We usually think of idolatry as the literal worship of a physical item that has been formed to take the place of God. This probably comes from our reading in the Bible, in particular the very chapter of Exodus 20 when Moses returned from receiving the Ten Commandments only to find that Aaron and the others had built a golden calf and had begun worshiping it. Also, many of the nations they would encounter during their years of wandering would not only worship false gods, but gods that they had formed out of materials such as wood, metal, and stone.
However, we must not ever forget that any time we place anything above service to the One True God, we are committing idolatry. This means putting our jobs ahead of service to Him, money, our hobbies, even our families. As Dr. Charles Stanley says, refusing to serve God is, in fact, idolatry, as it is a form of serving yourself instead of God.
Let us all be ever mindful of this and pray that we will be convicted every time we are guilty of doing this. I, for one, am guilty of it too often.
Serving Him through Serving Others,
Quote of the Day
“You’ve probably never thought of a refusal to serve God as idolatry, but that’s what it is—bowing down to self instead of submitting to Him.”
– Charles Stanley (from Tripped up by Excuses?)
Peter’s Letters: Evidence of a Radical Change?
Did Peter ever radically change? Did he learn self-control? He later wrote, in I Peter, chapter 3, verses 8 through 10,
To sum it up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, …
(I seem to remember Peter swinging a sword at the high priest, missing him, and hitting his servant on the ear – Peter was a bad shot),
… or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.”
Did Peter ever learn the importance of humility? Oh, was Peter ever proud; so filled with egotistical self-confidence. In Matthew, chapter 26, verse 33, he had said, in effect, “Lord, everybody will fall away from You, but not me; I’m made out of better stuff.”
Later, he would write, in I Peter, chapter 5, verses 5b through 6,
… and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time
Peter’s failures were not fatal – he did indeed learn the fruit of the Spirit.
You say that you want to be a disciple of Jesus, and that you are walking with Him – then understand that He will place you in the process of radical change.
Taken from “The Test (John 1:35-51)” by Wisdom for the Heart Ministries (used by permission).