Worshiping the Lord

Open Your Bible

Deuteronomy 12:1-32, Deuteronomy 13:1-18, Deuteronomy 14:1-21, 1 Corinthians 10:14-31

My mom and I are good friends. Like all good friends, we can get ourselves into passionate, playful arguments about very important topics—like vanilla extract. Yes, you heard that right: vanilla extract. I’m a purist. She was too, until taking the advice of a TV chef.   

“It all tastes the same in the end,” she says. And that, my friends, is where our playful little argument begins. Now, I understand the benefit of using imitation vanilla on a budget. Dropping thirty dollars on a little bottle of flavoring may not be the best way to steward our finances when there are more pressing needs. It’s an extravagance. But I do think it’s important to recognize there is a difference. Greater value is given to vanilla in its purest form than to a watered-down imitation of it because it’s unlike anything else of its kind.        

Our God, the Lord of lords, is also unlike anything of His kind. Anything, anywhere, in all creation. He is the one true God. And in Scripture, we see God place deep value on worshiping Him, untainted by idolatry. This is because He is holy and alone worthy of receiving not just our worship, but that which is genuine and from the heart. More importantly, when we find ourselves securing our affections to anything outside of God, it’s only a counterfeit imitation of true worship. It’s an insult to our Father who is over all things and conceived us in love. 

In today’s reading, Moses addresses worship practices that are, in short, a hot mess. The people inhabiting the land that God had promised the Israelites are worshipping every kind of idol, constructing Asherah poles, pillars, and altars built for human-made statues (Deuteronomy 12:3-4,8). 

Moses urges God’s people to recognize the difference between the current practices in the promised land and the worship of the one true God, between bowing before a statue crafted from human hands instead of the God who spoke metal, wood, and light into being. They are called to mark a difference between what is pagan and what is pure, not just in who or what they worship, but in how. Avoiding idolatry wasn’t only about avoiding bowing down to statues—it was about adopting a way of living that aligned with being set apart. “For you are a holy people,” Moses says, “belonging to the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 14:21).

Fortunately, Mom and I agree that being a purist in baking is not anywhere near as important as it is in worship. You and I may not be called to the same instructions as the Israelites living under the old covenant, but we are called to worship with pure hearts all the same. Today, let’s sit in the presence of the God who alone is worthy of our heart’s deepest affection. 

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45 thoughts on "Worshiping the Lord"

  1. Gwen Dunn says:

    Thank you, God, for helping me recognize idolatry in my life and opening my heart as I worship you.

  2. Brandy Deruso says:

    There is none like you lord you are one of a kind! Glory!

  3. Laurie Crary says:

    Gloria. Praying for you and your husband, Daniel and Vikki.

  4. Cait Nelson says:

    Good word!

  5. Alexandra Dent says:


  6. Mary Macdonald says:

    It’s hard to pick apart the things in our lives that we worship wrongfully. But it’s so needed to take a step back sometimes and think about what we’re holding in higher priority than our relationship and worship of our Lord.

  7. Victoria E says:

    PS Jane K is this the one who was having an ultrasound last week?

  8. Victoria E says:

    Jane K I am praying for Morgan!

  9. LindaK says:

    Praise report update! I originally asked for prayer for multiple issues in my eye(cataract, glaucoma, hole in the retina)I had surgery to have the cataract removed and decrease pressure in the eye, mid May. I was given additional eye drops at that time. I had additional follow up appointments, which included a scan of the eye. The hole is closing. The 2 sides are moving towards each other. Thank you ladies for your faithfulness to remember those who ask for prayer. My scripture that I clung to was
    Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh, Is there anything to hard for me. Jeremiah 32:27

  10. Gloria Penner says:

    If you feel led to pray for my 28 year old son Daniel, i would so very much appreciate it. He’s starting dating a girl named Vicky. She wrote a book called “two-souled”. Very well written, but there is a great deal of witchcraft in it. Daniel does not think it’s a big deal though refuses to read it; probably because it has homosexual characters in it. I don’t know why he is blind except that he plays videos and likes japanese comics. Both, i feel. Sometimes has witchcraft in it. It is possible he does not see because his eyes are clouded by his hobbies he feels are innocent. He loves the Lord and would do nothing he felt was unchristian. 1 corinthian 10:20 makes it very clear if its not from God it is participating with demons. We’re getting together for the 1st time with Vicky (& Daniel) this Saturday. Please pray: i will continue to live Vicky more and more
    That i will learn how to bring this all to God.
    Break any ties Daniel, Vicky, Darren (my husband) and I have with the spiritual forces of darkness.

    That Daniel and Vicky’s eyes would be opened wide to the deception as they come into the Truth, see God’s Love and give their heart, soul, mind, and strength to the True first rate spiritual Power; only God; Jesus Christ crucified and Risen. May they stand steadfast and assured of whom they worship; Jesus Christ alone, in all they do. In Jesus Christ’s name i pray with you. Amen.

  11. Sky Hilton says:

    This morning, I had Happy tears when I prayed. I was just so grateful for the supernatural healing power of God. He is so amazing and good! I was so lost at one point with so much paranoia stress and anxiety.I put so much over Him too, technology included. I wasn’t even me anymore. But God changed that and I feel like I am reborn From now on, whenever I feel like putting other things before God, i will come to Him first, and ask Him to remove that feeling. Being obedient to God is the best thing we could all do

  12. Dorothy says:

    Worshipping the One and Only God is what I want to do and will do. I will worship God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. At times it is hard to remember I shouldn’t make idols out of anything. All They want is my heart and soul to worship and believe in Them. I believe and have faith.
    Finley, the little girl I take care of, came through her surgery with flying colors.
    Sisters in Christ be blessed and rejoice in the name of the Lord.

  13. Jane K says:

    In the last couple of days, there have been so many good verses and wisdom shared here. It has given me a lot to think about. I like what you shared, Victoria Fowlkes on the Sabbath. I have been feeling convicted on how I keep the Sabbath. I understand the reasoning for keeping Sabbath on Saturday. With most Christian churches worshipping on Sundays, it would make it challenging to switch days. I know I am commanded to not neglect the gathering together with the body of Christ, Hebrews 10:25. I realize that I need to stop treating the Sabbath as just another day for me to play. I go to church, and then I do whatever I want. Thank you also, Taylor, for bringing up tithing. I have left this to my husband, and he is very generous, but I also need to be involved. I am continuing to pray for all the prayer requests. Praising God for your ultrasound Victoria!! Also, praise God for using you, Mari, to lead younger staff at work. Melanie, I am praying for your father in law, your dad, your family and for strength and wisdom for you. Dorothy, I am continuing to pray for Finley after her procedure. Mauren I am praying for your granddaughters. I was wondering if there is an active youth group or Wednesday night group in their area. It was so beneficial for my daughters to get involved when they were in school. Also, my youngest daughter had a spiritual mentor from our church who helped her develop her faith. Praying God would bring people into their lives that would speak truth and wisdom to them. Thank you, Blessed Beth, for sharing how God spoke to you about your husband and his faith. God is good! One of my daughters is in labor now as I write this morning. Would you please pray for a safe delivery and health for her and her baby, please? Her name is Morgan. Thank you!

  14. Traci Gendron says:

    Vs 23 “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. ” Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up. 24 No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person.
    We seem so far from living this way in todays world. Can you imagine if we did? We need more love and less hate. To do everything for the glory of God. To fear Him. Keep His commands and listen to Him. Worship Him and remain faithful.

  15. ERB says:

    MAURA, a few of my friends just got back to me about a Bible study for your granddaughters!! They ALL recommended the same thing!!! It’s called God’s vessels, and is associated with Faith Bible Chapel. Their website is godsvessels (.com) …they are supposed to start up next week!! I checked the website out and it really does look AWESOME!!!! I haven’t heard about any housing options yet, but will keep my feelers out there!!

    You asked how I have been doing… my body is slowly adjusting, and my seizures haven’t been as bad or as frequent, but I am still VERY tired and have NO umph! My energy level is super low and very inconsistent. I spend most days in bed resting and sleeping… definitely not ideal, but God has been giving me a LOT during this time and I am VERY thankful (as small as it seems) for the progress and the revelations. Your continued thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated!! Thank you sweet friend!! ❤️

  16. Cindy Hanna says:

    This week’s podcast addressed “adding and taking away” found in today’s reading. Really good thoughts about creating our own idols when we add and elevate any other heart desires to the place God alone should occupy. Examples were given: when we say “I love God AND fitness… or God AND my family….we have basically elevated any other items to the status of an idol. Keeping God alone in the first and highest places of our heart is the only way to honor his holiness. Blessings and prayers for this community of sisters. Your words an encouragement to me.

  17. Victoria E says:

    I have many thoughts this morning but will try to be succinct! First thank you to all who prayed, our appointment went well! Continued prayers through our EDD of March 24 would be very much appreciated. Second I love the “vanilla extract debate!” I really laughed at that one. Third, I’ve been struggling with the particulars of how we tithe, I recently increased the amount we were tithing but then ran into trouble as medical, school, and car related bills suddenly appeared out of nowhere! I believe I may have to decrease my giving temporarily to make ends meet and I feel some type of horrible guilt over this though I know that God is not angry with me for not giving up to 10%. Please pray for us that we can make good decisions with our finances and honor God with them. I still pray the same for all here. Thank you!

  18. Mari V says:

    YES! Our God! The one-and-only tue God is worthy of our heart’s deepest affection.
    I’ve been given the opportunity and I’m so grateful to lead younger staff at work. I may not be the boss but I am so excited and privileged that I’ve been given the opportunity to lead. I’m grateful for my new boss who has taken a chance on me. She is amazing! May I set the example of our one true God to this new young staff. NEVER me ALL Jesus!

  19. Mari V says:

    YES! Our God! The one-and-only tue God is worthy of our heart’s deepest affection.

  20. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    This is a little lengthy but thought I’d share it as the subject of tithing came up. I found this when I was preparing a lesson on “What Does the Bible Say About Giving? and is titled, “The Man Who Gave 90 Percent.”…
    “R. G. LeTourneau (1888 – 1969) was a Christian industrialist who dedicated his life to “being a businessman for God” He was hugely successful, designing and developing his own line of earth-moving equipment.

    LeTourneau was the maker of nearly 300 inventions, and had hundreds of patents in his lifetime. As he succeeded financially, he “increased his giving” to the point where he was giving 90% of his income to the Lord’s work.
    “I shovel out the money, and God shovels it back—but God has a bigger shovel.” – R. G. LeTourneau

    You may be thinking, “I could give 90% too if I was a multi-millionaire Maybe so, but LeTourneau didn’t start out wealthy.

    A gentle challenge: Whatever percentage of your income you are currently giving, make a lifelong plan to bump that percentage with every opportunity.”

    My husband and I learned a long time ago, that you can’t “out-give” God. …There were times when my husband was in Bible College, working a job that paid $5 an hour, and days where we weren’t sure where the grocery money would come from – but we always tithed. And God always provided…and still does.

    When tithing is mentioned in the O.T., 10% was the starting place. In the N.T. no amount is mentioned, only that each one is to give cheerfully as he purposes in his heart. (2 Corinthians 9:7)Just before that in 2 Corinthians 9:6, Paul says, He who sows sparingly, reaps sparingly and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully – which R. G. LeTourneau certainly testifies to!

    The key to giving is prayer – asking God what He wants us to give. It may be more than we have in mind or it may be less. But He sees, He knows, and He leads!

    A blessed Wednesday to you all, and Happy 1st Day of September!

  21. Victoria Fowlkes says:

    God makes it so clear that he wants us to worship him His Way. He wants us to love Him His WAY. Lord help me to genuinely love you with my words my actions my obedience ❤️ every day. It really makes me think about the Sabbath. God established His Holy Day as the 7th day. Everyday we are to worship and love Him but He set the 7th day apart as Holy. But most of us spend that day going out to brunch with friends shopping running errands doing household chores watching tv going out to party. Then on Sunday we go to church praise and worship for a few hours then go to lunch or go about the rest of our day. Sunday being designated as the day Christians worship was ordained my Man (the pope) not by God. Some will say it doesn’t matter but scriptures we read today show just how much God cares about us doing things His Way. He sent His Son to die for us and save us because he loves us. We must love Him in return by being obedient. He told us If we love Him keep His commandments. We are still not to worship other gods or commit murder etc from the old covenant to the new covenant. And we are still called to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy

  22. Tracy Gogan says:


  23. Dawn Andreassen says:


    “May we sit in the presence of The God who worthy alone is worthy of our heart’s deepest affection!”

  24. Claire B says:

    Tithing is a good thing, but hard, we set a goal to increase yearly which takes a while but seemed to work. We have a tithing budget that goes to several places to do God’s work. Some believe 10% has to go to the church. My husband and I (and many others) believe we are to return our tithing to God. We support our church with the majority but also our daughter’s smaller church and some missions. It feels good to spread it to others in the Lord’s name. I pray you find what you need and a way to accomplish your goals.

  25. Maura says:

    Ugh, my phone changed ERB to WEB and I missed correcting it. Sorry ERB. Angie, hope you are still reading. My prayers are with you.

  26. Maura says:

    Good Morning Sisters, I love this
    “Everything is permissible,but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible,but not everything builds up. 24 No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person.” And then 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
    God’s love for us always wants what is beneficial for our lives. How lovely, praying that whatever we do, that we may do it for the glory of our LORD and as always He will bless and multiply our work, love, joy and all that He pours into us may pour out to those He brings in our path this day. Taylor, there is much joy that comes in giving what the Lord asks. I would tell you though I have little, I have much as you said it is all from His hand. He blesses my obedience in tithing and somehow I always have enough and have much joy to give generously when He stirs my heart. Dorothy, sending you hugs and Love. Praying for Finley, may she feel Jesus holding her in this procedure. Dear Claire B, thank you, I will, He is worthy. I am trying hard to take my thoughts captive and keep scripture and praise in my thoughts. Beth, I only see products on Kids read Truth. I do read He Reads Truth often as it adds to our devotion, but can’t find it for Kids, other than studies you can purchase. Victoria E, praising God, knowing He is holding you and your little one. Know you are treasured. Dear WEB, yes, please reach out, I thought YWAM was more of a ministry for teens, but any information would bless me. Thank you, praying for you sweet Lady. Has your body adjusted, is your physical strength being restored? I see you heart strength here daily. He is so good. Shine Sisters Shine.

  27. Ruth Long says:

    Hey Melanie, I’ll pray for you. Thank you for sharing.

    Fear not, for I am with you.
    Be not dismayed, for I AM your God.
    I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
    -Isaiah 41:10

  28. Ruth Long says:

    Hey Melanie, I’ll pray for you. Thank you for sharing.
    Fear not, for I am with you.
    Be not dismayed, for I AM your God.
    I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  29. Ruth Long says:

    Hey Melanie, I’ll pray for you. Thank you for sharing.
    Fear not, for I am with you.
    Be not dismayed, for I AM your God.

  30. Ruth Long says:

    Hey Melanie, I’ll pray for you. Thank you for sharing.
    Fear not, for I am with you.

  31. Ruth Long says:

    Hey Melanie, I’ll pray for you. Thank you for sharing.

  32. SarahJoy says:

    TAYLOR – once I heard about how some churches in Africa will dance and sing as they go up to give their offering! We have truly seen God’s miraculous care for us as we have been faithful in our giving. I’d challenge you to go for it! And at the same time get yourself on a budget. You will find freedom within those boundaries! It’s so fun to be able to bless those who need it. Excited to hear your stories. :D

    P.S. I highly recommend Mint as a budgeting app.

  33. Aimee DiCicco-Ruhl says:


  34. SarahJoy says:

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” Romans 12:1
    God wants us to seek the authentic not the knock-off version of Him. He wants us to come wholeheartedly.
    Often we get caught up in the how when God simply desires us to seek Him. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
    One of my favorite phrases that our pastor says is, “I give all that I know of myself to all that I know of You (God).” Come as a child, humble, unassuming to the God who we only know in part, trust His heart for us is good because nothing is better than Him.

    And by the way, I prefer Mexican vanilla. Lol

  35. ERB says:

    MAURA, YWAM is a worldwide organization and ministry, its purpose is “To know God and to make Him known.” Their primary focus is training and equipping young adults for the mission field, (both local & overseas) but they also train & equip adults as well. I was involved with them over 20 years ago… but as they say “once a YWAMer, always a YWAMer!” So I have a lot of contacts. Some of which that are local to Colorado.. if I have your permission? I will reach out to some of those contacts to see if they have any recommendations or suggestions for housing, women’s fellowship and a young ladies Bible study… let me know! Praying for you as always my dear friend!! Love you!! Xoxo

  36. Andrea P says:


  37. Taylor says:

    Two things that stood out to me from today’s readings were taking time to reflect on the idols in my life and identify them so I can lay them down at the Lord’s feet so that I am wholly committed to Him. The second thing is tithing. I found it interesting in today’s passage that instead of giving their tithe to the church, they went into the Lord’s presence and ate it/rejoiced over it. Interesting perspective! Now that I have a full time job and have a more steady income I feel the Lord calling me to get back into tithing. I’m going to start well below 10% but want to work my way up to it since it’s not my money anyway, it’s the Lords

  38. Waiting says:

    Thank you for the prayers! My father took me to get my car :) praying I continue to make good decisions with it!

  39. Melanie says:

    Please continue to pray for my father in law and my family lots going on. Please pray for my dad as well. I need strength and wisdom for the days ahead

  40. Julia Guice says:

  41. Kelly says:

    I love that part of Israel’s worship was to join the Lord for a meal! Echos of being in the Garden and a shadow of the day we eat at His table in heaven. The all-powerful, all-knowing, holy God of all creation WANTS to be with us. He has made a way for it to happen. Don’t settle for what the world offers and worships.

    1. Brandy S says:

      I love this, Kelly! Thanks for this insight.

  42. SEARCHING says:

    DOROTHY – praying things went well with Finley’s procedure, and hugs to you as you remember your son. Those anniversaries are rough, we had one in our family a few days ago and there aren’t any words, just hugs as we remember and are thankful for the time we shared. Continuing to pray for Carol, Jake and you.

    MAURA – continuing to pray for housing and granddaughters

    WAITING – praying for clarity and peace about what to do.

    MELANIE – thank you for the update and praying you are feeling better

    VICTORIA E – praise the Lord for your great news!

  43. Blessed Beth says:

    Amen Bailey amen! I remember when God told me he had amazing plans for my unsaved husband and that He was the one thing he couldn’t take from me. Every Sunday mornings it was like the Norman Rockwell painting, I would dress up the three children and we would head for church. I wondered about these plans God had! Well one Sunday my husband arrived at church, and has come with us every Sunday since, I have never asked why but that was 30+ years ago!
    God was so clear and faithful in what He said.

  44. Arina says:

    If the Israelites loved God, they couldn’t continue serving God the way the Canaanites did. Loving God means worshipping Him the way He wants. That means going to the place He has chosen, only eating the food He allows. Also, not treating it lightly when someone else thinks there are other ways to serve God. Because His ways are always the best.