Luke 4:5-8 (NASB): And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
Luke’s gospel gives us the account of Jesus, “full of the Holy Spirit,” being led around by the Spirit in the Judean wilderness for forty days. Jesus had been in the wilderness for forty days without anything to eat and it was at the end of these forty days that the devil came and tempted him. It was at his weakest point that our Lord was tempted, and his refusal to yield to temptation, teaches us how to respond when the evil one tempts us.
The Holy Spirit led me to this text from Luke this morning and I felt the need to share it with you today. Who do you worship? What do you worship? I believe that each of us was created to worship our creator God, but sin tempts us and constantly seeks to draw us away from a close relationship with God. Satan has a unique way of tempting us with worldly things and pleasures and he knows that if he can get us hooked, we will gradually let go of God more and more each day. Satan wants us to depend on and draw strength from anything other than God and he is tirelessly at work creating other things for us to worship.
In the text from Luke, Satan tempts Jesus with “all the kingdoms of the world” if he will only bow down and worship him. And Jesus answers, “You shall worship the LORD your God and serve him only.”
Many people today are allowing themselves to be drawn away from God and from going to church because they worship other things. Their priorities are not in developing a closer relationship with God but rather they “worship” their material possessions and the things of this world. Satan will absolutely place in our path many obstacles that keep us from worshipping and developing a closer relationship with God.
Who or what do you worship? You can find the answer to that by where you spend your Sunday mornings? Are you in church worshipping God and trying to draw closer to Him, or do you have more important priorities? God created each one of us for a close and dependent relationship with Him and He is constantly calling out to us through his Holy Spirit, desiring an intimate relationship with each of us.
It breaks my heart to see people living out their lives as if God doesn’t exist. They go about their lives without even stopping to consider God’s great love for them and the purpose that He has for them. As individual believers and as the “church,” our hearts should constantly be burdened for those who do not know Christ. We must tirelessly pray and reach out to these people and help them to know God and to draw closer to Him. As followers of Christ, our mission is to evangelize and make disciples of those who do not believe. Christ gave us the example of who we are to worship and Christ alone will help us as we speak God’s truth to a world that doesn’t place God at the center of their lives.
Who or what do you worship? If the answer is not God, then I urge you to make some immediate changes in your life. God is patient with you and he doesn’t want anyone to perish, but one day your opportunity to acknowledge Christ, as Savior and Lord of your life, will draw to a close. Decide today who you will worship. God is waiting and he stands ready to forgive you of past sins and mistakes. All He asks is that you believe upon His son Jesus Christ, and ask Him to come into your life and to be the Lord of your life. If you will place your faith and trust in God, you will find a purpose and meaning for your life, and you will have a deep desire to worship and praise God.
Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV): “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”