When the King brought His people, Israel, out of the land of Egypt, His first command was this: 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. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20:1-6
Note these words “For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” We should give those words serious consideration. These words from our Lord and King are a top priority for Kingdom citizens. He is our life source and He has commanded us to do so. For you shall not worship any other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely His] Exodus 34:14 AMP
Keep in mind that even though He was speaking concerning His people, the children of Israel, it appliers to us in this present day. His laws and standards haven’t changed. Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:17-19 NLT
It is so easy to get caught up in the activities of this world. We get caught up in sports and entertainment. We unknowingly spend more time watching our favorite sports or entertainment “stars” than studying God’s constitution. As citizens of the Kingdom of God we must always be mindful of what the Lord God’s constitution says concerning our behavior and His true place in our lives. Religious believers are no less likely to get caught up and distracted by politics, entertainment and sports than the world. It is time to evaluate our lives, where our focus is and where our precious time is spent!
There are many individuals who claim to know the Lord God, but don’t make Him first priority in their lives. Without that, He is not truly Lord of their life. Money and our pursuit of riches take precedence over the Lord God and His Kingdom. Do you recall what King Jesus stated? No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Matthew 6:24 NLT
The God we serve is a jealous God. We cannot argue with that because He said it! For the Lord your God is a consuming fire; He is a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely His]. Deuteronomy 4:24 AMP Too many people who claim to know and love the Lord God worship things made by mankind and even man himself. They worship the created things and not the Creator Himself! Many love their animals more than the King of Heaven and earth. Many choose to worship those in Hollywood, sports, politics and relationships even to the point of memorializing the dead to the point of idolatry. Paul spoke of it: Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Romans 1:21-25 Remember what is stated in His constitution. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Romans 1:18
Even ministry may become an idol! Often those in a ministry are so caught up in "doing ministry" and making things happen that the Lord gets pushed to the side because they are "doing it for Jesus" and consider everything they do their worship. But I ask, When did you last focus on the Lord God and spend time in prayer and praise and when did you last read God's Word to hear from the Holy Spirit and not to prepare a sermon? When did you last just focus on His goodness to you and praise Him for it? If your ministry is overwhelmingly hard and "sucks the life out of you" it's time to evaluate whether the Lord God is really first in your life and exactly what He has called you to do. Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Mankind has made ministry and church look far more like man than God. This is ministry:
Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:12-16 NLT
Ask yourself these questions: Is the Lord God truly first in your life? What takes precedence above Him? Are there any idols in your life?
Again, I remind you that your faith in His Word is your greatest asset in the Kingdom.
All NKJV, except where noted.
~~W.R. & D. Arlene Luchie
This article may only be reproduced, in print or on the internet, if the author's name and website address are included at the end of the article as originally placed. Thank you