Scripture Reading:  Acts 19:21-41

“And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods.” (Acts 19:26)

Paul ministered in Ephesus for two years.  God blessed his ministry and a significant church was established there.  At the end of his ministry there, a riot took place which was started by a silversmith named Demetris.  Demetris was in the business of making idols of the goddess Artemis.  Because many were coming to Christ, they were forsaking their idols and therefore Demetris’ business suffered.  So he stirred up the craftsmen in Ephesus and a riot erupted.  Paul’s life was in danger and therefore his friends made him leave the city.

When Paul preached the gospel, he called people to repentance.  He showed them that Jesus alone is to be worshiped and therefore he called upon the people to forsake the idols they were worshiping.  Paul made it clear that these idols were man-made and that they had no power.  Many believed and turned away from their idolatry.  This, of course, hurt the businesses of the craftsmen who were the idol manufacturers.

I feel fairly certain that none of us have idols like the ones Demetris made.  However, we are often guilty of making man-made idols out of our possessions.  An idol is anything we love or value more than we love or value Jesus.  Idols can be good things that we turn into objects of worship — the become “gods made with hands that are not gods.”  We can love and value our homes, cars, sports teams, jobs and even family members more that we love and value Jesus.  When we do so, we make those things idols.  God calls us to abandon our idols and to worship and love Him above all things.

Lord God, forgive me when I love and value other things more than I love and value You.  I confess that I often have made idols out of things and people.  Today, I desire to turn away from my idolatry so that I can truly worship only You.


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