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Commanded to Choose


Exodus 20:3-7

Verse 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”


Yesterday we talked about how God’s people, both in the Old and New Testaments, needed to make the choice to devote their lives to God. Today we look at how serious God is about wanting us to surrender our lives to Him.


While some say that the Ten Commandments are out of date, it is obvious by the way Jesus taught, that His ways have not changed and He wanted the heart of meaning in this list to continue and even lay the groundwork for the teaching that all of His followers – from the early Church through to His coming again – would follow. As we have been seeing, His plans haven’t changed and the modern church should be living the same principles as God’s people who were moving into the promise land.


Remember we said yesterday that while God had the people in the wilderness for forty years He was working at helping them see Him for who He really was – their God and King. To help them understand this He made a list of commandments for them. This list was once again pointing them to who they were supposed to be as a people. The part of the list that we are looking at today was to show them that they couldn’t live as His people if they didn’t have Him in the proper place in their hearts.


These verses before us today speak of the level of devotion God is commanding of His people. Yes, I said command. We like to think of God as someone who asks us to do things, but by doing that we are lowering God from His proper place in the order of our lives. You see, if we don’t put God in His proper place in our lives then we will be placing someone or something else there, maybe even ourselves.


The commands are simply worded but to put them into action is not as easy. That is why choices are so important. Unless we make the hard choice of putting Him in the first and highest place of our lives we will find it gradually harder to make the choice for God in the various situations that come up in life. When God says, “you shall not have any gods before me” He isn’t just talking about the carved images known as idols. Notice that He says, “shall” instead of “should” in this command. It may better have been translated as “must” as He wasn’t just suggesting this of His people. This wasn’t the choice that was theirs. This list is what was expected if they chose to call God their Lord and Master. The Ten Commandments haven’t expired. If we call God our Lord and Master, it must apply to us too.


Making It Personal

Have you struggled with any of these commandments in your life? Why do you struggle with them? What needs to happen in your life and heart to fully surrender to God?


Making It Personal Kids

Have you memorized the Ten Commandments? How important does Jesus think it is that we live by the Ten Commandments? Which one do you need to learn to live by?


Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for the commands to put You first in our lives. Holy Spirit, convict us of how we put other gods, including ourselves, in front of You. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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