2014-10-19 - The Second Commandment
How Do We Elimintate Idolatry?
First, before we can talk about eliminating idolatry, we need to make up a list of idols. Let's not be general, but specifically what are some of idols that we have? What are some of the idols that Christ warns against?
Christ picks up with those who would want to follow Him what are their idols.
"And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."" (Matthew 8:19-22 ESV).
One's home can become an idol; one's family can come before the Lord. Another warning of this same danger is found in Luke 14:26.
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."
Christ will not take second place to any. Here he is simply using the contrast of putting Him so much in the place of importance in our lives, that it is as if we hated our parents.
Let's once again turn the commandment around. If we are not to make idols, or have them or worship them, then this means that the Lord must have the first place in our lives. This again reinforces the summary Christ gave, of the first commandments related to God;
"And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37 ESV).
Let me give an example I've used before. Johnny was a small boy of about eight years old, and one day he was out shooting marbles with some of his friends. Now one of the ten-year olds, Fred actually, came along and asked Johnny if he wanted to go play baseball with the older boys. Needless to say, Johnny jumped at the chance. Now notice - Johnny didn't give up marbles; he took up baseball.
Now granted, there are times our idols must be removed, pruned out of our lives. If we do not discipline ourselves, then the Lord will;
"For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." (Hebrews 12:6 ESV).
Some things take work to remove - like alcohol, drugs, immorality. But often, the more we focus on the Lord, the more unimportant becomes those things, that have been our idols, whether money, power, unclean thoughts, etc. It is a little like a computer "GIGO," garbage in, garbage out. It we take in the things of the Lord, the things of the Lord can come out. It our time is taken up with what He would have us do, we leave little time for other things to become idols.
"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6 ESV).
Our focus is to become more Christlike, to have the thoughts of the Lord, not so much to give up things, but like Johnny, to pick up the things of God, losing the desire for the things of the world.
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17 ESV).
To be continued.
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