Turning from Idols to the True and Living God 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Mt. Olympus was about 50 miles southwest of Thessonalika. This is where the twelve Olympian gods supposedly resided. They were:  Hestia (scepter), Hermes (winged cap and staff), Aphrodite (veiled), Ares (helmet and spear), Demeter (scepter and wheat sheaf), Hephaestus (staff), Hera (scepter), Poseidon (trident), Athena (owl and helmet), Zeus (thunderbolt and staff), Artemis (bow and quiver), and Apollo (lyre). Paul commended the Thessalonians for turning away from these idols to serve the living and true God.

The Bible often refers to idols as “nothing, worthless, nonliving, etc.” They are of no help to us, no matter how much we might image that they are. Very few people still worship the twelve Olympian Gods, but people do still worship idols of various sorts. Some people worship themselves when they think that they are the only ones who can solve their own problems. They worship a distorted God when they make him to be a rewarder rather than a savior. Some worship a God of gratification who always approves of their pleasure seeking behavior. These are all imaginary gods who will never be able to save us from the destruction of sin.

The living and true God is the one who sent His own Son, who died and rose and who is coming again to deliver us from the wrath to come. The Thessalonians were so happy about their faith in the living and true God that they were eager to “sound forth” about it “in every place.” It’s always a temptation for us to sit around and complain about the idols of the world. But a much better approach is to pursue “work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Prayer: Lord, thank You for turning me from my idols to You. Bless me and all my brothers and sisters in Christ to serve You in faith and good works until You come again. Amen.

Hymn: LSB 496 Holy Spirit, Light Divine

1. Holy Spirit, light divine,

Shine upon this heart of mine;

Chase the shades of night away,

Turn the darkness into day.

5. Holy Spirit, all divine,

Dwell within this heart of mine;

Cast down ev’ry idol throne,

Reign supreme, and reign alone.