother told the younger one---“if you let me break three eggs on your head I’ll give you a dollar.” The younger one’s eyes grew wide with the prospect of getting a dollar. “really?” he said, “a whole dollar?” “Yep. If you let me break three eggs on your head I’ll give you a dollar.” “Promise?” “Promise.” “Okay.” The younger brother closed his eyes and held his hands at the side of his face as the older brother giggled and cracked open the first egg. As the yolk was just beginning to roll down onto his cheeks, the older brother said, “That’s one. Here’s two.” As he cracked open the second egg the older brother said, “This is so cool.” The younger boy then braced himself for the third egg. After about ten seconds he said, “Come on, I’m ready for the third egg.” The older brother then slyly said, “Are you kidding? That would cost me a dollar.”
Choices. They come in all shapes and sizes. We make them every day. Some are rather piddly like [SLIDE] whether we want fries with that or not….[BLANK SLIDE] Mounds or Almond Joy----hmmm--- because you know sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t. Right? Other decisions are much more important like where we’ll go to college, whether to rent or purchase, whether we cheer for the [SLIDE] Bears or the Rams. Gee, I wonder how that happened??? [BLANK SLIDE] Seriously, some of life’s choices carry much more significance than others. And today as we continue with our God’s Top Ten sermon series we are confronted in this first commandment with life’s most important choice.
Let’s start getting a feel for this choice by beginning to look at this morning’s scripture passage from Exodus 20.
1 And God spoke all these words: 2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 "You shall have no other gods before me.
Okay, now for those who weren’t here last Sunday and for those who were I want to take just a couple of minutes to remind us of the setting for these words. Three months have passed since the Israelites left Egypt. In Egypt they had been slaves. Now after a series of miraculous events they were a free people. God had made this freedom possible and He had appointed the man Moses to act as His spokesman and the people’s leader. God said to Moses “I want you to give the nation of Israel a special message from me. I want you to share with them my commandments, my guidelines for living life the way it was meant to be lived. Now before you lay out the rules though I want you to remind them of who I am and what I’ve done for them. Remind them that I was the one who delivered them from slavery.” And so here in our text we have Moses passing on to the people this special message from God. God’s laws, His governing policies for the nation, His expectations of His people. And so Moses begins by saying “I’ve got a message for you from God. And here it is. God says to you, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”