Tearing Down Idols

Steve Arterburn

 

King Asa lived at a time when the Israelites had given themselves over to idolatry. They basically thumbed their nose at God and believed their way of living, contrary to His instructions, was right.

 

But when the king heard the message of the prophets, he destroyed the idols the people were worshipping. Asa restored the altar of the Lord. He even removed his own mother from her position of power because she’d been influencing Israel in their idolatry.

 

When you think of idolatry, you might consider it a phenomenon of times past. But that’s a big mistake. Our culture is rife with idolatry, and our own hearts are very susceptible to it.

 

As God continues His work in you, it’s crucial that you recognize the idols our culture bows before and that you don’t get caught up in treating them as idols yourself.  Things like money, power, possessions, titles, comfort, superficial beauty, or any number of things that usurp what belongs only to God.

 

In the end, you’re called to do something very much like king Asa did: crush and burn the idols in your own thinking and in your heart. Guys, God has called you to redirect your life in order to follow Him. That means moving against the stream of this world, and the things it worships in place of God.

 

But take heart: God always supplies the ability to accomplish what He asks of you. He’ll be there for you, empowering and encouraging you all the way home.

Celebrating God’s Attributes: His Strength

Dwayne Collins

“Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!”

We may all be familiar with this line. It is from the Superman series and is a description of the attributes of the famous caped hero and mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, Clark Kent. It almost sounds like Superman is God. But borrowing from a line by the late Senator Lloyd Bensten during the 1988 Vice-Presidential debate, I know God, and Superman is no God.

His Strength Defined

God is omnipotent or all-powerful. This is one of His attributes. According to the dictionary, it means that God is almighty, having unlimited authority or influence, and unlimited power.

It is hard to imagine All-powerful. Even Superman’s strength was limited, especially if he was exposed to kryptonite. In our finite minds, it is hard to imagine an entity that has no limitations whatsoever. The task of comprehending God’s unlimited power is further hindered with the task of realizing that His power always was and always will be. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).

But it is God who created everything, and it is God that holds it together. He created everything and He maintains everything (Colossians 1).

His Strength Manifested

We see God’s strength manifested in many ways. First we see it in the creation (Genesis 1). And we see that the only power that we, the created, have is the power granted by God (John 19). 

We also see God’s strength manifested in the plagues He placed on Egypt when Moses was asking Pharaoh to free the Israelites (Exodus 5).  It is manifested in the parting of the Red Sea and the manna from heaven (Exodus 14, 16). We see His power manifested in the story of Joseph (Genesis 37), and when Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den (Daniel 6). There are numerous illustrations in the Bible where God’s power is manifested.

We can see God’s power manifested in everyday life. God’s strength has been manifested in the improvements of society and the whole human race through of the introduction of schools, hospitals and charities. We have seen it in the improvement in the status of women and the abolishment of slavery. Proverbs 14:31 says, He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

But by far the greatest manifestation of God’s power is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He not only conquered death, but also assured us of eternal life. Regarding his Son,’who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:3-).

His Strength Purposed

God’s power and strength are not without purpose. All of His attributes work in harmony with each other and without His power His other attributes would be limited or voided. His power was purposed to select the Children of Israel as His chosen people (Exodus 19). His power also purposed that all who believed would be His chosen people. John 3:16 reads, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ We are all called to be His chosen people (Romans 9).

His Strength Celebrated

The fact that we as believers tend to forget all too often is that as His children, we share in His unlimited power. Through His power, we are able to do anything. Matthew 19:26 says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” As His children, even though we experience sufferings, we need not fear the suffering. Daniel 3:17 reads, If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it. If we face danger, we need not fear the danger. We are kept by His mighty power. (1 Peter 1).

God is all-powerful. By His power we are created. By His power we are cared for. By His power we are assured of eternal life with Him. Because of the Power of God, it is time to celebrate. Exodus 9:16 says, But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Let us all take time to join in celebrating His attribute: His Strength, His Power.

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation. 4:11).

Understanding Your Wife’s Heart: Part 8

The Wife of an EMB Attendee

Bearing The Pain of my Husbands Sexual Sin

Today I was overwhelmed with despair. The multitude of failed attempts to overcome his sins, the vastness of the temptations that surround him, how could I ever trust him, find any peace or live with a man who would most likely continue to fail me. Tears flooding, strength zapped. What was God trying to teach me? What good was I doing in my current state? I was not a witness of Christ’s love or strength, and definitely not of His forgiveness!

Yet my sorrow must have a lesson for me, what am I not learning?

“I bore all this pain, this despair” I heard Christ whispering in my ear. “I already have felt your grief, your hopelessness – why do you wish to bear it too?” “I not only felt and suffered for your husband’s sins but also suffered the ramifications it has had on you?” “Do you hear me, are you listening?” “Give me your suffering, I can bear it, for I already have, Jesus said to me.” “Do not take on this burden, for it is not yours to bear.”

I could barely grasp what God was saying. Was he telling me I didn’t need to suffer the consequence of my husband’s sins? How far, how many of these consequences would Christ take-on for me, (literally remove from me); my sense of abandonment & despair, my poor self-esteem, my loss of power and peace?

I had always known that God took away my sins and could give me joy when my sins were forgiven. But this was different. Could he take on the aftermath: the pain, humiliation, and despondence that I was suffering from my husband’s sins?

Why wouldn’t He, I asked myself? Do I deserve this? Is this my lot in life for making poor choices? No! No! I heard screaming in my heart, God wants me to be at peace in all circumstances.

DO YOU KNOW SO LITTLE ABOUT MY LOVE, Jesus said? Did I abandon Daniel in the lion’s den? Did I not comfort Paul when he was in prison? Was I not there when Saul pursued David and sought to kill him? God wants to comfort me! God wants to bear my agony! God wants to give me hope when I feel hopeless!

Is it pride or ignorance, I asked Jesus? Has pride or a lack of knowing who you are kept me from this truth? I must continually dwell on your sacrificial love. I must seek with my whole heart, mind and soul to know you better, as if it were the very air I breathe, the substance that keeps me alive. For you my God, are my substance, my only source for true peace.

Oh, how the devil wishes to keep me down, keep me from knowing you fully! What sufferings have I bore needlessly!

How do I claim this prize, this peace, Jesus? It is so vast and hard to comprehend; can I retain it, draw from its power when I am feeling desperate? Help me God, I don’t even know what powers you have for me to use, let alone know how to use them! Don’t let me forget this lesson; that YOU, JESUS, WANT TO BEAR MY PAIN WHEN OTHERS HURT ME, AND REPLACE IT WITH YOUR PEACE AND POWER!

Men, after attending Every Man’s Battle, we strongly encourage you to attend our marriage program at our New Life Weekend
This weekend will help your marriage to heal from the wounds of
impurity and will especially help your wife with questions that she
still may have.