"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Images of Gold Before You

Scripture to reflect upon for Thirsty Thursday: Daniel 3:12 (NIV)
“They neither serve your god nor worship the image of gold you have set up”

Lately I’ve given a lot of thought to this idea of endurance for Jesus.

I often wonder if I could resist the urge to bow down to false gods in order to save my own tail. Most of the Jews who bowed down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s enormous gold-plated statue didn’t believe in his god, but bowed down because they were instructed to do so, otherwise they would have been “thrown into a blazing furnace” (vv. 6). They wanted to save their own lives, and can we blame them?

How much are we already bowing down to? How much is the world demanding of us, as Christians, to be tolerant to their ideals, principles, and values that are not ours and we have agreed to it? How much of their ideologies are we incorporating in our own everyday lives? Just look around you. Seriously. Take your eyes off the computer and look around you. What have you bowed down to? The American dream? Materialistic mayhem? Drugs, alcohol, pornography, adultery? Are you following the ways of the world in order to stay alive, while in the process you are killing your eternal soul?

Everyday when we are asked not to honor God through public prayer, or we are denied to post images of Jesus or cards that say, “Merry Christmas,” so as not to offend non-believers (all the while never once considering their offense to our belief!) we are bowing down to their god.

The Muslims are a driving force in our country. Along with legalized God-hating atheist groups, the Muslims are one of the strongest voices against us. They are speaking against us in schools, demanding we take the words “Christmas” out of our vocabulary because they don’t believe in Christ, and it's "offensive" to them. Since they are now tax paying citizens, they get to dictate their values on our children and communities. Easter break has been demeaned to Spring vacation, St. Patty’s Day to Potato Day, Christmas to Holiday, and so on and so forth. As God gets squeezed out more and more, the gods of other cultures that are dead and vile are taking over. And you and I are bowing down. In our offense, we are then asked to offend ourselves and our God by bowing down, or risk the heat if we don't. 

We are allowing the media, the government, Hollywood, God-haters, Christ-deniers and activists to dictate our faith, how we practice it, how offensive we are, and how to stop being so offensive.  By merely standing up for your beliefs you are called intolerant, but those who are intolerant of our beliefs are hailed tolerant. We don’t want to be accused of being hateful or intolerant, so we bow down at the gold statue that looms over us.

The world is changing quickly around us to conform to anti-God regulations. A California couple was recently fined and denied the right to host a small gathering at their home to discuss God. One person complained about what someone was doing in the privacy of their own home, and the government intervened and shut them down. Meanwhile, if I were to call on my loud, obnoxious, intoxicated neighbors who were disturbing the peace at all hours of the day and night, I would be told there’s nothing that can be done. They won’t be fined or denied their right to cause a ruckus on their own property—that they rent, mind you.

If you think it’s not coming, you’re sadly mistaken. It’s happening now. And the idea of endurance is a thought you should begin to seriously consider.

NOTE TO SELF: Are you willing to stand firm while everyone else is bowing down, even knowing that the consequences may be a blazing furnace? What is your life worth then, when you deny God and serve another?

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