[CF Devotionals] 2010-01-24 - Focusing on God

The Ten Commandments, Part 11

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:

"The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son" (Hebrews 12:6).

Some things take work to remove - alcohol, drugs, immorality. But often, the more we focus on the Lord, the more unimportant becomes those things that have been our idols - 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.

"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6).

Our focus is to become more Christlike, to have the thoughts of the Lord, not so much to give up things, but to pick up the things of God, losing the desire for the things of the world.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world" (1 John 2:15-17).

The other thing we must realize is that as there are different people, so the danger areas are different for each of us. In some ways, to be warned against having literal idols as the Israelites were is easier, for there in no need to have them at all, but for us, many times those things that can become our idols are not bad - in and of themselves.

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Timothy 6:10).

In some cases, they are even positive. The desire to serve in the church is appropriate, but if the desire is for man's approval, then it is wrong. As you can see, then, for us as believers, it can be very easy for other things to take the preeminent place in our lives, instead of it belonging to the Lord.

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

Additional studies by Geoff
Podcasts of Studies in Matthew can be found at www.GKragen.com