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The Bible by the Numbers > Day 4

The First Commandment (Mark 12:28-30)

The first of the Ten Commandments is: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” In response to the question—“Which is the first commandment of all?”—our Lord answered: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:28-30).  


The Bible repeatedly reminds us that the Lord is “the first and the last” (Isaiah 44:6; 48:12; Revelation 1:11, 17; 2:8; 22:13). Jesus taught us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).


In light of all of the above, one quickly comes to the conclusion that God alone deserves first place in our hearts and lives. Indeed, He demands it! Any lesser place is not just unacceptable to Him, but downright insulting and offensive. 


Do you know which sin is the most condemned in the Bible? It is idolatry. Although most people today are no longer guilty of bowing before wooden idols, all of us are guilty from time to time of putting something before God. Anything that comes before God in our lives is an idol, even if it is perceived to be a good thing like our family or church. If it’s more important to us than Christ, it is an idol and we are guilty of idolatry, the most condemned sin in Scripture.


Long ago I learned this little truism. If you want JOY in you life, put Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. Though it may sound like a corny bumper sticker slogan, it is biblical and true nonetheless!

Don Walton