This Sunday, May 28th, 2017, Pastor Duane White began our new series, Timeless Ten, here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.
Timeless Ten: How to Live By Priorities
The story of the 10 Commandments begins in Exodus 19, when God tells Moses to come up the mountain and to gather the people and have them consecrate themselves for three days. The people gathered at the foot of the mountain, but they weren’t allowed to come up the mountain because they were considered unholy and unworthy. God tells Moses to come meet him at the top of the mountain, and he returns to the people with the 10 Commandments.
This summer, we’re going to be taking a deeper look at these instructions – the timeless ten – and how they apply to our lives today.
The First Commandment begins with what matters most. It is about our relationship with God because our relationship with Him affects every other relationship in your life.
“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’ You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:1-3, NKJV)
God is God. He not only knows who He is, He is wants to make sure that we remember who He is. In essence he is telling us with this commandment how we are to prioritize their lives. Really loving God means that it’s not enough to invite Him along for the ride, but we must give Him full control.
Who is in the drivers seat of your life? Maybe it’s not God, or you. Maybe it’s someone or something else? That is what this commandment is about, keeping that main thing, the main thing, and Jesus is the main thing.
How do you put God first?
- F – Finances
- I – Interests
- R – Relationships
- S – Schedule
- T – Troubles
Finances – How we spend our money reveals what is top priority in our lives.
“You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.” (Matthew 6:24, The Message)
Money is compared to God, so it must be a god that we can put in the driver’s seat. When you associate God-like attributes to an inanimate object, like money, you are making that object a false God.
If money makes your decisions, then money is your God. If we teach our children the mentality of “we don’t have the money,” we are raising idol worshippers. Instead of saying, “We don’t have the money,” try saying instead, “We are choosing the spend our money elsewhere.”
So, how do you put God first in your finances?
You can begin by giving Him the first fruits of your finances by tithing. When you honor God with the first 10 percent of what you make, you are well on your way to honoring Him with it all. It’s all His to begin with, so give Him the first 10 percent, and ask Him what to do with all the rest of it.
If you can really put God first in your finances, you are well on your way to putting Him first in everything. If you can’t put him first in your finances, then you likely can’t really put Him first in anything.
Interests – You can tell a lot about a person’s priorities by what they get excited about.
It’s funny, if you go to a football game, paint your chest, sit in freezing weather, and scream till you have no voice, you are a fan. If you go to church and clap, or raise your hands in the air, or jump up and down, you are a fanatic. Wouldn’t you rather be known as a fanatic for Jesus than a fan of the Cowboys?
The Bible says do all you do and do it all to the glory of God. What do you like to read the most? Think about the most? Listen to the most? Do it all to the glory of God.
Relationships – Jesus needs to be in the driver’s seat of all of your relationships. This is most obvious in your relationship with your spouse. Some people idolize their spouse. If Jesus is #1 in your life, and He is #1 in your spouse’s life, then Jesus is not going to fight with Jesus.
That is easily seen in marriage, but really it is true in any relationship. You can see this in dating as well. If the person you’re dating doesn’t put Jesus first, but you put them first, they are an idol.
You can also see this in friendship. If what your friends think is more important to you than what God thinks, then your friends are your idol.
Schedule – Are you so busy that you forget to make a place for God in your life?
Many times we wear our “busy-ness” as a badge of honor, but it might be because we are afraid that if we slow down, we will have to face the pain of our lives. Busy-ness is often a result of barrenness.
So, how can you put God first in your schedule? The same way you did in your finances. Give Him the first part of the day by making a place to meet God, or by making prayer a regular part of your daily routine. It may sound simple, but most people don’t do it.
“Prayer doesn’t need proof. It needs practice.” – Pastor Duane
Troubles – When You go through troubles, who do you turn to first?
Is God the first one you ask for help? Or the last? When God is all you have, you realize that He is all you need.
Some people never run to God in a crisis, while other people only turn to God in a crisis. The second isn’t great, but He loves you so much, He will take what He can get. But once He gets you through the crisis, put Him first in everything. It’s a much better way to live.
The first commandment is really summed up in what Jesus said in the gospels when asked which commandment is the greatest: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.”
Putting God first is making a choice that excludes all other choices.
Watch the full message here:
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