The rest of this week we are talking about living life ON PURPOSE – the way God intended. Choosing God-given targets (not the fake worldly targets that keep popping up in our way), and then pursuing those goals with everything we have – both individually, as well as with the church body.
If you took the opportunity to read the passages at the end of yesterday’s post (Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 2:41-47), you read the Great Commandment(s), the Great Commission, and a brief description of the Early Church – great reading for sure. In Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Church, he recounts the work done at his church to create and live by a great purpose statement. After much study of God’s Word they boiled it down to this slogan: “A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow a Great Church.” (p. 103).
Today let’s dive into just the first part of the Great Commandment passage. A Pharisee tested Jesus, asking him what is the greatest commandment? Jesus replied – quoting Deuteronomy: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt 22:37-38). And, so living our life to love God should be our first and greatest priority. What does this look like? When we love something/someone we revere it and hold it up. We spend time with what we love. We seek out ways to honor those people and things we love. We put up on a pedestal those we love – and in God’s case – he fully deserves this and much more. We call this WORSHIP!
Worship is defined as, “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity”. I like that the definition includes not just feeling it – but showing it. Our church worship services ought to be great places for us to be active, engaged, thoughtful, giving, speaking, singing participants in worship. But, if that is the only time we are worshipping we are falling far short of our God-given purpose of worship.
Many examples of worship can be found throughout the book of Psalms. Go ahead, pick a chapter or two and look for instances of worship – as well as why God is worthy to be worshipped. Just a few examples are: “I will PRAISE you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will TELL of all your wonders.” (Psalm 9:1), “OFFER right sacrifices…” (Psalm 4:5), “WAIT for the Lord…” (Psalm 27:14). “I PRAY to you, O LORD” (Psalm 69: 13). “I will PRAISE God’s name in SONG and GLORIFY him with THANKSGIVING.” (Psalm 69:30).
This is all well and fine when we FEEL like praising God – when the sun is shining and we are on top of His world. But, what about those days when the clouds are out and we are discouraged or feel God is silent or playing hide and seek with us. Our feelings don’t change the first and greatest commandment – to LOVE God. Our circumstances don’t change our first and greatest priority – to WORSHIP God.
Psalm 13 is a perfect example for us when we are stuck in the cloudy day mentality. David feels forgotten by God, he is wrestling with dark thoughts and a heavy heart, he feels he has been trampled down by his enemies/life. Yet, he ends the short Psalm with this: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:5-6). God is worthy of our worship – all the time …. And all the time – God is worthy of our worship.
How will you WORSHIP Him today?