During Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, the last offer Satan made to Christ unveils an interesting truth regarding worship…
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’”
(Matthew 4:8-10/Deuteronomy 6:13).
The Scripture that Jesus quotes was one He would have memorized as a young Jewish boy. Yet it is perhaps the very root sin that lives in the heart of every human. Adam and Eve were made for relationship with God, given an amazing capacity to fellowship with their Creator. Quite literally, they were made for “worship.” They were fashioned with the unique ability to interact constantly with God, to walk and talk with Him, to develop language to explain and classify His creation. They were able, quite literally, to represent God and His authority all over the earth! Their minds, emotions and wills were wholly God centered before the Fall. After the Fall, however, the ability to “worship” remained in Adam and Eve, but the direction of that worship had changed to anything but God. We were created for worship but, as Adam’s progenies, we (by nature) worship some of the dumbest things!!! No wonder God’s first commandment is “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
There isn’t a person in this world who doesn’t worship. Now you might think, “Well I don’t like to sing, so I’m not much of a worshiper.” That’s not the point – you may not consider yourself a worshiping person but everyone worships something! It comes down to this — we worship what we value most! It might be a relationship, it might be athletics, it might be money, it might be popularity, (this is hard for me to believe but) it might be academics/knowledge, it might be some kind of pleasure—whatever label you give it, we each worship what holds the highest place in our hearts. “TRUE” worship at its heart, however, is God centered. It’s all about making His name great! This might be news to you, but worship is not for our benefit! Sometimes I’ll hear comments or I’ll say things myself like, “I loved worship today.” or “I got a lot out of worship today.” It isn’t for our benefit! Our worship is for God’s benefit. Our hearts’ desire should be to glorify God.
In John 4, there is a Samaritan woman who meets Jesus and she says, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus explains it’s not about geography. God’s bigger than that! A time’s going to come when people realize it’s not about this mountain or that mountain. God’s looking, Jesus says, for people “who worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth.” It doesn’t just happen at certain times or in certain places -- worship is a way of life. As someone has said, “That which you truly worship in your heart is that which you serve with your whole life.”
Read John 4:5-30
How does the woman’s response to Jesus inspire you?
How do you think the woman felt when Jesus talked to her?
How did Jesus demonstrate His love for this woman?
How did the woman react to her encounter with Jesus?
Have you noticed that we worship what we love?
What do the woman’s actions reveal about the way Jesus affected her life? Do you sense what she worshipped was being redirected?
Is there a gap between your worship and your life?
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.