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A born again Christian must never have anything to do with worthless man-made gods, whether in public, in their privacy and in secret places. This is because, through the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, and our inextricable union with Christ, we are expected to be well-grounded in our faith in God and function with lively hope by which we are inspired to stand firm in the Lord alone and live the glorious Christian life.

Reference: Acts 19:26 New International Version (NIV) "And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all."

Since he was able to persuade and convince many people that "handmade gods aren't really gods", and he did that not only in Ephesus but throughout the entire province of Asia, it reveals that Paul's words were full of power of the Spirit, denoting unquestionable dominion. The question is: How big is the province of Asia? According to records, Asia is earth's largest and most populous continent. Considering the size and diversity, the province of Asia is home to majority of the entire human population. At present, it is roughly 60% of the world's population. So in Paul's day, at the time, we assume that he proportionately influenced a reasonable percent of people with the gospel, delivering them from false gods and man-made idolised nonentities.

Psalm 135:15-16 reads, "The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands...They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes, yes they have, but they do not see. They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them" (NKJV). This reminds me of an interesting story in the Bible when King Nebuchadnezzar summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials in his kingdom to assemble for the dedication of the image that he had set up, and they all gathered and stood before it. The description of the idolized image is this: gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.

An instruction was given by the King, which says, "Nations and peoples of every language: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. The Jewish boys, who were set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, namely, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, paid no attention to the King's instruction. Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned them, and said, "if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" The boys refused, stood their ground, defied the king's command and informed him that they would not bow to or serve his gods or worship the image of gold he set up. Eventually, God saved and delivered them from the king's hands (See Daniel 3:1-30 NIV).

Today, all of the saints' triumphs are owing to Christ's victory on the cross. So it is in vain to trust in any graven image, instead we must always trust God who is Almighty. Paul said, "But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume" (2 Corinthians 2:14 NLT). Indeed, God is our real captain and guidance; He's no man-made god. Beloved, we are in the days far more dreadful because the works of wickedness abound on earth more than any other time in human history. By considering the gross darkness of idolatry in this world, Habakkuk 2:19 says, "What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols, 'Wake up and save us!' To speechless stone images you say, 'Rise up and teach us!' Can an idol tell you what to do? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside" (NLT). Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Deuteronomy 5:8; Isaiah 42:17; Psalm 2:11; 1 Samuel 12:24; Psalm 97:7.

Guided Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank you for many instances of your grace and faithfulness in my life, and therefore I fear you for who you are. Your goodness and mercy reveal that there is no other God besides you and for this reason, my heart is fully focused on you both now and always, in Jesus' Name, Amen!

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