Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses, and follow me.” ~ Matthew 16:24 (GW)
READING: Matthew 16:21-28
Do church planting leaders worship idols? It sounds preposterous, yet they surely do. Jesus set the bar for discipleship quite high: a cross, the ultimate symbol of suffering and loss.
John Calvin called the human heart an “idol factory.” The truth is that we manufacture idols all the time when we elevate anything above God in our lives. An idol is anything we elevate above God. Our hearts fashion idols out of all sorts of things. Do you relate to any of these idols?
Persons: myself, my children, my heroes, some “winner,” anyone I will not confront or witness to because of fear
Places: home, work, church, the gym, a vacation spot
Attitudes: selfishness, pride, discontent, anger, success
Things: status, my goals, bank account, investments, recreation, food,productivity, progress
Ask yourself, “What has first importance in my life right now?” If it is the Lord, He is your God. If it is anything else, that is your idol. Many of the items on the list above are good things, in and of themselves. But they become idols when we put them above God in our affection, goals and desires. Fill in this blank—My biggest temptation to idolatry is: _____________.
Here is the bottom line: Living to please others is “people worship;” living to please myself is “self worship;” but true worship means living to please Jehovah God.
Lord, Help me to put You above all in my life. Amen.
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