Daily Bible Study - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society

Do have a look at the Premier Daily Bible reading below. It is really so good.

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

Friday 19 August   1 John 5:21

Every day we are all being bombarded with influences. Family, friends, television, internet, advertising, books, social media and radio are all trying to claim our attention and suggest different ways in which we should be thinking. Much of the time we don’t even notice it’s happening, but the truth is that we cannot stop the process. Most of those influences are not inherently bad, but they all have the potential to distract us from serving God.

Idols come in many shapes and sizes. They will never announce themselves as such, but they are anything that takes God’s place in our hearts, as this verse so clearly states. Anything at all. It could be your family, your hobby, your football team, your garden or your job. Anything which takes first place in our lives pushes God into second place at best. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Our families, our hobbies, our sporting interests, our gardens and our work are all wonderful gifts of God and they can bring enormous enjoyment and satisfaction, but they must never be looked at like gods. All gods demand to be worshipped and invite us to make sacrifices of our time, money and attention but only our Heavenly Father deserves that commitment.

It’s interesting that these are the last words of John’s letter. In the greeting: “dear children” we sense John’s warmth and love for his readers. The fact that these are his last words suggests that they were extremely important to him. The Greek verb that he uses has the sense of ‘guarding’ themselves from idols. That is to say they needed to recognise the serious threat which they were facing, and take appropriate measures
to protect themselves. I have not the slightest doubt that if John was speaking to us today, he would use exactly the same words.

Which are the potential idols in your life?

Lord God, help me to guard myself from anything which might distract me from worshipping and serving you fully. Amen


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