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Thursday November 29 –The Church’s mission (7): Fighting idolatry

Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. – Psalm 115:8 

Scripture reading: Romans 1:18-32

We have seen that Matthew 5 and 1 Peter 2 both expect the church to be different from the world in such a way as to be visible and appealing. How can we do that? Is it simply by following different (or more!) rules? Will that be appealing?

One of the main ways Scripture gives us to be different in an appealing way is by fighting idolatry. In Romans 1, Paul summarizes sin as a matter of idolatry and defines idolatry in this way:

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen” (Romans 1:25).

Idolatry is worshipping the creation instead of the Creator, taking good things that God has made and treating them as ultimate in place of God. When we do this, we inevitably distort and twist the good things God has made, since they are not meant to be worshipped. Those idols enslave, consume and destroy.

When we follow Jesus by faith, we are freed from worshipping those idols and that life of freedom is meant to be appealing, for it is life as God made it to be. Instead of being destructively enslaved to things like money, sex and power, we can use them rightly, for God’s glory and that way of life is given to be light in a dark world.

Suggestions for prayer

That God would help us recognize our idols, be freed from them and live for His glory so that we might use His good creation rightly, for the sake of those around us.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Nick Smith is pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho.

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