Tuesday, December 24, 2013

So Much to Do Before...

O.T. #195  "So Much to Do Before..."
Dec. 24, 2013
Exodus 20-Part 2
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.  Exodus 20:3


Christmas is tomorrow. Are you ready? There is always so much to do before the 25th of December. Church choir practice, parties and dinners to attend and cook, gifts to buy, cards to mail, pies to bake, candy to make, homemade rolls to fix before the planned time. No matter how much I plan, those plans seem to not work out. I'm probably not alone, am I?
When I think of why I do all those things, it should be because of love. I consider God's love that came down in the form of a human, endured pain and death for me. This was done before I was born. This was planned before the world and universe was created. Before.
Before means earlier than; ahead of; in precedence of; in advance, according to Webster's Dictionary.

I could ramble on, but before I do, let's take a look at how God used the word before.

Why has God given His commands?
  • He wants to prosper Israel and us so we can live life to its fullest.
  • They are designed to guide us to life's best.
  • If we love Him, we will believe, trust, and obey God.
  • God is love. Because of His love, His will for you is always best.
  • He is all-knowing, so His directions are always right. (Deut. 6:20-25) (Experiencing God Workbook by Henry & Richard Blackaby and Claude King)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believers in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

This is why God deserves our complete devotion. Have you accepted this free gift of salvation found in Jesus Christ? Will we give our heart only to  Jesus, God in the flesh?
In Him and only Him will we have a merry Christmas.


David Guzik explains this first commandment:
The first commandment logically flows from understanding who God is and what He has done for us.
Nothing is to come before God. He is the only God we worship and serve.
Before refers to in face of .
This doesn't imply that they were permitted to have other gods, as long as they lined up behind the One True God. Instead, there are to be no other gods before the sight of the true God in our life.
In the days of ancient Israel, there was great temptation to worship the gods of materialism (Baal), sex (Ashtoreth), or any number of other local deities. We are tempted to worship the same gods, but without the old-fashioned names and images. God demands to be more than "added" to our lives. We don't just add Jesus to the life we already have. We must give Him all our life. Failure to obey this commandment is called idolatry.

John MacArthur says:
Before Me means over against Me. all false gods stand in opposition to the true God, and the worship of them is incompatible with the worship of Yahweh. When Israel departed from the worship of the only one and true God, she plunged into religious confusion (Jud. 17:18).

How is our loyalty to God? Who is the love of our life?

Priscilla Shirer in her book Gideon, defines an idol as anything in the visible, created realm that begins to operate in a role that should be reserved for God. The term idol can be called bad habits, issues, obsession, cravings.

What is competing for our love and devotion? What do we think about and work for? Is our job, our family, our material possessions getting more time than God?

Before we unwrap gifts on Christmas morning, our family has always listened as my husband read the Christmas story found in Luke 2.


Evaluate my heart's devotion.

Be sure that only God gets my loving heart first.

Thank You Jesus for coming to dwell among us sinful people.

*Merry Christmas everyone!

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