Sunday, October 25, 2009


The most neglected part in Great Commission

As Evangelical Christians we often hear about “The Great commission” but we seldom hear about the Great Omission. I borrowed this title from an article written by Gregg Detwiler, the director of Intercultural Ministries at Emmanuel Gospel Center who says, “Even while attempting to be missional is it possible to be “omissional” of the “others” around us? Oswald J. Smith says, “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” “Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.”

The traditional form of missions has been and will continue to be is that missionaries are sent to the places where the Gospel has never been heard. I call that, Global missions in line with the Great commission, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). In Acts 1:8 Jesus gives his final instructions to His disciples- and by extension to us on how to carry out this mission. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

The disciples were to be witnesses in four areas of ministry: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” These four spheres correspond to four areas of our ministry today: Detwiler explains, “Jerusalem ministry reaches to those in our towns or neighborhoods who are culturally like us. Judea ministry applies to people who are culturally like us but who live in the communities surrounding our Jerusalem. Ministry to the ends of the earth involves going or sending others to distant parts of the globe as cross-cultural witnesses of Christ.

But how about Samaria ministry? This ministry to a large extent then and to a certain extent even now has been the Great Omission. Why did the disciples (Jewish believers) avoid Samaria? How could they miss out God’s heart which is for all people including Samaritans? Why did they keep the great gift of salvation exclusively to themselves?

In the time of Jesus, Palestine west of the Jordan River was divided into three provinces of Galilee, Samaria and Judea. Because of its strategic location Samaria became the natural route for travelling between those two provinces. But Jews avoided Samaria altogether instead they would travel east, cross the Jordan River, and detour around Samaria. Jews considered that the blood line of Samaritans became polluted through their intermarriage with foreigners from the Assyrian empire. By commissioning his disciples to be his witnesses in Samaria in a way Jesus was saying to them that he loved the Samaritans as much as he loved any one else and that he shed his blood and died for them so that they can be made pure again by receiving him as their true messiah.

What is our Samaria? Who are the people that we might consider unworthy and like to avoid? What is our attitude to the people who are different from us? The modern day Samaritans come from all backgrounds, they might dress differently, eat different kinds of food, and talk a strange language. They might be the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or Atheists. They may be from a different socio, economic and educational background. They are not too far from us; they live within our reach in our neighborhoods.

How did Jesus model this Samaria ministry? What are the lessons that we can learn that would help our Church to reach our Samaria with the Gospel. John 4th Chapter gives us some principles:

I. BE INTENTIONAL: (John 4: 1)
Jesus was ministering in Judea; he left Judea and went back to Galilee. The distance between these provinces was approximately 70 miles. The shortest way to travel from Judea to Galilee was to go through Samaria. Jews categorically avoided going through Samaria because they thought they would be defiled. But Jesus’ mission however required an intentional break from Jewish practice. John 4:4 tells us, that “Now he had to go through Samaria”

Samaria ministry calls for intentionality. It does not come naturally for us to mix with people of other race or culture. As the saying goes, “Birds of the same feather flock together” But we as Christians are to be intentional to come out of our comfort zones and be able to relate with people who are different from us. We have to be intentionally engaging not only the immigrants that are coming from all over the world; but also to the local North American Caucasian community, and the Afro American community.

A touching story of how an elderly African American man named Theodore Roosvelt Adams made an impact on a predominantly white congregation: Teddy grew up working in the cotton fields of Louisiana, he often encountered racism. Once he attended a Church with a white friend and had to sit in a closet because he was black. No wonder he developed an intense hatred toward white people. Mercifully God changed his heart. When he came to Boston he became a member of a congregation in the north End. For about ten years he attended the Church, Bible Study, became a good friend to many. He was also involved in mentoring young leaders in the Church. Teddy was intentional in reaching out to his Samaria, he endured racist slurs, glares and one occasion a physical assault from a neighborhood youth. Through all this Teddy was reaching out to his Samaria. But it was not until Teddy’s funeral that the congregation saw the full beauty of the transformation he had brought. The eight Italian women present in the congregation who had been raised in Boston’s north End, a community steeped in prejudices against people of color. Yet at Teddy’s funeral these women stood with tears in their eyes and praised God with trembling voices for their beloved Teddy.

Teddy’s life is an example of some one who was intentional about reaching his Samaria. How are we fairing in our Samaria? How are we reaching out to the people of color among us? In our Church over the past year we have seen several people from different ethnic backgrounds attending especially the Chinese. It is appreciated that many in our congregation reach out to the different ethnic people that are coming to our Church. But there are many more out there that need Jesus, it takes all of us intentionally doing our part to see our Samaria (neighborhoods) reached with the Gospel.

We don’t have to travel very far to our Samaria, if we take a walk around we will bump into some one who is not from this predominantly Anglo Saxon white American culture. Since 1965 God has been bringing immigrants from all over the world to the United States, I believe one of the purposes is that the Church in the US would reach out to them with the Gospel. According to the US Census Bureau 2006 report an estimated 37.5 million immigrants are living in the US. In Boston alone we have people from over 100 countries speaking 140 languages. Some of them come from countries which are closed and hostile to the Gospel.

Who are living in our neighborhoods?
Quincy has many Chinese but also Vietnamese, Korean, Cambodian, South Asian Indians and Arab immigrants. During the recent Mayoral elections (2009) the two candidates running for The Mayors office courted the Asian voters knowing that their numbers are growing. In fact in 1996 there were1,519 registered Asian voters. This year there are 5,942 registered voters which is only a fraction from the overall Asian population in Quincy. There are around 30,000 Hindus live in Massachusetts.

People matter to God more than programs therefore they should matter to us too. Jesus during his ministry would always find time to connect with people. As he approached Samaria he was tired of his travel sat down by the well. His disciples had gone into the town to buy food because it was around noon time. A Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well. Jesus asked her “will you give me a drink?” The Samaritan woman said you are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?

In order to connect with the Samaritan woman Jesus crossed four barriers: Firstly him being a Jew, talked with a Samaritan,(Gegrophical barier) Secondly, him being a Jewish man talked with a woman(Gender barrier) Jews rabbis in those daily prayed a prayer some what like this, "Blessed art thou, O God, for not making me a Gentile, slave, or woman." Thirdly, He was willing to drink from the cup offered by a Samaritan (cultural barrier) fourthly, as per the tradition Samaritan’s were considered sinful and immoral, Jesus broke the (Sin barrier).

If we want to minister to our Samaria, we also must be willing to cross barriers. Some times our barriers could be small such as giving up certain food or wearing certain dress so that you are not offending those you are trying to reach. A friend of mine in India gave up eating his favorite pork in order to reach the Muslims with the Gospel. When we had visiting teams from overseas we would require the women in the team to wear Indian clothing, some women loved it others hated it. Crossing barriers could also mean giving up our pre conceived ideas or prejudices of various ethnic groups.


1. Develop a genuine interest in other cultures:
Being aware that another culture is not only about other looks, and other food habits but often a whole different worldview. I would call this cross-cultural sensitivity and it is key in building bridges.

2. Laying aside assumptions, prejudices and stereotypes.
Not all bearded people are Osama bin Laden's cousins. Nor are all Pakistanis terrorists. Nor are all Indians, Hindus you may meet a Jain, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Parse, Buddhist or a Christian Indian like me, Not all black people are basket ball players and musicians. Nor are all Americans Christian as I used to assume before coming to the US. Only when we lay down our preconceived ideas of people are we able to listen, learn and appreciate the uniqueness other cultures bring. Every one is unique and precious in the sight of God.

3. Develop friendships with internationals:
Hospitality can be a great key as many cultures place a high value on hospitality. Hospitality communicates trust and acceptance. We can be hospitable at different levels, as a church, as a community, as families, as singles. In the O.T we see God several times commanding the Israelites to love the aliens among them and urging them to remember what was it like to be aliens in Egypt. When white Caucasian Americans take the first step to invite ethnic people they will be glad to respond to their invitation.

I can tell from experience the vulnerabilities, the huge adjustments, the sense of loss and alienation internationals feel as they move into the US. This sometimes causes people of other religions to be more open and receptive to hear and respond to the gospel. When we lived in Malden during my studies at Gordon Conwell we made some wonderful Brazilian, Eritrean, Haitian, Korean, Bolivian, German and Indian friends. Once you win their trust you can't easily out give some of those kind people, they will lavish you with some of their most amazing hospitality and gifts of friendship!

The Great Commission mandates us to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel. In our Mission’s Sunday we have highlighted ministries and missions in Asia. However it truly would be a great omission if we fail to reach the Asians represented in our cities. Many decades ago a young Indian from the Sikh religion came to North America for his studies. Someone reached out to him and did his Samaria ministry as a result he found Christ, returned to India and became the leader of a huge evangelical church movement in India.

What a tremendous opportunity for the body of Christ to minister to these people with the Gospel and disciple them, in return some may take the Gospel to their own nations.

Sunday, October 11, 2009



In the back of a frequently visited church in a bustling part of the city there was a sign that read How to Worship:Be silent.Be thoughtful.Be reverent, for this is the House of the Lord.Before the service, speak to God.During the service, let God speak to you.After the service, speak to one another.[1]

This is certainly one way to keep people quiet during the service. But worship is not just being silent and thoughtful; there are many expressions to it. We have been studying about the early Church in the first century to understand the vital signs of a Living Church. Why worship is important? What happens when we worship God? How to Worship Him?


Have you ever wondered why on earth you are here? The Bible does not give explicit answer to why God created us, all it says is that He created us but when we read certain scriptures we can understand God’s intentions for creating us: Colossians 1:16 “Everything in the world both the visible and the invisible including the human beings have been created by God and for God.” Acts 17:28, reads 'For in him we live and move and have our being.” These scriptures indicate that we are from him, we live because of him and we live for him.

Five reasons, why worship is important? Firstly, we have been created by him and we belong to Him. Secondly, we have been redeemed to worship him. When the Israelites cried out from their misery in Egypt God sent Moses with one message to Pharaoh, “LET MY PEOPLE GO SO THAT THEY MAY WORSHIP ME” (Ex 8:20). Peter uses the same language to remind the believers why they were redeemed by Jesus, 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Thirdly, Worship is not optional but a command from God. He commands us to worship him only and nothing else. (Exodus 20:5) “Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him; all the earth.” Graham Kendrick, a well known worship leader in the 80’s and 90’s says "Worship is first and foremost for His benefit, not ours, though it is marvelous to discover that in giving Him pleasure, we ourselves enter into what can become our richest and most wholesome experience in life.”

Fourthly, God is worthy of worship. “For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.” (Psalm 96:4). We worship God because as A.W Tozer says “without worship we go about miserable.”

Fifthly, Worship is important because that is the only thing that endures forever. All our good programs, evangelistic efforts, the preaching, discipleship, small groups, men’s breakfast you name it any thing we do under the Sun in the name of God will come to an end one day but worship of God will remain forever. Several scriptures in the book of Revelation alludes to the fact that Worship will endure for ever, “Holy holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is and is to come.” Upon hearing that the elders fell down on their faces, laid down their crowns before God who sits on the throne and worshiped him forever and ever.( Rev 4:10; 5:14; 11:16; 19:4).

If you don’t enjoy worship here on earth you may want to start enjoying it otherwise you may get bored in heaven because that’s what you will be doing forever.


Is there any thing happens when we worship God in the service? Or it just an emotional high or is it merely a church tradition? We are familiar with the natural law: Cause and Effect: Which is the concept that an action or event will produce a certain response to the action in the form of another event”[2] For example when I turn the switch on “the Light comes on” When the light comes on, the darkness disappears.” What happens when we worship? We may not see spectacular signs but a lot is happening in the spiritual realms, certainly we feel the impact of God when we worship him because worship changes us into His likeness.


In the OT we read a spectacular worship event where God showed up. “The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang “He is good and; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.”(2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

It is neither the musical instruments nor the loud signing brings God’s presence into our worship service; rather it is the unity in the spirit. That is why it is imperative that there is UNITY among those who are leading the services. When we are united, we will see the full release of God’s Spirit in our services.


When you face situations that are beyond your control, when all your strength is gone and you can not cope any longer, the situation seems rather hopeless and you feel like giving up, the last thing in your mind at that time is to worship. The Prophet Jeremiah certainly felt abandoned, he was depressed, listen to him what he is saying, “Why did I ever come out of the womb to see the trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?” (Jeremiah 20: 18) but yet he continued to hope in God. Not only had he kept up his hope but also declared hope to the discouraged exiles saying, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

The popular Hymn “It is well with my soul” is often sung during the funerals. It is written by Chicago Lawyer by name (Horatio Gates Spafford 1828-1888). This song was not written during the happiest times of Spafford’s rather, after a series of tragedies one after the other struck this family. First, the loss of their only son to scarlet fever, secondly the loss of all his real estate property to the great Chicago fire in 1870. Thirdly, during a ship’s collision only his wife was survived while 216 passengers on board faced the watery grave including their four daughters. Spafford on his way now travelling in another ship to meet his bereaved wife wrote this most powerful yet comforting Hymn, “It is well with my soul.” Let’s listen to these words.

“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,Let this blest assurance control,That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,And hath shed His own blood for my soul.It is well, with my soul,It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.”[3]

The Stafford’s could not have gone on with life if it was not the strength and hope they found in worshipping God because worship releases hope in a hopeless situation.

Job shows us similar grit in the face of excruciating loss and pain. God had allowed Satan to ruin Job’s life even though Job was an upright and god fearing man. What was Job’s response to the loss of his children and his property? Oh how I hope I would be able to respond like this to tragedy. After hearing about his devastating loss we read in Job 1:20,21 At this Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised. In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing………………pause.

What is our hearts attitude when things go wrong in our life? we sin by charging God with wrongdoing? Do we shift the blame? Or do we like Job fall down in worship realizing that God doesn’t owe us anything and that no matter what happens he is still worthy to be praised even in our pain and brokenness.


God wants us to recognize that worship is an aggressive act in the spirit. Whether you know it or not every sincere Christian is involved in Spiritual Warfare. Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Have you noticed, when you decide to come to worship on Sunday morning, something or the other goes wrong, you, or one of your children get sick, your car wouldn’t start, or have a fight with your spouse over burned toast, which upsets your mood. If you are a part of the worship team the attack can be even more severe because the enemy can try any and everything possible to prevent us from worshipping God in Spirit and Truth.

Many in the western world have no clue about how the evil spirits work infact they down play it by saying there are no demons. Un-knowingly and some knowingly expose themselves to demonic attacks by watching horror movies, getting involved with ghosts, witches, dressing up like spooky characters especially during the Halloween season. Let me warn you, however innocent they may look in the beginning in the end you are trapped by the powers of darkness.

Watch out when we play with the fire we get burnt. We don’t play with the demonic powers; at the same time we don’t have to be afraid of them either. John reminds us, 1 John 4: 4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Jesus came into this world to destroy the works of the Devil and he succeeded, he disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, he over powered them when he died on the cross and rose again after three days.

When we exalt Jesus in our praise and worship, and call upon His name, he is still be able to come and deliver us from the oppression and the attacks of the demonic forces, because Praise drives back the forces of darkness. During my ministry in India, I was often involved in praying for people to experience freedom from the demonic forces. When we used to sing praises and worship Jesus even the toughest demons would leave. There is power in the name of Jesus, demons will recognize his name. 1 Peter 3:22 “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” When we use worship as a weapon in Spiritual warfare, remember singing spiritual songs is not a magic trick to defeat the enemy. We worship God and he defeats the enemy.


David prayed, that “All the nations you have made will come and worship, before you, O Lord” This gives us the scope of our worship. We come from distinct cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and we bring our rich cultural expressions with us, therefore there is no one form or set style of worship there could be wide range of expressions when it comes to worship. Some clap, dance, wave hands or flags, burn incense, lift up hands, dance, shout praises, sing hymns and use liturgy, be quiet in his presence and many more all these are acceptable forms if they are done in an orderly and reverential way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we incorporate African, Chinese, Brazilian, Asian songs and instruments in worship in addition to our already existing western style?

Let me recapture my thoughts on this vital sign of a living Church: Worship. Worship is important because, He is our creator, he has redeemed us, he commanded us, and it lasts forever. Three things happen when we truly worship him: 1. Worship brings down God’s presence, 2. when all seems hopeless, worship gives hope. 3. Worship releases the power of God. 4. God is worthy of our worship. 5. Worship endures forever. In the end we also looked at How to worship God, while much can be said about the methods, forms and styles of Worship but just like anything else we can only learn to worship God by simply beginning to Worship Him.


Sunday, October 4, 2009


The American milk industry invests $70 million a year in ads that focus on one thing: celebrities — with milk mustaches. James Houran, an academic clinical psychologist who has researched celebrity worship. "We need celebrities as much as we need food, water and shelter. We need them to feel connected." A recent national study of 600 people by Houran and several associates reveal that one in three people are moderate to advanced celebrity worshipers[1] Let’s suppose we advertise in the News Paper stating that Ophra Winfrey will be the chief guest at the Sunday service at our Church, boy wouldn’t that draw crowds to our Church that Sunday? But when we say “Night of Worship” hardly any shows up eager to worship God. Do you understand why?

In this celebrity crazed world unfortunately many people, including Christians worship celebrities rather than worshipping the creator of the universe. Author Marva J. Dawn says in her book “A Royal waste of time, “To worship the Lord is in the world’s eye a waste of time. It is, indeed, a royal waste of time, but a waste nonetheless. By engaging in it, we don’t accomplish anything useful in our society’s terms.” Worship ought not to be construed in a utilitarian way. Its purpose is not to gain numbers nor for our churches to be seen as successful. RATHER, THE ENTIRE REASON FOR OUR WORSHIP IS THAT GOD DESERVES IT.”!!!! Amen

We have been studying the early Church for the past few weeks to discover the vital signs of a living Church. The early Church was a Learning Church, and a Caring and Sharing Church. Another vital sign of the early Church was that it was “A Worshipping Church.” The early Christians were fanatic about Jesus. Every day they met in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God..(Acts 2:46).

The early churches’ worship was both formal and informal. A point to note that they did not right away abandon the institutional Church, they gathered in the temple courts daily. But they also gathered for informal worship at homes breaking bread which symbolizes communion. Some young people are impatient with the traditions of the Church. They don’t like to sing hymns discarding them as old fashioned but fail to appreciate the deep theology they carry which can bring life and depth to our worship.

When there is so much misunderstanding and misdirected worship, it is imperative that we as Christians wrestle with these questions: What worship is not? What true worship is? Who is the center of worship? What are the forms of worship? What are the hindrances for worship?

Before we extensively deal with the subject of worship let’s clarify certain mis-conceptions we may have about worship. I grew up in a Christian home, for me worship meant going to church each Sunday, sing a few songs, listen to a sermon and go back home. Attending church regularly is no different than attending a social club, a sport event or running after a celebrity when we don’t worship God the way he desires us to worship him. Worship is not merely singing a few favorite songs, and following a church program through the service. Then what true worship is? And where did it all begin?

The dictionary definition of Worship: “The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or sacred object. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed. Ardent devotion; adoration. The Greek word Proskune (from where we get our English word prostrate) means: To put or throw flat with the face down, as in submission or adoration, fall down and worship, prostrate oneself before, do reverence to.

The origin of worship traces back to the first family where Abel and Cain brought their offerings to the Lord. One was accepted but the other one was denied. Abraham has set out to offer his only promised son Isaac, he told the young men who were with him “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” (Genesis 22: 5) From these two incidents we gather that true worship is all about giving back to God what he has given to us, in the first place it is his anyway, but we do that with a right heart attitude and thanksgiving.

Worship is not so much about what we bring to God but how we bring it; it is a matter of our heart. God continually looks to the heart of men to see if what is being offered to Him is genuine and not some tradition that is performed for selfish reasons. The prophet Isaiah warns the Israelites about their half hearted worship. Outwardly they were praising God but inwardly they are far from God. Isaiah 29:13-14 “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”

Jesus emphasized the need to have a right heart and be in right relationship with others when we come to bring our offerings in worship. Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. When we are not having right attitudes and right relationship with others our offering to God is un-acceptable.

I wonder how some of us can come to the worship service, lifting hands and voices in praising God while not in right relationship with others. Can we impress God with our high praises and lofty prayers while nursing bitterness and un-forgiveness in our hearts? We are good in our spiritual jargon, we say “Praise the Lord, Halleluiah, Amen, and glory to God etc thinking that God is pleased with that language” Kelly Sparks, a worship leader says “God is not moved or impressed with our worship until our hearts are moved and impressed by Him.”

True worship is not based on any particular style whether fast or slow, contemporary or traditional, loud music or no music. Any form of worship that flows out of the hearts of those who are totally blown away by the great wonder, splendor and majesty of God is true worship. You may have the best of the best songs and worship leaders but if your heart is not with it then it falls flat. We think worship happens on Sunday between 10:30 A.M till 11:00 AM, No!! True worship is not an activity that we do once a week but it should happen 24/7, it is a lifestyle of offering our bodies (heart, mind and will) as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God that is our spiritual act of worship.”(Romans 12:1)
When we have the right heart attitude and a desire to give ourselves in the place of worship, it doesn’t really matter whether the one next to you worshipping or not you want give your best to God. True worship is getting lost in the presence of God. Have you experienced that kind of worship lately where you forgot about everything and just worshipped God? How can we develop true worship? How can we be so amazed at the splendor of God? It is only possible by having a revelation of Him who is the Center of Worship! Worship who is it for any way? The Bible is clear about who is worthy of our worship.


Before we discuss who is the Center of our worship let me paint this picture for you. Here is the creator of the universe is standing before Satan on the top of the mountain. The Devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor." All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me.” In other words what the devil was saying, “Jesus throw yourself flat with your face down in submission and adoration of me.”

Jesus did not budge an inch because he knew that true worship only belonged to God not to the Devil so he said, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” (Matthew 4:8-11). Marva Dawn says in her book “Reaching out without Dumbing down” “It is absolutely essential that the Church keep God as the subject of worship.”

The first commandment God gave the Israelites after he had redeemed them from Egypt reveals that we must only worship God and no one or nothing else. And God spoke all these words: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol 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 fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,” Exodus 20:1-5

According to the first commandment God is on the center stage of Worship. No one and nothing should come in between you and God. God has established his sovereign position saying, “I am the LORD your God” after that he gave some clear instructions that mankind should obey. We shall not make an idol for ourselves in the form of anything in the sky (the celestial beings the sun, moon and stars) or on the earth (the visible nature like trees, rivers, mountains, animals, man or any other material thing) or in the ocean world. We are not only commanded not to make an Idol but also not to bow down to them or worship them. Why was God so particular that we should only worship him and not the Idols?

Down through the centuries the Devil has been deceiving and tempting many to violate the first commandment. He has been trying to divert worship away from God unto himself. To a large extent he has succeeded, a lot of people either directly or indirectly are worshipping Satan. How is the Devil succeeding in his attempts? Are we aware of his tactics of in our lives, our family and the society? The Bible calls Satan the murderer, liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He disguises himself as an angel of light, (II Cor 11:14) he is called the prince of this world (John 12:31) and god of this age (II Cor 4:4). He is prowling like a roaring lion looking for some one to devour.( I Pet 5:8)

You may be wondering what does this have to do with me. How is the devil taking me away from worshipping God? Of course you may not out rightly worship Idols like some religions do. Yet idolatry comes in many subtle ways, what is it that we yearn for, think about most of our waking hours, and spend our money and free time on? Idolatry is anything that comes between you and God and takes your focus away from Him. What is that taking your focus away from him? Who or what is your Idol?

True worship is not about yourself it is all about God. Worship originates from God and it is for God because he is the only one who truly deserves it. Once we know how awesome our God is we can not but bow down to his sovereign and magnificent presence and worship him. The following scriptures highlight the splendor of our God.
Exodus 15:11 "Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you-- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

Isaiah 40:25-26 "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. 26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

The God who created the heaven and earth is an awesome God. He also created you for a purpose that is to worship him. He alone deserves our worship and adoration. Who are you worshipping today? How can we keep quiet and become a spectator without participating with the angels and all of his creation and bow before him in worship? Let’s join King David who after seeing His majesty said, “Come Let’s bow down in worship; let’s kneel before the Lord our maker. May the Lord blow our minds away with the revelation of his splendor and majesty.