Devotions this week based on the Message: “Counterfeit Gods: The Emptiness of Everything”
(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Tim Keller entitled, Counterfeit Gods.
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The danger is real.
The contrast is stark.
The choice is obvious.
But we don’t think the thief is all that bad. In fact the thief doesn’t come in with guns a-blazin’, but rather with a tone and manner that leads us to follow rather than be scared.
Jesus uses the picture of a good shepherd and his sheep to paint the picture of what the danger of counterfeit gods are. Sure in John 10, he doesn’t use the term “counterfeit gods” but the description of the “thief” surely fits. The silent yet deliberate purpose and goal of the thief is to “steal and kill and destroy” the sheep.
Think of the devotions this past week and your personal reflections on the counterfeit gods in your life. Do not the counterfeit gods steal our joy, kill our soul, and destroy our relationship with god? If they haven’t already, Jesus is stating clearly that is their intent…whether you think it is or not.
The thief comes ONLY to steal and kill and destroy. Period.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, on the other hand comes that “they may have life and have it to the full.”
Jesus wants us to realize that as our Good Shepherd he is the only one who can and does provide what we really need in life.
Consider…if counterfeit gods end up disappointing us, Jesus always is true to his promises, his love and his care for us.
Consider…if counterfeit gods seem to give us the good things in life, Jesus gives us what we really need for life…forgiveness, love, peace, hope and more.
Consider…if counterfeit gods consume our time, energy and effort yet leave us feeling empty, when our time, energy and effort is consumed by Jesus, we always feel full.
Consider…if counterfeit gods drift us away from God, Jesus is the only one that can truly bring us close to God.
Consider…If we are looking for counterfeit gods to love us, provide for us, or give us significance…they will always fall short of the love, provision and significance Jesus gives.
Idols leave us empty. Jesus leaves us full.
Just consider these three things:
LOVE: 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
PROVISION: Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
SIGNIFICANCE: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)
Apply: Where have you realized the emptiness of idols in your life? How can/does Jesus fill the void we look to counterfeit gods to fill?
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for coming to fill my heart and life that I may be protected from the one who wants to steal, kill and destroy my soul. Help me always to find life, full life, in you! AMEN.