Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Have You “Mained” God?
by Jake Upton

Some friends and I play a game called Super Smash Brothers. It’s a game where Nintendo characters like Donkey Kong, Mario, Luigi, and more fight each other to see who is the ultimate Nintendo character. My friends and I call your best character, your “main” because that’s the main character you play as in the game.

I was thinking about this concept recently as it pertains to God. Is God my “main” in real life like Donkey Kong is my “main” on Super Smash Brothers? Do I consider God to be better and more important than anything else in my life? If I do consider God to be the best and most important thing in my life, do my actions reflect this belief? Or is it possible that I have allowed something other than God to become the “main” in my life?

When something other than God becomes “the main” in a person’s life, God refers to this as an idol in scripture. “An idol is an image or other material object representing a deity to whom religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with admiration, adoration, or devotion.” Most of us today, are not guilty of the first part of the definition. Assemblies devoted to worshiping a golden calf are scare in Tuscaloosa, AL. But listen to the second part of the definition of an idol again; an idol is “any person or thing regarded with admiration, adoration, or devotion.” Is it really true that we don’t have any idols that are more important to us than God? Is it really true that there is nothing or no one who gets more admiration, adoration, or devotion from us than God? Is there no one or nothing that gets more of our time or money?

Your parents always tell you that idols are bad, but why? Because God said so, that’s why. God says in I Corinthians 10:14 “flee from idolatry”. I like scriptures like this. You don’t have to think. It says it very plainly, “flee from idolatry.”

If God wants us to “flee from idolatry”, where are we supposed to flee to? We flee to Matthew 6:33, that’s where. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Jesus doesn’t say here, to seek classic rock first, or to seek mad skills in ping pong first, or  to seek first the pretty blonde girl you saw at the youth retreat. Jesus says to “seek first the kingdom of God” and as a result of that “all these things will be added to you.”

But what are “all these things”? As you look at the context surrounding this promise from Jesus, it becomes clear that the promise is saying this: If we put God and his kingdom first above any other idol, then God will make sure that all of our needs are met in the form of food, drinks, clothes, and a home to live in.

But the blessings of God go way beyond just the things that we need.  God says in I Corinthians 10:26 (the same book and chapter I read from earlier) For the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” Everything is God’s, and he has created the earth and everything in it to be experienced and enjoyed by us. God said this originally to the Christians in Corinth, some of whom were concerned that it was a sin to eat meat that had been sacrificed to an idol.  God was encouraging them to go to the market and eat any kind of meat they wanted to, with a free and clear conscious, because all meat “is the Lord’s”, and there is no such thing as evil or sinful meat, because God has provided it all.

In the same way, classic rock, Ping-Pong, and the pretty blonde girl, have all come from God. Classic rock and Ping-Pong are here for me to enjoy. I know that there is a girl out there that God created just for me to enjoy life with, to be blessed and comforted by in the holy relationship of marriage. It may or may not be the pretty blonde I’ve seen on trips with the youth group, but God has created a girl out there somewhere just for me. I know that as I prepare myself to be the man that she needs, God is preparing her for me.

I Peter 3:10 says “For He who would love life
And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.” I love life. I enjoy the things of this life that God has created for our enjoyment. I enjoy classic rock, Ping-Pong, the companionship of a pretty blond and more. There is so much in life to love and enjoy. And God has created these things for you and I to enjoy.
But we must never put the created before the creator. We must never make an idol “the main” in our life. God must always be that. He must get more “admiration, attention, and devotion” from us than anything else. If he doesn’t, I have put an idol before him, and he’s already told me, I must flee from idolatry.
I have noticed that the more admiration, attention, and devotion that I give to God, the more he blesses me. He will do the same for you. Romans 2:11 says, “There is no partiality with God.” His blessings are waiting for you, if you will obey him.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters.” In one hand is Ping-Pong and classic rock. In the other hand is the one who sent his son to die for you because he loved you. Which is more important to you? Which is your idol? Who is your master?
So, tell me, is God your “main”? Is he the one you rely on when your back is against the wall? Do you depend on him to carry you to victory? Or are your idols good enough to pull you through? Every time God is my “main”, I win. Who’s to say it won’t be the same for you?
If God is not your “main”, the first thing you must do is decide to become a Christian and become one with Jesus, allowing him to forgive you of your sins and to prepare you a home in heaven. You can do this today. The first thing you must do is believe in Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus said in Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved. But he who does not believe will be condemned.”
The second thing you must do to be saved is repent of your sins. To repent means you are sorry about the way you’ve been living, and you are ready to change your ways. Jesus said in Luke 13:3 “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
Thirdly, you must confess that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-33 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
Finally, you must also be baptized into Jesus to be saved. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Christians, pay close attention to the last statement Jesus makes in that passage. We are to be trying to observe all the things that he has commanded. How is this coming for you? If God is not your “main”, you can change that today.
If we can help you become a Christian, pray for you, or help you in any way please contact us at the Cottondale Church of Christ. Our number is (205) 553-1444. 
Visit us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CottondaleChurchofChrist  and online at CottondaleChurchofChrist.com Attend one of our assemblies soon. We are located at 2025 Prude Mill Road Cottondale, AL 35453, next to the Bank of Tuscaloosa on University Blvd before you get to Dunn’s Auto Sales. We assemble on Sunday for Bible study at 9 am and worship at 10 am and 5 pm. On Wednesday night we assemble for Bible study and worship at 7 pm.

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