Tag Archives: worship

Tempted to worship Idols!

American_idols_2By Syd McCrorey

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?

Living Hope or a Dead Hope?

living hope better1Pe 1:3:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Today’s Foxnews headline on the web says… “Urkrainian Protesters Battle Police after dozens die in bloodiest day of uprising.”

Unless you are in the Ukraine you probably can’t  imagine what it is like living in that much danger and uncertainty.  Is there any hope?  What does the gospel of Jesus Christ say to those who live in constant danger of violence, suffering, and death?

Peter’s  heart is erupting in praise about how awesome God is, how wonderful He is.  He is overcome with emotion over the goodness and mercy of God.  Even in the midst of terrible suffering, violence, and danger in the world Peter is declairing God is worthy of worship.

WHY?

Because out of God’s merciful heart, God sent his Son into our violent, dangerous, evil world.  Jesus Christ personally experienced suffering, violence and mistreatment.  He experienced the pain of a slow, violent death.

Then…

God the Father raised His son Jesus from the dead!  The Father breathed new life into his Son’s dead body.  Three days after he died! Three days after being put into the ground …  his heart started beating, his blood started flowing, his lungs started taking in air, the brain cells started firing and Jesus woke up and walked away from his tomb!

Now…

You have a living hope. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you too will be raised from the dead.   You too will live after you die.   Even if that death is a painful, fearful, and slow death.  You will live.  Live forever in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.  A kingdom of resurrected believers with new, perfect bodies.  This is an eternal kingdom of peace, prosperity, and safety.

This is our Living Hope (certain hope).  All other hopes are dead hopes.  It is a dead hope to think that suffering, violence, and death will end before Christ returns.  It is a dead hope to think that we can arrange for our own prosperous and safe existence in this world.

What a wonderful God we have!

 

 

I Don’t Know Who I am Anymore!

I don't know who I amRecently a dear friend said to me and my wife, “I don’t know who I am anymore”!.  The cry came from her heart.  I was amazed and surprised to hear her say that. I was even more amazed to suddenly realize that is exactly what I had been feeling about myself.  Unwanted change will do that to you. Like our friend, this last year and a half brought with it lots of changes, lots of painful losses.   The roles and relationships and ways of serving the Lord were taken from us.  God does that to his children sometimes. “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21)”.  I like worshipping a Lord who gives, I don’t like worshipping a Lord who takes away.

“I don’t know who I am anymore!” How do I relate to the world around me now?  Everything has changed.  I can’t do what I used to do in the way I used to do it. Now how I go about living my daily life?  What does the future hold? And how do I get there?

My conversation with my friend that Saturday night was whirling around in my head as I went to sleep. In the morning, getting ready for church, it was still fresh in my mind.  Suddenly the Lord reminded me of  I Peter 2:9:

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

It seems like the Lord was saying to me:

“Now you know who you are! Who you are in me will never change.  How you live out who you are will change. Your role, relationships & ways of living out who you are will change. But who you are will never change.”

Wow!  Now I know who I am!  Who I am will never change… chosen by God, a priest before God, holy, belonging to God, belonging to God’s people. I still grieve the lost relationships and roles I once had. But it seems to me the Spirit is asking me to trust him.  Trust him that He will, in his own time, lead me to new ways and opportunities for “proclaiming the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”

Father, help me to look for new ways to proclaim the excellencies of your Son Jesus Christ, by the leading of your Holy Spirit. Thank you for showing me who I am.