July 14, 2015 by pastorjdo3
Friday, the Copper Grove Discipleship Group studied about Idolatry. As David Platt would show, much of what has impacted a church is a lack of zeal for God’s glory, and a decreased passion for righteousness. This is most evident in the area of idolatry. It is pointed out that many believers do not have God in the first spot in their lives, and thus are more understanding, and make excuses for themselves and others about their idolatry. Worse, many are confused and don’t realize that they have an idol. This is dangerous, and a hindrance to the Kingdom of God.
Paul, in Acts 17:16-21, serves a model for us. Much like Christ, his eyes and his heart were in tune with each other and sensitive to what he encountered. In this passage, Paul travels through the city, and is greatly upset because he saw a city filled with idols. When asked about idols, we as a group made the most common mistake. Because we know what an idol is, what it means, and how God feels about idolatry, we immediately called out idols that others had, and omitted our own. In actuality, the first initial thoughts are about what we have exalted in our own lives above God, and that by confessing it, we would be held accountable for keeping it in its place. The reality, God knows our heart, and He is well aware that He is not the first priority in our lives. The confessing of the idol is not for God to know that you have an idol, but a way of acknowledging to yourself and others that you have your priorities out of place.
If we don’t acknowledge and or justify idolatry, how can we be effective witnesses for God? Idolatry must be a stench in our nostrils! Idols are false Gods. They take worship and adoration from God and place creation before the creator.
As mentioned earlier, we have been more accepting of idols because of our own existence. We have multiple things competing for God’s worship, and we have somethings that have flat our replaced Him. We have God in a position of a want and not a need; and we often approach Him as an after thought, or a hazmat worker, that cleans up our accidents and tows us to safety when we crash. God should prevent more than He cleans up, if we approach him right!
Paul continues and faces another hindrance to the spread of the Gospel, and that is rejection. As Paul shared, those present listened, but many rejected him, calling him a foolish babbler, and closing their ears to the Gospel truth! As believers, we must know that we will face rejection. All that hear truth will not receive truth!
Even though Paul was teased and rejected, the passage highlighted another truth; he as also received. Paul was believed by some, and these few introduced him to a larger audience (v. 19) which lead to many other men and women of influence believing. If we continue to speak God’s truth, in a respectful manner, and walk out a life of righteousness, we can be assured that some will be touched by what we speak and live. Success is not in all, but is found in our willingness to be obedient to God’s command. This does not always result in some, and many times wont result in one, but obedience to God’s Word has to be a premium in our lives. We can’t not share because of fear of rejection, but we must share because of a fear of disobeying our Creator!
We must remove idols from our lives and seek to share the Word that will lead to it being removed from the path of others. Share the truth in love, being diligent, and relentless, putting your hope and faith in God, and the Kingdom will advance!