WHO’S ON FIRST
1.) And God spake all these words, saying,
2.) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3.) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
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 issue 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 gist of the 1st Commandment. God wants to tell us who must be on first if our lives are to be everything they can be for His glory.
I. v.3 GOD’S REQUIREMENT
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 Himself. (Ill. Exodus 34:14 – Jealous – God alone is worthy of our love and devotion. He will allow no interlopers.)
B. Some would ask, “Well, isn’t there only 1 God?” Yes, there is only 1 true God, but there are many false gods! (Ill. “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. He is the person, or thing, that if lost would leave us desolate.” – Alan Redpath. Ill. “Whatever we make the most of is our God.” – Martin Luther).
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 – Phil. 3:18-19 – Ill. Pleasure is like a drug. It often requires more to get the same effect. (Can include: sensual, sexual, sports, entertainment, ect.) Ill. Heb. 11:25.
2. The God of Possessions – Matt. 6:24. The gift of grab dominates many lives. People who place money and things first are idolaters! (Ill. “In This God We Trust!”)
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.
4. The God Of Plans And Projects – Anything that occupies the mind and life ahead of God is an idol!
5. This list is practically endless. Man can make a God out of anything. Yet, we must allow ourselves no God but the Almighty!
D. If we conducted a poll (survey) this evening 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. v. 2 GOD’S REASON
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 Jesus Christ, owe to Him? We owe Him our total devotion! Notice the price He paid:
1. He came down from Heaven – John 1:1, 14; Phil. 2:5-8
2. He endured poverty and hardship – Matt. 8:20
3. He was rejected by the very people He came to save – John 1:11
4. He was scourged – Matt. 27:26; Psa. 129:3
5. He was beaten – Luke 22:63-64
6. He was spit upon – Matt. 27:30
7. He was mocked – Matt. 27:26-29
8. He was humiliated – Matt. 27:35
9. He was crucified – Luke 23:38
10. His beard was plucked out – Isa. 50:6
11. He died – John 19:30
12. He loved us – Jer. 31:3; John 3:16
13. He called us – Matt. 11:28; John 6:44
14. He received us – John 6:37
15. He saved us – Eph. 2:8-9
16. He cleansed us and forgave us every sin – Col. 2:13-14
17. He adopted us – Eph. 1:5
18. He keeps us – 1 Pet. 1:5
C. He has every right to demand exclusive worship from His children. Wouldn’t you agree? – Ill. 1 Cor. 6:19-20.
III. MAN’S RESPONSE
A. There are only 2 possible ways in which man can respond.
B. Man can continue to place everything in the world before God. This is rebellion and will end in hell for the lost man and a life of chastisement and loss of reward for the saint – 1 Cor. 3:13-15.
C. Or, man can comply with God’s demands. To do so will result in a blessed life and a glorious eternity with HIM.
D. As you look into your heart right now, what, or who, do you see on the throne of your heart? Anything or anyone other than Jesus is an idol!
Okay, Who’s on first? The only solution to idols is to bring them to God and leave them before Him. He excels in destroying them and replacing them with His wonderful presence and glory. Remember, He will tolerate no one but Himself on the throne of your heart.