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Archive for July 11th, 2013

When most people say that they worship God, what do they mean?  In my experience, they usually mean that they go to church and/or read the Bible.  Whether or not they explicitly say so, it will generally also mean that they pray;  it might be just in church, or during certain times of the day, such as at night before bed (“God bless mother and father and John and Jane…”), or when something terrible is happening, or when they really want something.  For the average Christian, that pretty much covers it.
 
In stark contrast, when we say that someone worships a celebrity, older sibling, mentor or romantic partner, what do we mean?  Certainly NOT that they just focus on that person for one hour on Sunday mornings, or for 5 minutes at bedtime!!  In the case of the celebrity, we mean that the “worshipper” thinks about them a lot, raves on and on about them, and devotes time and $ to whatever they do that makes them famous.  In the case of the romantic partner, we mean the slavish devotion and near-obsessive focus we’ve all experienced with infatuation and new love.  In the case of the people one might look up to, “worship” means to idolize and idealize them, consult them and take their opinions over their own or anyone else’s, seek to be like them, crave their approval, etc.
 
Needless to say, what we SHOULD mean when we say that we worship God is what we mean when we talk about worshipping everyone EXCEPT God!!  It is GOD that we should think and talk about constantly, and focus on and spend our time and efforts on, and be devoted to, and idolize, and take the word of over all others, and try to be like, and seek the approval of, and LOVE with all our hearts every second of every day.
 
Worship shouldn’t be something we schedule in like doing the laundry or taking out the garbage, done with a mindset totally devoid of love, joy, exuberance…  exaltation.  God is not a chore, or a duty, or an obligation.  When you truly know God, truly love Him, He becomes the reason for every breath you take, every beat of your heart.  Every cell in your body should yearn eagerly for Him every moment of your life.  You should talk to Him all throughout the day.  Thank Him for every blessing you receive, however small.  Praise Him at every opportunity.  Make every choice based on honoring Him and His desire for how His children should behave.  Nothing less is worthy of being called “worship”;  nothing less is worthy of Him.

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The above came to me out of the blue today…  which means that God gave me the idea.  I think this will be the core of my first sermon, whenever that will be.  And, for those who might not have seen it before, here is the first Bible verse I will share:

Psalm 63:1-8 (NIV)

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
    and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

I can’t wait to see if any other sermon ideas just drop into my head…

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