The main purpose of this sermon is that American's do "ALL" we can to put other things, people or activities before our God & King. We consistently fill our "Idle" time with "Idols". Which in reality is nothing new, but it is a challenge we must address daily. I use the points below on a "Handout" for the congregation. There are quite a few references but don't let that worry you... Enjoy.
Habakkuk 1:1-11 (New International Version)
--- Habakkuk’s Complaint
1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received. 2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save? 3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. 4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.
--- God’s Answer
5 "Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians, [a] that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own. 7 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor. 8 Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like a vulture swooping to devour; 9 they all come bent on violence. Their hordes [b] advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand. 10 They deride kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; they build earthen ramps and capture them. 11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on— guilty men, whose own strength is their god."
--- HOW LONG LORD, How long? ---
----- Idols will disappoint you…
Habakkuk 2:18 (New International Version)
18 "Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.
----- Idols will dominate you…
1 Corinthians 12:2 (New International Version)
2You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.
----- Idols will shape you…
Psalm 115:1-8 (New International Version)
1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. 2 Why do the nations say, "Where is their God?" 3 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. 4 But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 5 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 6 they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; 7 they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. 8 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
----- Idols will devalue a “True God”…
Exodus 32:4 (New International Version)
4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, "These are your gods, [a] O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."
John 8:42-45 (New International Version)
42Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
----- Idols will become an addiction… unto death…
Revelation 9:1-6 & 20 (New International Version)
1The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
Revelation 9:20 (New International Version)
20The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
----- God sets the captive free… God gives you a choice…
John 8:34-36 (New International Version)
34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
----- Why should I, believe this God?
Exodus 20:3 (New International Version)
3 "You shall have no other gods before [a] me.
Exodus 3:14 (New International Version)
14 God said to Moses, "I AM that I AM . [a] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
I AM the “Bread of Life” – John 6:35, 6:41 & 6:51 – He sustains us & He gives us life!
I AM the “Light of the World” – John 8:12 & 9:5 – He lights our path & He disperses darkness in our way.
I AM the “Truth” – John 14:6 – He gives us answers to life’s questions & He will not lie to us.
I AM the “Vine” – John 15:1 – He will help us grow “as long as we are a part”.
I AM the “Good Shepherd” – John 10:11 & 14 – He will protect us, He will comfort us & He will never leave us.
I AM the “Life” – John 14:6 – He is LIFE ABUNDANT! VICTORIOUS! BEYOND MEASURE!
I AM the “Door” – John 10:7 & 10: 9 – He is the way & He is our Salvation
Closes usually with alter call for all who desire to remove the idols in their lives and fill them with more God.