No Other Gods
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Acts 3:1-7 NKJV
Jesus told His disciples, “All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you” (John 16:15). Are you a beggar? Either you’re a child of God living in the abundance of all that the Father has, or you’re beggar. Like the lame man in our text, if you’re looking to someone else, expecting to receive something, you’ll find yourself a beggar, thus making that person another god. What are other gods? They aren’t necessarily statues or images, but anyone other than God who you fear or feel can give you something is another god.
Like Israel coming out of Egypt, we need to be delivered from many idols and gods. “And God spoke all these words: I 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” (Ex. 20:1-3). God is our Lord (Jehovah our Redeemer) and our God (Elohiym our Creator) and we are to have no other gods before Him, whether those idols are false deities, people, places, money, job, fame and reputation, recreation and pleasure, or other things in our day-to-day living. These things becomes “gods” when we concentrate too much of our time and energy on them for personal identity, meaning, or a sense of security. God knew that if Israel couldn’t keep this first commandment—“to have no other gods”—it was unlikely that they could ever keep the nine others (Ex. 20:3-17).
A beggar is always a victim, powerless looking to others as having more power and authority, resources, and seeing himself as a lesser being than everybody else in the relationship. Now, if you remain a beggar, at some point, everything inside of you will begin to revolt and say, “this is not what I’m called to be; begging is beneath me because I’m a child of God; and I shouldn’t be reduced to looking to anybody else.” I will have no other gods!