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Where Is My Worship?

Our modern term for worship comes from the old English word worthscipe, which literally means, “to ascribe worth to something.”  And while it doesn’t always look like praying or singing or anything else you might find in a modern church service, we all spend our days worshiping something. 

We worship money, we worship success, we worship self-image, we worship family, we worship the television, we worship sex, we worship our addictions, we worship recreation, we worship sports teams and musicians and celebrities.  The truth is, you usually don’t have to look any farther than a person’s checkbook or their calendar to see where they give their greatest worship.  But the problem is not that we ascribe worth to these things (well, some of these things), but the problem is how we prioritize.  What gets our greatest focus?  What is most important to us?  What things do we sacrifice the most to achieve?

Just like Martha, when we get our priorities out of order, we can put God in second place, or third, or fourth, or even last.  When God says, “you shall have no other gods before me,” (Exodus 20:3) and “you shall not make for yourself an idol,” (Exodus 20:4) we Christians often take these commands for granted.  After all, we don’t go around in the Christian church serving little wooden or metal statues or chasing after the gods of other religions.  But the fact is, we make idols all the time out of the things all around us.

We take our troubles, our anxiety, and our stress to the TV, or to pornography, or to food, or to cigarettes, or even to our shrink, instead of taking them to God.  We cheer louder and devote ourselves more fully to our favorite sports team than we do in a Sunday morning church service.  We spend all week serving ourselves and building our own kingdoms, and then we complain when the sermon goes long or when the pastor takes a special offering.  And even when we serve and when we give to God’s kingdom, how often do we do it just to feel better about ourselves or to be seen by others?

It’s too easy to take the tangible thing, the instant thing, the popular thing, the feel-good thing, and give it priority in our lives.  But God says that He wants to be first in our lives.  That doesn’t mean we aren’t to have money.  It doesn’t mean we aren’t to enjoy wholesome and uplifting entertainment.  It doesn’t mean we can’t eat good food or cheer for our team or go on vacation.  It simply means that they have to come second.

In Matthew 6, Jesus says, “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the pagans seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things (and He wants to give you every good gift).  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (verses 31-33)

Jesus told Martha, “you are worried and troubled about many things.”  But He says here, if we place God first in our lives, if we make Him our priority, all of those other things fall into place.  You see, Mary made Jesus her priority.  She knew that He could feed 5,000 with just a few loaves and fish.  She knew the living water He gave would satisfy her more than anything her sister could cook up.  She wasn’t worried or troubled, because she put God first.

And so I ask you, where is your worship?

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