Idolatry

Mark 10:22 — At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth (NIV).

Jesus presented the rich young ruler with the opportunity of a lifetime—the chance to be one of His disciples. Instead of accepting the invitation, the man walked away downcast. How could he pass up such a chance?! Imagine how cool it would have been to follow Jesus around. So what was the problem? Idolatry.

Jesus told the young man to go sell all of his possessions and give to the poor. He promised him treasure in heaven and the opportunity to follow Him, but the man turned it down. The Bible makes it clear the young ruler was very wealthy, and he was unwilling to part with his fortune. His wealth had become an idol.

An idol is anything, or anyone, we value more than our relationship with the Lord. (I’ve also heard it said idolatry is anything we love in excess.) Prosperity was more precious to the rich young ruler than devoting his life to Christ. Where does your treasure lie? Idolatry is a heart condition. Jesus encouraged us to store up our treasures in heaven, not on earth. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (NIV).

Maybe material possessions are your downfall. You are more concerned about keeping up with the Joneses than following God’s will. You might enjoy a certain sin to much and are unwilling to lay it down. The list is quite exhaustive, but you know what your vice is.

Why do you think God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac in Genesis 22? He wanted to know where Abraham’s treasure was—in his family or in Him. Is there something, or someone, in your life that has taken priority over your relationship with Christ? If so, repent, and make Jesus the Lord of your life.

Exodus 20:4 — “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (NIV).

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