Wednesday, May 06, 2009


The first and great commandment is the first and great commandment because it is the first and great commandment! "No other gods before me." God has to be first. When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment he pointed to commandment #1, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength." In other word, God first.

When God is first, the other commandments come easier. When God is #1, you don't want to take his name in vain. When God is #1, you want to take a weekly sabbatical with him. When God is #1 it radically affects how you relate to others. You don't want to lie, cheat, steal, covet or commit adultery or murder. When you counsel people, it almost doesn't matter the issue, the cure is commandment #1. When someone says, "Pastor, I'm having a challenge with my teenage son" the reply could be, "Let me ask you first, in your parenting, is God #1?" If someone asks me about how they can get along with their boss, I might reply, "As an employee, is God #1?" Interpersonal challenges can be symptomatic of a much more fundamental issue: God is not first.

Recently a young man asked me for prayer because he was having difficulty finding a job. I asked him if God was #1. He admitted that God has not been first. I told him that God had to be the first priority in his life. But his follow-up question was, "If God is first in my life, will I get a job?" That's a fair question, and one that many will ask. I told him that God needed to be #1 because God needs to be #1, period. No matter what our circumstances in life, God has to come first. I also told him about the story of Job, and how Job was dedicated and yet was brought through some challenging times. But all things being equal, there is an interplay between putting God first and our needs: "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." This is a principle of provision, that we can count on God for physical things, when he can count on us for spiritual things.

At CTK we have tried to narrow our focus to "Love God and Love people." But if you really want to narrow it down, just put God first.

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