Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Day of Praise

Tues, 06/12/18, "Day of Praise"

I myself enjoy the summer and the things about it that are different, and many of you do too. But whatever your schedule and wherever you may be, one thing never changes, namely, God made us to love to worship him. With that in mind, I pulled up this devotion that I wrote a couple years ago. 

Exodus 15:13 - "You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode."

Psalm 5:7 - "But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you."

Psalm 138:2 - "I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word."

Do you worship God? Why? Or why not?

How often do you worship God? Why?

Is worshiping God a priority for you? Why? Or why not?

In today's Bible verses, there are two words in all three verses: 1) holy and 2) love. These two words are coupled with a set of words that point to the same thing: abode, house, and temple. By inspiring the use of all these words, here's what God is telling us.

God is saying that worshiping him regularly with others should be a priority for all of us.

Let's break down that statement. First, in the Bible, what is "worship"? Worship is "bending the knee." It is bowing humbly before God. It is kneeling before God and crying out for mercy because we've gone our own way. It is sitting under God's word and listening both to the way he's ordered creation and also to his counsel for living in the world, according to his order, instead of the way we'd order it. It is singing praise to God for who he is. It is singing thanks to God for his works of grace. Have you worshiped God lately with these elements of worship?

Second, in the Bible, what is worshiping "regularly with others"? Regularly is both daily, wherever you are, which can be by yourself, but also, weekly with others so that you're listening to God's word in a gathering of people. Do you make time to worship God regularly with others? In an ever-increasingly busy world, you will never find the time. Time must be carved out and set aside. 

Finally, in the Bible, why is worshiping regularly with others a "priority"? Very simply, as noted in today's Bible verses, worshiping regularly with others is a priority because of the two words in all three verses (holy and love) that are coupled with the set of words that point to the same thing: abode, house, and temple. "Holy" simply means "set apart and dedicated to God's purpose." And God's purpose is to give life. And God gives life by pouring out himself, which is the definition of love. And God pours out himself, in other words, God loves us, by pouring out his Living Word, who is Jesus Christ. 

So here's what all that means. If God isn't holy and doesn't carry out his purpose to give life by pouring out himself in love through his word, then we're dead. If God isn't pouring out life, then we're dead. But it also then stands to reason that if God pours out life through his word, but we're not receiving it, then we're dead that way too. This is why worship is a "priority." Worship is a priority because it's the way God has ordered creation for him to give life and for us to receive life.

Think about it.

(But don't just think about it; act on it, because ultimately what God is saying is simple. God is saying that worshiping him regularly with others should be a priority for all of us. After all, we were made by God to love to praise the Lord!)

Praise God!

Pastor Chris 
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson

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