Worshiping God, Not Idols



When reading in the Old Testament, you might not understand why people would bow down before idols they had made. But in today’s society we make a similar mistake, placing too high a value on things like money, relationships, appearance, and power. Though not bad in themselves, these can become objects of worship if we put them first before God. That’s why He is jealous for our heart.

There are two reasons the Lord doesn’t let His children’s devotion stay out of balance. First, He deserves the glory, and second, He loves us and wants the best for us. Praising God above all else is actually in our own best interest, so when our heart does not belong solely to Christ, He disciplines us. This might mean He allows challenges to remind us who is the one and only God. Hardships are not pleasant, but we can be encouraged that God is making us complete in Him.

This week, notice where you spend your time and money and what dominates your thoughts. Even if your pursuits seem good on the surface, ask the Lord to reveal whatever has become an idol in your life. Confess any misplaced affection, and ask for help in making God the object of your devotion.

Related Bible Verses | James 4:4-8

Simple, Easy Steps to Live Like a Christian

Do you struggle with how to live your life as a Christian in this crazy world? Like the Ephesians of Paul’s time our world today has lost site of God and how to live. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 4:17-32), he gives them instructions on how to live among their neighbors. With the power of the Holy Spirit you can incorporate this list into your life and have a positive impact on the world around you.

1. Put off your old self corrupted by the world.
2. Have a new attitude in your mind.
3. Put on the new self created to be like God.
4. Put off falsehood and speak truthfully.
5. In your anger do not sin.
6. Do not give the devil a foothold.
7. You must steal no longer but work instead.
8. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth.
9. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
10. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander and every form of malice.
11. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other.

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To learn more about living your life as a Christian go to BibleGateway.com. This website has numerous Christian resources to study from like Christian blogs, the Bible, biblical articles from religious scholars, as well as study resources like biblical commentaries and dictionaries. BibleGateway.com is rated one of the highest Christian resources on the web.

Jesus Provides For Us During the Storms of Life



We all face trials. Realistically, if you’re not currently in a storm, you’re either just getting out of one or about to enter one. Thankfully, we serve a good God who always provides—including during the dark periods of life. Here are ways Jesus provides for us today during those difficult times.

1. Presence. God is with every believer through His indwelling Holy Spirit, and He promises never to leave.

2. Pathway. He blesses Christians with guidance through trouble. Jesus is in total control of our storm and will use it for His purposes.

3. Potential. He offers believers the ability to grow. Hardships are exercises in trust and times to learn more fully who God is.

4. Protection. God doesn’t keep believers from suffering or disappointment, but He does offer protection by staying with us in the struggle. Once we trust in Jesus, God’s Spirit indwells us and will never leave.

5. Peace. While difficulties cause many people anxiety, God’s peace is available to His followers.

No one enjoys trials, but we can be grateful for God’s hand in our life and the ways He will use us. God’s presence gives us a pathway through the trouble, and the potential to grow.

As we recognize the Lord’s provision, we can genuinely express our gratitude, which will fix our eyes on Him rather than on our circumstances. We may not know what the purpose is for each trial, but we do know that our God is good and trustworthy.

Related Bible Study Verses: Matthew 14:22-33 | 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

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To learn more about living your life as a Christian go to BibleGateway.com. This website has numerous Christian resources to study from such as blogs, the Bible, biblical articles from religious scholars, as well as study resources like biblical commentaries and dictionaries. BibleGateway.com is rated one of the highest Christian resources on the web.

Saturday Power Line

Listen to me carefully: It doesn’t matter how you start out or what your past looks like. What matters is how you end your life! With the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, He will enable you to leave behind a legacy that is a blessing to all who receive it.

Our Tongue Is A Restless Evil

Have you ever thought about your tongue? Weird question, right? Most people don’t think about their tongue and especially if it can be harmful. In God’s word, James 3:1-12, it points out just how powerful our tongue can be.

To illustrate, James, compares our tongue to a match that sparks a great forest fire James 3:5-6. He says “the tongue is set among our body’s parts as that which defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell”. James also compares our tongue to the rudder of a great ship James 3:4. Picture a sea-going cargo ship of massive size. Then picture the size of the rudder steering that great ship – it is small in comparison. So is our tongue compared to our body.

James goes on to say “our tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father in one breath and then turn around and curse people who have been made in the likeness of God” James 3:9-10. So, does the person who cuts you off in traffic deserve to be cursed by your tongue? From God’s perspective the answer is no. Don’t let your emotions drive your tongue to say things you’ll regret later on. James says from the same mouth come blessing and cursing. He also says to you and me that these things should not be this way.

To bring home his point he compares our tongue to a spring sending out water. James asks “can it produce both fresh and bitter water? Or can a fig tree bear olives?” James 3:11-12. I think you can see by now that James is telling us that if we are to walk as Christians in this world, then what we say and how we say it carries a lot of weight in offering an introduction to God, Jesus, and the world of Christianity to those who are unsaved.

Don’t let your tongue be the cause of one lost soul because you said something that was not Christ-like. Taming our tongue is a serious business but we can bridle our tongue through prayer and study of God’s word. Constant prayer and meditation on God’s word can be a blessing to those who need it most.

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To learn more about living your life as a Christian go to BibleGateway.com. This website has numerous Christian resources to study from such as blogs, the Bible, biblical articles from religious scholars, as well as study resources like biblical commentaries and dictionaries. BibleGateway.com is rated one of the highest Christian resources on the web.

Godly Living – What Is It? What Does It Look Like?

All of us who consider ourselves to be a Christian have probably heard that you should live a godly life. What exactly does that mean or look like? Does it mean you have to walk around with a real pious look on your face or acting in a very somber manner? It doesn’t mean any of those things. Let’s look at what God’s word has to say about the subject for both men and women. We can find our direction in 1 Peter 3:1-12.

Peter begins with outlining the actions and lifestyle for women in 1 Peter 3:1-5. At the very outset he says that women should be subject to their husbands. I understand for some women reading this that you might object to those instructions in light of today’s societal norms. But, it’s important to understand Peter is not only giving wives directions for their lives but he has given men similar directions. Also, Peter says women should have pure and respectful behavior toward their husbands. And finally he talks about how women should adorn themselves both on the outside and inside. Externally he says to dress in a modest manner and for the inside he says, “it should be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

Beginning in 1 Peter 3:7, Peter defines those qualities needed by men by saying, “7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Peter takes his instructions one step further by talking about both husband and wife and their relationship to each other by saying in 1 Peter 3:8-9, “8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, loving, compassionate, and humble; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you would inherit a blessing.

Finally, Peter gives some general instructions for all people in how to live their lives in relation to one another by saying in 1 Peter 3:10-12, “10 For “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against evildoers.”

Living our lives as Christians is not a burdensome task. Peter’s instructions for living life made sense back in his day as well as in our lives today. His help is straight forward, clear and comes with blessings from our heavenly Father. What more could you ask for?

God Protects Us Better Than A Body Guard

Important people around the world usually have some kind of protection or body guard for themselves. For example, the President of the United States has armed secret service men and women around and near him to prevent any harm to him. As Christians we have protection as well but it comes from a higher source than the secret service and is more powerful and reliable.

Psalm 121 tells us how the Lord is our protector 24/7. Verse 3 states that “he who watches over you will not slumber.” And verse 4 says that “he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Our Lord Jesus Christ is there for us, protecting us and watching over us 24/7. Why is protection from the Lord so important? 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that “the devil roams around the earth day and night seeking those whom he can devour, destroy, deceive and offer temptation.”

Psalm 121:7 says, “the Lord will protect you from all evil; he will keep your soul.” And to emphasize just how available the Lord is to us for our protection, Psalm 121:8 says, “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time and forever.” Just think about it. We have our own spiritual body guard through our Lord Jesus Christ who is always there, forever, and who never slumbers or sleeps.

How wonderful is the news we have a protector through our Lord who will watch over us from this time and forever! Praise the Lord. Amen.

Grace Is Free Not Repaid

Picture salvation as a house that you live in.

It provides you with protection. It is stocked with food and drink that will last forever. It never decays or crumbles. Its windows open onto vistas of glory. Everything about the house is absolutely magnificent.

God built it at great cost to himself and to his Son, and he gave it to you.

The “purchase” agreement is called a “new covenant.” The terms of the new covenant read: “This house shall become and remain yours if you will receive it as a gift and take delight in the Father and the Son as they inhabit the house with you. You shall not profane the house of God by sheltering other gods nor turn your heart away after other treasures.”

Wouldn’t it be foolish to say yes to this agreement, and then turn around and hire a lawyer to draw up an amortization schedule with monthly payments in the hopes of somehow balancing accounts?

By hiring the lawyer you would no longer be treating the house as a gift, but a purchase. God would no longer be considered the free benefactor. As a result of your actions you would be enslaved to a new set of demands that the Lord never dreamed of putting on you.

If grace is to be free — which is the very meaning of grace — we cannot view it as something to be repaid.

Have You Ever Wondered Why We Should Pray to God?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why should I pray to God. He already knows what I need.” It’s true He knows your needs and He controls everything that would meet those needs. His plans for you won’t fail because of our lack of intercession or prayer. Our praying to God allows us the privilege of being involved in His work. Think about those times you’ve prayed for others. You were involved in God’s work then.

There are many other reasons why we should pray and one of those is that it teaches us to depend on God. If you look in Philippians 4:6, it tells you to talk with the Lord about everything. And in James 4:2 it shows us that if we don’t ask then we don’t receive. But a word of caution here. Just because we asked God for something in prayer doesn’t necessarily mean He will grant our request. God is not our servant or a vending machine. He works all things after the counsel of His will, not ours.

Another reason God wants us to pray about everything is that He wants us to bear much fruit. In other words be the recipients of His many blessings. Of course if we abide in Christ and His words live within us then when we pray our requests will align with His will and we’ll get what we asked for. As a result of having our prayers answered we experience a strengthening of our faith to trust Him even more in many greater ways.

The more we rely on Him to provide, protect, and guide us, the deeper our relationship with Him will grow. That to me is the perfect recipe for living a life filled with confidence, faith, and peace in our Almighty God.

Related Bible Verses | John 15:7-16