Preaching at the jail on Sunday

I'll be preaching at the Monroe County Jail on Sunday night. I like to distribute notes to the people that attend the service. Here they are:

Idols of the heart


Key idea: The idols of our heart take us far from God 

  • Both Old (Deuteronomy 8:19, Exodus 20:3, etc.) and New (Galatians 5:20, Romans 1:18-32, etc.) Testaments warn about worshiping idols 
  • Worship = the highest amount of respect or admiration for or devotion to something we value – can only worship one thing at a time (Matthew 6:24)
  • Idol = an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship; a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered 
  • An idol something you feel you must have to be happy, fulfilled in life
  • We find in that idols are actually created in our hearts (Ezekiel 14:3)
  • It is not something “outside of us”, it is “inside of us” – It becomes more important to your heart than God himself 
  • Lying –we would not lie unless first we had made some thing (human approval, reputation, power over others, financial advantage, etc.) more important and valuable to our hearts than the grace and favor of God
  • Some idols are good things – comfort, prosperity, reputation, family
  • Trouble comes when we choose “good things” over obedience to God (Romans 1:21, 25) 
If idols take us far from God, how do we identify the idols of our heart? 
  • What do you habitually think about in the privacy of your heart?
  • How you spend your money. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there is your heart also." (Matthew 6:21, 2 Corinthians 8:7-9)
  • How do you respond to people who stand in the way of what you want? (James 4:1-3)
    • I desire (I want to watch the football game.)
    • I punish (I will have a bad attitude and not say a word to you as we hang curtains to make sure that you know I am not happy with this.)
    • I judge (You want me to help hang curtains at your mother’s house. You are keeping me from the football game.)
    • I demand (I worked hard all day yesterday. I deserve to watch the football game.)
  • How do you respond to unanswered prayers and frustrated hopes?
If idols take us far from God, how do we eliminate them from our heart?
(Colossians 3:1-3)

  • Appreciating, expressing thanks for, finding peace in what Christ has done
  • Jesus must become more attractive than our idol to our hearts
  • Be patient with yourself – get closer and closer – not perfect

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