Tag: idols

Jul 31 Leaders like Hezekiah

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Father, thank You for leaders like Hezekiah.  Thank You that some are willing to stand up for what is right even if it goes against the prevailing social climate. 

At the young age of 25 in the first month of his reign, Hezekiah reopened, repaired, and purified the Temple in Jerusalem that his father had closed.  He led the people back to worshipping You with songs, instruments, and offerings.

Father, bring leaders who will help my nation turn away from its selfish, greedy, idolatrous ways, and return to You.   Like Hezekiah, let these men and women know right from wrong, and be obedient to do right.  Strengthen those leaders who are faithful to You.  Protect them and grant them success in their personal and professional lives.

For those who do not follow You, Father, open their eyes and ears to Your truth.  Draw them to Yourself so they may know You personally as Savior and Lord.  Break down whatever walls are keeping them from seeing Your truth.  And prepare their hearts to receive it.

You tell us “Who may stand in Your Holy place.”  Give our leaders “clean hands and a pure heart.”  Let them be men and women of godly values “who do not lift up their souls to an idol or swear by what is false.”  Then they will receive Your blessing and our nation will be blessed.

Let this be the generation, let this be the time, that we seek You wholeheartedly.  That we seek the face of the Lord Almighty, the King of glory.  Amen

2 Chronicles 29:1-36; Psalm 24:1-10

 

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June 29 Standing firm

Lincold stand firmO Father, how Your heart must ache when Your people choose to turn away from You!

You have given me all I need for an abundant life, yet the society I live in, and the one the Israelites lived in, pull people away from You to continually seek after other things.

When the kings over Your people were bad, they worshipped idols in the open, even sacrificing living children by fire.   They fought battles according to their own strength, or bought allies with the treasures from Your Temple.

When the kings were not evil, and led the people back to worship You, they still did not remove the high places and Asherah poles, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

The values and attitudes of their society had become so evil, that this behavior was accepted by even the good kings. But it was not acceptable by You. And eventually You sent armies from the east to conquer and capture Your people, taking them into exile.   This was as You had promised. You outlined their options for blessing and cursing, and they made their choice.

Lord, how often in my life do I allow the ungodly values of my society to sway me, divert me from what You have told me is true? Often what is evil is accepted as good. And even the good leaders abide by it as if it were ok.

Do we think as a society that there will be no accounting? That’s what the Israelites thought. Didn’t work out so well for them. And I fear it won’t work out in my times either.

When Your Word spread in Ephesus, people who practiced sorcery burned their scrolls, and idol worshippers stopped buying the silver idols. As the economic impact increased, so did the opposition!

Society today would also prefer that believers keep their faith to themselves. When it begins to impact political issues or economic factors, there is friction.

Father, as You have called me to live in the world, You have also separated me, set me apart from it. Help me understand how to be ‘in’ the world while being separate from it. Remind me to question values, holding them up against what Your Word says. Only then will I know I am on solid ground.

Show me if there is any value or attitude I need to change to be right with You. And strengthen me to do it, amid, or even against, the pull of society. Amen

2 Kings 15:17-16:20; Acts 19:13-41

Apr 22 One True God

When I say, “I will serve the Lord”, these are words of intention and obligation. I do not just sit back and allow whatever comes to come, saying “It must be the will of the Lord.”  Saying “I will serve the Lord”, carries the responsibility to recognize and reject all other powers and gods that have somehow gotten into my life, and to act intentionally to perform service affirming that You, the Lord, are my God.

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What does serving and worshipping God look like?

I can certainly avoid setting up a statue of wood or stone and laying offerings in front of it as acts of worship. But in my world today, besides countless religions, there are many forms of “worshipping other gods.”   They are usually looked upon as entertainment or common sense.

For the sake of ‘entertainment’ many people are enticed by the idea they can learn the future, or “dabble’ in the occult.” They may read horoscopes, go to fortune tellers, read Tarot cards, play with ouija boards, channel or séance to speak to the dead, even summon satan. The “fun” they participate in opens their hearts and spirits to unseen powers of influence they may not realize.

The truth is, there is power there that scripture tells us to have nothing to do with.Participating in those practices is a form of worship. Believing as truth what is revealed there is attributing a godlike power to the activity or persons involved.

It is common sense to take care of our environment, reduce our carbon footprint, not waste resources. But there are those who do this because they believe in and worship the earth as a power itself. Environmentalism has become a religion, worshiping “Mother Earth.”

And then, there are some who elevate the desire for money, or success, or to look youthful to a level of worship, as it guides and motivates everything they do; how they make decisions, where they spend their money.

It is so easy to allow things I enjoy or love to become an unhealthy form of worship; whether it’s my children, my job, sports, movies, food, self.   Lord, help me be vigilant to worship only the One True God. And turn from any form of idolatry so that I only serve You. Amen

Joshua 24:14-24