Local Family Church in Kansas City | X First

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Praise Chapel Kanas City is a Local Family Church in KC. God loves family and so do we! If you are looking for a local family church in the KC area we would love for you to check us out a few times to see if we are a good fit.

 

I want to talk to you about X and what it means.

X is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek word for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is represented in our alphabet by the letter X. That X is the symbol for the name of Christ.

X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture.  There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.

X is also the Roman numeral for 10.  Jesus loved to use the number 10 in many of His sayings particularly in the parables.  

There were 10 virgins in Matthew 25, 10 lepers in Luke 17, 10 talents in Matthew 25, and 10 minas in Luke 19.  There were exactly 10 uses of the phrase “I Am” in the Gospel of John.  10 times the phrase “God said” was used in Genesis.  Even humans made in God’s image have 10 fingers and toes.

But the most significant use of the number 10 is the 10 Commandments which is the focus of this series.  

There is an idea that the 10 Commandments were from the Old Testament and therefore do not apply today.  There is nothing that can be further from the truth.

“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.  So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matt 5:17-19 NLT

Jesus was accused of minimizing God’s truth.   Every generation has had those who want to emphasize God’s love and de-emphasize the truth.  I don’t want to preach legalism but I am not afraid to preach what Jesus said about righteousness.

Are we to keep every single law as written down in the old testament?  Not even Jesus was for law keeping that was void of heart and worship.  He was more concerned about the heart of the law and the respect of God.  

There are three categories of laws.  

  1. Ceremonial:  These laws point forward to Jesus and were not necessary after the resurrection.  The principles that guide our worship still hold today.   The Pharisees often accused Jesus of breaking ceremonial laws.

    2)   Civil:  These laws governed the daily living in Israel.  These are timeless and guide the conduct.  But because  of cultural changes these laws are no longer applicable.  However the principles remain to help guide us.

    3)  Moral Laws:  These laws still apply today.They reveal the nature and will of God. Jesus obeyed them and expects us to do the same today.  Moral laws are designed to make our lives the best they can be.  Laws such as thou shalt not murder and thou shalt not commit adultery still pertain to our daily living.

Today feeling better has taken priority over knowing God.  God gave us 10 timeless laws and they don’t bend to the prevailing winds of culture.  These are not 10 opinions or 10 suggestions.  These are commands and God wants us to know them.

Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  

Deut. 6:4-9

In America we want to be Christian by culture, but not by revelation.  We know we should go to church.  We know that there are certain things we should or should not do, but is God truly first?

You must not have any other god but me. Ex. 20:3

What does it mean to “have no other gods before me”

A god (note the little g) is is a person or thing honored as chief good in your life.  This god can be recreation, a career, a person, or money.  Even good things can be a god when they are given priority over God Himself.

But just how do we put God first.  Consider the acronym F.I.R.S.T.

Finances – Money is the biggest test.  We spend most of our lives trying to earn money, and God only asks that we release a portion of it.  How do you know if you are putting God first in your finances?  At the end of the year your total giving should reflect at least 10% of your total income.

What is that 10% for?  Is it to pay for the church and it’s bills? No.  Is it to pay church staff? No. Is it to pay to send out other churches?  No.  These are all bi-products of your giving.The purpose of the tithe is to honor God.

Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God.

Deut 14:23

When the economy is sluggish, we are to do the opposite of what society teaches us.  We are still to honor God and return the tithe to Him.  If you are not tithing you are not putting God first.

Interests – Everything you do should be done to the glory of God.  Everything should be done with a grateful heart.  When was the last time you gave thanks for the assets God has given you?

You can tell what interests a person by what gets them excited.  What is the most important thing to you?  What do you post on social media?  What do you talk about?  If He is first in your life, He will be in your conversation.  You won’t be ashamed to talk about Him.

Relationships – If you want to put God first, you need to be careful who you hang out with.  Some of you need to change your playmates, and your playgrounds.  The bible says if your right hand offends you, cut it off.  If your relationships are tripping up your walk with God you need to be careful.  Love your family but if they tell you to do anything that contradicts scripture then put God first.  

Schedule – Time is a commodity that most of us don’t have enough of.  When we stand before God, He will want to know what we did with the time He gave us. How do you put God first in your schedule?  Ask God to help you use your time wisely.

Troubles – When you have a crisis who do you turn to?  It honors God and gives Him glory when we turn to Him in time of trouble.  Unfortunately for some people prayer is a last resort. When they have done all they know to do then they pray.  In your time of need call out to God.  Put Him first.

It’s a new year.  A new beginning.  A great way to start the year is to put God first in everything.  How will you know He is first?  You will have a sense of peace.  Worry is a warning light that God is not first.  Are you worried about your finances?  Are you frantic over your time and commitments?  Are you constantly fretting about the relationships in your life.  In times of trouble does all feel hopeless?  Find peace…

…in putting God FIRST!

Father I confess there are things in my life that come before you.  I declare over my life that I shall have no other gods before you.  I choose to put you first in my finances, interests, relationships, schedule and my troubles.  You are my God and by Your mercy and grace you are first in everything.  Amen

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