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Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest. Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest.

Putting God First | Today with Dr. Mark Jobe

When I married my wife, Dee, I stood before the pastor (my father), our family and friends, and vowed that I would be faithful to her and to her only. There would be no one else. It would be an exclusive relationship.

That is the way it is in our relationship with God. He is to have supreme importance in our life. The first commandment states this clearly: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Deut. 5:7; Ex. 20:3). It is first for a reason, because if we don’t get this commandment right, we get all the rest wrong. It’s like buttoning your shirt. If you fasten the first button correctly, the rest will line up. If you get the first one wrong, the rest is a mess.

What happened next, in Exodus 32, shows how quickly we all tend to stray. Moses was on the mountain with God, for 40 days and 40 nights. The people were waiting. A week went by and still no sign of him. After 30 days, they grew restless and went to Aaron, Moses’ brother. They asked him to make them a god to go before them. So, Aaron melted their gold jewelry and formed a golden calf, similar to the gods they had left behind in Egypt.

Maybe you’ve done something similar. You’ve said, “God, I want only You, I consecrate my life to You alone.” And then, when trouble comes, you quickly forget that promise and turn to cheap substitutes. We worship something instead of Him. We give something or someone else priority in our lives. We put things in front of Him. Or we place something or someone else on the highest altar of our lives. We prioritize this “god” in addition to Him.

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf.’” (Ex. 32:7–8).

What is our golden calf? Did you know you can make your job an idol? Your boyfriend? Your car? Your children? Whatever you value most, whatever you make decisions around, can become your idol. There is no substitute for God. We are His, and His alone. Keep us, Lord, from turning away.

BY Dr. Mark Jobe, President

Dr. Mark Jobe is the president of Moody Bible Institute. He has served as the lead pastor of New Life Community Church, one church that meets at 27 locations. Mark earned a diploma from Moody Bible Institute in 1984, a master’s degree from Moody Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in transformational leadership from Bakke Graduate University. He is the author of What Now?: How to Move into Your Next Season (Moody Publishers) and can be heard on Bold Steps, a daily program on Moody Radio. He and his wife, Dee, have three adult children and four grandchildren.

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