This morning, I read through the book of 1 John. It’s just five chapters and I highly encourage you to make time this week to read through the whole book. There is so much meat in that one little book, it’s worth sitting with and processing through.
I am really struck by how John ends this particular book. For five chapters, he has talked about how the love of God should propel us to love others. He makes it clear that God is righteous, pure, and holy; God is light and there is no darkness within him. And then John takes a little departure in the last verse:
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21 (ESV)
This abrupt shift took me by surprise and led me to camp out here for just a moment. The big finale of John’s book about love is to encourage us to keep away from idols. If that’s his last thought he wanted to communicate to us, it must be a big deal.
For the past few months, as I’ve been praying for myself and the people of God as a whole, I have been painfully aware of how my loves and my priorities are very different than God’s loves and priorities. And, I would imagine the same is true for you. We probably don’t have carved idols like they did years ago, but what about the idol of self? Of comfort or security? Our ambitions, dreams, and versions of success? Those are some big ones for me.
Do you treasure recreation or a relationship more than God?
When things go wrong, who or what do you turn to first? Food, alcohol, a friendship, television?
I don’t ask these questions to shame anyone, but to invite you to examine your own heart, your life, and your tendencies. What do your actions show you believe?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (ESV)
Today I am praying for:
- My own idolatry and asking repentance for the areas I have put things or people above God
- Purification of the people of God, that we would focus on him instead of idols
Is there anything that you’re tempted to treasure more than God?
What is God saying to you?