Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 12, 2017
We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 1 Corinthians 8:4
I don’t know about you, but there are days I weary of wrestling with my heart. And the longer I live, the more I look forward to the hope of heaven when my affections will be pure, and I won’t struggle with keeping God first or loving Him most.
There are times we all struggle with keeping God on the throne of our hearts—and I am so grateful His grace covers all our sin. But we must be careful lest we chase idols or lesser loves with such fervor that they change our life’s direction and hinder our effectiveness for Christ.
How can this happen? Because what we love affects how we spend our money, steward our relationships, what we dream about, work for, and how we spend our time. In short, the affection of our hearts sets the direction of our lives. That’s huge because no one wants to get to the end of their days and realize they chased frivolous and empty idols.
And this is exactly how my New Testament Word Study Bible describes them. In fact, the word “idol” means “emptiness.” I find this definition interesting because we don’t usually believe our idols are emptiness and we don’t consider how they can change the direction of our lives. Otherwise, we wouldn’t cling to them. Instead, we believe they’re something-ness. We may even think, “Sure, my idol doesn’t really satisfy me, but at least it has some value.”
God has a different idea. If something is empty, it’s empty. It’s not partially empty or sort of empty or a little bit empty—it’s just empty! This means that idols can’t bring lasting peace or satisfaction to anyone’s life.
In fact, when we love anything or anyone more than God because we believe it will save us, make us feel better, become more content, relieve us from the pain of suffering, give us significance, fix something we believe is broken in us, or make us happy, the results are always the same: anger, lack of contentment, frustration, envy, self-pity—and emptiness.
If your affections have drawn you away from God and empty idols are setting the direction for your life, talk with the Lord about it today, confess your sin, and give Him the seat on the throne of your life.
“He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a lie’” (Isaiah 44:2)?
PrayerLord, please forgive me for loving other things and people more than you. Help me stay the course and keep you first by keeping my eyes on eternity. Amen.
ApplicationJournal about those things that stand between you and the Lord and talk with God about what you have written.
Related Reading2 Corinthians 3:17; James 1:14-16; Isaiah 44:17-20
Post/Tweet todayWhen we love anything or anyone more than God it leads to emptiness and disappointment. #WisdomHunters #affections
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