What do you worship? Notice that I didn’t ask “if” but “what.” Webster defines worship as “homage paid to something bigger than you are.” The word “homage” means reverence.
We live on a river, and every Sunday morning, we see boats going by containing people paying homage. The worship of salmon, pike, and perch is as far as some people go in paying homage. On our way to the church building, we see multiple cars and trucks pulling boats, most of which are headed for Lake Michigan. At the lake itself, we can see people who worship the lake by spending massive amounts of money on elaborate yachts.
For those of us who aren’t blessed with massive amounts of money to spend on material luxuries, there is still a need to be careful about what we worship. There are eight different Greek words in the New Testament used to describe worship in a negative framework.
Doxa – Luke 14:10 – Worship to gain honor from human beings.
Eusebeo – Acts 17:23 – Objects made by humans to show a person is pious.
Therapeuo – Acts 17:25 – To fulfill an ego need of God, not for our benefit.
Threskeia – Colossians 2:18 – Ceremonial use of angels, spirits, visions, etc.
Latreuo – Acts 7:42 – Astrology – Worshiping celestial objects.
Proskuneo – Matthew 2:2, 4:9, 8:2, 28:17, etc. (59 times) – “To kiss the hand forward.” Worship of the physical Jesus here on Earth.
Sebazomai – Romans 1:25 – Worship of nature or animals.
Sebomai – Matthew 15:8-9, Acts 19:27 – Preacher worship, reverence for a spiritual teacher. (See also Acts 8:9-11.)
James 1:27 and Matthew 25:31-40 describe what God wants. Worship is for our benefit, not God’s. What do you worship? The materialist is continually struggling for more until either their resources run out or death comes no matter how much they spend. Acts 2:42-27 describes the activities of the ordinary people in worship. They devoted themselves to teaching, fellowship, unity, prayer, and communion. They met daily for spiritual growth and addressed the needs of others.
Worship brings the joy of sharing and giving and knowing that we have nothing to fear at death because a better existence awaits us. Worship is not for show or because God needs us. It is a personal time with just us and God – not angels or objects. It is a daily activity seen in what we do, not what is done to us. It is a way of life that blesses those with whom we come in contact.
What do you worship? Worship God today and here and now. God will open doors for you to give and to bless, and life will be full of contentment.
— John N. Clayton © 2021