Praise

Don’t Fall

Idolatry is still a thing, and you may not think you have a problem with it, but the part about you being human means you probably struggle like most people. Idolatry takes place when something or someone comes between you and God. Idolatry takes place when God takes second place in our lives. Our lives will always be ordered by the objects of our worship. There are idols of entertainment, and there’s nothing wrong with wholesome entertainment, but when the majority of our time, energy and efforts are spent somewhere else instead of on the things of God, it’s a problem. The pursuit of worldly riches and the pursuit of popularity completely robs followers of Christ of the blessings of an idol-free life.

Idolatry is not ok, and it’s something we should constantly be examining in our lives. It’s crazy to even consider this, but some people idolize other people and some people idolize themselves. No one should worship the ground you walk on, and if someone does, you should stop their worship instantly. God alone is worthy of your worship! You can appreciate and be thankful for the people in your life without crossing the line of idolatry. This was the problem with many of the Hebrews coming out of Egyptian bondage. They had been surrounded by physical idols and had only heard of God, the Father of creation. Let’s admit that it’s easier to worship what you can see and touch, but we can admit also that worship doesn’t require faith. Here’s what God’s word says about man-made idols. “Their idols [are] silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; [So is] everyone who trusts in them. O Israel, trust in the LORD; He [is] their help and their shield.” Psalm 115:4-9. The apostle Paul said, “Flee from idolatry.”

To not fall before an idol you must live a disciplined life, because even today you are surrounded by them. Don’t fall for them. Worship the One True and Living God!

More Than a Conqueror

How is it possible to be more than a conqueror when you are out of a job?  How can you be more than a conqueror when you’ve been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease?  Being more than a conqueror seems like a strange way to describe someone who has been abandoned.  Are you still considered to be more than an conqueror if your teenager is hooked on drugs?  I would dare to say that most people don’t feel like they are more than a conqueror most of the time.  How could you tell someone they are more than a conqueror when they are in the middle of a difficult circumstance in life?  

The apostle Paul said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written: For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Yet in all these things we are more than a conquerors through Him who loved us.”  Romans 8:35-37

Those are Holy Spirit-inspired words of God through someone who understood tribulation, distress, persecution, and more.  The reason Paul could say that we are more than conquerors even in times of great difficulty was because he had a very different take on trials than most Christians do today.  Paul understood the sufferings of this life as personal invitations to get closer to God.  Being more than a conqueror has nothing to do with the way you feel, but it has everything to do with who you are in Christ Jesus.  You are more than a conqueror because of God’s Spirit living inside of you.  You are more than a conqueror because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying for you.  You are more than a conqueror because God the Father, Creator of Heaven and earth, is 100% for you.  Praise God you don’t have to achieve some spiritual summit to be called more than a conqueror.  Praise God being more than a conqueror is not depending on how many verses you have memorized or how many people you have witnessed to or how often you make it to the Lord’s house.  Praise God that every single person filled with the Spirit of God is more than a conqueror!

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