"Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!" (Deuteronomy 6:4, NET Bible)
Whoa to us when we forget these words. They hearken back to the beginning of the book of Genesis; the beginning of the beginning, as it were. “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). It reminds us that we were initially cast out of the Garden because we forgot this principle. God is God and we are not. Only God is worthy of our faith and trust. Only God is reliable to follow at all times and in all instances, my friends. There is none like Him.
Once upon a time a man trained in the Law asked Jesus, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” (Matthew 22:36, NET Bible). His answer was, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38, NET Bible). Why does Jesus answer in this way? His answer stems from a simple and profound Truth: “The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!”
Jesus never just “shoots from the hip” when he speaks to us through Scripture, friends. There is always a Scriptural allusion or reference to His words. Even on the cross He reminds us to place God first. When He says, “My God, my God…!” He is placing God first once again while quoting Psalm 22:1 (NET Bible).
This is such an important part of our Christian walk, folks that it cannot be stressed enough even though it often seems neglected in Sunday sermons, for want of understanding or fear of offending. But, I ask you, if our Lord Jesus Christ can risk being offensive by hanging on a cross for you and for me, can not we risk being offensive by insisting upon placing God first in our lives? Imagine the looks we might get if we were to let it slip during a staff meeting that we give a tithe back to God every month. What if we simply stated that we will not lie or cheat because God frowns on such activities? Just think of the looks we might get when we pray before we cast our ballots in the next election. Placing God first can also be as simple as saying grace aloud when we are eating in restaurants. It can be as radical as giving a cashier back that bit of extra change he or she gives us by mistake or thanking some one for helping us. Chances are (given the state of our world today), they were prompted by the Holy Spirit to do that in the first place, so thanking that person is a thank you to God. He has to become the priority in all aspects of our lives if we are going to be true witnesses to the world. Once again, we see how all important it is that we remember to pray, study scripture, and worship God on a regular basis in order to maintain our connection with our Lord. Only by doing these things can we hope to keep our focus on God instead of our selves. With His help, it is possible.
"Lord, stay close to us so that we may remember You and keep You at the forefront of our lives at all times. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN."
Thank God and praise God for all he has done in your life. Give Him all the joys and concerns your life holds today. And, remember Him always in the days to come. Be blessed and a blessing where ever you go.
Christopher Randolph holds a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He currently lives with his family in Colorado.
Chris woud love to hear from you.
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