March 7, 2015 by pastorjdo3
The study of Counter Culture has been enlightening and strengthening to the foundation of our faiths. We have explored the creation; its creation, its fall, it’s Creator, and His role with the creation and authority over it and what it has been given dominion over. In this section, we will look into the sin that lay as the common denominator in all sin; idolatry.
Tuesday, when speaking of “Zeal”, we used the American plight to obtain Air Jordan’s “J’s” upon their new release and re-release. People camp outside of stores for days, waiting in some cases to draw a number, and in other cases, to be first in line to ensure they can be one of the few that have a pair in their possession. The price, not important, the statement, is everything. Nothing can stop many people from doing what need be done to obtain these shoes. This is idolatry! Not to single this out as the only idol or idolatry that exist, but it stands as a powerful example to show the disparaging treatment, value and respect that people have for an object or possession verses what they feel towards God, their creator. It’s amazing that we find such value in things that are created by hand, and less value in the one by whose hands we were created.
The Athenians found themselves like today’s consumer, waiting around to hear the newest and latest revelations and presentations in spirituality. The spent their days immersed in conversations, believing that new information was growth, growth was wisdom, and wisdom elevated ones status and consciousness.
Thank God that Paul encountered them (Acts 17:16-21). He heard their discussions, and saw an empty statue without a bust or statue for a God, labeled as “an unknown God”. His zeal, prompted him into action, and he stood up and spoke up for the King of Kings. Paul could not leave them involved in discussion. He couldn’t stand to see them lost! He desired among all things to have the name of the Lord echoing through the halls, and being the center of attraction in their discussions. Paul’s ears were burdened by hearing false Gods given glory, and was determined to end all conversations about fake God’s and to place them on the path towards truth. We must be like Paul! When we hear idolatry, or see the lifting of false gods’, our love for the one true and living God should catapult us into action. We should begin searching for a way to place God into the center of the conversation.
Furthermore, we must search our hearts. We must pray that God will search our hearts and reveal those things that are not just not like Him, but those things that sit in place of Him. We must seek them and remove them from their pedestal. We must acknowledge that having two Lords or masters is impossible, thus in places where God is second, we must love and value Him enough to ensure that nothing stands ahead of Him. As believers, it will be impossible for us to defend and present the Kingdom if we have idols in our own lives. There are no cute idols! There are no acceptable idols! There are no harmless idols! They must be destroyed, and God must be exalted!
The great thing about idolatry and people having idols, is that it makes explaining worship easy. Because they have a god, they understand what it is to make sacrifices and to hold one in such esteem, that you will cast aside all caution and concern to be obedient to its wishes. They also understand the intimacy and relationship that is developed between the idol and the idolater, because they can search their own hearts, and thus draw the proper parallel.
Furthermore, when challenged about belief and faith, what better than one that worships a false god. Belief and faith are choices. One must choose to believe. They must choose to have faith. And in the case of the above, buyers, though aware that the manufacturing of the shoe being purchased is somewhere in the range of $2 to $5, make a choice to believe that the shoes are worth paying over $200 for in many cases, and others worth dying over. It is this leverage Paul used to win over the audience. Much like Christ, he was able to take that which they were familiar with to teach them the truth and to free them with the Gospel.
Who has God burdened your heart with? How can you present the Gospel them? What has God revealed that needs to be destroyed? What needs to be replaced?
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