The TV show “American Idol” has experienced some decline in popularity recently. According to some media news reports, ratings for the show are down 25% per cent in 2014. (http://shar.es/TWTQ8)
Yet idols are alive and well. We all have a tendency to have idols in our hearts. Something or someone we depend on, cling to for life.
Martin Luther says: Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.
Until a couple of years ago, I could never figure out why the last verse in the book of I John closes with “My little children, keep yourselves from idols” (I john 5:21). It seems like John is completely changing the subject with his last sentence about idols. What do idols have to do with anything John talks about in his letter?
Then, with help, I looked a little closer. Before John’s last sentence are many statements about how life is only found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life… We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
What is an idol? Anything you are depending on to give you life and happiness. Depend only on Jesus Christ for life. He is the one true God. Nothing else. Isn’t it amazing how many things we easily cling to for life? Whatever our heart says we must have in order to enjoy life is our idol. It could be more money, success, or getting our own way in relationships. Maybe discouragement happens because something we think we must have for life isn’t happening.
Martin Luther is right: Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.
Little children, guard yourselves from idols. What idols are alive and well in your heart?