Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 1st

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O Come Let Us Adore Him. What do we really worship? Today as we being to seek out the missing ingredient of Christmas, we’ll take a look at what exactly “worship” is. There are many definitions for the words that translate to English as “worship,” but as we approach Christmas, the most obvious and relevant one just might be the word “adore.” To worship something is very simply to adore it. To “adore,” according to Webster’s, means “to cherish with unwavering affection.”

We can adore all sorts of things, both good and bad, but our worship is reserved for God alone. Why?

We find the answer in Exodus 20:3-5, in which the Lord says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”

God is jealous. He’s jealous for us. He commanded the Israelites to have no other gods before Him or to create and worship any images of things in the heavens or the earth or the seas. Imagine. The God who created the universe is telling His people not to worship the things He has created. Worship Him. So why did they do it? Why did they look for other gods?

Perhaps it was to have something they could see or touch and feel? Maybe, but remember that these are the people God had led by fire and by cloud. He parted the sea for them and fed them day and night. They have seen His presence and His power. So, why seek other gods? Could it be that as Israel entered Canaan and saw the gods of other nations, they simply desired to be like the people around them? God had set them apart, but very often, they sought to fit in. Are we much different than them?

As we look at our lives, what forms do our idols take? What things do we cherish more than we cherish Christ? Habakkuk 2:18-19 says “What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, awake; to the dumb stone, arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.”

God is jealous for us because He created us to worship Him and have fellowship with Him, but our hearts are drawn to worthless things that have no power, to things He created rather than to Him. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, let’s first make room for Him. Let’s begin by searching our hearts for any idols we have set up. Just like cleaning out cluttered closets, let’s let God show us what’s hidden in our hearts and then take out the trash. Remember: our idols may not take a physical form, but we can worship them nonetheless. Commit to worship Christ alone each day. During the season in which we lavish gifts on one another, let’s first lavish Him with unwavering affection.

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