July 31,  2016   Melony’s Blog   …Preacher’s Helper

Article by our Daughter Melony Evans

“Little children, keep yourself from idols. “

This was the verse that kept playing in my head. It started earlier this week while we were on vacation.

Maybe the primitive living conditions of camping in the wild had gotten my attention. Whatever it was I wanted to know more about this verse. I took some time to read the other verses of this passage to help get a clearer picture of what God’s Word was presenting.

I was surprised to find this verse was at the very close of the chapter. It is the finale of  the book of 1 John.

For me, this verse was a warning, even a rebuke. It was saying to me, “Keep idols, keep the junk out of your life.”

An idol is anything that I am absorbed with. Whatever I spend my money on. Whatever consumers my thinking.

I need to focus instead on the One who is to be my all in all. I need to rip away all the things that I think about more than Him. I need to turn away from all the things I give myself to, dream about, worship more than Him. My other focus needs to be the lost and hurting people who are all around me. I dare not turn away!

Earlier in the book of 1 John there are repetitive directives about what real love is.  Real love for God is keeping His commandments. Real love is not a burden when it comes to obeying God’s commandments. We do not obey Him out of fear but because we truly love Him. Real believers really love. Real lovers of Jesus love others. The measure of our love for Him can be measured by the love we have for others.

Verses 16 & 17 of chapter 3 says, “By this we know love, that He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide on him?”

Scary stuff. Am I really so connected to my Saviour that I can give up my life, my health, my happiness, my stuff, my time, my comfort for my brother who has a need? Do I really love Him? Or do I spend my life stockpiling goodies that I can enjoy with my children and closest friends?

My prayer is that God will be able to change my selfish heart. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will take away all my foolish pretense and give me a hunger and thirst for a life that is free to follow God, free to give away what I hold dear, free to get to know those around me, free to lay down all the idols and be all I can be; be like Jesus.