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June 11, 2018

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June 11, 2018 

Read Genesis 35

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Scripture- Genesis 35:3-4- We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem.

Observations- The family of Jacob is again on the move, but worship and repentance will be an important beginning to a new journey. To worship the One true God means to let go of idols they have been clinging to as they "hedged their bets." After all, the logic might go, if one god is good aren't two even better? No, it was time to stop clinging to their idols as if they had any real power.  

Application- Theologian Paul Tillich used to point out that everyone had an "ultimate concern;" that is, we all worship someone or something, even when we claim not to do so. Our ultimate concern can be anything, but having the wrong ultimate concern can be costly- here and now in our daily lives and there and then in the fullness of eternity. The Triune God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- is our ultimate concern and we get to release all other idols that would tempt us to put something else in the place God alone deserves.

Prayer- (The full Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr) God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:16),

Pastor Jamie

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