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II Kings 17:1-18:12

Mike you ask the question, “If the foreigners both worshiped God AND served idols at the same time back then, do you suppose that we can fall into this same trap today?” Sadly the answer is yes and we can fall into that trap and not even know we are in it. Many of us scope-our-horror (horoscopes) while reading the bible and confessing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We idolize the god of Chance as we stand on line to purchase lottery tickets, or head to Atlantic City or Vegas to try our luck. We network in groups with people we don’t like to advance careers we hate by celebrating the god of Business Contacts. We join others in-group worship raising our voices to the gods of group think, Might-Makes-Right and There-Are-More-of-Us-Then-You. We don’t trust God to do what He said He will do.

In truth anything we place above God as our source, provider and protector, to name just a few, is idolatry. We even can idolize God’s laws and commandments instead of looking to the God who gave us the directives.

Acts 20:1-38

Paul had singleness of purpose. He knew what he was called to do, he knew where he was suppose to do it and he was willing to pay whatever the price to accomplish his assignment. The only way one could imitate what Paul did is to know only one thing, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:2) and what that means. We must not only believe by faith but also somehow translate that faith into a dedicated conviction to stay the course despite hardships and yes, maybe even death.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

20 22 "And now I am going to Jerusalem, drawn there irresistibly by the Holy Spirit, not knowing what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit has told me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus--the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love.

Psalm 148:1-14
The best prescription for depression, sadness and just feeling lousy is giving God Praise. Doing this takes your mind off the situation and gives you a godly perspective of what you are going through.

Proverbs 18:6-7

Ah, the running off at the mouth has consequences, for the fool the penalty is squabbling and violence perpetrated upon them. In other words, keep the Mouth Shut!

Grace and peace,

Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols.

This is a very convicting verse. We hope and often believe that when we are worshipping a God we are acting in a way that will please a God. Of course, the big BUT is whether we are also serving other idols at the same time. If we consider our lives, we likely will find other idols which may not be as important to us are nevertheless things we worship Ito some degree. Our call to worship our God only and to the exclusion of other idols is something different than worshipping Him primarily and above other things.

"I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing."

I wish all Christian leaders could say this today

Acts 20:22 Now I feel that the Holy Spirit has taken me captive. I am being led to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:4b Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
This is a curiousity for me because the Holy Spirit tells 2 people different things? Any thoughts?

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