WHO’S NUMBER ONE?
Daily Bible Reading – Acts 14:1-28
Today’s Scripture Focus – “When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, “Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.” (Acts 14:14-15)
Devotion – I have followed with interest the story of Kanye West’s conversion to the Christian faith and apparent devotion to Jesus Christ. My primary interest has resulted from the fact that not long ago he released the album Yeezus, featuring tracks such as “I Am God.” Even more recently he released the track “I Love It” with controversial rapper Lil Pump, and in that song the two rappers discussed their love for hookups and casual sexual encounters. Since April of 2019, however, Kanye West has been boldly proclaiming that God is God and that Jesus is the “King” we should give our devotion to. I’m not expecting Kanye West to live a perfect life, but I do pray that he maintains his devotion to God as being the “God” of his life.
In Acts 14 we find that the Gentiles in a town named Lystra wanted to affirm and worship Paul and Barnabas as gods. Gentiles in that day had plenty of gods, so adding more “gods” to worship wasn’t a big deal for them. They wanted to affirm and worship Paul and Barnabas as gods because they saw Paul pray for a crippled man who was healed by God’s power. They then declared that Barnabas was Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the speaker. And they proceeded to bring bulls and flower wreaths to sacrifice to them. That’s when Paul shouted, admonishing them for trying to proclaim he and Barnabas as gods. He said, “We are merely human beings – just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.”
This story brings to mind the question – who or what is a “god” in our lives? Several days ago we learned that a “god” or “idol” is anything or anyone that comes before the God in our lives. Can a career or money be a god? Sure they can. Sex, another person or pleasure can also be gods in our lives. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:4, “The day will come when people will be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” That day has come. Can sports be a god? Many people focus a lot more on sports and their sporting activities than they do on God in their lives. Our gods could be sports, our kids, our kids activities, video games, our boyfriend or girlfriend, our infatuation with success or many other things. Anything or anyone that comes before God in our lives is a god in our lives. And the Lord said in the 10 Commandments, “You shall serve no other god but Me” (Exodus 20:3).
There are lots of things that many in our culture have made “gods” in their lives, but they are poor substitutes for serving the living God, the one true God. It’s in serving the one true God that we find real peace and purpose in our lives. It’s in serving the one true God that we experience His provision, His protection and His power like Paul and Barnabas experienced. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is that we’re to “love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.” That means we’re to love and worship Him more than anyone or anything else in our lives. Let’s put that principle and priority into practice in our lives today.
Follow-up Activity – Consider what steps you need to take to make the Lord number one in your life. That may include prioritizing Him in your daily and weekly schedule, or communicating to others how important He is to you. That may also include seeking His will regarding the decisions you need to make or activities or ministries you need to be involved in. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” And we can say that “Blessed is the person whose God is the Lord.”
Prayer Guide For Today – Spend some time in prayer
- Adoring the Lord – What attributes of the Lord do I need to praise Him for today?
- Confessing your sins – What sin or struggle do I need to confess to the Lord so I can experience His forgiveness and freedom in my life?
- Thanking the Lord – What blessings or people do I need to thank the Lord for today?
- Seeking God’s help – What specific requests do I have for myself or others today?
One Sentence Prayer for Today – Lord, help me to prioritize taking the time and making the effort to hear Your voice so that I can know and do Your will in every arena of my life.
THIS WEEK AT CELEBRATION WE’RE BEGINNING MIDWEEK DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAYS CLASSES AT OUR CELEBRATION CAMPUSES, AND WE’RE CONTINUING OUR 12-DAYS OF FASTING AND PRAYER. For info about Discipleship Classes, go to www.celebrationchurch.org and to your Campus Page. Feel free to send your personal Prayer Requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.