JANUARY 02, 2023



“The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply” (Psalm 16:4a English Standard Version).

God says in Deuteronomy 32:39 that there is no God besides Him; He kills and makes alive. He is a jealous God. He forbids idolatry and warned the Israelites against it very early in His relationship with them. He warned them against having any god other than Him.

Exodus 20:3-5 says, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me” (New King James Version).

The commandment against idolatry is the first in the Ten Commandments: You shall have no other gods before Me. Several other scriptures forbade the Israelites to worship idols or carved/graven images (Exodus 20:23; 34:17; Leviticus 19:4; 26:1; Deuteronomy 4:15-19; 5:8; 27:15). They were forbidden to practise polytheism but monotheism – the belief in the existence of only one God. Deuteronomy 8:19 says, “Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish” (New King James Version).

But the children of Israel disobeyed God and worshipped the gods of the nations that God destroyed and gave their land to them (Deuteronomy 12:29-31; Judges 2:12, 17, 19, 10:13; Jeremiah 7:18). This later led to their being conquered by their enemies and they eventually went into captivity.

The Bible warns us in the New Testament to learn from them and avoid idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:7a says we should not become idolaters as some of them, the Israelites, were. But idolatry is not only about bowing down before a graven image or a physical idol. We must not bow before man-made physical idols but we must also know that idols are whatever we have in our hearts to which we give devotion above God. It is whatever we treasure more than God. It is what is more important to us than God. It can even be a human being who is more important to us than God. When someone takes the place of God in your life, he becomes your idol or god.

Many people today are not guilty of bowing in a shrine or in a corner of their homes before a carved or graven image but are guilty of worshipping modern gods. These gods/idols include their vocation/work, hobby, money, wealth, ambition, fashion, fame, and power.

Anything or anyone else that you worship other than the living God is an idol. Anything or anyone that you devote your heart and time to above God is your god. This New Year, you must repent and get rid of the idols in your life. Don’t run after any other god but God in 2023. Don’t devote your heart to any idol in the New Year. You must throw away whatever didn’t allow you to worship God last year or the previous years.

God wants you to give Him full devotion. You cannot serve God and another god. It’s not possible. Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 say no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other; you cannot serve God and mammon.

Worship the living God this year. Don’t run after modern idols or any other god. Psalm 16:4a says, “The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply” (English Standard Version). The New King James Version puts it this way: “Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god.”

Save yourself from sorrow this New Year. Why should you multiply sorrow for yourself? The gods which people run after only create and multiply sorrow for them. But Proverbs 10:22 says the blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.

Devote yourself to God this year; quit pursuing idols that will only ruin your life. Let nobody or nothing be more important to you than God. Don’t live your life apart from God. Psalm 32:10 says many sorrows shall be to the wicked but he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. Do you want sorrow or mercy? Jonah 2:8 says, “Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy” (New King James Version). The New International Version puts it this way: “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Life without the grace of God is miserable.

The wicked people live apart from God but those who trust in the Lord live dependent on Him. Expectedly, the results that the wicked and those who trust in the Lord get are not the same. Psalm 97:7 says, “Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods” (New King James Version). If you won’t reap shame at the end of the year, cast away any idol in your heart and develop intimacy with God.

Repent and remove any idol you have set up in your heart in the previous years, return to God and worship Him wholeheartedly. Worshipping idols is a mark of foolishness, as Jeremiah 10:8-10 says. Therefore throw away your idols.  Isaiah 31:7 says, “For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold — sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves” (New King James Version). Also, Isaiah 2:20 says a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship. Cast away your idols.

This year, love God with all your heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). As Jesus puts it in Matthew 22:37, love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind, or with all your soul, mind, and strength, as Mark 12:30 says. Seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 22:19). Fear Him and live according to His will; love and worship Him with all your heart and soul, and obey His commands for your own good (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).

Don’t pursue money, fame, power, and other gods, and neglect the living God. This is vanity and grasping for the wind. Without a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, even those who seem to have acquired any of these or the good things of life, eventually see the emptiness in their lives.

Pursue God this year; don’t run after other gods. Those who run after other gods and neglect God only multiply their sorrows. God didn’t create you to live successfully on earth without Him. If you put your trust in Him, you will be blessed. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 New King James Version).  

But those who don’t trust in the Lord will reap the opposite. Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited’” (verses 5-6 New King James Version). Don’t let any human being or anything become your god or idol.

Don’t run after other gods. Don’t worship other gods other than God (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7).


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of any god that I have other than You. I cast away any idol in my heart. This year, no idol will take Your place in my life. Holy Spirit, help me to devote my heart to the living and love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind above anyone or anything else.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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