Pastor Steve Williams : The Big Three

Money, Sex & Power · 41:43 · Recorded May 10, 2015

“THE BIG THREE”

1 John 2:15-17 (NLT)  Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Why are they such “biggies?”

1. They’re as old as sin!

See Genesis 2:15-3:13 on background

The illicit pursuit of pleasure

The foolish obsession with possession

The grandiose power play

2. Their potential as rival gods.

1 John 5:21 (AMP)  Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)—[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life].

Not just important, but ultimate.

Become all-consuming desires.

Ephesians 4:19 (HCSB)  They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

Hosea 4:17 (AMP)  “Ephraim is joined [fast] to idols, [so] let him alone [to take the consequences].”

Romans 1:21-32 (NAS)  They became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened…Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…God gave them over to degrading passions…receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error…As they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper…

How I start measuring what matters.

3. They can be mighty bad when gone wrong!

The only real neutralizer.

Mark 12:29-31 (ICB) “The most important command is this: ‘Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God, he is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God. Love him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second most important command is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’”

1 Thessalonians 1:9 (NLT)  “You turned away from idols to serve the living and true God.”

4. They rob God’s blessing & resources.

Jonah 2:8 (NIV)  “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”

Made for him & his purposes.

Colossians 1:16-17 (TEV)   God created the whole universe through him [Jesus] and for him.  Christ existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place.

1 John 2:17 (MSG)   The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

  • What was your first reaction when you heard the title of this series announced?

  • If a friend were to ask you what Church was about this weekend, how would you summarize it to him?

  • When have you experienced something vying for God’s place in your life? What was the result for you? What did you find most intriguing or surprising, or helpful from thinking about “idolatry” and the “big three?”

  • Which scriptures in this message speak powerfully to you about giving God his rightful place in our lives? What cues can we use to know when his place is being challenged?

  • Read Colossians 1:16-17 from this outline. What is one practical way in which Jesus has helped you put something in its “proper place?” Are you struggling with something right now your group can pray for you about?

  • Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9. This is a great passage reminding us of how we’re to shape the lives of our little ones. Note that as a parent you set the example of loving God. His ways are to be in your heart, and then you actively teach them to your kids. Re-member that a life of love for God is “caught” more than taught formally however. Place reminders of God and his word promi-nently in your home, but most of all keep praying, and practicing your faith together as a family!

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