Session 3

How to know what you worship

From Luke: A 24-Day Devotional

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Luke 18

Throughout the Bible, we see God’s people worshipping someone or something other than God.

From the Israelites who worshipped Baal (1 Kings 18:19-39) to the Pharisees who worshipped the law and their own righteousness (Luke 18:10-14), people missed the mark when it comes to making God the object of their worship. It’s easy to read these stories and think, “I would never worship another god” or “I would never worship my own good deeds.” But Jesus proves how easy it is for us to get it wrong as well.

In Luke 18, Jesus is speaking to a crowd when a wealthy man asks how to inherit eternal life. Jesus answers by listing off a few of the commandments, and the man claims, “All these I have kept since I was a boy.” Instead of commending the man’s righteousness and celebrating his perfection, Jesus says, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The man became sad at this statement because he was wealthy.

The ruler’s problem wasn’t his money; it was his heart. He worshipped his possessions and his own good deeds. He was proud of himself for keeping the commandments, he was possessive over his money, and he expected Jesus to grant him access to eternal life based on his own achievements.

Jesus wasn’t saying we have to be broke to inherit eternal life. He is asking us to give up anything that competes for our worship. For some of us that might be a career. For others, it might be a house or car. The beautiful truth is that when we put God first He provides in every area of our lives. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When God asks us to make changes in our lives — or to give up something completely — He promises to provide for us if we are obedient to Him.

Reflect:

  • What is most likely to compete with God for your attention and affection?
  • Take some time today to seek God and ask Him, “Am I worshipping you, or is something getting in the way?”

3 of 24

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

How to make investments that last

The Bible describes two kinds of wealth. The first kind of wealth is used to buy and build houses, buy cars, go on vacation, get clothes,...

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Session 2

Instead of being quick to blame, be quick to thank

Americans are quick to blame others for our problems. We blame McDonald’s for our obesity. We blame Mountain Dew for our cavities. We bla...

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Session 3

How to know what you worship

Throughout the Bible, we see God’s people worshipping someone or something other than God. From the Israelites who worshipped Baal (1 Ki...

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Session 4

Jesus wants you as you are

Zacchaeus, the hated tax collector, wanted to see Jesus but couldn’t see over the crowd. So, he climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could...

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Session 5

What will relationships be like in heaven?

What happens when we die? How does this question make you feel? For many, it can evoke a sense of uncertainty and fear. In our desperate ...

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Session 6

What does Jesus want from me?

The widow gave everything—all she had to live on. Others gave a portion of their wealth. She gave all, out of her poverty. She could have...

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Session 7

How to be the greatest

Pride is a powerful force, perhaps more destructive than any other. The desire to elevate ourselves above others can drive us to do crazy...

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Session 8

Why should I forgive?

At the darkest hour of Christ’s life, His prayers still focused on forgiveness for the lost. When pain and separation from His Father wer...

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Session 9

Jesus meets us where we are

Have you ever felt like God let you down? Extreme disappointment can make us bitter and reluctant to hope for anything again. Proverbs 13...

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Session 10

You are never too weak to make a difference

How often have you caught yourself saying (or thinking), "I couldn’t possibly" or "God would never ask someone like me to do something li...

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Session 11

Obedience isn’t always easy

Obeying God is easier on some days than others. Maybe you feel like something or someone is disrupting your attempts to follow God, makin...

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Session 12

Where your family tree begins matters more than where it ends

A family tree shows family relationships throughout generations. Digging into your family history might reveal that you are related to pr...

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Session 13

The most powerful speaker to ever live

In school, we learn about great orators in history. People like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr. who used w...

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Session 14

What it means to be made new

New. This word sells everything from dish soap to identity. No wonder we miss the magnitude of its meaning. New isn’t old plus something....

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Session 15

Following Jesus doesn’t always make friends

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man....

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Session 16

What do you think you’re entitled to?

If you feel entitled, you believe that your possession of one thing gives you the right or privilege to something else. For instance, “Th...

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Session 17

What do your actions say about who you are?

One day as Jesus was teaching to a large gathering of people, His mother and brothers tried to make their way through the crowd, but coul...

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Session 18

Who do you say Jesus is?

Jesus got alone with His disciples after a day full of ministering and serving. After Jesus spoke to His Father in prayer, He began to qu...

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Session 19

Busyness can cost you the best part of living

The Duck Dynasty picture of growing up in the South wasn’t far from the truth for a lot of us. Grandma thrived on cooking hearty meals fo...

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Session 20

What Jesus says about how to pray

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. He responded by offering a simple model for our prayer time. "He said to them, ’Whe...

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Session 21

Why you don’t have to worry

In Luke 12, Jesus speaks to His disciples about anxiety and fear. Four times, Jesus specifically tells them not to be afraid. His message...

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Session 22

How to not be fake in your faith

Have you ever visited the home of someone who had a thing for decorative plants? Walk in and it’s hard not be impressed by their green t...

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Session 23

Who is in charge of your life?

In Luke 14, the Pharisees’ priorities stand in sharp contrast to Jesus’ transparency and compassion. First, they seat Jesus across from ...

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Session 24

Where to turn when you feel lost

There are so many ways to get lost. Sometimes we think we know where we’re going, but we end up on the wrong side of town altogether. Oth...

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