This month we’re launching one of the major message series of the year. And it’s all about the propensity of ours to trade down when it comes to what really matters in life. We’re calling the series “counterfeit gods” because we’re focusing on those things we put in the place where the living God is suppose to be.
Pagan worship is alive and well and easy to find in our community. Our idols might not be golden statues, but they’re just as real because they hold our heart, determine how we spend our money and really are the objects of our worship.
Whatever I trust more than the living God is my counterfeit god. Whatever I look to for meaning and value and purpose before I look to the living God is my counterfeit god. Whatever you are hoping to make you happy instead of and apart from the living God is your counterfeit god. Whatever you love more than the living God is your counterfeit.
Over against this idol worship, that definitely is a pervasive part of our life, there is a reality that Jesus refers to as the kingdom of heaven. It’s an expression he uses in the gospel of Matthew; in the gospels of Mark and Luke he uses a similar expression, the kingdom of God. Same thing, but different from the word heaven.
Heaven is a destination, the kingdom of heaven is a movement. Heaven is a noun, the kingdom of heaven is a verb. Heaven is in the future, the kingdom of heaven is now.
The kingdom of heaven is the central theme of Jesus’ preaching. In it he teaches that the world and our lives can be understood and more successfully undertaken according to the authority and under the will of God.
And Jesus describes it as a present reality available to us right now. And over and over again, he compares that reality to a party, a treasure, a fortune, a prize, a pearl of great price.
And over and over again we find ourselves taking the smaller thing instead of the bigger thing, the lesser thing instead of the greater thing. God offers us our greatest opportunity at a great life and we ignore it or reject it; we’re not interested, or just more concerned with less important things…counterfeit gods.
There are probably thousands and thousands of counterfeit gods out there, so we’ll only be scratching the surface of this subject during our series. But we will definitely try and look at the major ones.
This week we’re talking about the god of control, next week its’ sex and pleasure. In the weeks beyond that we’ll also be looking at the “god” of religious hypocrisy, and finally, the biggest one of all, ever: the fake god of money. Plan to join us for this whole series, we’ve got some strong, challenging messages coming up.
By the way, there are still some spaces available for our first ever church conference. Hit this link and join us on November 5 as we take a deeper look at who we are and how to make church matter.