Archive for the ‘Idols’ Category

Greater Than Moses

February 22, 2012

This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?  this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.”  Acts 7:35.

This mornings reading, Acts 7:23-47, centers on and important part of Stephen’s message to the nation of Israel.  In this section Stephen details the ministry of one of Israels most celebrated hero’s.  The name Moses to this day stirs pride in the Jewish people.  It was through Moses leadership that the Jewish people were able to break free from four-hundred years of oppression.

Stephen, led by the Spirit, reminds his listeners of Moses greatness in order to show them that one greater than Moses had come.  Here is what Stephen is seeking to communicate:  The identification of Moses, Vs: 35.  Moses had a two-fold task of redeeming and leading a people.  This position was more than Moses could handle on his own.  Daily he relied on one who was greater.  The illustration of Moses, Vs: 37.  Stephen reminds his listeners that Moses life was an illustration of one who would come after him, Deuteronomy 18:15-17.  The one who would come after him would provide the redemption that man so desperately needed.  Jesus would be the mediator between man and God (I Timothy 2:5).  The intensity of Moses, Vs: 38.  Moses was given the 10 commandments and with great intensity he delivered them to his nation.  These commandments were a testimony to Israel’s inability to be right with God on her own.  Only in Christ will we find what we need to be right with God.  “The Law came through Moses. Grace and truth came through Christ.'”  John 1:17.  

At this moment I want to ask you a very important question:  “Who are the hero’s in your life?”  This is a very important question in light of Acts 7.  Stephen lifts Jesus above all hero’s.  Stephen lifts Jesus above all of man’s self effort to save himself.  If we have anyone in our lives who is greater than Jesus we find ourselves in a place where Israel found herself in Acts 7.  Israel rejected the Son of God.

Be assured, any idol will lead us away from devotion to God.  I want to encourage you to take inventory of the hero’s in your life.  It may be that you discover others to be greater than Jesus.

Maybe you ask, “How can I take inventory?” Here are some helpful suggestions:  1)  Consider who occupies the most of your time.  2)  Consider who occupies the most of your resources.  3)  Consider who you talk about the most or what you talk about the most.  4) Consider who or what you could not give up if you could only keep one person or one thing.

My prayer is that I would see the greatness of Christ and that each who read this would see the greatness of Christ.  He is greater than anyone or anything.  He alone is my Redeemer.

For further study, Deuteronomy 18, John 1, and I Timothy 2:1-5.  Also consider reading Chuck Swindoll’s book, “Intimacy with the Almighty.”

 

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Surrounded By Idols

July 25, 2011

“Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them,” Jeremiah 51:17.  This morning I tried to sleep in, 6 am, but a dog decided to help me to get up as he would not stop barking.  I must confess I considered having him for breakfast for one moment, just kidding!!!  In this moment I suddenly was aware that God was awakening me for the purpose of my time with him.

As I made my way to a quiet place I knew I would finish the book of Jeremiah.  As I read the last three chapters I found myself engaged with God’s words of judgment to Babylon.  God proclaimed, “But the land of the Chaldeans is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel,” 51:3.  This nation was, as is every nation, without excuse before God.

As I read Jeremiah’s words I could almost image all the idols in the Babylonian empire.  At the same time I am reminded of the fact, “Every nation of every era has its idols.” Consider Athens during the time of Paul. “The city was full of idols,” Acts 17:16.  

The question I come away with from this text is simply this: “What idols are before us and how to we confront them?”  The apostle Paul’s response would be to preach the gospel, “The times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day when he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance by raising him from the dead,” Acts 17:30-31.

As our mission team faces a new day in which we are weakened from our labor. We press on because we are surrounded by idols that many in this village worship in hope of eternal life.   This could be the very day of His judgment and we must be about his business of preaching the gospel.  We must fight the idols within that cry out, what about me and my comfort.  Many on our team have discovered the reality of this idol and they have cried out, “dear God, help me to tear down my idol so that I can give all to you.”

Please pray for us!!!  At the same time please pray for God to reveal the idols around you and please pray that God would reveal the idols within you.  As he does proclaim the gospel and allow the gospel to wash in and over you so that you can be free from idols in order to serve the true and living God.