"For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,” (1 Thessalonians 1:9 ESV)
We are an idolatrous society. We worship everything (by worship I mean we adore with great affection and honor over the one true God)! We elevate people, things and relationships above God with such frequency that often we don't realize we are idolizing. We are shameless in idolizing people (I mean we have a TV show that advocates our idolizing in American Idol). We put movie stars, sports figures and men and women of power on pedestals and honor them unconsciously (and sometime consciously) as "mini gods and goddesses". Now, you may be reading this and say, "I'm a Christian, I don't have any idols." I hope this is true, but I would ask you to think... really think; are you maybe a "little guilty"? When you see some sort of famous person do you like to brag a little to those around you? “I was in the city the other day and I saw (fill in the blank of a celebrity)”! Or have you ever stood in line to get an autograph of a person? Maybe this famous person was even a Christian! Let's be honest we all idolize a little. Is this ok? I think the scriptures are very clear on God's views of idolatry, even if it is a little bit. He doesn't like it and He will share his thrown with NO ONE!
This is another quality about the Thessalonians that I admire. They turned from idols to serve the "living and true God." They weren't star struck with royalty and celebrities. They didn't allow money or possessions to rule their lives. They had forsaken all of that for the living God.
Now there is nothing wrong with having people you admire and are an influence. It is just important for us to NOT allow them to take the place of God in our lives. Take a look at your heart. Do you have idols in your life that you have placed before God? Are you idolizing your family, or maybe your finances, possibly a relationship, how about a celebrity or (Lord forbid) a television show? Is there a preacher , Christian author or Christian musician that you are elevating above God and his word? If so, take some time and repent and seek to put God back on the throne of your life... right where he belongs.
Random Thought: Turn from your idols and serve the living and true God.
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I currently live in Florida with my beautiful family. The Lord has blessed me with 20 years of full time ministry. He is and has been faithful. I am currently serving at a church as an Associate Director of Discipleship.