They worshiped the Lord, but...

A time-tested destroyer of marriage is when one of the partners wants to be committed and single at the same time. He or she likes some of the aspects of home life with a spouse but craves also the freedom to enjoy romance and sex on the side. “Cafeteria-style” marriage never works. It always leaves the other spouse wounded and angry.

Though attractive to many today, cafeteria-style spirituality also is a disaster. Though it flatters the individual that he or she is discerning enough to pick and choose a belief system and behavior rules, in reality it is an insult to the God who has spoken clearly enough that he will accept no competition.

As many Israelites from the northern kingdom of Israel went off into captivity, their Assyrian conqueror forcibly relocated people from elsewhere in his realm back into Israel. They only partially came to believe in Israel’s God. “They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought” (2 Kings 17:33).

People today talk excitedly about their “spirituality,” by which they mean they have assembled an eclectic batch of beliefs that they find acceptable and pleasant. The Bible presents a stark choice—worship the Lord God only. Anything else is idolatry. Any source of revelation other than his Word is a lie. Only the blood of the Savior will help you on the day of judgment.

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.


For more encouragement from Pastor Mark and other Time of Grace writers, sign up here to receive daily Grace Moments devotions in your inbox each day.