Today we’re looking at Exodus 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

 

In these verses we find some things that might become idols and clutter up our manger.

 

Have I made things in heaven above: angels, loved ones or famous saints in heaven, or even the Virgin Mary to be things I worship?

 

Are there things on the earth beneath: symbols of love or peace, people, animals or things in nature that have become more important to me than the God who created them?

 

Are there mysteries in the waters below that draw my attention to a point of worship?

Do you bow down (literally or figuratively) to any of these things? Do I worship them?  Do I consider them to have a divine nature?  The Holman Bible Dictionary defines worship as an act or action associated with attributing honor, reverence, or worth to that which is considered to be divine.

 

As I pondered this, I decided I needed to flip the question. I wanted to ask the question “Do I worship God?” Do I participate in any actions that would show how I honor Him, revere Him or His worth? Do I consider Him to be divine? Or do I treat God as a genie in a bottle? Do I take for granted His everlasting love[1], His mercies that are new every day[2], the gift of His son?

 

As I questioned my own true worship of God, I had to follow up with “what gets in the way of truly worshiping God?” Fear of not being in control or maybe pride? Maybe something from our past blocks our true worship. Maybe a mis-understanding of worship and what it looks like.

 

Is anything today striking a chord with you?  Did you discover anything that needs to be taken out of your manger to make room for Christ? Take time right now to mentally or symbolically cast out these things.

 


[1] Jeremiah 31:3

[2] Lamentations 3:21-22 (KJV)

 

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