Thursday, January 10, 2013

God First, God Last

X American Idol

I'm a dad. As a dad, I find myself repeating myself many times. Don't hit your sister, don't go near the oven when it's on, don't stick your finger there. All. The. Time. 

So I can appreciate a guy like the Apostle John who repeats himself seemingly over and over in his first letter. Love this, love them, love God and don't stick your finger there. John has a message that he wants to get across and he makes sure it is simple and clear. 

So it's not totally surprising when he ends his letter with a warning against idols, Billy or otherwise. The letter ends abruptly, but it does sum it up.

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. ~1 John 5:21
It's the last verse of his letter, almost a passing thought. But as if he might not see or write them again, he turns the focus clearly between God and anything else that might take God's place. 

This might be the best way to end any encouragement to anyone. Yes, there is a lot to our Christian faith. There is much to be taught and much to be learned. There are things to debate and things to practice. There are standards to be sought after and much praise to be sung. 

But, in the end, after all is said and done, it is about a choice. Between God and not-God. Anything that isn't God is an idol.

"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols."

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