May 17, 2020
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church May 17, 2020
Church Service Notes
Scripture: Exodus 20:4-5
This morning, we are going to continue our study on repentance in Exodus 20. At times in history, we have seen God use negative circumstances to draw His people back to repentance. When we follow the Lord and remain obedient to His commands, we see blessings. However, we see times in history when people turn away from the Lord and seek their own way. During this difficult time of COVID-19, I wonder if God is using the current circumstances to draw His people back to Him. The Bible says we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We are studying the Ten Commandments to use them to examine our lives and determine if we are abiding in the Lord. Two weeks ago we studied the commandment to not have any other gods before the Lord our God. Today, we look at the commandment to not make or bow down to any graven images. You may be asking, “What is the difference?” Two weeks ago, we learned that we cannot put anything before God. This second commandment ends with “for God is a jealous God”. God loves us more than anyone has ever loved us. He wants what is best for us. God’s wisdom is perfect and complete. He knows the impact sin will have on our lives and the blessings we will miss. We may not have a carved god, which we worship, but oftentimes, we have people or things in our lives to which we give our allegiance, love, and devotion. If we give political leaders, celebrities, athletes, ideologies more of our attention, money, time, and love than we give God, these things become gods we are putting before the Lord.
We may be in a relationship with another person and give all of our love, hope, and faith into the other person. We may be giving all of our heart, soul, and mind to the other person. It may be a temporary dating relationship that may end and leave us heartbroken and in despair. If we have given that person all of ourselves, it can lead to problems. When we have put our all into the Lord, we have a foundation to stand on when things do not go in well in our human relationships. We may be in a marriage relationship and allow our spouse to become the object of our worship, faith, and devotion. We cannot love our spouse more than we love the Lord. We have to put the Lord first and then our spouse comes next. As parents and grandparents, we may worship our children or grandchildren. Are we letting our children’s activities and interests come before the things of the Lord? Many times we give more time, money, and interest to sports and activities. When we choose those things over the Lord, we are sending the message that our children and their interests are more important than the Lord.
Sometimes we “make idols” out of the things in our lives. We also can violate this commandment when we try to mold God into our own image. In Exodus 32, Moses and Joshua went up on the mountain to meet with God. The Israelite people grew restless and decided they need another god to worship. They formed a golden calf and assigned the things God had done for them to the work of the calf. They wanted to limit God to what they wanted, to worship when they wanted, and to use as they wanted. Our Almighty God cannot be limited. We cannot limit Him by molding Him into something we like and cutting out the things we do not like. Our society has attempted to redefine God into something He is not. We have carved away the things of God we do not like and have made Him into an image we prefer. God is perfect and holy and is everything we need. The Scriptures have defined for us who God is. We can know who He is by studying His Word, and we cannot try to remake Him by cutting out parts of the Bible we do not like. We need to look at our lives and cut out areas where we are worshipping people and things and putting them before God or where we are trying to remake God in our own image. We need to repent of these things. Are there things we are worshipping, loving, adoring, and prioritizing before God? If we are, we are violating this second commandment and need to become serious about repenting from that.
Scripture: James 4:13-16
James tells us we need to look at who is in control of our lives. In verse 13 we see people making plans in everyday life, such as traveling, home planning, business planning. James reminds us that we do not control things. Our plans can be changed by things outside of our control. We have to be careful in making plans and the boasting of our plans. We must not fail to recognize God’s hand in our plans, goals, and achievements.
We are reminded in verse 14 that we do not know what the future holds and that life is fleeting. We do not know when our life will end. In the scope of eternity, our life is short. In Jesus’ ministry, He questioned where we are storing our treasure. When we make our plans and goals, are we focusing only on things of this earth or are we valuing the things of eternity? We may be valuing our investments, our appearance, or our physical health above all things. We need to remember that these things are only temporary and not guaranteed to us. If we put all of value in those things and ignore the Lord and things of eternity, we risk having all those things taken away from us in a moment. James reminds us that we have to include the Lord in all areas of our life and submit the things we value to the control of the Lord. We need to seek the Lord’s wisdom in all areas of our lives. God is sovereign over all things, and we need to ask Him to bless all things in our life and show us what He would have us do with our lives. We need to include God in the big and small things in our lives. When God directs our paths, He may take us to unexpected, and sometimes uncomfortable, places. James reminds us to live for today and let God use us today, in the here and now.
In Christ’s Love,