Read Deuteronomy 10:12-22
Ministry: Training and evangelizing young adults in Taiwan
Missionary: Abby Radcliffe
The fragrant aroma fills my nostrils each time I walk out of my home. It’s a combination of spices that, over time, has become familiar. This is the smell of incense burning slowly as the Taiwanese people worship their gods and ancestors. Ancestor worship is deeply woven within the Taiwanese culture.
My name is Abby, and I have had the privilege of being in Taiwan since March of 2020. I work as an intern at an English and Bible training center. Our aim is to raise up young adults to be leaders and disciple makers in their churches and communities. Specifically, I have been teaching English and Bible classes to Taiwanese adults, college age and up.
Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. One of my former English students, Stanley, is an active worshipper of Mazu, the goddess of the sea. Many times, worship of these gods is motivated by the desire to be blessed. Who can blame them? Everybody wants a good life.
As a Christ follower, I am grateful that I don’t have the pressure of this ritualistic worship. Still, in Christianity, the motivation to worship for blessing may still be there; it just looks different when played out. In my own life, I can feel as though God will bless me if I do what He wants. If I spend time with Him in the morning, He will reward me with a good day. Often, I need to take a step back and evaluate my motivation.
In Deuteronomy 10, God shows the people of Israel who He is and the type of worship He requires from them. It’s interesting that God specifically mentions that He does not take bribes. He cannot be bought with our worship. I cannot offer to Him 30 minutes of my morning in exchange for a day that is problem free. His exchange rate isn’t based on my performance, rather it is based solely on His grace.
We see in Deuteronomy what God requires of the Israelites, “to fear the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…” (vs. 12, ESV). They were to do that, not because of what God will give them, but simply because they know who He is (vs. 14), and they have seen how He has worked (vs. 21). So, we can still offer Him 30 minutes of our morning, but for a different reason.