The Idols of Me, Myself, and I


pride

Romans 12:3

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

Recently, God has been talking to me about the idols in my life (see previous posts). A few days ago I was convicted again. A Christian radio program[i] discussed how we often put too much emphasis on ourselves – with ourselves becoming an idol in our own life. (I don’t remember the exact words, I was driving.) I felt an immediate conviction.  My life has often been about my three best friends: me, myself, and I.

Exodus 20:3

“You shall have no other gods before (or besides) me.”

It seems like a simple, straight forward command. Why then is it so difficult to put God first and love God purely? I think the answer comes down to pride. Pride is the first sin – Lucifer fell due to his pride (Isaiah 14:13).

Pride is subtle and it permeates so many areas of our lives. Pride means we are focused on ourselves. This can take on many forms. Pride can be arrogance, and thinking too highly of yourself or that you are better than others. It’s easy to recognize that attitude as pride. There are many other areas in which we a prideful but we may not be aware of those prideful thoughts. Self-pity for example; we are still focused on ourselves and not God. How about not being thankful, or forgiving? What about always needing to be the center of attention? What about being unwilling to learn (because you think you know it all)? Refusing to admit when you are wrong? Being disrespectful, or even sarcastic? Being impatient? What about jealousy? Seems to me that I am prideful in many areas of my life.

Proverbs 16:5

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

So how do we get past pride?

The first step many view God as God. We are not God. We know that intellectually, but we must not know it in our heart because we act in prideful ways. Remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He is the creator (Job 38:4). He’s done so much that we cannot do.

The second step may be to remember that God is the provider of everything we have. We would not have what we have if God did not create us with our unique talents and personality (Psalm 139:13).

1 Corinthians 4:7

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Being thankful, truly thankful for everything you have (1 Thessalonians 5:18) might be the third step. Next, admit to God how prideful we are. In prayer, ask The Lord to humble our spirit. God cannot use us if we are prideful, but a God can use a humble person.

Matthew 23:11

The greatest among you will be your servant.

I am praying also for a servant’s heart, and to accept the correction and discipline of God. I’m praying for God to lead me to humility.

Proverbs 12:1

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.

I’m praying for God to help me conquer the pride in my life.

 

Blessings on your day.

 

Scripture: Biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

 

[i] Charles Stanley, InTouch

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Identifying More Idols


A few weeks ago I posted about food being an idol in my life. I have been conscious to try to break that sin, and I am making progress.

mobile-phones-tools-or-idols

God has convicted me of another idol in my life – electronics. Even though I use electronics for mostly good reasons, I do play games on my IPhone from time to time – when I should probably be doing something else. But that’s not all. The first thing I look at when I wake up is my IPhone. It’s only for a few minutes, to check the weather and email, but God deserves those first few minutes of my day.

todays-idols-christian-poetry-by-deborah-ann

I ran across Psalm 135:15. It says, “The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.” That sure describes our culture today, doesn’t it? But Psalm 115:4-8 was even more convicting to me:

“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and  they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.” (Emphasis mine).

Isaiah 44:9-11 explains the folly of idolatry even further:

“All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.”

Our idols are not alive, but our God is more than alive. The Word of God is living (Hebrews 4:12), Jesus is the bread of life, (John 6:35) and living water (John 7:38).

It’s high time for me to put electronics (and everything else that has become an idol in my life) in their proper place. They are just tools. God is first in my life, more than worthy of my full devotion and attention.

Blessings on your day.

Scripture: OpenBible.info

Images: Google images

 

 

 

The Brightest Light of All


 Psalm 139:12

Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

I don’t know what you are going through right now. Perhaps you are in the middle of difficult storm in your life. Someone has hurt you deeply, or you are victim of some circumstance. You have suffered job loss, property loss, a divorce or a medical issue. Maybe you desperately want something, but you have been unable to achieve that dream. During these times the world seems to be a very dark place. Our spirits are dampened. We feel like God is absent, because we don’t see the light.

Perhaps you are lost in your own sin and feel unworthy to see out God’s light. You have hurt someone, told a lie, or damaged a relationship. Maybe you have caused your own misfortune. You want to punish yourself even further because of your sin. You feel like God is absent because you think you don’t deserve His light.

There are those who are just getting by, living out life in a fallen world, knowing that they are missing out on something, but are always too busy with the ways of this world to go out and find God’s light. Many of you are already Christians, but are missing out on all the richness and fullness a close, intimate relationship with Christ will bring you, for whatever reason.

Whatever your situation, know that the light we see with our eyes is just the beginning. God’s light is all around us, protecting us, guiding us, pushing us to the perfect plan He has laid out for us, even if we don’t see it at the time. God’s light is so bright; it cannot be seen with the eye.

God’s light is so bright and so pure, it transforms everything it touches, if we let it.

You don’t have to be perfect to experience God’s light, His grace and His love. You don’t have to wait for anything to happen. You can have this experience with God right now.

Let your spirits be lifted by God’s perfect light. Open your heart to receive this gift from God.

Have an amazing day.

Ten Arguments for the Existence of God


“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.”  Martin Luther

When I have the opportunity to talk to an atheist, I’m always surprised they don’t see God. After all, God’s fingerprints are everywhere. I find it helpful to be prepared for these chance conversations. Yes, I want to witness, but I want to get the conversation started first. So, I’ve come up with a list of Ten Arguments for the existence of God. What would you add to the list?

  1. Water/Rain
  2. Music
  3. New Born Babies
  4. Color
  5. Taste buds
  6. Language/Speech
  7. Eyesight
  8. Butterflies
  9. Gravity
  10. The Brain

Psalm 104:24

“Lord, you have made so many things! How wisely you made them all! The earth is filled with your creatures.”

Genesis 2:1 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.”

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE


 James 2:14-18

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

Before I met Christ, I had a hard time deciding which charity to donate to, or which organization to volunteer at. There are many worthy choices. But now, there is a simple answer; I go where God is already working and get involved. I don’t have to have skills in mission work, or speak another language. I can just do what I can. Sometimes that means donating things, sometimes it means donating time.

God is already working in an organization called ZOE Ministry (http://www.zoeministry.org/). ZOE helps orphans in Africa by giving them skills to live on their own – a hand up, not a hand out. This program provides more than education; participants gain self-esteem, self-respect and hope. Recently, my congregation helped over one thousand orphans graduate from this three year program. Now we are working to help another thousand find their way out of poverty and into hope.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Author Unknown

What does that have to do with me or you? I’m involved with this ministry because my Church is. God’s already there, I just show up and participate, as do many others. Most of the congregation will never step food on the African continent, but we are involved there nonetheless – primarily through prayer and fundraising. We found a place to get involved and we started working. But we don’t have to work half way around the world. There’s work to do right here in our own communities.

We’re commanded to be a light for others. Where is God working in your community? Consider joining Him in a place near you, and let your light shine.

Live in the Light,

Julie