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No. 156
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online
Getting to know God together.

Kids can sometimes imagine that worshipping God is some sort of adult stuff that they cannot do! This might be because people can make worship and churches so mysterious and grand that it all looks too strange - and alarming even! But God Himself is shown in what He has created. He is as lovely as a spring morning, as filled with joy as a  flock of geese flying in the blue sky, as glorious as the open ocean, as easy to worship as a baby is easy to hug.  God doesn’t want us to get all muddled up with images and rituals and complicated ways of worship. Worship is about saying “I love You” to God, and knowing how great and holy He is. Worship is honouring God as our Creator.

The Bible warns us about lots of worship-ways that can take us away from the true God. These worship-ways lead people to trust in images and objects that are not God at all, just things people have made themselves, or maybe nature. What does God warn us about to do with worship-ways?

We should use not pictures when we worship, perhaps of Jesus or Mary or even God the Father. God is real, we should worship the real God in Heaven, not a picture: Numbers 33:52; Exodus 20:4,5.

We should not worship the stars, moon or sun:
“...either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven (planets and stars), which I have NOT commanded.” (Deuteronomy 17:3).

We shouldn’t kiss images or pictures which are said to be “holy”: Hosea 13:2.

We must not burn incense to statues and idols:
“He (Hezekiah) removed the high places, and brake images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen (brass) serpent ( a stature) that Moses had made; for unto those days the children (people) of Israel did burn incense to it...” (II Kings 18:4).

What are “high places” and “groves?” In Old Testament days people worshipped pagan gods high up in the hills, and they had groves of trees that they worshipped in as well. God’s Word warns us about this sort of godless worship. No part of nature is God, we must not worship nature. Many of these evil practices are in our world today:
“...the nations...served their [false] gods, upon the high mountains, and upon hills, and under every green tree:
And ye [you] shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.” (Deuteronomy 12:2).

God does NOT want Christian believers today to actually break and destroy false idols to false gods. In Deuteronomy 12 He was speaking to Israel when they went into the land of Canaan. But God doesn't want us today to join in with false worship at all!
With other religions. Here are some more things God doesn’t want His people to take part in when they worship Him:
Talking  to or praying to dead people or saints: Isaiah 8:19; I Samuel 28:3,9: Deuteronomy 18:10,14.
Walking in religious processions with images and idols: Isaiah 46:5-7.
Covering idols or statues with gold, silver and precious stones: Deuteronomy 7:25; Ezekiel 16:17,18
Saying prayers over and over again, same words repeated and repeated: Matthew 6:7.

Just speak simply to God in prayer and say you love Him and want to obey Him, that is worship which God accepts. And worship Him in church with true believers in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Those who obey the Bible, and honour God’s Word.

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