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Sunday School – January 8, 2017

Lessons from Sunday School

In our lesson from Ezekiel in chapters 8 – 11, we study Ezekiel’s 2nd vision from God. God’s vision first showed Ezekiel the Glory of God filling the temple in Jerusalem. Ezekiel could see the cloud of God covering every inch inside the temple. Then God started showing Ezekiel visions of the people of Israel sinning inside the temple. God reminded Ezekiel that He found this extremely disgusting.

I am wondering here if this is where your mama gets this saying, “Are you telling lies right here in church???” As a child, I wondered if it was worse to sin inside the walls of a church as opposed to sinning at home or at school, but I guess it is. This part of Ezekiel makes it sound that way, so do not be sinning inside the walls of church, y’all!

At the end of the vision, after Ezekiel had been shown several incidences of the people sinning inside the church walls, then he saw the cloud of God move away from the temple. The glory of God left the temple!

When God’s temple becomes filled with corruption and idolatry, His glory must go. It cannot co-exist with sin. That goes not only for our physical church, but also for our individual hearts.

If we believers deliberately open our hearts to spiritual darkness, then although we may be saved and are God’s children, we have allowed sins of bondage or control in our lives that shouldn’t be there. These sins will cause God’s glory to depart from us. We simply cannot allow other idols and sin to come into our hearts and rob us of having God’s glory inside of us.

So, what would that actually feel like? We can be saved through our belief, but feel spiritually empty. Have you ever felt like you and God weren’t close anymore? Have you ever had doubts about your beliefs? That’s when it’s time to take inventory of what you have in your heart crowding Him out.

What about idols? Do we have them? Do we bring them into our church sanctuary? Whether we want to admit it or not, we do. God will NOT co-exist with an idol. Idols can be so many things that we find so important in our lives. Our schedules, our children, our spouses, our jobs, our affluent club affiliations, our interest in gaining wealth, the list goes on. And how about God having to share Christmas – the birth of His son – with Santa Claus? Or share Easter – the death of His son on the cross to pay for our sins – with the Easter Bunny? I think God finds that detestable.

Yes, we have idols and they are so ingrained into our culture that it’s very difficult to let go of them. And even if we tried, others would not think fondly of us. But these things affect our worship of God and His acceptance of our worship.

Examine your heart and clean out all the things that shouldn’t be there. Make room for God!

Forgive us, Lord, for the other idols in our lives. Those idols have become so much a part of our lives and of our culture that it’s hard to recognize them and even harder to part from them. We pray, Lord, that you will not leave us but help us to turn away from the idols and back to You and that You will mold us into the Christ-centered Christians You would have us to be. Amen. Peace, Erma

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