Summary: To stress that God must be our supreme priority in everything.
The 10 Commandments #1:
Put God First
Text: Exod. 20:1-3
Thesis: To stress that God must be our supreme priority in everything.
(1) Illustration – In the early 1990’s, several university professors passed out copies of the 10 Commandments to students and asked them to arrange the commandments in order of importance. Over 90% of the students rearranged the commandments and placed the commandments dealing with man’s relationship with his fellow man above the commandments dealing with man’s relationship with his God.
(2) The Jews understand the first 4 commandments as providing theological basis for living a life of character (i.e., the WHY of living totally radical lives).
(3) Jesus pointed out that the first and greatest command is to love God with our whole being (Matt. 22:37-38).
I. Why should we put God first?
A. He is the unchanging God.
a. This is the covenant name of God, which scholars pronounce as either “Yaweh” or “Jehovah.”
b. God introduced Himself to Moses as “I am that I am,” which basically means that God has always been and will always be.
2. God never changes (cf. Mal. 3:6).
B. He is the personal God.
1. God states that He is “your God” (Exod. 20:2).
2. He is the Shepherd who cares for His sheep (cf. Psa. 23).
C. He is the delivering God.
1. God reminds Israel that He brought them out of Egypt (Exod. 20:2).
2. He has delivered us from sin through Jesus (Col. 1:13).
II. How do we put God first?
A. F – Focus
1. Illustration – A lady and her friend were having a conversation after church services. The lady asked her friend, “Did you notice that hat Myrtle was wearing?” The friend responded, “No.” The lady then asked, “Well, what about the coat that Hazel had on?” Again, her friend said, “No.” The lady then said, “Well, a lot of good it does you to go to church.”
2. Who/What occupies your free time? Your thoughts?
B. I – Income
1. A modern biographer’s research includes reviewing his/her subject’s check stubs.
2. Do you put God first with your money?
a. Jesus told us that our heart is where our treasure is (Matt. 6:21).
b. “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives” (Deut. 14:23 – The Living Bible).
C. R – Relationships
1. If we don’t love others, then we can’t love God (1 John 4:20).
2. There are 2 categories of relationships that we should have:
a. The people we choose to be around because they bring us close to God.
b. The people we choose to be around because we can bring them closer to God.
D. S – Security
1. Where do you turn to first for help? Illustration – A man in a hospital bed was told by his doctor told all that could be done now was to pray. The man responded by saying, “Oh dear, has it come to that?”
2. God should be the first one to whom we turn.
a. We must not worry when God is in control (Matt. 6:25ff.).
b. We should cause our anxiety on God because He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7).
E. T – Time
1. Another thing that a modern biographer checks is his/her subject’s appointment books.