Bible Reading: Romans 1:21-23
Instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes. Romans 1:23
Yesenia tilted her head to listen closely as a missionary shared tale after tale from a lifetime of adventures telling people about Jesus in far-off countries. Yesenia squirmed when the missionary said she had tromped through rain forests full of snakes and spiders. She squealed when the missionary admitted she enjoyed eating fish eggs and squid. But Yesenia was downright stumped when the missionary said that the people she served worshiped idols, bowing down and praying to statues they believed were gods. That was the strangest thing Yesenia had ever heard.
As Christians we know that God alone deserves our worship. After all, God welcomes us into his family. He invites us to live as his children. Nobody loves us like he does. Because we know the one true God, we don’t bow down to statues of people—or birds or animals or snakes—that are supposed to be gods.
But even so, sometimes our worship gets a little confused. So talk about this: What does “worship” mean?
Worship means to declare the worth of something. In fact, that’s where the word worthy comes from. Something is worthy if it’s worth a lot. We show what a thing is worth to us by how much it fills our thoughts and time and by how it affects the choices we make. We worship God when our life is full of the thoughts, words, and actions he wants us to have. That happens all through the week, but we make it a special focus when we head to church.
Even though we know that God alone deserves our worship, there can be other things in our life to which we “bow down.” We might, for example, let playing computer games or watching TV crowd out our special times with God—opportunities to pray, read the Bible, serve, and sing praises.
We love our sports, our hobbies, our music, and all of our other interests. But if we let an activity rule our thoughts and energy, we are guilty of worshiping an idol. That’s as bad as bowing to a statue carved from wood or stone.
We can have only one all-important priority in our life, one thing worth our worship. God gives us all sorts of activities to enjoy. But only God gets to be King!
TALK: What in your life competes with God for your time, energy, and affection?
PRAY: Talk to God about things that might get in the way of your worshiping him.
ACT: Sit down with your weekly schedule and clear out anything that keeps God from being your top priority.