Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
We all desire freedom to do as we please but is that true freedom. How do you live today? Do you depend on the opinion about you from others? Does social media guide your actions and words? Do you feel fear because the world wants you that way? Is going to church the only time you feel released from the chains of this world only to feel them return the second you walk out the door? Do you really know what it means to be free?
The Chains of This World
Every turn of every corner there is someone telling us how to live our lives. For some, there is a need for validation of every accomplishment. We have become like worker ants or drones who blindly follow the crowds. Every chance we have to break free seems to have a block. Sometimes the block comes from those close to us who are under the same control. Social media outlets use subliminal messages through gearing our feed with things we searched for in an attempt to get us to purchase things.
We are forced into a status quo type situation where we are ridiculed if we do not follow the flow of society. Everyone is so afraid of this current virus that it has folks flocking to places that have the vaccine even though it still is being tested and has given people the virus or was instrumental in their deaths. Those in authority are trying to make it hard to do anything without receiving the vaccine. Makes me wonder what is really in it.
There are some people who have fought for recognition even though the major religions of the world recognize those lifestyles as sin. We have become enslaved in their sin by allowing the boasting and recognizing it as a normal way of life. We cannot be pulled into their sinfulness.
Unfortunately we are trapped in this world and have to deal with people who do not know the truth of God and the peace that comes from following Him. There is a way to feel freedom that goes beyond Sunday service and Wednesday Bible Study. It is so easy yet it is persecuted daily.
True Freedom Comes From God
God has made our lives possible to live without the needs of the world. We still must live in the world but faith and belief in God helps us discern the right from wrong and keeps our minds safe and clean. Even though we do have free will, God takes our choices and creates a desire to Love Him more.
When we read the parables of the lost things, the prodigals, Jesus reemphasized God’s unconditional love and how we sometimes forget what it is like to be with Him. Many times the parables single something or someone out. God does care about the individual but the ultimate goal is to have all the children of Adam return to Eden so we can at last come home.
In everything God does He shows us what it is like to have freedom from the world and to be able to share His Love with the world. The freedom to share God shows the world who He is and why His ways are the best way to live. Thanking God daily for the provisions needed to live and ability to do the things He asks bring us closer to freedom from the world and full dependence on God which is the true freedom we seek.
God Provides the Way
All throughout Scripture we see God’s grace and mercy in action. First, He provides the guide to right living. Then He lets us know the consequence of not following. Finally, God shares His wisdom, stories of Grace, and how faith in Him is rewarded.
This is more than a once a week commitment though. It is a daily need that is built into our very being. Some choose to ignore it and they will suffer. Some know this but do not practice it daily. Some practice daily and are tested and tempted regularly. The suffering of being tested is a part of life that guides what provisions God provides. Staying in the Word isn’t easy but we must strive for the prize which is freedom from the chains of the world and being in the arms of God.
Brothers and Sisters, We can be free but it depends on each of us. How we react to the chains of the world, how we break them, is up to the individual but we must make that choice to follow God or stay in the world and rough it out till the end. Either way we face challenges but I would rather face challenges with God having my back rather than trying to do it on my own and failing.
Freedom is never free there is always a cost. It really depends on what you want to spend and how you spend it. Your soul is at stake. Staying in the world and of the world means death. Staying in the world but being of God means a better chance at life. You alone can decide.
Be safe and do not let the world control you anymore. We are free from the bondage of this world but we must believe
In God’s Arms,
Rob,Servant of God
We have been told that God heals the broken but does He close the heart and make it whole or is there a part that is always being worked on? If God were to completely close the broken heart and make it whole it would not be able to contain Him. If He were to leave it as broken as He first found it, the heart would never be able to heal.
One of the most important things about being human is that we have the ability to express every emotion known in the world. This means that our hearts are never given the ability to fully be whole, there will always be a piece missing. God fills that part when we invite Him in as we learn, trust, and obey His Word. He dwells with us when we accept Him as our closest companion in life who advises us, tests us, and protects us. In our brokenness we are healed in His presence.
We cannot contain God for our own selfish needs but are given to share Him with others. Our whole hearts develop a hole to release our emotions that carry God to the world. People see brokenness and our wholeness of heart all the same time. When we transfer the Father through His Grace towards us, we share the Mercy of His healing.
Without our hearts being this way we would be lost. To be broken means that we have no hope but to be whole means hope is in us. When our hearts are both at once, The Glory of God shines brighter than any of the angels. Their hearts are made whole in His goodness but our brokenness keeps His Word moving throughout creation, healing hearts wherever He is mentioned and believed.
When we move on from this life our physical hearts turn back to the dust and clay from which it was made. It remains broken. Our spiritual heart finds completion and finally alone made whole for we bask in the light of God the Father Creator of all things.
Brothers and Sisters, When we return at the end of the ages our bodies will be able to contain the heart made whole but for now we must learn, suffer, find joy, and have hope in the coming of the Messiah.
Do not worry about anything but in everything through obedience and prayer God will grant you the provisions you need to make it through this life.
His Hands hold our Hearts,
Rob, Servant of God
Idolatry is defined as: The worship of an idol or cult image, being a physical image, such as a statue, or a person in place of God. This means a wide range of physical things and beings. Any thing that is formed, carved, drawn, painted, flies, blows, flows, burns, shines, or has blood running through it that is an object of worship is considered an idol. The Bible states that God warns about Idolatry so many times yet people still do not listen.
Idolatry is seeking security and meaning in someone or something other than God.
They say to the wood, "You are my father," and to the stone, "You bore us," for they turned to Me their nape and not their face, and at the time of their misfortune they say, "Arise and save us. ”Now where are your gods that you have made for yourself; let them get up if they will save you at the time of your misfortune, for as many as your cities were your gods, O Judea. Jeremiah 2:27-28
God gave Adam six laws to follow of which one of them is a warning against idolatry. Unfortunately, people still found other things to trust in. Carvings and paintings of creatures near remnants of altars and ceremonial spots have been discovered and ancient writings talk about worshiping the bodies in the heavens. Male and female figures were found representing harvest and fertility gods and goddesses. Most of these have been dated to pre-flood times. After the flood and the Tower of Babel, mankind was left to their own devices yet the presence of God remained.
Since the confusion of language, people came up with ways of worship that were replacing God. Myths and legends were created to explain existence because they had lost sight and understanding of God. Animals were worshiped because they provided materials for living. Eventually people became objects of worship when they performed great deeds.
Genesis, after the flood, talks about house idols, worship through sexual immorality, and many other false gods but it really is not until Exodus when we see God’s wrath on individuals. Moses and Joshua were up on the mountain leaving Aaron in charge. When the people figured Moses and Joshua had died they made Aaron create the cast of a golden calf like they had in Egypt for them to worship. It did not end well as the Levites were told to kill all the men who worshiped the false god.
The Human condition says, “We make a god out of whatever we find most joy in. So, find your joy in God and be done with all idolatry.” John Piper.
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:3-6
The Psalmist says:
Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of man. They have a mouth but they do not speak; they have eyes but they do not see. They have ears but they do not hear; they have a nose but they do not smell. Their hands-but they do not feel; their feet-but they do not walk; they do not murmur with their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.” Psalm 115:4-8
Idolatry in Christianity
Yes there is idolatry in Christianity. The problem with religion is that items that represent a particular function can become idols. Catholics call certain sculptures of people and relics icons. People call them reminders but it really is just a disguise for idol worship. The cross can become an idol when people kneel before it in an act of worship.
When Catholics venerate someone they are placing the person basically equal to God. The veneration of Mary placed her equal if not above God because she is worshiped and is set up as a mediary to talk with God. God never said it was okay to pray to anyone but Him. There is only one who is said to be the mediator between God and man, and His name is Jesus.
If Jesus worshiped God in life, why do we worship Jesus? Jesus never asked to be worshiped. The gospels paint two pictures of Jesus, prophet and messiah. The Jews understood that prophets and anyone thought to be The Messiah should not be worshiped because that would be considered idolatry. Jesus was very consistent in his differentiation between himself and God although sometimes misread or interpreted to say otherwise.
“If you want to follow Jesus because He will give you a better life, that’s IDOLATRY. Follow Christ for the sake of Christ. He is WORTHY.” – Paul Washer.
“For what is idolatry if not this: to worship the gifts in place of the Giver himself?” John Calvin.
We are a very talented people. God grants each of gifts that are to be used for His Glory alone. When people take advantage of the gifts and become popular, they run the risk of an inflated ego to the point that they desire accolades and fame which leads people to place their faith, their trust in how the person acts and what the individual says about life. These folks become idols desiring worship.
Those that realize their “importance” in people’s lives then come to the belief that they can influence how others live to the point that they replace God’s influence. These “Talents are no longer used for God’s Goodness. This causes people to fall into temptations and sinfulness.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2
The Idol of Money
Money is a necessary evil but when misused, gained using unorthodox methods, or built up due to greed it becomes required for happiness it becomes a idol. God had put ordinances in place to regulate riches and stabilize the flow of funds to avoid greed. Man discovered the false power gained through obtaining treasure which put the whole world on an economic nightmarish spin.
The worship of money is the cause of many other evil deeds that can destroy a man. A person could be good stewards of their funds and still feel the effects of someone else’s greed. There are books and movies that show how money can corrupt even the most good minded people. The taste of material wealth causes downfalls that for some are very hard to emerge from.
When God gives success through monetary means He doesn't want you to squander it on yourself but to give in a charitable way or use it for His good. This does not mean give the whole ten percent to your church because most of the time it just goes to pay many people and little is left for actual ministries. Take some of the ten percent and give directly to those who need it or purchase something with it and give that (i.e. coats, clothes, food) so that you are helping a person directly.
Getting Rid of Idols in Your Life
The more time you devote to God the Father the more you realize the idols that surround your life. When you see that something is taking you away from God, put it down. If you put it down you can eventually let go of it. Don’t let people who are not even close to you influence your decisions on things but find them out for yourself. A person’s opinion isn’t always the right decision especially if they are being forced to act a certain way or are incapable of believing that there are other truths out there.
Do not bow down to anyone but God. This means do not bow down even to the cross. There was flesh, blood, and bone on that cross not God. Altar calls are fine because your prayers are being directed towards God. If you are Catholic, please be careful not to worship the venerated saints. They are not God and can only hear your mutterings that still go directly to God. God wants a relationship with you personally not through another.
Do not spend money on frivolous things but make it worth something for God’s glory. I wouldn’t be telling you these things if I didn’t care about your eternal soul. Be vigilant in all you do and make everything you do for God’s Glory alone.
Brothers and Sisters, have faith that God will save us soon. The time is coming where faith will be tested and idolatry will be destroyed. Be aware that there are those who will try and deter you from your faith but your trust must remain in God alone. Flesh and Bone matter not, your spirit is everything.
In God’s Hands,
Rob, Servant of God
The messages on the blogs written on this page are within biblical adherence. Though the Scriptures listed in the blogs are directly from the Bible and other related religious writings the explanations and interpretations are in line with Biblical thinking as it relates to today’s world. The use of historical facts are to assist in the validity of the writings. The main writer of this blog site is an Ordained minister in one denomination though the views are related to all denominations so if something is said that does not fall in line with your denominational background, pray for personal discernment and understanding.