Worship: Idols or Jesus?

October 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week we looked at how a disciple of Jesus is a worshipper. It was interesting to realize that I needed to be more specific because, in reality, everyone–the religious and the irreligious– worship something or someone (many times several somethings or someones).

Blaise Pascal displays how we all try to fill our lives with something bigger than ourselves when he said:

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

Although Pascal’s conclusion is the only true way to fill our lives is with God through Jesus, it is obvious that we try to fill that vacuum on our own—with all kinds of stuff. A whatever that is becomes our object of worship.

We see this clearly in Romans 1:21-23

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

When we don’t worship God we worship idols.

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Pastor Tim Keller reveals 4 common idols:

  • Power, Approval, Comfort, Control

In order to examine your own life, here are some thoughts on each of these idols:

If you seek POWER (success, winning, influence)…

  • Your greatest nightmare: Humiliation
  • People around you often feel: Used
  • Your problem emotion: Anger

If you seek APPROVAL (affirmation, love, relationships)…

  • Your greatest nightmare: Rejection
  • People around you often feel: Smothered
  • Your problem emotion: Cowardice

If you seek COMFORT (privacy, lack of stress, freedom)…

  • Your greatest nightmare: Stress, demands
  • People around you often feel: Neglected
  • Your problem emotion: Boredom

If you seek CONTROL (self-discipline, certainty, standards)…

  • Your greatest nightmare: Uncertainty
  • People around you often feel: Condemned
  • Your problem emotion: Worry

Finally, here is the difference between all idols and Jesus…

  • Idols take from you—Jesus gives
  • Idols use you—Jesus serves you
  • Idols defile you—Jesus cleanses you
  • Idols draw you away from the Father—Jesus draws you toward the Father
  • Idols demand that you die for them—Jesus died for you
Grace and peace,
Doug

 

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