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Idol Worship.

I love my niece.

I would do anything for her. The first moment I met her will be engrained in my memory forever. I love her more than any other human being that walks this earth. 

I did not understand what it really meant to love someone until she was born.  I didn't understand what it meant to be willing to sacrifice myself for someone else until I held her in my arms. God used Maci to change my life in so many ways. 

A few months ago, I heard a sermon preached about idols. I thought, This is great, but I don't really see how it applies to me. I put God first. I rely on Him for everything. What can I really learn from this?

Then, God convicted my heart.

I may not have problems with money or things. 
I may not have an issue with television or going out with my friends. 
I do have a problem when it comes to Maci.

I loved Maci more than I loved God and that was not okay.


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You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me. (Exodus 20:4-5, ESV)

As 21st Century American Christians, it is easy to think that the verses above don't really apply to us. We don't set up altars  to idols. We don't carve images out of wood or stone. We know that it's not ok.

We don't take the time to think about it in contemporary terms. We don't like the think about the fact that we serve the god of television, the god of video games, or the god of crafting. We don't want to think about whether we are putting our family before the God who created us. We don't want to think about being more concerned about making money than building our relationship with the Lord. 

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Luke 16:13, ESV)

Money is a big issue with the American culture. We want to achieve that American Dream. We have to work hard to build ourselves up. We buy into the lie even though we know we shouldn't.

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Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. (Isaiah 46:4, ESV)

A few verses before this one in Isaiah, God is comparing himself to the idols of Babylon.

Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts. They stoop; they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. (Isaiah 46:1-2, ESV)

The things we put before God, the idols we serve, cannot sustain us the way He can. He can provide when there is no other way. He can cause healing when doctors say there is no hope. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Why do we put things before him?

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