All Those Idols

Luke 12:34


A church building can become an idol to us, when all the while it is simply a place to meet and worship our Lord—nothing more. Your child can become your idol. In subtle ways you can so adore that little one that your whole life revolves around that precious gem. Your mate or date can be given first place in your life and literally idolized. Your work can easily become your god. So can any pursuit in life. A house, a lawn, an antique, a car, a letter in sports, an education, a trip abroad, an achievement, and even that goal of “retirement” can so grip your heart that it becomes the object of all your affection.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with any of these good things. To possess them is not sinful. But it is sinful when they possess us! Therein lies the difference. It’s that sort of thing that turns a golden dream into a hollow chunk of bronze.

Can you testify to the fact that you’ve destroyed the idols? Can you say you are free from bronze anchors? That Christ reigns without a rival? Or would you have to admit to a personal shrine in your inner temple where you privately burn incense? Here is plain truth:

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

LUKE 12:34

I love the simplicity of that statement. Our Lord’s words help sort out our priorities and focus our affections on things eternal.

Your Lord and Savior wants to occupy first place. Jesus says if He has it, everything else “will be added to you” (Luke 12:31, ESV). How long has it been since you’ve enlisted His help in a private, personal temple-cleansing session? It’s so easy to get attached to idols—good things, inappropriately adored. But when you have Jesus in the center of the room, everything else only junks up the decor.

“Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body,” wrote Paul, and “He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything” (Colossians 1:18).

Did you get that? He holds first place in everything.


Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.