Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” 1 John 5:21 NLT
Nothing should take the place that only God should have in our hearts. This command has been #1 since the Ten Commandments were given to Moses: “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. “You must not have any other god but me. “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.” Exodus 20:2-6 NLT Keeping God first is crucial to a truly successful life. God created life. It is utter foolishness to think that we can ignore Him and live a life that leaves a meaningful legacy. In addition, if we live for ourselves instead of Him, we will die in our sin and enter eternity lost and undone. Our children are either cursed or blessed by our decision in this matter. Many of the evils that plaque our nation are the result of parents that chose to ignore God and pursue their own desires. Every child needs a God fearing home. No wonder we have so many mixed up, messed up young minds and hearts. After having lived a rich, lavish life, Solomon looked back over his life in cynicism. Nearing the end of his earthly life, he writes these words in Ecclesiastes: “That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NLT Solomon had tried learning, lust, liquor, and luxury. None of these things brought him deep down satisfaction. In the end, he turned to the Lord. There, he found the peace that had alluded him in all the other things. Know God, know peace. No God, no peace. Solomon found out that you can have a lot in your purse and nothing in your person. He found out that you can be vogue on the outside and vague on the inside. He found out that you can be intelligent in the head and be bankrupt in your heart. Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 both say it this way: “Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!” Psalm 111:10 says this: “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!” Psalms 111:10 NLT Jesus taught us to seek God's Kingdom first. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 NLT Is there anything that takes God's place in your life? This is the most demanding question of life. Your answer brings blessing or a curse. God has given you the choice. May I kindly remind you of this one thing: You can let experience teach you or you can let the experiences of others teach you. Experience is a good teacher. However, it charges too much for tuition and, by the time you graduate, you are often too old to apply what you have learned. The experiences of others are a lot less expensive and doesn't strip you of the years. Think about that!
Rev. Curtis Norris