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Posts tagged ‘false gods’

Am I In Danger of Having Idols In My Life?

SOURCE:  Taken from a devotion by Living Free Ministry

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 NIV

Thoughts for Today
When we think of idols, we most likely picture a statue or altar of some kind. Most of us probably would never think of bowing down to such a false god. However, we could be in danger of bowing down to a more subtle idol.

An idol is anything we look to for solutions only God can provide.

When we look to anyone or anything other than Christ as our primary source of meaning, self-worth, comfort, or fulfillment, we are in danger of having an idol in our lives.

Consider this … 
The three main categories of idols are substances, behaviors, and relationships.

The most obvious substances are alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs, but even food can become an abused substance.

Behaviors include things like gambling and pornography. Even innocent behaviors like shopping, television viewing, and work can become idols when we place too much importance on them.

Relationship problems are often entangled with substance and behavior problems and can enslave us when we try to control others or live to please others.

When we choose to look to a substance, behavior, or relationship for help only God can provide, we have chosen to follow an idol. Such a choice will prevent us from serving and loving God freely.

Are you looking to a substance, behavior, or relationship for solutions only God can provide?

Prayer
Father, help me remember that Christ is my primary source of meaning, self-worth, comfort, and fulfillment. I know that any other source can become an idol if I place it above you. Please show me if I have done that. Please forgive me, and help me put you first in every area of my life. In Jesus’ name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min. and Dan Strickland, M. Div.

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Handling My Mistakes

SOURCE:  Adapted from an article at  Lighthouse Network/Stepping Stones

Since every [one of us] makes mistakes regularly, the categories [in which we can find ourselves] are:

1. Make a mistake, get down on yourself, follow it up with another mistake, don’t learn from either mistake, continue in a minimal growth process imposing a glass ceiling on your potential;

2. Make a mistake, follow it with corrective or atoning action, then learn from your mistake to improve and grow yourself and your skills, and achieve your maximal God-given potential.

Even the most mature Christian’s faith falters at times … we all make mistakes. But this must not be thought of as failure. None of us are perfect … we don’t have the total functioning mind of Christ now.  We will be fully sanctified when we are with Him in heaven. Until then, we will stumble at times … not always believing and acting on the truths we intellectually know are true.

Peter’s faith faltered when he was walking on water, even in the presence of the Lord. When your faith does falter, do as Peter did, reach for Your Lord’s hand. Peter was able to use that situation as an opportunity to draw closer to God … to use God’s lenses to examine his heart … to see where he mistakenly placed his trust instead of in God’s teachings, promises, and character.

So too, when you put your faith or confidence in something other than God … like others’ opinions or approval … your finances or possessions … skills or intellect … looks or status … you will falter. Confess your sin … that in that moment you are worshipping another false god.

Today, receive God’s forgiveness and instruction. Examine how life would be if you put your confidence and faith in God instead of yourself or the things of this world. Growth, peace, and awesome worship of God will be your reward when you seize this opportunity instead of wallowing in shame, self-pity, and wasting God’s power to transform your life. When your faith falters, don’t follow it up with another mistake. Instead, confess your mistake and learn why your faith was in yourself or this world.  Your choice, so why choose to struggle if you don’t have to?

Prayer

Father God, my Lord, when my faith falters, remind me that I have not totally failed. When Peter’s faith faltered, he reached out to You, Lord, the only One who could save him. When I am afraid, I look to You, my Savior. I take Your hand as You reach out to save me. Thank You, Jesus. Help me remember each second that You are the only one who can really help. I pray that You touch me with Your healing power. Help me, Lord, to maintain my faith when situations are difficult. Help me keep my eyes on Your healing power rather than on my inadequacies or Satan’s masquerading idols. I pray this in the name of my safety net when I stumble, Jesus Christ;  AMEN!

The Truth

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said,”why did you doubt”

Matthew 14:30-31

 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Hebrews 12:2-3

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