For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: To An Unknown God. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship–and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. Acts 17:23
Although most won’t call it worship, the world does worship a lot of things. They worship money, position, talent, things, power, fame and more.
All of these things are placed at an extreme high priority in their lives. Time, money and abilities are all focused upon these areas, worshipping them.
As Paul was going through Athens, he noticed that they had objects of worship for every god imaginable, including an unknown god. Paul says he will proclaim information about that unknown god.
Believers often stick with other believers and really don’t see where the world really is or what the world is doing. It is often expected for unbelievers to walk into the church and present themselves to the church seeking information about God. However, very few people will go to a church seeking information on their own.
Jesus told the believers to go into all of the world and preach the gospel. As a believer is going out, he must go to meet the people where they are and in a way that they are already thinking and believing. One can seek opportunities to use what the world is seeking or desiring to open doors to present the gospel message.
The idols that the world are seeking and worshipping are false and dead. As believers take the idols that the world is worshipping and use them to point out the need for Jesus, people’s eyes will be opened to the truth. Both Paul and Jesus met people right where they were at in their thinking and actions.
God is willing to open doors for you to be His witness every day. The world is starving for the truth and seeking it. You have the answer that they are seeking in all of the false idols of this world.
Go out and use the wisdom of God to meet them where they are. Show the world what they are really seeking is found in Jesus and not in the false, dead idols they are already worshipping.
Not everyone will listen to you, but there will be some who will hear the truth and change. Seek to find those.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the truth of God’s word in your life; that you will be a witness of Jesus to the world; that you will boldly proclaim God’s truth; and that God will draw many to Christ through you.
Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel 3:6
Everywhere a person goes there is always pressure being applied to get him to do something. Advertisements bombard a person daily to get one to purchase some item that he ‘needs’ to really live life. Pressure for a person to vote a certain way. There is pressure to like or accept certain things or lifestyles.
When a person does not give into those pressures, there is often some type of consequence. Unwritten, unofficial punishment occurs, a shunning, a push-back.
King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold of himself and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Several Jews chose not to bow down. Pressure was put upon them to bow down. The pressure was that if they chose not to bow down, they would be thrown into a furnace to be burnt alive.
While there are many things that are put upon a person to do that are not directly sinful, such as purchasing a new car, or buying a certain type of soda, there is a lot of pressure to do things that go against God’s word. Pressure is put upon a person to choose and accept sin in his life.
Most will not tell a person to lie, but pressure will be put on a person to ‘bend the truth’ a little. Or they will be asked to hide a situation, rather than call it out. In the individual life, one often feels pressure to overlook the ‘little’ sins in his life.
Although most won’t have to pay with their life in a furnace, there is a cost to compromising God’s holy standards. Sin is sin and leads to death.
Every believer must be willing to stand up for the standards of God in his own life and not give in to the pressures of this world to sin.
You will have pressure come against you to sin. Threats will be made that if you do not live, act, or speak a certain way there will be consequences against you.
In your heart you have to make a choice as to who you will serve and obey. Will it be God or will it be self and this world?
Allow yourself to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and power to overcome the pressure to sin. Be willing to go into the furnace, rather than sin against God.
I pray today that you will know God’s holy standards to live by; that God will give you strength to stand up to pressure to sin; that you will seek God when being pressured to sin; and that you will trust God to preserve you when punished by this world.
This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites. Ezekiel 44:9
All over the world there are places that people have set up that have restrictions as to who is allowed to enter. Nearly every business has places within it where the majority of people are blocked from entering the area. The location is only allowed for those who work there or have special permission to enter, everyone is blocked from it.
Often the block is due to protection for the company and for the outsider. Some places require special equipment to enter. Other places have information in that is not to be released to just anyone.
God had just shown Ezekiel a vision of the restored temple. He then tells Ezekiel that no outsider is allowed into the temple.
The temple was the holy dwelling place for God to be among the people. In order for one to enter, he had to be purified and be a true follower of God. No one else was allowed to enter.
Since the time of Ezekiel, God has set up His temple in the hearts of believers. God is still telling people that no outsider is allowed to enter His temple.
Instead of just being physical beings entering, today it is false idols, greed, pride, anger, and sin that are to be not allowed to enter. People allow these things into their hearts and lives. When sin is allowed into the heart, one is pushing God off of His throne in the heart, which is His temple, His dwelling place.
The heart is the dwelling place for God, and nothing else should be allowed in that place. Nothing spiritual, physical or emotional should be allowed into the heart that does not honor God. The heart belongs to God and to God alone.
Take a moment to examine what is allowed into your heart. Think about what things you allow your heart to follow and hold on to. Are these things the things of God? Or are they the things of this world?
When you became a follower of Jesus, He gave you a new heart, because your heart became God’s dwelling place, a holy temple. Keep it pure and holy for God to dwell in. Do not allow sin or this world to move God off of His throne in your heart. Restrict access to your heart to God alone.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will give your entire life to God; that you will allow God to reign in your heart and life; and that you will serve God alone.
for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them. Ezekiel 23:37
Everyday people all over the world are seeking ways to make their own lives better. They want to be happier and have more things and a better life. In order to make this happen, they are often willing to do just about anything and everything.
In the process of seeking happiness, people will bow down to many different idols and are willing to sacrifice just about anything it takes. It is all about pleasing self.
God speaks to Ezekiel and gives a picture of what Israel had been doing. They are described as two sisters who were to be married to God, but had prostituted themselves to idols and sacrificed children to those idols.
In many parts of the world, most people would say that they refuse to worship idols or make human sacrifices. However, the reality is that many people bow down to worship their jobs, positions, titles, money, and things. As they bow down to worship these things, giving their lives to these things, they also begin to be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to get them.
Abortion is the modern way of saying that one is sacrificing to an idol. Worshipping the idol of self, money, job, or nearly anything else, people are willing to sacrifice a baby by abortion and think nothing of it.
While most in the church do not agree with abortion, there are many who do allow themselves to bow to other idols and sacrifices outside of God. They sacrifice time with their children to raise them in a God-fearing way of living. Do not sacrifice what is not yours to sacrifice.
Believers are to sacrifice their own lives to God and to God alone. God is the only one that anyone should be worshipping and sacrificing to.
Examine your life and determine who are you really worshipping and married too. What you give your life’s energy and focus to is what you worship.
Be willing to lay down your life for God and die daily to yourself. God will give you His life that will last for eternity. Sacrifice your life on the altar before God and allow Him to raise you up to eternal life.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will dedicate your life to worshipping and serving God; that you will only sacrifice to God; that you will serve God alone; and that you will not commit spiritual adultery against God.