Posts Tagged: Devotional

Memorize Scripture: Exodus 20:4

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.”

–Exodus 20:4

In our current context how do we form images?  To understand this passage I believe we need to look at one of if not the most directly quoted passage in scripture, Habakkuk 2:4 which is then quoted three times in the New Testament, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38, “The righteous (just) shall live by faith.”  The reason the Israelites “made” idols for worship is because the way God was revealing Himself or not revealing Himself to them wasn’t good enough according to their own perspective.  They couldn’t see Him, They couldn’t hear Him.  He took too long to send Moses back down the mountain. So they reasoned to themselves that they should make something that would encourage them, that would make them “feel” better.  To “feel” more secure.  As you read scripture we see over and over again that many times the people still believed in YHWH (Yahweh) even as they made images.  Idols weren’t always a sign of unbelief, rather idols were a sign of no faith, no faith in what God was doing.  No faith that God would deliver.  No faith that God would protect.  No faith that God would provide. No faith that God heard them.  However more often than not, they still believed!  Well aren’t faith and belief the same thing?  No, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (James 2:19) Where Satan and the demons fail is not in their unbelief in the ONE God, they fail in their lack of faith in God. Idol worship continues in our current setting not because of a lack of belief in God, but because of a lack of faith in God and more specifically lack of faith in worship of God as we will see tomorrow.  We create idols even if we “make” nothing physical, when we believe in God but fail to “live by faith” in God and therefore try to figure things out and do things our own way.  Every time you or I try to overcome sin on our own we are making an idol.  Every time we try to overcome a conflict in our own life apart from God we are making an idol.  Every time we worry about how we are going to pay for something or we fail to give to God, because we then can’t pay our bills or go on that vacation, we are making an idol.  Idols are not about unbelief they are about a lack of faith and scripture tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God..” (Hebrews 11:6). 

So as we memorize this text let us think about the idols we’ve made and humbly ask God to tear them down by teaching us how to “live by faith.”


Exodus 20:3

“You shall have no other gods before me.” –Exodus 20:3 (Write it down on a 3×5 card)

The first commandment of the 10 is pretty simple, pretty straight forward, and extremely important and profound.  The entire purpose of scripture, the entire purpose of Christianity, the entire purpose of our lives is to give glory to God!  Anytime someone or something gets more glory than the one true God in our lives, that thing or that person becomes our god!  Our minds may automatically jump to bad things, but a god can be and often times is a good things as well: Our jobs, our kids, our spouses, our exercise routine (distance running, at times, unfortunately has been my God), our homes, our golf game.  What do you focus on most?  That is your godDo you need to replace your God with the one true God? 

“You shall have NO OTHER gods before me.” –Exodus 20:3

Memorize Scripture With Me! Exodus 20:1 & 2

Yesterday I set some goals for myself, you can read about it here.  One of them was to memorize 100 scriptures every Adventist should know.  So I want to invite you to memorize with me.  Every few days I will place on my blog our text we are going to memorize.  I also at that time will add a little commentary on the text.  Maybe if you read these in the morning this can be added to your devotional time.  Either way I hope you will join me and check back regularly!  Maybe to help you memorize get a packet of 3 x 5 cards and write the scriptures on them, keep them with you and look at them and recite them throughout the day.

We are going to start today with Exodus 20: 1, 2 and I am going to be using the New International Version:

Verse 1:  And God spoke all these words:

Verse 2: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Personal Commentary:

These two verses are the prelude, the intro into the 10 Commandments that God carved into stone with His own hand.  They are words that are directly from God, they aren’t the interpretation of man, they are not man’s perspective, the Bible tells us that “God spoke all these words.” That to me it seems would make them quite important!  And in verse 2 we see the basis by which the children of Israel were to keep the law. They were to keep the law, because they were delivered by God from slavery.  This text really highlights the basis for all obedience, including why we should continue to obey, because we have been delivered! Not like the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, but from sin, we’ve been delivered from the condemnation of the law by Jesus, therefore we should obey.  I like how God reminds His people that He already delivered them and then asks them to keep the commandments.  Our God’s acts of grace ALWAYS precede our response, our actions!  

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

–Romans 5:8

The act of grace came before our actions of repentance, before our actions of obedience, before our actions of love. But then we are to respond in love which is obedience. 

” “If you love me, keep my commands.”

–John 14:15

If you ever run into someone that tries to discourage your obedience by telling you not to be a “legalist” because it is all about love.  Remind them that love and obedience cannot be separated!  We obey because we love, we love because we are delivered, we are delivered because God loves us!

Memorize this scripture and remember the commandments are a response to a mighty act of GRACE!




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