“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God

– Exodus 20:4-5a (NIV)

Today’s commentary
by Caesar Kalinowski, GraceNYC.org

We can mistakenly think that what God is talking about here are merely idols made by human hands—things like totem poles or statues of other gods or people. But bigger than that are the idols of the heart. An idol is anything that takes first place in our life and affections; anything that becomes a “functional god” in our life is an idol. What are the things you put your trust in? What controls your thinking and actions throughout the day? Is it your job, education or social status? Maybe it is approval from a certain person in your life. When any of these things take first priority, above God in your life, they are idols.

If we truly live out the first commandment, “have no other gods before God”, we will not bow to success, public opinion, savings accounts, career or anything else that is not actually the living God himself. He alone will be our God having first place in our hearts and lives, displacing all other idols.

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