Beyond the Weekend

July 23 | Idols

July 23, 2021


Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust an idol or swear by a false god. Psalm 24:3-4

Read: Psalm 24:3–4
Psalm 24


Israel’s history is marked by continual temptations to worship idols representing Baal, Asherah and Molech. But they don’t completely reject the one true God as they give in to these temptations. They add these idols to their worship of Yahweh, hoping they would provide crops, children or success in battle. It was a way to get something. It was “God plus ___________.” This is why many in the crowd thought of a pure heart as an undivided heart. Their history confirmed that a pure heart “does not trust an idol.”

Our mantels today aren’t filled with idols of wood, metal or stone to which we pray or offer a sacrifice. But we still are tempted to add things to Jesus for meaning, value and security. We have things we live for and can’t imagine living without. It can be 100 “likes” on a post, the title of vice president, the loss of 20 pounds or a newer house. It’s that thing we “add” to Jesus thinking it will give us meaning or significance.

Often these things can slowly creep into our lives. We don’t set out to add something to Jesus. It slowly moves into our lives until we suddenly realize how important this “idol” is to us. Our heart has become divided.


Ask yourself, “What is my “Jesus and ___________?” When you identify it, confess this to the Lord and receive his forgiveness. It’s what James says when he writes, “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). Receive God’s cleansing as you find your satisfaction in him alone.


Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 12.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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