For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live...
Thoughts for Today:In my many mission trips to some of the more remote regions of the world, I have been exposed to the local people's worship of various deities. So if any of you doubt the subject of our passage today, take it from me it is very real. Paul does not deny the existence, presence, or influence of these many gods or lords. In fact, he acknowledges that there are multitudes of objects and demons that people call gods and worship accordingly. But just because someone calls something a god doesn't mean it is God.
A couple of years ago, my friend Jim and I were hiking through an ancient village near Jharkot in the Muktinath region of Nepal when we came upon one of the many idols located throughout the village. As we rested for a moment, a woman walked up to the idol, carefully placed her offering at its base, and quickly ran away. We later found out the reason for the woman's haste -- the villager's fear of the various gods worshipped (gods of fertility, the harvest, etc.) was so great, they didn't want to spend too long in its presence. At the time, I remember thinking of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of wasted prayers and offerings made to a god with stone feet. How tragic!
During our time in the village we spoke to many people of the love of the one true God, which was expressed through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. It was a completely different God than any of those they knew and many believed. However, there were others who thought they should worship Jesus along with their other gods. (They didn't want Him to be angry.) It was difficult for them to understand -- as Paul explains in our passage today -- "for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live..."
Questions to Ponder:We Americans are not that different than the woman in the village in Nepal. We also make regular offerings to our gods. How so? Go to any college football game, professional basketball game, Justin Bieber concert, art museum, fashion show, and you will see all the ways we worship people, places and things. Still not convinced? What occupies your thoughts and time? The latest celebrity gossip, sports highlights, auto review, or the Lord? Last week, did you spend more time honoring the heroes of your favorite pastimes or worshiping God?