From the Word: For from him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The First Commandment
You shall have no other gods before me.
So it is with all forms of idolatry. It does not consist merely in erecting an image and worshiping it. Rather, idolatry exists primarily in the heart, which gazes at something else, seeking help and consolation from creatures, saints, or devils. It has no care for God or expectation of anything good from him that would cause one to believe that God wants to help. Nor does it believe that whatever good it experiences comes from God.
Pulling It Together: All good is from God, as well as through him, and returning to him. He gets the credit: all the credit. I do not get the glory, nor do you. Government does not get the praise, nor its politicians. Your country does not get the acclaim of being a wonder from which you may expect a bounty. Any good you receive, seemingly by these avenues, are by the hand of God. Ascribing his glory to anyone or anything else is the same as propping them up as idols and praying to them. One expects good things either from the one true God, or from any number of false gods.
Prayer: Give me a spirit that depends upon you, Lord. Amen.
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Saints and Sinners, Witnesses to the Faith, is the first in a three-volume series on saints and sinners in the New Testament who were powerful witnesses to faith in Christ. May this study of saints and sinners enrich your understanding of life with Christ and encourage you in discipleship.