August 2 (Daily reading: 2 Kings 20-21) “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king … He did evil in the sight of the LORD … He built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name” (21:1-2, 4). Manasseh proved that the decision to follow God is personal for every individual. His father was a good king, but Manasseh made his own choices. To say that I am a Christian because I came from a Christian family is as wrong as saying that I am a criminal because some members of my family are criminals.
We read twice (20:4, 7) that God had put His name in Jerusalem in the house of the Lord. Manasseh put altars to pagan gods in the house of the Lord, where God had put His name! He also put there a carved image of Asherah. Try to imagine this wooden symbol of a female deity in the same building where the Ark of the Covenant was kept!
We call ourselves Christians, which means we have taken upon ourselves the name of Christ. The word means to be a follower of Christ. The suffix ‘-ian’ turns a noun into an adjective. It means to have the same qualities of something. It can also mean belonging to something. So, adding “ian” to “Christ” means we have His qualities and that we belong to Him!
We have a choice. We can invite God to live in our house (life) and adopt Christ’s name as our own. Or we can do what Manasseh did. He made God’s house a place of idolatry. We can make our life a temple of idolatry by embracing idols (gods), such as prosperity, popularity, pleasure, power, pride, etc. We choose the first by deciding: “To me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
– Al Gary