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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Advent Conspiracy – Worship Fully

            Worship requires humility.  Humility is something most of us aren’t very good at.
            Unfortunately, when most of us think about worship it is only connected to music that emotionally moves us, up-raised hands and cherubic expressions on our faces as we are caught up in the moment.  Expressions like, “That was a great time of worship!” are largely a reflection of how we felt – our emotional response – to the music or the environment.  But that’s not necessarily worship.
            If emotion is where we believe worship begins, we are in trouble.  Emotion can be (and should be!) a response to worshipping properly but in itself is not worship.  Let’s go back to the humility thing to understand what worship is really all about.
            To worship something is to elevate its value and importance.  We worship many things in life – security, safety, wealth, success, relationships, careers, family would be just a few.  Here’s the problem, the Bible makes it very clear the nature of worship is exclusivity.  You can’t worship two things at the same time.  To worship something or someone is to put them at the very top of all other things.  When you worship something, you become its servant.  This is what Jesus is talking about in Luke 16:13 where he says you can’t serve two masters – God and money.  Worship is exclusive and there is no one more exclusive than God.
            So, worship is not about how you feel, it is about what you do.  To worship God is to put him above all things.  To worship God is to put him first in your life.  To worship God is to not let anything come before him.  To worship God is to humble yourself to put God’s will above your own will.  The most profound act of worship ever recorded in the Bible is when Jesus bowed in prayer as he faced a certain death and said to his Heavenly Father, “…not my will, but yours, be done.”  (Luke 22:42)

            As we enter into Advent it is ultimately an invitation to worship God above any and every other thing on earth and in heaven.  God showed his love for us in a profound way by giving the gift of his son.  And, in giving this beautiful gift God once again showed the world his love, splendor and power.  He didn’t have to but once again he gave another reason why he should be elevated above every other thing.  We worship God not because we feel like it, we worship God because he is worthy to be worshipped.
            Worship purely expressed is when we echo the words of John the Baptist.  When John’s disciples came to him worried about the defections over to Jesus, John didn’t try to elevate himself.  He did exactly the opposite.  He humbled himself.  “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)  Those are the words that show us what worshipping fully looks like.
            Jesus came to be King of kings, Lord of lords.  He will accept no other position.  He must increase and you must decrease.

Peace and grace,


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