Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Heart of Worship

You may have seen this in the news:  A couple weeks ago, a professor at Texas A&M Galveston sent an email to all of the students in his management class, saying that he was cancelling the rest of the semester, and they all would receive a failing grade.  He explained to media later that the students, “couldn’t do some of the most simple and basic things they should have been able to do at this point.”  He also said they were rude, disrespectful, and even threatening toward him.  “Enough is enough,” he said.  Long ago, a perfect, righteous, loving God created a perfect world.  The crowning piece of His creation was humanity.  Yet we chose to rebel against Him, reject His love and His ways, and the world quickly spiraled downhill.  Not only were we incapable of living the way we should, we were hateful and disrespectful to Him.  He was well within His rights to say, “Enough is enough,” cancel the entire project, and fail us all.  Instead, Romans 5:8 says, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Basically, the professor took the final in our place.  Then He set about to make us into the kind of people who will ultimately be like Him.  All this Spring, we’ve been talking about the process God uses to change us.  We’ve looked at different spiritual disciplines that we can use to participate in that process and experience transformation.  Each week, I’ve given you a different challenge. I hope this has led to growth in your life as you experience God in new ways.  This week, we’ll talk about one of the most well-known of all the disciplines: Worship. 

Life can be rather ironic.  Sometimes, the solution to our problems is something we would never expect, something that doesn’t even seem related to what’s wrong.  For example, a middle-aged man visits his doctor and says, “I have no energy.  I’m tired all the time.”  The doctor does some tests, then tells him, “You need to start exercising every day.”  The man is angry and confused.  “But won’t exercise just make me more tired?  Couldn’t you just give me a pill that will give me more energy?”    
We often think we know just what we need: “I’m not very happy now, but if I could just get a better job…If I could just meet and marry that ‘right’ person…If I could just get over these health problems…If I could just straighten out my kids, then I would be happy.”  Meanwhile, God is saying, “What you really need is to worship me.”  That’s hard for us to believe, because we don’t understand worship. So this Sunday, we'll talk about what worship is and why it’s so important.  We'll even explore why God commands us to worship Him: Is that insecure of Him?  And of course, I'll have a challenge for you.  See you Sunday, Mother's Day.   

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