22 05 2013

I fear that we have become a generation of “paper towel” believers! We are so busy being the “quicker picker upper” that we don’t always take the necessary time to discern whether what we are allowing into our lives is truly best for us! We at times absorb so much of the culture that we don’t leave enough room in our hearts for the Christ that we claim to follow!
All investments that we make into earthly ventures are still only temporary at best! No man will be president forever. No job will last until the end of time. No family member will be able to outlive the finite amount of time allotted to them. Every season eventually ceases. What is here and now will not necessarily still be around tomorrow! So why don’t we address our days with a little more tender loving care than we presently give them? Why do we waste so much of our time trying to please those who are already committed to misunderstanding us? Why do we pour our absolute cream of the crop efforts into what is only passing away? Why do we use people and love things? Why is our heart towards God more often a last minute exercise than a first move priority with each new dawning?

Now we may not go around worshipping statues and trinkets like primitive tribes of old- but idolatry is still a major problem. We are so fascinated by the creation but don’t linger long enough to develop a real relationship with the Creator! We love our stuff but don’t appreciate the giver of all good things as we should. When someone or something replaces the Lord God in the position of where your main applause goes, where your committed dedication lands, and becomes the main reason that you are living for- that person or thing by definition has become an idol in your life! Who or what gets your “A” game? Who gets the prime attention- the most of your time- the best of your love? God is smart enough to know where He fits or doesn’t fit in your life. What is a crime is when those who claim to be followers of Jesus hardly pay him any mind at all! What part of “Love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength” have we forgotten? Are we so consumed with trying to suck up to all that doesn’t count that we have cut out the one who we can’t make life add up without?

Finish this sentence for me. I can’t live without BLANK… Fill in that blank! If we were to be honest, how many of us are trying to already live successfully without God on a regular basis? How many of us are replacing the spot that the Lord should have with people and possessions that couldn’t complete us no matter how hard they tried? Is God like the air you breathe? Is the Lord your daily bread? Or have you assigned that role to a much weaker vessel?
Idolatry seems so primitive and irrelevant. What next Pastor Rudy? Are you going to write an article about rain dancing and witch doctors? And yet did you realize that idolatry is the number one issue in the Bible? Idolatry comes into every book. Did you know that more than fifty of the laws in Genesis through Deuteronomy are aimed at this issue? In all of Judaism, it was one of only four sins to which the death penalty was attached. So what if it’s not about statues in your living room at home? Maybe you aren’t bowing down to a golden cow when nobody else is looking! But what if the idols of here and now are so ordinary that we don’t even recognize them as gods at all? What if we do our “kneeling” and our “bowing” with our runaway thinking, or our finances, or our smart phones, or our media centers and our day timers and daily choices? What if I challenged you to think about the fact that every sin you are presently dealing with from discouragement to depression to lousy choices to addiction to the lack of positive purpose are all because of idolatry?

I told this story last week at The Lighthouse Church. Imagine a man who has been coughing constantly. This cough keeps him up half of the night and interrupts any conversation he has that lasts more than a minute or two. The cough is so unrelenting that he goes to the doctor. The doctor runs his tests and discovers that it is lung cancer. Now imagine the doctor knows how tough the news will be to handle. So he doesn’t tell his patient about the cancer because he doesn’t want to hurt his feelings. So instead, he writes a prescription for some strong cough medicine and tells him that he should be feeling better soon. The man is delighted with this prognosis. And sure enough, he sleeps much better that night. The cough syrup seems to have solved his problem. Meanwhile, very quietly, the cancer is eating away at his body.
As a Pastor- do you want me to lie to you and tell you that every day can be a jolly holiday when you follow God? Or do you want me to challenge you with the truth? Your heart is always up for grabs. The enemy wants to sift your spirit like it was shredded wheat! But God is there to fight for you and alongside of you. But will you be aligned with the right power source or will you keep digging at your own wells to quench your thirst?

Let me close with a prayer. Feel free to join me if you long to become more than just a Paper Towel Believer!
“Here is my heart, Lord Jesus. If you don’t rule there, then nothing else I do will matter much or remain for very long! I get up from the driver’s seat of my life and invite you to take the wheel. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess you as King of kings and Lord of lords! I do it willingly today! Be my God. Be my vision. Be my first love. Be my life. I choose to follow you and serve you and give you the control of all of me. Amen and Amen!”



2 responses

23 05 2013
Ruth Cooper

Thank you, Rudy Sheptock.
I enjoyed this blog very much.

27 05 2013
Tony Morano

Pastor Rudy-
Thank you for blessing us with the words in your blog. We feel very blessed to have you as our pastor. We look forward to hearing your anointed words each week!

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