Photo: Pinterest Lyric: Joel Houston (The Stand)
It’s around 5 am here. I’ve been waking up between 4 and 5 am the past few weeks. I mention this because it is the time of the most sweet fellowship with God. What does it mean to love God? What does it mean to worship in spirit and in truth? How does one foster relationship with the Creator of the Universe?
Well let’s start with the basics for the non Christian. Unlike what you hear on talk shows, there’s one way to God. It’s through faith in His Son Jesus.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.
We believe Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, was crucified for all sin, and rose again. We confess our sins before God (for all but God have sinned), we receive forgiveness, we are baptized in water and filled with His Spirit…
Jesus gives us access to the Father. His righteousness covers us. God is holy. There’s no sin in Him. We cannot remove our sin. Someone who never sinned had to pay for us. The cross represents perfect love and justice. The penalty for sin is death. Jesus paid for our sins with His life. He died as us and rose so we could have life eternal. It’s like someone sitting on death row for a crime and Jesus walks in and says, “I know someone has to pay, I will pay for this. Let this person go free.”
What does this have to do with worship?
Glad you asked!
I believe we sometimes forget what God paid for. When we begin to worship things other than God, we’ve forgotten the great lengths God went through to save us and call us His own. I can’t name one person in my life who would die for me if I were guilty. Forget guilty. I can’t name one who’d die for me if I was innocent. Maybe my mom, yet the way Jesus suffered is beyond comprehension. He was marred beyond recognition. Films can’t capture how badly He was beaten. His flesh was ripped off His body.
The cross reminds me of how good God is and how deadly sin is. To choose to worship anyone or anything above Him is ludicrous. He gave everything for a world that gives Him the scraps off the table. “Here God, here’s my Sunday morning attendance and offering. Please don’t ask for anything else.”
God doesn’t ask for part of our lives or part of our devotion. He asks for everything!
He’s worthy of whole hearted devotion. If my conversion and following Christ does not lead me to love Him more and more with each passing day, I must go back to the cross. If my love for Him does not lead me to want to do what He says, I must go back to the cross.
Where Jesus took what I deserved.
Where love was poured out so we would never have to experience the tragedy of eternity in hell and separation from God.
Where God’s wrath for sin was targeted at His Son so forgiveness and grace could be appropriated to us by faith.
It cost God greatly to redeem us. He passionately pursues us. He gave and gives His best to us. Yet He often receives so little love in return. He’s the One people blame in crisis or they don’t get their way or is sought out only in times of trouble.
Sweet friends, God is SO much better than anything or anyone He created! We do not know how to worship until we know His love. We do not know His love until we know His Son. We can’t love Him until we first receive His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness for us.
Father forgive us for worshipping created things. Forgive us for making You an obligation or our genie in a bottle. Forgive us for being consumed by this world and not putting You first. Help us to reflect on the cross. Help us to know Jesus, know You, know the Holy Spirit. May we know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of Your great love for us. Help us to receive the fullness of what You paid for. In Jesus powerful name, Amen!