Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

Exposing Hidden Idols…Part 2

Devotions this week based on the Message: “Counterfeit Gods: Exposing Hidden Idols”

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(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.)

These three definitions of “moral” from Merriam Webster Dictionary are interesting:

  1. concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior
  2. based on what you think is right and good
  3. considered right and good by most people agreeing with a standard of right behavior

Why does this intrigue me?  Why does it help to understand why agreeing on what is “moral” is challenging?

Because morality by the standard of this definition is either defined by “ME” or by the “MAJORITY”.

So, if I don’t think something is right, I feel no obligation to act in that way.

If the majority of people think something is right, and I don’t, I am perceived as immoral for acting differently.

The challenge with the lack of an objective standard of morality, is that morality is constantly shifting.  If I can convince a majority of people something is moral, I feel empowered to shame those who don’t.  The ones who can claim the “moral high ground” can look down on those who disagree or act differently.  However, often those on the moral high ground succumb to blindness to their moral failures.  They champion the one area they are doing well and condemn as judgmental those who would point out a moral failure, claiming the accuser has no right to impose their standard of morality on them.

Morality will always be a confusion as along as it is subjective and not objective.

That’s why God in his love for mankind, codified the moral code for the world in the 10 commandments.  He outlined not just for Israel, but for all people what morality was.  He outlined in ten statements what love for God and love for people entailed.

As a Christ-follower this is always our standard of morality.  Let me caution and encourage you.

First the caution:  Don’t make morality your idol.

What do I mean?  Don’t allow the outward obedience of the law over shadow a humble heart before God’s law.  When outward obedience or morality become the ultimate thing, it is easy to claim the moral high ground and look down on everyone else.  Jesus taught against this:

Luke 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Remember: Morality becomes an idol when it leads us to overlook our sins and look down on other sinners.

Now the encouragement.  Remember, while you may be doing better at one area of Christian morality than another person, you aren’t comparing yourself to others, you are comparing yourself to God.  When that happens, this truth from Romans 3 shows up:

Romans 3:22 There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Always remember, only God can claim the moral high ground.  Yet even in that position, he chose to extend grace to you.  You stand right with God only because God chose to make things right with you.  He covered all your immorality (sin) with the perfect morality of Jesus Christ.

Never forget this. We all need God’s grace!

Always live it.  No matter what the world proposes as “moral” God ALWAYS has the moral high ground.  Follow his objective standard.  No matter how good you think you are doing, remember you live under the umbrella of God’s forgiving, saving grace!

Apply: What area of morality do you do well at?  Are you tempted to look down on others who don’t do that well?  How does grace reorient your heart and motivation for living for Jesus?

Prayer: Lord thank you for Jesus, my perfect substitute when I sin and act immorally.  Lead me to pray always like the tax collector, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.”  Lead me to live always in view of your mercy as a living sacrifice to you!  AMEN.

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