Devotion – November 4, 2015 – God Always Acts First

exodus20_2-3I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
—Exodus 20:2-3

The Ten Commandments.  Most people know them as those 10 rules God demands we obey, mostly a bunch of stuff we are told not to do.  “Thou shalt not this” and “thou shalt not that”.  In our passage today we hear God giving the first commandment, but notice how it starts.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery…”

God didn’t come to the people of Israel while they were in Egypt and say, “If you follow these 10 commandments, I’ll bring you out of Egypt.”  No, God saved the people of Israel from slavery, made them His people, and THEN gave them the 10 Commandments.  God is telling them, I have made you My chosen people not because of what you have done, but because I love you and now this is how My people live.

God does the same with us.  God doesn’t demand that we follow the 10 Commandments before He’ll save us.  He doesn’t say, “Go to church every week, give to the poor, and don’t make anything more important that me and then I’ll save you.”  No, He comes to us in Jesus, delivering us from death and slavery to sin.  He calls us His own not because of anything we have done, but because He loves us.  Only after that can we look at God’s Law and see it as our way to respond to the great love God has shown us.

Heavenly Father,

You have shown us Your great love through Jesus.  You did not wait for us to come to You or to obey You, for if You had we would never have come.  Instead, You came to us and died for us that we might live and be Your people.  Thank you.  I now delight in Your ways as I live the new life you have given me.

Amen.

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