Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts.
1 John 5:21 NLTse
John wraps up his book by affectionately calling out to his readers as a dad would plea to his own children, who he dearly loves and wants the best for. He calls us to break free and flee from idolatry. And lest we think of little wooden statues, the NLT translation reminds us that an idol is anything that takes God's place in our hearts. Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5 boldly proclaim that greedy people are idolaters, worshiping the things of this world. What takes the place of God in your heart? Cars, homes, children, hobbies, recreation, 401(k) or investments?
Be "theocentric" - having God as the focal point of your thoughts, interests, and feelings! In this way we can experience all that God has for us. We need not question decisions that help free us from idolatrous distractions, as long as those decisions don't result in turning inward and neglecting Jesus' Great Commission; God's love and compassion pushes us outward and compels us to share His love, compassion, and message of salvation and eternal life with others.
Lord, I devote myself fully to You. Help me to break free from that which would distract me from being theocentric. Jesus, it is all about You. Help me to put You in your rightful place, to make decisions, and to act in a way that will always bring You glory. Help me reflect Your love and compassion to others.
Special song today:
Jesus, Lover of My Soul, from album Passion: Road to One Day