God’s Rightful Place‏

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in
your hearts.” – 1 John 5:21 (NLT)

When the Israelites complained about the manna God miraculously
provided, He “sent fiery serpents . . . they bit the people; and
[many] . . . died” (Numbers 21:6).  Eventually, Israel repented and
begged God to remove the snakes.  So God told Moses to make a bronze
serpent, mount it on a pole and that whoever looked at it would be
healed. It was an amazing provision, and one that worked.  So what
became of it?  The Bible says Hezekiah “Broke in pieces the bronze
serpent . . . Moses had made, for . . . Israel burned incense to it”
(2 Kings 18:4 NAS).  For centuries they preserved, protected and
polished it, dragging it with them everywhere, until they ended up
worshipping it.  Something that had once been a blessing became an

Think it can’t happen?  John the Apostle says, “Keep away from
anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”  Anything or
anybody can become an idol: your church, your children, your mate,
your job, your home, your car, your education.  Don’t get the wrong
idea; there’s nothing wrong with enjoying these blessings.  It’s only
wrong when they attempt to take God’s rightful place!

Jesus said, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts
will also be.” (Luke 12:34 NLT)  And again, “For whatever is in
your heart determines what you say.” (Matthew 12:34b NLT)  Where
you choose to invest your time, energy, and money, what you talk and
think about, reveals what’s in your heart.  Christ wants to be “first
in everything” (Colossians 1:18 NLT) without exception.  Plus, when
He’s at the center of your life, everything else is just

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