Tag Archive | Dear children

Is He your priority?

Our calling, as followers of Christ is not a following of convenience. It is a following of love and passion for the One that first loved us. The One who willingly suffered excruciating pain, shed His blood and laid down His life in order that we would have access to fellowship with the Father. He provided the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of the cross and that was Himself. Enabling us to become the righteousness of God through Him.

It would do us well to remember every time we come before Him in prayer of the high price He paid. Also, the deep love of God our Father that He loved us enough to provide His Son as the ultimate sacrifice!

1Peter 3:18 NIV 18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

We serve an awesome, holy, just and loving God who has provided His Holy Spirit to draw us to Him and enable us to be transformed from glory to glory. He provides His Word that we can feed on. His supernatural Word that teaches, guides, transforms and gives us a firm foundation of promises to stand on.

There is nothing He hasn’t provided for us to live a life in union with Him. However, just as any good Father He will never force us to choose Him. It is ultimately up to us to turn to Him. He wants our love to be given freely. He did not create us to be robots but gave us freedom to choose to love and follow Him or to reject Him.

If we love Him, we need to live as if we do. If a loved one told you they loved you yet never spent time with you,  you would have a very difficult time believing it. When we decide to put other things and people before our relationship with God we demonstrate disregard not love.  No relationship will grow with neglect and abandonment and it is the same with our relationship with Christ. We need to spend time with Him in prayer, reading His Word and following His will for our lives. We need to serve others as He served.

Colossians 3:1-4 NIV 3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is yourlife, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

If you have been neglecting Him, it’s time you put aside the things that are temporal and spend time with the lover of your soul. No other can compare or replace Him. Time spent without intimacy with Christ is time wasted on things that will soon pass. Time spent with Him and in His Word gives us the wisdom and guidance to make the right decisions in all the other areas of our life. When we put Him first the rest of our lives work out for His glory. When we put things and others first it ultimately results in chaos.

Matthew 6:31-34 NIV 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Don’t put your relationship with Christ in a “convenience” category, thinking you will get around to spending time with Him later after you get all the things that are so much more important done.  We are told to watch and be ready for His return at any time. There really is nothing worth sacrificing our intimacy with the One who gave His life as a sacrifice for us. My desire is that when He does return we will be found ready and waiting!

1 John 2:28 NIV 28 And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at his coming.

What are you putting before Him?

Isaiah 42:8

Isaiah 42:8

“Idol” definition taken from Oxforddictionaries.com

noun  -an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.

-a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved or revered:  a soccer idol.

I’ve been rethinking many of the things I have allowed in my life that could certainly fall into this category.  Particularly a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved or revered.  Is it wrong for us to love those around us? NO, Jesus said that people will know we are Christians by our love for others! So when do people or things become an idol? I believe it is when we place their importance, opinions and or influence above our relationship and obedience to the King of Kings. Anything or person that we allow to detract us from our obedience to Jesus is an idol. Anything or anyone that we love more than Him is an idol. When we find ourselves compromising what we know is truth in order to accommodate others or to participate in something we know we shouldn’t we have allowed that person or thing to become an idol in our life.

For the last few months, I have begun to realize I am way too dependent on electronic gadgets! My blackberry is always within reach, facebook is readily accessible, the internet is a click away and tv is all too available. Though none of these things in themselves are wrong, when I allow myself to be caught up in never wanting them out of reach, I have made  them an idol in my life.

I feel a stirring in my heart that we may be facing some incredibly difficult days ahead as believers. Our Christian heritage is being attacked on every front. Things are changing rapidly in society and most of the changes are tearing down our Judeo Christian foundation. Though I do use my gadgets to share my faith in Christ and to keep in touch with others, I am realizing that I really have to discipline myself not to give them too much space in my life.  The only way for me to maintain an intimate walk with Christ is to spend adequate time in prayer and in reading my Bible and in fellowship. There have been occasions when I have been praying in my car on route to work and my cell phone has wrung and I have interrupted prayer to answer it!  Responding as if the world would collapse if I missed that  call!

Gadgets are but one thing that can become an idol. Other idols can be people. Perhaps a friend that demands too much time and keeps you  from spending time with the Lord. A boyfriend or girlfriend that has become an idol and has replaced the need for Christ in your life. A teacher, Pastor, neighbor or musician. A hobby, a sinful habit, food, tv, sports etc..  Anything or anyone that takes the place of putting Christ first is an idol.

Though all of these things and people may have great value in our lives, we have to keep them in perspective and not allow anything or anyone to steal our heart from God. If it keeps us from or causes us to run from intimacy with Him it is an idol.  The Bible tells us that God is a jealous God and wants us to put Him first. He knows how easily distracted we can become and knows it is vital for us to maintain intimacy with Him for the rest of our lives to work out according to His plan.

Let’s take a look at a few verses from God’s Word on idolatry….

Colossians 3:5-6 NIV 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.      This is a sobering verse of warning of God’s wrath for people continuing in this type of idolatry.

1 John 5:21 NIV 21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

1 Corinthians 10:7  NIV 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

1 Corinthians 10:14 NIV 14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.

The following verse from the book of Samuel  simplifies the value of anything or anyone we put before God in our lives.

1 Samuel 12:21 NIV 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.

Our hope is in the Lord. Other things and people have their place, but NONE are to take the place of Him in our lives. We are to put NO OTHER gods BEFORE HIM.  Though taken from the Old Testament ten commandments, this  word has never changed. He loves us so much and does not want to be second in our lives. Perhaps we need to ask Him  to show us people or things  that we have allowed to become idols in our lives and then ask for His forgiveness. The Word tells us He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

When we put anything or anyone before Him we lose out on the things God wants to do in us and through us. We get waylaid from the course He has set for us. Let’s determine to love Him wholeheartedly. Confess and set aside anything that will keep you from your intimacy with the lover of our soul! After all, in order to be used by God and a blessing to those around us, we need to keep our hearts right with Christ!