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Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Prov. 4:23

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Lk. 6:45

Gracious Father, how I long for the day when I will no longer be temptable, deceivable, or capable of worshiping any other “god” but you. I so look forward to an eternity of giving you the adoration, affection, attention, and allegiance of which you alone are worthy. No one redeems us like you. No one understands us like you. No one loves us like you do. No one cares for us like you do. Every other god is simply a wannabe god, demigod, semi-god. Only you are God; only you are as generous as the gospel reveals you to be.

In Jesus, you’ve already given us a new heart and have placed your Spirit inside us. In Jesus, you’ve already turned our heart of stone into a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:25-27). In Jesus, you’ve already given us a heart to know and love you (Jer. 24:7). In Jesus, you’ve already written your law upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33).

Indeed, Father, you’ve already given me a perfectly forgiven heart—yet, it is far from being a fully perfected heart. The battle for my heart’s worship continues, daily and relentlessly. Don’t let me forget that this conflict will persist until the day Jesus returns to finish making all things new. Thus, the warning to keep myself from idols isn’t going away anytime soon. The need to guard, feed and refresh my heart will stay as current as sunrise and sunset.

Father, there are some idols I run from like the plague, but others I don’t even recognize as idols. It’s easier to see the idols outside of me, but help me to discern the “idols of the heart” (see Ezek. 14:4). Help me to know when I’ve made a good thing an ultimate thing. When I don’t think you are “enough,” where do I take the trust and worship you deserve; where do I foolishly go for life, deliverance, and salvation? By your grace, help me see and dethrone these rivals, by a greater preoccupation with Jesus.

I praise you for the assurance that I am already one of the “dear children,” John wrote about in this Scripture. You cannot love me more than you already do, and you will never love me less. Surely the gospel—this gospel, will win the day, my heart, and the entire cosmos. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ holy and grace-full name.



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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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