December 6, 2012

“And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15

A good friend of mine is headed to a very unique convention with his family. They are going to a show organized by the American Hereford Association. I understand that it is a pretty big deal in the certified Hereford world.  They actually take cattle into the convention rooms of a casino for the show.  You will hear the bellow of cattle mingled in with the ding of slot machines and the clatter of chips. I want to go just to experience the clash of senses. However, the only folks that will go to this Hereford show are people who are into Herefords; a rather small niche in the world.

I am amazed at how many niches are out there for us to be engrossed in. Just look at the schedule of a major convention center and you will begin to get an idea of the magnitude of minutia that we can exalt.  Our esteem is cloaked in words such as: aficionado, appreciator, connoisseur, collector, fan, expert, specialists, and devotee.  There are a lot of fascinating and wonderful things in this world to be “into”.

I am a fan of College (American) Football. The regular season is over and I am anxiously awaiting the feast to come – bowl season! I am planning on gorging myself on College Football throughout December and a little bit of January.  However, just on glance at the spectacle of College Football or any major sporting event and you will see a lot of exalting among men and women.michigan_stadium_big_house_2_small

Does that make College Football an abomination in the sight of God? I cannot come to any other conclusion then “yes”. The Superbowl, World Cup, World Series, Rugby World Cup, are probably all abominations in the sight of God. Abominations not because there is anything wrong with sport but because of where men exalt sport in relation to God. However, abominations are not limited to sport.

We have an incredible ability to make the wonderful into the horrible. When does something become bad? When does the thing that we are really “into” become an abomination in the sight of God?

I don’t know. All I know is that it can and does. It seems to me that the best test to discover an abomination in our life is the preference test. This is a mind experiment that requires complete honesty. We need to examine the things in our lives and ask ourselves whether we prefer that thing more than God. If you were to have to choose between that esteemed “whatever” and God, which would you pick? This gets to the heart of an abomination.  God knows your heart and he knows my heart. We are not fooling God; just ourselves.  Therefore, we have to examine our hearts.

We need to be brutally honest with everything in our lives. Consider your job, career, house, bank account, reputation… what if you had to give those up to follow Christ, would you do it?

What about friends, family, spouse, children… do you value them more than God? We can make one of the greatest blessing from God, our family, into something horrible when we place them above God.

For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. There is no escaping the directness of that statement.

What are you exalting this day?  How does that compare to your esteem for God?

PRAYER: Lord, give me eyes to see. I don’t want to deceive myself.  Lord, I don’t want anything in my life that is an abomination in your sight. Forgive me for exalting some of the things that you have given me, gifts from you, blessings from you, to a place of preference. That was never my intent. Thank you for showing that to me.  I give those back to you to the praise and glory of your name. Lord, take once again the place of preeminence in my life.    Amen

Image from http://sportige.com/top-10-ncaa-football-stadiums/

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