God is a God who saves. He saved His people out of Egypt, a land of slavery. Physical slavery as well as spiritual slavery.
This is still applicable today. We are born into Egypt. Into a land of slavery. Slavery to sin. We are born in sin with a sinful human nature. God save us still today. Physically and spiritually.
God Loves you and He wants a relationship with you. God’s love is unconditional but relationship is conditional. God saves you to have this relationship with you. That is His desire. Is for you to have a love relationship with Him.
When you are in a love relationship with someone – what do you do, and what do you not do. You do everything in your power to please that special person. And you do everything in your power not to do anything to hurt that person. And when you want to be in that love relationship you will do anything and everything not to jeopardize that relationship in any way. This is what God wants from you. He wants this kind of love relationship with you.
First He saves you. It could be physically and spiritually or just spiritually. But that is what He does first. He saves you. But then what God wants you to say is “thank you” for that gracious act. He wants you to turn your heart to Him and thank Him for the rest of your life. The rest of your life is the grace He has given you. The grace is not just the gracious act of saving you. But in every single day that you still breath He want you to thank Him.
When God saved you he wants you to acknowledge Him as your King. When you were still a slave to sin, you served the one who is lord and master of sin. When God saved you He wants to become your Master. He wants you to serve Him. But serving Him is not something that is burdensome. How we can serve Him and build in a relationship with Him is by keeping His commandments. Keeping His commandments should not be burdensome. If you know the principles of His commandments you will find that His commandments is not a burden, but it relieves you from your burdens. It fact……it saves you from that burden you are carrying from the time you were still a slave to sin. It takes that burden off of your shoulders.
Every parent gives their child(ren) rules. Lets take this example: “Do not play with fire for you will get burnt”. The rule is – do not play with fire. Why not? – for you will get burnt. The rule is not there to be a burden to you. The rule is not there to take your fun away. The rule is there to protect you from the pain it causes should you not keep the rule.
The same principle applies to God commandments. The commandments is there to protect you from the pain that it could cause you from not keeping them. But that’s not all. God’s commandments are also there to enhance the relationship He desires to have with you.
Lets just quickly look at how this principle applies to our human life between parent and child. When a child is doing a naughty thing, they do not know that they are doing a naughty thing, unless the parent tells them that they are doing a naughty thing. When the parent tells them that they are busy doing a naughty thing and they keep on doing the naughty thing, it is called disobedience. The child is then being called disobedient. What happens when a child is disobedient? The parent ought to correct the child – it is called discipline. When a child is disobedient there is something happening within the relationship of that parent and the child. When a child is being disciplined, again there is something happening within the parent-child relationship. Disobedience brings punishment and shame. Obedience brings forth blessings. Punishment is not nice. Not for children and so also not for anyone no matter your size or your age.
God’s commandments is not just a set of rules that is expected of us to follow. There are principles in them for our good and its aim is relational.
The first commandment states that you should have no other gods before me. Now, this does not mean that you may have other god’s as long as they are all behind Him or as long as He has first place among gods in your life. What He is saying is that we shall not have any other God but God himself. In the old testament times the Egyptians or the people living in Egypt had many gods. Name it and they had a god for it.
God is the only God that lives and He wants to be your God and your only God. God wants you to put Him first in your life. God wants you to worship Him only.
What does it look like to put Him first in your life? When we take a look at stories in the old testament we can see how not putting God first may end up in shame and disaster due to our selfishness we have been born with. There is the story right in the beginning of the Bible about two brother’s, Cain and Able. They had to bring sacrifices to God by giving God their first fruits; first crops. First of whatever they produced. Cain was a tiller of soil and Abel was a shepherd. Cain came with his sacrifice which was some of what he had produced. Abel sacrificed his first of the flock produced. God was therefore pleased with Abel but not with Cain as Abel has put God first. Cain then killed Abel due to jealousy. When we look at this story closely we see that disobedience is a hearts disease. It is a condition of the heart and it ends up in a rut or cycle which only brings forth jealousy, bitterness and anger, the one action after the other, starting with disobedience.
How can we worship God and worship God only. What does it mean to worship? The dictionary says that worship is the feeling or expression of reverence (admiration) and adoration for a deity. How many times do we worship things in this world that we don’t even know about. What about that snazzy car standing in your driveway where everyone can see it but nobody may touch. We may have a child or another person taking the place of worship. The house you live in and how it must look in the inside a specific way- sometimes so much so that your small child is not allowed to unpack his/her toys or run from one room to another. Television people spend so much time with in our culture today……so many things could take God’s place as god in our lives.
When we put God first in our lives and we worship Him only, we please God. This is an act of love and brings us closer to God. Will this then not enhance our relationship with God?