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For the past several months I am slowly making my way through Kyle Idleman’s book “gods at war: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart”. Mr. Idleman writes about several different “idols” that can easily take God’s place in our hearts and how we need to keep our eyes and hearts focused on God.

In the latest chapter I have read, Idleman talks about the god of money. He says,

The reason money so often ends up being God’s chief competition is that we tend to ascribe divine attributes to it. We look to money to do for us the very thing God wants to do for us.

In this chapter, he is talking about the parable in Luke 12:16-19.

And he told a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample good laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink and be merry.’

Idleman continues and gives us three attributes that we have a tendency to place on money instead of God.

Our Source of Security

The gods of power work for one shared premise: we can take care of ourselves. We can handle all our needs. The Lord is nice, but he really isn’t necessary. We don’t need to pray for our daily bread because we’ve got a pantry full of it. The gods of success appeal to our self-sufficiency.  

Our Source of Satisfaction

Most all of us have this appetite for money or possessions. And we think that if we could satisfy this appetite it would go away – if we could just make the money or buy the car – but that’s not how it works. Instead, the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets.

Our Source of Significance

The god of money wants us to believe that our significance comes from what we make of ourselves. But we find out true identity in Christ. He has marked us as his own, and that’s what makes us valuable. That’s where our value is found. He forever determined our value when he died on the cross for us. But when we worship the god of money, a person’s worth is determined not by the symbol of the cross, but by the symbol of a dollar sign.

The rich man in Luke 12 put his trust in his money and possessions. The sad part is that the he thought that he would build larger barns and then just sit back and relax and enjoy the rest of his life in ease. That is not what happened. If we continue to read the next few verses, we see God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rise toward God.

Points To Ponder:

  1. How do you view money?
  2. Is the money you do have your’s or God’s?
  3. Is money your source of security, your source of satisfaction & your source of significance?

 Matthew 6:21 – “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

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I am continuing to read from David Platt’s book “Follow Me”, and today I came across these statements:

Why are so many supposed Christians sitting on the sidelines of the church, maybe even involved in the machinery of the church, but not wholeheartedly, passionately, sacrificially, and joyfully giving their lives to making disciples of all nations? Could it be because so many people in the church have settled for superficial religion instead of supernatural regeneration?

Platt goes on to say:

If Christianity merely consists of a list of dutiful dos and don’ts on top of principles to believe and practices to observe – many of which are similar to every other religion – then we don’t have much to share with the world.

Further, if being a Christian is merely a matter of superficial religion, then no amount of persuasion will convince us that we need to step out of our comfort zones, alter our priorities, sacrifice our possessions, risk our reputations, and potentially even lose our lives to share Christ with others. We have every reason to sit back in a privatized faith that works well and doesn’t impose upon the people around us (much less around the world). A superficial approach to Christianity always results in a spectator mentality in the church.

However, if Christianity involves supernatural regeneration whereby the God of the universe reaches down his hand of mercy into the depths of our souls, forgives us of all our sin, and fills us with his Spirit, then a spectator mentality is spiritually inconceivable.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Are you living a life full of rules and obligations because you have to?
  2. Are you working on your “list”?
  3. Are you willing to “alter our priorities” to share Christ with others?
  4. Have you truly given your life to Christ and ask HIM to be Lord of all?

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“Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on all who believe; All who are longing to see His face, will you this moment His grace receive?”

That is a beautiful line in the song “Grace Greater Than All My Sin”, but do we believe it? Do we live our lives like we understand that?

David Platt writes the following in his book Follow Me:

The only reason we can seek Christ in our sinfulness is because Christ has sought us as our Savior. The glory of the gospel is that the God of the universe reaches beyond the harshness of our hearts, overcoming our selfish resistance and sinful rebellion, and He saves us from ourselves. Such mercy magnifies God’s pursuit of us and crucifies our pride before Him.

To be a Christian is to be loved by God, pursued by God, and found by God. To be a Christian is to realize that in your sin, you were separated from God’s presence, and you deserved nothing but God’s wrath. Yet despite your darkness and in your deadness, His light shone on you and His voice spoke to you, inviting you for follow Him. His majesty captivated your soul and His mercy covered your sin, and by his death he brought you life.

Do you know for sure that you are His child, not ultimately because of any good you have done – any prayers you have prayed, steps you have taken, or boxes you have checked – but solely because of the grace HE has given?

Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”

Points to Ponder:

  1. If you have experienced God’s grace, what does it mean to you?
  2. Do you believe that your current or past life is beyond the grace of God?
  3. Are you trying to earn your salvation or are you accepting God’s amazing grace?

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Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

In the book “Multiply: disciples making disciples”, Francis Chan makes the following statement:

In Exodus 19:5-6, God told Israel that they were to be a “kingdom of priest” and a “holy nation.” These two titles are extremely important for understanding Israel’s calling. A priest has two responsibilities: to represent a holy God to sinful people, and to represent a sinful people to a holy God. As a kingdom of priests, Israel was meant to represent their God to the nations around them. Collectively, they were to show the world who their God was and what He demanded of the world. On the other side, God meant Israel to represent these nations to Himself.

Chan went on to say,

These concepts are also present in the title “holy nation.” They were meant to stand out, to be clearly different from other nations. They were set apart for God’s purposes. They were to minister on God’s behalf, to show the holy character of God to the world around them and be a light to the nations.

Before you begin to say that these verses were for the nation of Israel let me say, you would be correct. We can see, as we continue through the Old Testament, that the nation of Israel did not fulfill their responsibility as a “kingdom of priest” or a “holy nation”.

So how is this relevant to us today? I Peter 2:5, 9 explains,

You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – I Peter 2:5

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – I Peter 2:9

If we know Christ as our Savior, we are a royal priesthood and a holy nation! We have a responsibility, just as the nation of Israel had. We are to represent a holy God to sinful people, and to represent a sinful people to a holy God!

Points to Ponder:

  1. Are you a Christian? If not, please contact me because I would like to talk with you more.
  2. If you are a Christian, are you doing what we were saved to do?