All posts tagged: idols

Do What is Right, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly!

-written by Jean Daniel Do you have any scars? I have quite a few. I remember the first one I ever had was from a smallpox vaccination. As a child, those of us who had been vaccinated proudly displayed our “bad of courage.” As a teen, I was in an accident in a Volkswagen Beetle which, due to driver error (I was not the driver), slid onto its side and then flipped three times. Every time I look in the mirror, I still notice the faded facial scars that are a reminder of the wreck. They may not be noticeable to others, but I still see them. As I aged, there were several surgeries which left larger scars. Over time, all wounds have healed, but some left faded remnants. Likewise, emotional wounds require time to heal and some scars never fade. During my first marriage, which ended in divorce, I protected my teenage daughter from the painful facts of the marital problems, even though she was somewhat aware of them. When the marriage ended, she …

God’s Judgement is Coming. God’s Grace is Here.

Micah was written to bring God’s lawsuit against His people. He begins by telling his readers, “Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! The Sovereign Lord is making accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple” (Micah 1:1). When Micah tells his readers the Lord is coming he says, “The mountains melt beneath his feet and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire, like water pouring down a hill” (Micah 1:4). Pay attention. When the Lord comes in judgement, even the mountains melt! No one and no thing can stand. Speaking of Samaria’s idols, we see “all her carved images will be smashed. All her sacred treasures will be burned. These things were bought with the money earned by her prostitution, and they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere.” (Micah 1:7). I feel the need to back up one step and address a question. Does God come into the presence of idols? If you are a Christian, I want to say directly to you- YES! God …

Why do you give what you give?

In the Old Testament, there were actually many different tithes required under the law. A tithe is 10% of something.  There was a tithe to the Levites, a tithe for the use of the temple and the feasts, and one for the poor of the land. After Jesus’ death and fulfillment of the law, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16:2 that monetary gifts should be collected at the first of the week.  Nowhere in the New Testament does it specifically state how much we are to give. But time and time again it does imply that we are to give: individually, regularly, methodically, and proportionally to our income. The biggest problem most people have is that we want someone to tell us exactly how much God wants us to give, when to give it, and how it’s supposed to be given. I want to do exactly what I’m supposed to: no more, no less. I want to know what it takes to keep God happy and prevent Him from smiting me. But God doesn’t really work that …

This Marriage of Mine

Mine! Me have it! Me like it.  I really do like it! We hear these phrases a lot in our house.  Our sweet little girl that we are fostering has a unique way of asking if she can have something.  She doesn’t understand the proper way of asking for something is to say “Can I have this?”  or “I would like to play with this.”  She has a much more direct way of stating exactly what her heart desires.  She doesn’t want the potential to acquire these things, she wants these things to be her’s and that reality comes out in her words. I go through life believing that I have a much more sensible way of living.  I delude myself into thinking that because I use better grammar and a larger vocabulary I strip away that selfish desire of me. I got married because I love my wife. My marriage is between me and my wife. Mine! I want my wife to respect and love me. I want everyone to know I love my …

Make The Hike: Where Are You Going?

Two weeks ago we kicked of the 2016/17 Fusion school year with a simple, yet, massive challenge: “Make The Hike.” We desire for all our students to make some kind of movement forward toward God this school year. We want them to move and we thought the imagery of a hike illustrated this well. Before I start a hiking trip, I have to choose my destination. We asked our students, at the end of this school year, where do you want to be? What is the destination?  It could have been a “small step” or something huge that put them “miles” down the road.  The important thing wasn’t the destination, but that they had a goal in their minds, something to strive for. What about you? Where do you want to be in May of 2017? Do you want to start leading your family spiritually, start a Bible study at the office, serve within the local church or start a community outreach? Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ …

Life Lessons With Legos

-written by Joe Bradley It’s amazing what you can learn from your own kids, isn’t it?  We’ve been doing a daily devotion with Jack and Sam through All-Stars.  Last week the devotion was entitled “The Horse.”  The purpose of the lesson was to point out that God made everything, and He takes care of everything.  If God spends His time and energy in making and loving these things, how much more is His love for us? The first line reads “Have you ever made something so beautiful you just had to run and show someone?”  I asked Jack what he loves to build, his answer?  Legos.  If you’ve never experienced the imagination of a boy that loves to build with Legos, you’ve never really experienced joy the way God intended it.  Jack spends hours at a time pouring his heart into the Legos and then runs into our room loudly exclaiming, “Mom! Dad! Look what I made!”  He then proceeds to explain in a 20 minute dissertation how exactly he arrived at such a creation. I was able to take this simple lesson and explain …

This Week for Sunday

When I was a boy, the story of Abraham was one that I knew, but not one that I really understood. I knew that Abraham was chosen by God to lead His people. I knew God promised Abraham that he would have decedents as numerous as the stars. Late in life, God delivered on His promise through a son, Isaac. As Isaac grew, the Lord wanted to test Abraham’s faith and asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham chose to obey, laid his son down on the alter, pulled his knife back, and stopped abruptly when he heard the voice of God shout. God had seen his faith and stopped Abraham before taking Isaac’s life. Cool story. That is until I had children of my own. Now that I am a father, I can’t imagine doing what Abraham was asked to do. His obedience took incredible faith. Abraham trusted God to follow through on His promise, even through the death of his only son. The story of Abraham isn’t a simple kid’s Bible story for me anymore. It’s …

Hungry? Feast on Bread from Heaven

For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” – John 6:33-35, ESV By design, our hearts have appetites; giant appetites. Our hearts will eat and drink of whatever they desire. When we wake up every morning, whether we know it or not, our hearts are hungry. So, what are you going to eat today? I wish I could say that I always eat of the bread of life. Some days, in the sinful nature of my flesh, my wicked heart craves filth. Before I know it, I look up and realize that I am eating from a trash can, spiritually speaking. And I know that rummaging through the dumpster is going to leave my heart hungry. Remember the Israelites in the wilderness? God gave them manna to eat. He described this …

Why Do I Do What I Do?

–written by Natasha Lovelady Have you ever asked yourself, “Why in the world did I just do that?” For many years, I would have told you that God cares about my heart-the intent behind my behavior. However, my functional theology didn’t line up. I spent time perfecting my skill of “image maintenance.” I worked hard to modify my behavior, all the while, neglecting to examine my motives. Jesus teaches, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”(Luke 6:45) While sitting at the Biblical Counseling Training Conference (BCTC) in 2014, I heard the words, “You DO what you DO because you WANT what you WANT!” When the speaker began to unpack that statement, I vividly remember the conviction I felt. “So, you mean I can’t blame my unholy behavior on my circumstances, my children, my ‘whatever else I can think of besides myself?’ But my image is …

Altar of Freedom

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” – Jesus (Matthew 6:19-21, NLT) Wasn’t Glenn Graves such an inspiration this past Sunday at SoHills? His story has most certainly been a blessing and a challenge for me personally. If you weren’t able to be here, I would encourage you to check out his testimony about the freedom found in giving generously by clicking here.   It is amazing to me how quickly and quietly idols can slither their way into the fabric of our lives, without us even being aware. I know for me, my house had become such an idol.  There is nothing wrong with having a nice home, car, yard, etc.  The issue comes when those things become an object of our worship, or as Jesus said, “our masters.” …