"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

God First In Life's Relationships

By W. C. Moore

    God the Father, through the lips of His Son, Jesus Christ (John 14:24) has given us two great foundational commandments to govern our lives, and to shine as great beacon lights on our pathway till we get to glory. These two great principles are set forth by our Lord in Matthew 22:37-38 as follows:

    "Jesus said...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

    These two great commandments have priority over all others – and we need always to remember this. Commenting on these two great fundamental principles and emphasizing them, Jesus further said, "There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:31). We might have been left in the dark about many things if Jesus had not told us that there is indeed a first and great commandment.

    The Bible says, "Servants, be obedient to... your masters according to the flesh" (Eph. 6:5). But if an employer gives us orders, the carrying out of which would cause us to dishonor God, we are to "obey God rather than men."

    Peter says, "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake" (1 Pet. 2:13) but when those in authority forbade them to teach in the name of the Lord, Peter and the other apostles said, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:28-29). The real reason that servants are told to obey their masters is that they (the servants) may please God, for they are to obey "as unto Christ" and "as to the Lord, and not to men" (Eph. 6:5-7).

    "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (Col. 3:23). The very life of a true Christian servant is set before his earthly master as a distinct testimony for the Lord. Also to obey is in compliance with the second of the two great commandments, for if you love your neighbor as yourself, you will do unto him as you would have him do unto you, were the situation reversed. (Read also Matt. 7:12.)

    Men in the Navy are instructed to obey orders. Yet if an officer of the Navy should command a man to tear down the Stars and Stripes and trample the flag under foot and then to begin to shoot down his comrades, why, of course, the man should not obey such orders. There is a higher principle even than obeying the orders of a commanding officer. Witness the case of Daniel and of the three Hebrew children.

    That wives obey their husbands is one of the commandments of God. Yet if an ungodly husband should tell his wife to blaspheme God, she should not do it. She should honor God above all, for Jesus says of the two great commandments, "There is none other commandment greater than these." For Scriptural precedent observe the action of Abigail, the wife of Nabal, as given in 1 Samuel 25:2-35.

    In Titus 2:4-5, wives are told to obey their husbands "that the word of God be not blasphemed." Fearless preaching of the Word of God – the whole counsel of God – is needed, lest insidious teachings creep in. For instance, the modern teaching to the effect that children do not need to be corrected but only "persuaded" – in its final analysis denies the Scriptural record of the fall of man.

    There may be those who, in the dishonesty of their wicked hearts, will even quote the two great commandments as excusing them in their refusal to carry out the plainly revealed will of God – wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16) but the plan of God remains nevertheless.

    "Children, obey your parents in the Lord...Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise" (Eph. 6:1-2).  First commandment "with promise" means that it is the first of the commandments given to Moses which had a promise attached to it, namely long life. (See Exodus 20:12.) It is God's plan and His command that children obey their parents – but then there is a first and great commandment, which is to govern our conduct if it appears to come into conflict with any other of the commandments of the Lord.

    When Jesus says first and greatest, He means just that! Thus if, in a heathen home for instance, one of the children should be saved, and the child's father should tell him to bow down to worship an idol, the child, of course, should not do it.

    In the very nature of things, God must be FIRST. He is the Creator. He knows all things. He loves us. He is just. He is merciful. Whatever He says is wise and good and right. When God asks that we love Him supremely it is the very best thing for us and it is for our own highest and eternal good that we comply wholeheartedly with God's desire at any cost whatsoever.

Love to God Proven Only by Obedience

    We deceive ourselves if we talk of loving God, yet fail to do what He says. "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments" (1 John 5:3). "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (Jas. 1:22). God must be FIRST in our hearts, FIRST in every avenue of our lives. "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" (Matt. 10:37).

    If we have failed to put God first, NOW is the time to repent. His great love woos us. "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Rom. 2:4).

    "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you" (Jas. 4:8).