Friday, February 10, 2012

Idol Worship (Junior High) 2/8/2012

The Junior High group tonight had some really good questions.  They went all sorts of directions, but ultimately rested on one main theme.  As you read through this, ask yourself if you have any idols in your life.  Here's the list of questions:  Is it a sin to get high off of something like markers or glue that isn't an illegal drug?  Is it a sin to miss church because of work?  If I lie to someone do I have to tell them the truth in order for God to forgive me?  So, let's take them one at a time.

High on a Marker:
I guess if we're going to really understand this point we have to understand what would motivate someone to do it.  So I asked the group why do people get high.  Answers:  it feels good-to avoid problems or hurt-everyone else is doing it-it's cool.  I'm sure there are other reasons, but those are some of the ones they threw out there.  So, let's address the "if it feels good, do it" mentality.  Of course sin is fun for a little while.  If sin wasn't fun nobody would do it.  The problem is that fun is short lived.  The pain and consequences of sin last a lot longer.  Sniffing a permanent marker can cause slurred speech, lack of coordination, euphoria, and dizziness.  Unfortunately, the chemicals that cause these effect can also make you sick, kill your brain cells, and damage your nerves.  Some have even died from this.  The Bible is very clear that God doesn't want us causing this kind of damage to our bodies.  We're supposed to take care of them (1 Cor 6:19-20 This passage is specifically talking about sexual sins, but I think the principle still applies).  If you're just sniffing markers to get away from problems or look cool.  That is an issue of not trusting God with the things you're dealing with.  Or it's an issue of placing more importance on what others think than what God thinks.  In either case you've made something more important than God in your life.  That would be an idol.

Skippin Church to Work:
This one is a matter of priorities.  It's a question that needs to be decided in your heart NOW!  I know there are people out there who have to work to provide for their families and sometimes that means missing church.  Those situations started off with small decisions that lead to where they are today.  If you decide now that any job you have will have to fit around your commitment to Christ and not the other way around God will honor that.  He will provide for your needs.  If you can make that decision now, you will be ready to make it when it's on a greater scale and the consequences are greater.  The principle will always be the same.  Put God first in all you do and He will take care of you (Mt 6:32-34).  If you choose job over church you just bowed to the almighty dollar.  That would be an idol.

This one is very simple in principle and very hard in practice.  In other words it's easy to say and hard to do. If I lie to someone can I just ask God to forgive me and not have to tell them the truth?  Think about that.  If you lie to someone and never correct that lie aren't they believing that lie every day.  Isn't that, in essence, lying to them every day.  Each time you see them they are believing something that isn't true because of what you told them.  You might as well just lie to them every time you see them.  You have to make it right if you want to be right with God.  Matthew 5:23-24 talks about what you're supposed to do if you are in the middle of offering a sacrifice and remember there is something between you and a brother.  You leave the altar, go make it right and then come back and make things right with God.  This one it tough.  It's a lot easier to ask God to forgive us than it is to ask a friend or relative to forgive us sometimes.  However, this is the right thing to do.  Doing the right thing sometimes isn't fun (for a while), but the pain is short lived.  The blessings of doing the right thing last a lot longer.  It's the opposite of sin.  This one doesn't really come down to idol worship, but it does force us to ask who we will serve.

In this life you have the freedom to choose who you will make yourself a slave to.  Will it be sin, popular opinion, a good feeling?  Or will you choose to become a slave to Christ?  It's your choice.

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