Acts 3:13-14 “For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer.”
I find these words so reminiscent of how God is rejected today. As we approach the holiday season of First Fruits (Easter) we become more aware of how Jesus was rejected by the people. His rejection was the result of the influence of others to accept the criminal Barabbas over Him. That same influence is alive and well today. God is always placed beneath the cultural icons of politics, money, sports, and the influence of the powerful. Some may say these icons aren’t like the criminal Barabbas, yet if they lead people away from God and ultimately replace Him, I would say they are worse.
Idols replace the importance of God in your life, and bring you a substitute for worship.
Exodus 20:3-5 “You must not have any other god but me.
4“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.”
God does not take lightly our passion for things that replace Him.
We all have priorities, and many of them may be the building blocks to our success and happiness.
- Work Ethic
All these are good, meaningful things that are essential in the human experience. Yet do these good things ever cross a line in competing with a jealous God who does not tolerate anything more important then Himself? A case can be made that God wants us to succeed at all these good things, yet they were never meant to take us away from Him. I don’t think we ever think about a jealous God, do we? We usually see God as a tolerant, loving Father, who could never be described as jealous. Yet God calls Himself jealous because He wants your undivided attention when it comes to your priorities. It is much more difficult to understand God when you idolize the good things in life, and then hear that God is a jealous God and He is not tolerant of any kind of idol. (Even if they represent good things.) That’s the difficult thing in all of this, isn’t it?
God has to be first. Period. No excuses. He wants us to love and worship Him first, and then all the other good things will be added to you. That’s what Jesus made clear didn’t He?
Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The questions at the end of the day are: “What has been first in your life?” “What do you seek more than the Kingdom of God?”
Great questions aren’t they? Sobering for sure, and you will never be more honest when you answer them in light of knowing God already knows the honest answer, and He is listening.
Keeping it honest and truthful…K