When I think about idols, the first thing that comes to mind is the Old Testament idols like Asherim (2 Kings 17:10); Baal, the sun-god of the Phoenicians (2 Chronicles 34:4, 7; 14:3,5; Isaiah 17:8); Hequet, the Egyptian goddess of fertility represented as a frog; and, one of the worst—Molech, to whom many offered their young children, burned to death as ritual sacrifice of worship. (Leviticus 20:1-5)
In the New Testament, Paul was in Athens and observed hundreds of idols, even one to the unknown god. (Acts 17:16) In undergraduate school literature class, we studied the Greek and Roman gods. They had gods for everything—beauty, love, fertility, war, wealth, etc. I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that people would actually sacrifice and worship statues of wood and stone. But, I’ve come to realize that I often do—just that.
Our culture encourages us to worship essentially the same idols as the ancients did!
For example, there is the god of money, upon whom I have lavished and sacrificed so much of my time and passion in the best years of my life. How about the goddess of beauty? How much time and money has gone into my desire to be uber-healthy and trying to halt the inevitable aging process? And what has been the great cost of my worship of these “gods?” For years and years of my pursuit of wealth—I definitely sacrificed my relationship with God. I also sacrificed spending time with my children. In fact, my children were encouraged by me to be consumed by the god of athletics to the point that in 6th grade, my son finally said “I don’t want to play basketball, baseball, football, AND soccer.” We ran, ran, ran…all to attain the “best” for our children—but what part of our busy life was consumed with making God our center? How much of the frenzied life of their childhood really helped them survive the landmines of anxiety, worry and fear in the world they live in today?
If we want to help our children and ourselves…the best passion we can develop is to make Almighty God the center of our life. He is the only God who can give us the strength and wisdom we need for life. We must develop a deep understanding and appreciation for the message of FIRST and GREATEST commandment given to us in both the Old Testament and the New Testament:
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.”Exodus 20:3-5
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.”Matthew 22:37-38
If we love, honor and obey earthly idols while giving the true and living God only a small fraction of time and resources, we are cheating ourselves out of the best life God has planned for us. For our own sake, we should self-assess. What is the majority of our time and money spent serving? Does God direct your path or is it the pursuit of lesser gods?
ARE YOUR IDOLS CAUSING YOU TO MISS OUT???
God has a great plan for your life, but you will not find it unless you are pursuing HIM with all your heart!
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since HE himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”Acts 17:24-25
Can we see the insanity of worshiping something that will never love and care for us as God does? The Creator of the universe will “LIVE and MOVE and have His being within us” WHEN—we seek Him with all our heart. (Acts 17:26-28) Almighty God is worthy of our greatest adoration and worship because HE is the only one who loved us to death.
When you GIVE your whole HEART to God; you are GIVEN your greatest LIFE.
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