1 John 5:21
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (WEB)
I love the simplicity, yet profound nature of John's final words in 1 John. Throughout this whole letter, John is addressing his readers as his 'little children'. In his parting words to them, he simply says... 'keep yourselves from idols'.
In the pagan world system that John lived in, it would be easy to spot an idol. There were actual temples dedicated to false gods throughout the Gentile empire. Idol worship was considered the norm back then. In many cultures today, we still see temples erected to false gods, but in the Western culture the idols are much more subtle. When John tells us to keep ourselves from idols, he is not only referring to literal idols but to anything that we would choose to worship other than God.
John's encouragement in today's Bible reading is to simply keep away from anything that would distract us from worshipping the one and only true God. For some it might be wealth, for others it might be pride. For yet others, it might be religious striving and performance.
My prayer today is that we would all be so captivated by our loving God that everything else would fade in comparison. May we all continue to fix our gaze on the beauty of God expressed in the face of our Elder Brother Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2) and be enraptured by His goodness.
Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. (WEB)