For almost two decades we have been taking the best part of a week’s vacation with our family, including our ten grandchildren. Actually, we didn’t have ten grandchildren when we started what has become a blessed tradition. We had four grandchildren when it all started.
Now, our oldest grandchild is twenty-one-years-old and we just completed our seventeenth annual trek to some attractive destination. This year Myrtle Beach became the place for our family’s holiday. Through the years we have been to Destin, Pigeon Forge, Nashville, Orlando, St. Petersburg, and now Myrtle Beach.
We have played, dined, played, conversed, played, traveled, played, laughed, played, swum, played, explored, and played. Martha Jean and I have loved watching our grandchildren interact with one another, love one another, and simply enjoy being together.
Since I am a very proud grandfather this will come as no surprise to you, but our grandchildren are incredibly beautiful/handsome, amazingly bright and intelligent, extraordinarily talented, and understandably athletic.
Therefore, we are extremely grateful for our family and a vast variety of thing; but we are especially filled with unprecedented thanksgiving that all ten of our grandchildren have a saving faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord.
One of our grandchildren, Hope Godwin, age 16, recently wrote a beautiful Thanksgiving song, accompanied herself and sang it for almost 500 people at our church Thanksgiving dinner.
Another grandchild, Grace Harris, a recent high school graduate, spent most of the summer touring the nation with contemporary Christian musical artist Jamie Grace. The two Graces just recently returned from the West Coast on the Winter Jam tour and saw hundreds of people come to faith in Christ.
One of our grandchildren, Brinley Harris, who is a junior in high school, has written a commentary on the First Commandment on her blog. I think it is marvelously insightful, especially for a 16-year-old. I wanted to share it with you.
Why is the 1st Commandment first?
I have always been super fascinated with the Commandments, why God chose them and why are there only 10. So, here is my input on the first commandment: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.”
This commandment is first for a reason. It establishes that we serve a God who is Almighty, and gains knowledge from no one. He stands alone and is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. No one created God and no one can destroy Him.
We shall serve no other God, but El Shaddai, meaning God Almighty. He makes it clear that He is Lord by putting the commandment first. He is Lord and no one can demolish the holiness of God or his goodness. He rescued us from bondage so we can find rest in His perfection. His vast love for us outweighs any worldly thing; and it is all we need to fulfill us when we are empty.
Egypt was a place of slavery and hurt, but the Lord came and delivered the Egyptian people from a place where chains shackled them and everyone was overwhelmed by pain and suffering. Opposing forces were surrounding the people, but God above the surrounding enemies a sovereign God had a plan.
God brought His people out of the land of bondage and put the people under His wings and delivered them. This is the same glorious God we have the privilege of serving today. For this reason alone, we should have absolutely nothing in our life that resembles a false god. He alone is worthy of our unending praise. His love is sufficient to sustain us forever and His presence is the perfect fulfillment.
God chose to rescue us out of the land of guilt and pain even though we did nothing to deserve it. His grace for us is everlasting and far more than we could ever earn. Because of what He has done for us, we should continuously praise His holy name until the end of time.
We are extremely undeserving of his forgiveness and love, yet He loves us with a forever love that will carry us day in and day out. In our society today it is easy to elevate something until it becomes the primary focal point of our lives and consequently our “god”. This is idolatry. We are constantly trying to fill a void in our lives that can only be filled by God. We make “gods” of things that are absolutely undeserving of our attention.
“You shall have no other gods before Me” is clearly an important law because it is mentioned in the First Commandment and is the specified as the Second Commandment. Notice how the word ‘gods’ is plural. The Lord understands that we have temptations and often have many things in our lives that become idols.
However, if there is only one true God who deserves our undivided attention. When we truly dig into the greatness of God, there should not be anything we want to do but serve Him. He is more than deserving of our praised and constant worship. The definition of worship is utter reverence. God alone is worthy of our reverence. Any other god we propose to give attention to is a false god and nothing compared to our marvelous Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer.
Remember this theological treatise is from the pure heart of a 16-year-old girl who loves the Lord and serves Him by going with her church to the inner city of Atlanta to minister to the homeless on a weekly basis. And yes, I am not just proud, but very thankful for her and all my grandchildren.