Worshiping God AND Idols!

II Kings 17:33  They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.

I have often preached how the nation of Israel in the Old Testament would leave their faith in God and begin to worship the idols of the nations around them.  While that was often the case, the above verse reveals something much more likely to occur in our lives.  We attempt to worship God AND idols.  We think we can somehow do both.

We worship God on Sundays.  We go to church and read His precious Word.  We tell others we are a Christian and we try our best to serve Him.  Then, somehow in our own humanistic wisdom, we begin to value something more than God.  We begin to place more faith in our 401k or in the stock market.  We begin to make hobbies or relationships more important than our walk with God.  We find that we are spending more time meditating on things other than God.  We find we are falling into the same pattern described in II Kings 17:33: they feared the Lord, and served their own gods…

either_or

 

The Right Question is – “Who?”

Why

As we face the obstacles and trials of life we so often are left wondering why things are happening to us or how long they may last.  As a pastor many have asked me ‘Why?” the current crisis is happening to them.  Why did they get cancer?  Why did their spouse die? Why do they seem to be constantly battling the same problems?  The question we always ask is ‘Why?’

God’s plan is far different than ours.  We learn from the Word of God that God is not in the business of answering the why’s of life but rather God always points us to WHO He is! We aren’t asking the right question.  The question of who doesn’t seem to be the right one to us, but it is to God!

When the biblical patriarch Job was dealing with the atrocities that came into his life – his friends sat with him and the dialogue involved finding out why this had happened.  His friends basically concluded that it had to have been sin in Job’s life that brought on this great crisis.  Of course, they were wrong.  When God finally answered Job, God directed Job to Who He was.  We have no record of God ever telling Job why the problems had come upon him – but rather – God made sure Job realized Who had made him, Who controlled the universe, Who had formed everything that was made and Who it was that Job was to worship.  The right question was WHO? and not WHY?

Following are some verses regarding this Biblical thought:

Job 38:1-11 (KJV)
1  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3  Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4  Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5  Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6  Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8  Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
9  When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
10  And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
11  And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

 

Isaiah 44:24 (KJV)
24  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Isaiah 45:6 (KJV)
6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else
Isaiah 51:15 (KJV)
15  But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.
Ezekiel 7:4 (KJV)
4  And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

 

It is a choice!

choice

Love.  On this Valentine’s Day I thought it was important to once again look at the subject of Love.  While much can be said on the subject, Love ultimately boils down to a Choice!  One may have been initially attracted or enamored to their spouse but in order to have a relationship that survives over the long haul – it becomes a choice.  I choose to love and therefore I choose to be faithful and to work on my relationship.  I choose to forgive and forget.  I choose to trust and put in the necessary time and effort in order for my relationship to survive.

The obstacles that come our way in life are often overcome by making a determined choice.  I choose not be let my anger lead to bitterness.  I choose to forgive when my human nature wants to lash out.  I choose not to allow the stress of this world dwell in my spirit and take my joy.

I choose to follow Christ and turn from my sin.  I choose the straight and narrow over wide path of destruction.

When my life spirals out of control – it is also often because of a choice.  I choose to allow sin in my life.  I choose to stay in my despair.  I choose to dwell in my bitterness or dismay.

It is a choice!