The first of the Ten Commandments says: “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Things made to be more important than God are termed idolatry.) God is very jealous about His position in our lives and has demonstrated that jealousy in the past and I suspect He may do so again. Yet it seems to me that first commandment gets violated far too frequently by a great percentage of God’s children — including me. We usually think of family, work or money as candidates for idolatry, but I’ve seen such things as church buildings, music, evangelism even the church congregation itself — the very ministries serving God – made to be more important than God Himself. When we do that, we are worshiping the creation instead of the Creator. Not good!
I have written a book entitled “Worshiping Alone”. The book is intended to help us put God first in our lives and keep Him there.
The idea that people can become Christians by attending church doesn’t feel right to me. I think it might work better the other way around — become a Christian first, then find a group of Christians to associate with (which will probably be a church). Or, more likely, the two things happen more-or-less together – becoming a Christian and associating with Christians.
The latter is what happened to me. I came to know Christ in 1996. I had been associating with Christians for a while before that, but much more so after I discovered just who Jesus really is. I don’t think I had much choice about becoming a follower of Christ. I was sort of pushed and pulled into it by the Holy Spirit. He planted a seed in me — a deep desire to know more and more. I studied and accumulated numerous credit hours in various theological areas and eventually was invited to go through ordination. I did so and became a pastor and served in churches until 2015 when I retired. I have served as a hospital chaplain, participated in home ministries, served in prison ministry, and foreign mission work. (On those trips I discovered that some places aren’t so kindly to Christians — but He watches out for His own.)
The desire to know more about Christ and to think and behave more like Him actually becomes a process that lasts a lifetime. (It is happening to me and could be happening to you.) The process is called sanctification. Through that process we become increasingly unlike other people in our thoughts and behavior. It’s actually a wonderful feeling.
My book “Worshiping Alone” is meant to help bring us closer to God, but it is also intended to be a resource and guide along the path of sanctification. You can learn more about the book and where to find it under the heading “Book” on this website.
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