Thursday, March 08, 2018

Following Worthless Idols

Today's Reading:
2 Kings 17:1-18:12
2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Psalm 104:1-18
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Focus Verses: 2 Kings 17:14-17
14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the LORD their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” 16 They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger.

The Israelites had a long and sad history of unfaithfulness. Hosea and Amos preached against their idolatry and blatant disregard for the commands of the Lord. Israel fell because of its hard-heartedness toward God. They allowed their worship of God to be compromised and corrupted by serving foreign gods and idols. This spiritual adultery began with the first king to rule over the north after Solomon's death, Jeroboam, and persisted even after the fall of the northern kingdom. Eventually even the southern kingdom would succumb to idolatry.

Response and Action:
God calls us to undivided devotion to him. We are to worship him, and him only. Half-heartedness toward God is self-destructive. Careless compromise destroys. God calls us to worship him in spirit and truth. I will seek God with wholehearted devotion. I will honor God by putting him first in my life. I will follow Jesus and look to him for the guidance and strength I need to draw near to God.

O God, help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Lead me away from temptation, and deliver me from evil. Help me to turn away from what is wrong and to do what is right. Teach me to recognize those things that threaten to diminish or corrupt my walk with you. Help me to worship you in spirit and in truth. Show me your ways and give me an undivided heart that is quick to worship and serve you alone. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: John 4:23-24
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart
by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman

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