Worship

Today’s reading is Revelation 4.

I find it interesting and a little bit challenging, when I search my photo stock using the word “worship,” especially connected with images of “Christian worship,” I am inundated with pictures of people standing up, eyes closed, faces to heaven, arms upstretched. However, when I look through the Bible at pictures of worship, what I find (Old and New Testaments) is people falling down, laying on the ground, bowing, casting off crowns. Don’t get me wrong, I know men are to lift holy hands in prayer. I know through Jesus Christ we are forgiven and undefiled, therefore we have confident access to God’s presence, and we don’t have to come into it with self-flagellation, scraping on the floor, and begging for entrance. Therefore, I don’t want to establish some bodily posture rule about worship. Nor do I want to paint with such a broad brush as to say every prostrate worshiper has the right mindset and every upright worshiper does not. But I wonder if this stark contrast in the majority of “pictures” between modern Google and ancient Bible demonstrates some kind of shift in our view of worship. Obviously, each of us must examine our own heart regarding what we are doing in worship. Here is what I do know. No matter how we are sitting, standing, laying prostrate, raising hands, worship is the casting down of our own selves and our own worthiness before the Lord who is the only worthy One. Whether our bodies lie prostrate or not, worship is the prostration of our hearts and minds before a holy God who was and is and is to come, who is worthy to receive glory and honor and power because He is creator and we are creation. And whether we are actively involved in a worship action or not, this must be the state of our heart before God at all times. He is worthy. Praise God!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 5.¬†

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The Gospel of the Cross

Today’s reading is Luke 9.

I get why some people don’t see God’s gospel as good news. The path to victory in God’s gospel is very different from the Roman gospel. In a Roman¬† gospel (the way the word “gospel” was used in Roman culture at the time of Jesus), the Emperor has been born and come to power. He feasts on sumptuous meals and lives in marvelous palaces. He brings divine victory to Rome. The glorious, divine Emperor lives and so Romans can as well. But the path to victory in God’s gospel is the cross. It was the cross for Jesus, our King. But it is also a cross for us. When we follow Jesus, it is not at a distance. It is with him, carrying our cross. That is not just our every day burdens. That is an implement of our death. It is losing our lives, just as He did. No, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will be crucified as criminals. It does mean, however, that we give up on our lives in order to have His. It is a victory like no other, but its path is the path of the cross. It is free, and yet we must count the cost. Jesus bore His cross for us; let us bear our cross for Him. I do understand why that may not sound like good news to you, but remember following Jesus’s cross was resurrection and coronation. If we follow Jesus in the cross, we will follow Him to the crown as well. Carry the cross; receive the crown. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 10.

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