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In any competition, race or contest, the goal is always to win, to obtain the first prize. The first one to break through the ribbon has won and the product that is the best gets awarded the first prize. Being first in our class feels good and is a reward for all the hard work put in through the year.
We read in the Bible that God also has a first, very important law or instruction and this is known as the first commandment. Now a commandment is simply an instruction or ………..We read about this commandment in the book of 1-6] and it is reiterated later by Jesus in the book of [[Mathew 22:36-39
1 “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess,
2 that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.
3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as theLORD God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’
4 “ Hear, O Isreal: The Lord our God, the Lord is one,
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one![b] 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
From the above passage of scripture it is clear why God refers to it as the very, most important of all the instructions.
In our relationship with God the Father, if we focus on the gifts that we can get instead of the Giver of the gifts, our relationship is skewed. It is like a child that obeys its parents simply because he or she will get a Christmas present. That is their only motivation. It is not a love motivation but merely a reward based action.
The fear of God and the first commandment go hand in hand. What is the fear of God? Is it a fearful expectation that God will judge us? Or perhaps a heart filled with terror that God is out to get us, just waiting for us to make a mistake? Not at all!
The fear of God is a holy dread of doing wrong to displease God. In other words: it is longing to please God in all we do. I do not want to sin because I do not want to displease God my Father. I want to live a life that is well pleasing to the Lord.
The fear of God is : Reverence God as God and put Him before all else, first.
Either our whole heart is in serving God or it is not. Anything in-between equals Luke warmness.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[a] I will vomit you out of My mouth.
I personally detest lukewarm coffee or tea. It is vile. And a lukewarm Christian is also an abomination to God.
It is a joy to serve God. It brings fulfilment to love Him. If this is not the case in your life then examine your relationship with God , the giver of joy of love.
Our motivation should be: I will stand before Jesus one day to give an account of my life (the works I did). I want to give a good account by shaping my life, motives and everything that I am to the first commandment – loving God and putting Him before everything else.
No one takes anything out of this life except their soul and spirit. No money, no material things thus dedicating your life to God and not to things ensures you store up treasure in heaven where :
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.[a]
Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6: 8-13. In this prayer Jesus taught them and us, to first align our lives and motives with God’s through praise and worship and then bring our needs to the Father who already knows what we need before we start asking.
If we have a divided life and heart we will not succeed in the thing of God. Division always causes turmoil and chaos:
17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls.
It is for this reason that polygamy, for instance, can never be right or condoned. Since a man can not love two woman, neither r can a two woman love the same man as husband in a marriage relationship and not be divided. God always intended for one man and one woman to fall in love and be married, no third party.
In like manner, we ought to fall in love with Jesus, and be one with God’s plan, purpose and will for our lives. No polygamy.
So terrible is not having unity that a former Kentucky Missionary Pastor from the Baptist Church in Saline County, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to The November 1996 arson that burned down the church he pastored. Pastor Harris, according to the federal prosecutor, said he did it because ‘there was a division among church members and they needed a project to unify them’ (New of the weird, March 30, 2000
A wasted life is one that is dedicated to things and self.
A rewarding life is one that is dedicated to God and others.
We should start each new day and end each day by checking ourselves against first commandment:
• did I love God above else today?
• did I put God first in everything I did?
• was my motive today to please the Father?
It is only when we start lining up our lives with God’s word daily, that we will begin to see and taste the breakthrough we have been longing for.
Jesus is our example of a yielded life unto God:
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done”
Loving God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might means letting God into each and every compartment of our lives for Him to direct, lead and guide us by His Spirit. It means falling in love all over again with Jesus and enjoying His presence every day.