#DailyDevotion Turn Away From Idols & Find Your Good In The Living God
1 Thess. 18Not only has the Lord’s Word spread from you through Macedonia and Greece, but everywhere people have heard of your faith in God so that we don’t need to say anything. 9They tell how we came to you and you turned from the idols to God, to serve the living and true God 10and to wait for His Son to come from heaven – Whom He raised from the dead — Jesus, Who saves us from the punishment that is coming.
Thessalonica was a staging area in Macedonia for the Gospel. Paul had received a vision saying, “Come over here and help us.” Starting at a synagogue of the Jews, the Gospel of Jesus Christ found a following among them as well as the among the God-fearers and prominent women of the city, but not without conflict from the unbelieving Jews who were there. Yet, despite the conflict, we can see the Word of the LORD spread from this group of Christian through Macedonia and Greece. The faith of this congregation had spread among the churches of God.
We can see that a large part of the congregation there at Thessalonica had become heavily weighted towards the former Gentiles of the area for Paul says they had “turned from idols to God, to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son to come from heaven.” Now we often probably don’t think about idols much. With the exception of going into an oriental restaurant and seeing mini shrines to Buddha or to Indian restaurants with shrines to whatever god(s) they serve, we don’t see a whole lot of them.
Yet we must not think of idols as merely carved or cast images people worship. To have an idol to look to any created thing for every good instead of your heavenly Father. What do you turn to for every good. You may not turn just to one thing. You may have many idols. Some of the most common idols of the day are food, clothes, house and home, alcohol, drugs, sex, politics and politicians, work, church, pastors, rock and roll, pop stars, athletes, children, spouses, parents, money, wealth and etc.. You can generally tell if they have become an idol when they create an imbalance in your life. You can ask yourself, if I lost any of these things would I blame God and hate him for taking it from you? If lost any of these could you still not be happy? Your joy and happiness is to be in God and in his Son Jesus Christ. He supplies us with all these good things to find joy in having them. But they are not to have us and we are not to serve them.
We have a living and true God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We await the second coming of the Son, our LORD Jesus Christ, whom God raised from the dead, who is coming to judge the world. In his judgment he will execute his wrath against all who refused his gracious gift of forgiveness, life and salvation by casting them into outer darkness, the Lake of Fire to be tormented with Satan and all his rebellious angels. To all who looked to him for salvation, who believed and trusted in his free gift of forgiveness, life and salvation, their judgment is the resurrection to eternal life, the new heavens and earth, inheriting is kingdom and being in the eternal joy of being in the presence of the one true and living God. Put your faith in Jesus and he will save you from the coming wrath. Trust in no one and nothing else but Jesus and you will be saved.
Heavenly Father, grant unto us such faith that we turn aside from all our idols, find our only good in you and your Son Jesus Christ and be delivered from the wrath to come at Jesus’ revelation to the world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.