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Idolatry, part 5
The reason even a struggle with sin did not hardened the apostle Paul’s heart was because of his attitude towards Christ. Paul saw his weaknesses as a struggle because of his desire to please Christ. Idolaters do not have a deep desire for Christ subsequently, they become content with sin in their life – to them it’s just not a big deal.
Hebrews 3:7-11 “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried Me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known My ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest.’”
Even Israel had fallen into the tragic and disastrous state of rebellion. That whole generation failed to come into God’s full purpose and though they were brought near to the purpose of God, and Will of God, yet they stopped short in their response to it. They had gone just so far, they had come out of Egypt, and had moved to a certain point. Then they went no further. For some reason or another they ceased to go on with the Lord from a certain point.
Not only did they decide to go no further with the Lord – the Word of God makes it clear that they did not just stop there but, having failed to continue on with the Lord, an intensifying process set in which eventually made it impossible for them to come into what God had appointed. The door had been opened to them and set before them. However, because of their attitude towards the Lord, their hearts were imperfect in their response. That led to the issue that when they wanted to enter in, and made an effort to do so, they did not have the spiritual capacity and life to accomplish it. “Too late” is a terrible reality to face.
Hosea 7:9-10 “His hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice. 10 Israel's arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the LORD his God or search for Him.”
The reference to gray hair isn’t just chronological. In this verse it doesn’t just mean that a person has grown old. It represents something that is becoming too late. It would be a terrible thing to suddenly wake up and find that your spiritual life is gone. All that could have been done for God is no longer possible. That is what it means by saying, “… his hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice.”
Ephesians 5:14 “This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” As we become older it becomes natural to be more occupied with the past than with the future. Spiritually we tend to do the same. We think more in terms of what God used to do than what He wants to do today. But that is not God’s Word to us today. The Word of God for us today is to wake up! He says, “I have MORE for you! Examine your life. Do away with any idolatry.” And when you and I follow His direction, Christ will shine on you. END
Medication: A Merry Heart
A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor’s office. “Is it true??” she wanted to know, “that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?”
“Yes, I’m afraid so,” the doctor told her.
There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, “I’m wondering, then, just how serious my condition is because...
this prescription is marked ‘NO REFILLS’!”
God Bless, Have a Great Weekend,
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: John 15:15 ESV
Today’s readings: Ezekiel 38 – 39
Sat: Ezekiel 40 – 41
Sun: Ezekiel 42 – 43