January 29, 2015
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" Luke 4:8
Superbowl Sunday is one of the busiest, most anticipated weekends of the year. Thousands of people spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for tickets to the "big game". Millions of people spend lots of money preparing for Superbowl parties, while companies pay millions of dollars just to have a 30 second spot during this game to advertise for their business. They understand that "all the world" is watching.
Football teams work hard just to get to this game, fans faithfully watch football each week to keep up with who is progressing, and could possibly make it to the final round. Many people will be in the stadium, hands held high, faces painted cheering their hearts out for their favored team. Several more people will be in their homes, or the homes of friends or family members doing the same thing.
I have every intention of engaging in a Superbowl party on Superbowl Sunday. I am not much for watching football, but I have always loved the food, fellowship and commercials. Although nowadays, the commercials are up for negotiation...but that's another story.
For some, this is just an opportunity to get together with friends and family and have that fellowship while enjoying good food and watching a little football. For others, however, this is a lifestyle. Their whole lives revolve around football. It is almost like a form of god to them. Marcus and I were talking about this last night, and we wondered if for those instances, God sees this as a form of worship.
We are all created to worship something. In the old testament, God told the Israelites to have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). He delivered them out of Egypt. Although they spent 40 years in the desert, and often turned away from Him out of frustration, He remembered His covenant with them and continued to provide for them.
He is a jealous God, though. He wants us to put no other gods before Him. He is the creator of Heaven and Earth. He created us, and provides for us. He is the one who delivered His people out of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 6:12). Furthermore, He delivered them many more times from their enemies. (2 Kings 17:38).
Now I am not saying that we cannot have a healthy love of football or anything else. God simply wants us to have our priorities in the appropriate order, which means putting Him first in our lives. Jesus said, It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone.' Luke 4:8 God gave us a command to worship Him and serve Him and only Him. He has also given us free will. We do not have to worship God. It is entirely up to us.
When we worship Him, and come into relationship with Him, we are able to receive the blessings He has for us. This comes from spending time with Him, and getting to know Him, and gaining trust and confidence in His character and promises. In worship for God, there is love. Love comes from recognizing that He first loved us (1 John 4:19). We are given His fullness through recognizing His love for us through Christ (Ephesians 3:18). When we worship other things, we are not able to receive this same fullness that we receive when we worship God. Though all other forms of worship may lead to temporary pleasure, eventually, the emptiness becomes very evident.
We were created to worship, and if we so choose to worship money, or football, or anything else other than God, we have the right to do so. However, God is the provider. He is the source of life and the creator of the universe. He owns it all, and He is in control. Moreover, He sent His innocent son, Jesus, to pay a sin penalty for us. He did not have to do that. But He did it, because He loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. God wants to bless us. His blessing makes us rich and no sorrow comes with it (Proverbs 10:22).