Lenten Reader | Day 26


 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

- Luke 16:13-15
The 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary defines IDOLATRY as the worship of idols, images, or anything made by hands, or which is not God. Our world has made it easy to follow idols: money, social media, Netflix...fill in the blank with what comes to mind. All of which feed off our human nature to worship things. “Ye cannot serve God and…” – fill in the blank. That is not to say enjoying the use of those things is in and of itself bad, but they can at times become overly adored or revered to a point they are gathering our supreme respect and honor (aka worshipped).

What is one way to overcome idolatry? Study your Bible (2 Timothy 2:15), be devoted to it, hold to it. We are blessed today that we have ready access to the Bible, the written, documented words of God. What are some things to keep in mind while studying your Bible?

Words have meaning – seek to understand them. You want to understand the definition of the words as intended by the author. You compare Scripture with Scripture. There is an intended purpose in a written message. In reading you are taught to understand who, what, when, where, and why. Apply this to your Bible study. Look at what comes before and what comes after. You gain an understanding of the total body of work that it is part of. You put it into context. Seek counsel from those that have wisdom, study other reputable sources of information like commentaries or Bible study books to gain an understanding, but go back and study the Bible for yourself in context.

If you want to be devoted or if you want to hold to a master, YOU CAN! You can hold it right in your hands. Open up your Bible, read it and seek to understand the authors’ intended meaning, God's intended meaning. Don’t be like the “Pharisees who justify themselves before men,” but be like the Bereans who “searched out the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:10-11).

-Andy Bolyard