6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: You know it doesn’t matter too much who is in what position in our lives until we settle the matter of who is on first. In other words, we need to know who is in first place in our lives. This is a issue that must be settled!

Series: The Decalogue


Exodus 20:1-3


Some of you might remember the old Abbott and Costello skit, “Who’s on First”. Just a short while back I heard that skit again and it got the wheels of thinking going. You know it doesn’t matter too much who is in what position in our lives until we settle the matter of who is on first. In other words, we need to know who is in first place in our lives. This is a issue that must be settled! If anyone, or anything, occupies first place in our lives ahead of God, than our lives are out of control and out of balance. This is the point of the 1st Commandment. God is telling us who must be on first, if our lives are to going to be glorifying to Him.

This morning I want you to look at this first commandment with me and I want to point you toward God’s requirement, His reason, and finally our proper response to this 1st Commandment.


A. God’s requirement is very simple

• He demands to be in first place in every area of our lives.

• He knows that all men must have a God of some sort, and He demands that it be Him.

Exodus 34:14 tells us that God is a jealous God.

o He alone is worthy of our love and devotion.

• He will not allow interlopers.

B. Some would ask, "Well, isn’t there only one God?"

• Yes, there is only one true God, but there are many false Gods!

o "Our God is the thing, or the person, which we think most precious, for whom we would make the greatest sacrifice, and who moves our heart with the warmest love.

• Martin Luther said it this way, "Whatever we make the most of is our God."

C. Man, by nature, is a religious creature.

• He will find someone, or something, to give his worship to.

• Often, things and people occupy first place in our lives.

• Notice some things we elevate to the status of God hood in our lives.

1. The God of Pleasure – Philippians 3:18-19

• Pleasure is like a drug.

• It often requires more to get the same effect.

• This can include: sensual, sexual, sports, entertainment, etc.

2. The God of Possessions – Matthew 6:24.

• The gift of grab dominates many lives.

• People who place money and things first are idolaters!

• "In This God We Trust!" was placed on our United States currency for a reason when our forefathers founded this country.

3. The God of Personal Worth – Romans 1:25

• When a person feels that the world revolves around them, and that they must always come out on top, that person is an idolater.

• They have placed themselves into a position of playing god.

4. The God of Plans and Projects

• Anything that occupies the mind and life ahead of God is an idol!

• Americans today have become so busy with work that they have forgotten anything outside of the office.

o They work longer hours and bring their work home with them.

o Those leaving no room for anything else in their lives.

5. This list is practically endless.

• Man can make a God out of anything.

• Yet, the scriptures tell us that we must not allow any other gods, but the Almighty God!

D. If we conducted a poll this morning and asked each person here to name the person or thing that dominated your life, what would the answer be?

• Whatever it is, that thing or person is your God!

II. GOD’S REASON (verse 2)

A. God could make this demand of Israel because He had paid the price for them.

• He had purchased them unto Himself and they were His.

• He chose them, loved them, delivered them and blessed them.

• Therefore, they owed Him absolute reverence and worship.

B. How much more do we, the Blood bought Church of Christ, owe Him?

• We owe Him our total devotion!

• Notice the price He paid:

1. He came down from Heaven – John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:5-8

• He left glory to come down to us.

2. He endured poverty and hardship – Matthew 8:20

• He gave up his royalty to work and labor amongst us.

3. He was rejected by the very people He came to save – John 1:11

4. He was scourged – Matthew 27:26; Psalm 129:3

5. He was beaten – Luke 22:63-64

6. He was spit upon – Matthew 27:30

7. He was mocked – Matthew 27:26-29

8. He was humiliated – Matthew 27:35

9. He was crucified – Luke 23:38

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