70 Years Ago – Oct. 8, 1939: The New York Yankees win their fourth straight World Series, defeating the Cincinnati Reds.
In ancient times, people worshipped idols. They bowed down to chunks of wood or metal fashioned to look like cows or people or birds, trusted in them, and devoted themselves to them.
We laugh at that. We know better.
Or do we? Do we bow down over our computer keyboards, investing our time in celebrity updates, YouTube videos, and Facebook—and say we don’t have time to read the Bible? Do we trust in our abilities, finances, and strength—without asking for God’s guidance? Do we devote ourselves to sports or TV or our latest gadgets—and grumble about tithing and serving?
Idolatry happens whenever we put anything above the Lord. This doesn’t mean we can’t follow our favorite team, meet our friends on-line, or keep an eye on our financial portfolios. God gave us many good gifts—to serve Him, to help others, and yes, for our enjoyment. But whenever anything comes between us and the Lord, we need to watch out.
God designed the laws of nature that allow our technologies. He gave us our abilities and strength. He created the natural resources we use, and provided everything we own. How foolish we are to put the creation above the Creator, how ungrateful to put the gift above the Giver, how arrogant to put ourselves above the One True God.
The prophet Elijah told the idol-worshippers in Israel, “’How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.’” And when the people saw the power of the One True God, they fell to their faces and cried, “’The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!’” I Kings 18: 21, 39.
Let’s not forget the power and sovereignty of our God. Let’s keep Him first, where He belongs.
65 Years Ago – Oct. 7, 1944: US Third Fleet begins strikes on Luzon in the Philippines in preparation for the Leyte landings.
70 Years Ago – Oct. 6, 1939: Hitler calls for peace talks with Britain and France.
65 Years Ago – Oct. 6, 1944: Soviet Army enters Hungary.
70 Years Ago – Oct. 5, 1939: USSR forces Latvia to allow Soviet troop bases.
65 Years Ago – Oct. 5, 1944: Canadian troops cross Belgian-Dutch border north of Antwerp. Germany begins conscription of sixteen-year-olds.
65 Years Ago – Oct. 4, 1944: World Series opens – in six games, the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the St. Louis Browns. One-armed Pete Gray played for the Browns.
65 Years Ago – Oct. 3, 1944: Germans resume launching V-2 rockets at Britain from new sites in Holland.
65 Years Ago – Oct. 2, 1944: The Warsaw Uprising ends, as the Polish Home Army surrenders to the Germans; 200,000 Poles killed.
65 Years Ago – Oct. 1, 1944: Canadian forces open campaign to clear the Scheldt Estuary around port of Antwerp, Belgium. Library of Congress once again displays the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, retrieved from Fort Knox.
It must be fall. My antisocial cat has come out of hiding to absorb my body heat. Janie is a tease of a cat. She rolls onto her back in front of me, baring her fluffy white belly, then darts away when I reach to pet her. But when it gets chilly, she curls up next to me, purrs, and lets me pet her. I think she’s using me.
Our yellow lab, Daisy, has caused hundreds, probably thousands of dollars of damage to house, clothing, and pool equipment. Our three children have given me smart-aleck comments, sleepless nights, barf on the carpet, and several “I hate you’s.”
Why do I put up with it? The answer is obvious, isn’t it? Love. The cat is so irresistably fuzzy. The dog has big brown eyes and goes into a full-body wag whenever I come home. The kids make my chest ache because I love them so much.
1 Peter 4:8 says, “Love covers over a multitude of sins.” So true. Love helps me put up with Janie’s standoffishness, Daisy’s destructiveness, and my kids being kids.
Why don’t I show the same grace to the guy who cuts me off in traffic and makes me miss a light? To the lady at the department store who keeps sending the cashier back to see if they have that blouse in a different size? To the fellow employee who pesters me with stupid questions (yes, there’s such a thing as a stupid question)?
I don’t show them grace because I don’t love them.
Not the warm, fuzzy love reserved for those close to me, but the “love your neighbor as yourself” kind of love. The kind of love that remembers God made that person too and loves them just as much as He loves me. The kind of love that stops to wonder if maybe that person is having a bad day or has troubles I can’t see. The kind of love that remembers I’m human too. I cut people off sometimes. I’ve been known to take too long at the cash register. I ask stupid questions.
That’s the kind of love I want to receive the next time I goof up. The kind of love I want to give the next time someone else goofs up.
Love is more than a feeling. It’s a choice.