Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Worship, its all I can do
by Erik Momsen
Much of the Christian life is about turning human hearts and minds back to God. By default we are self centred, which leads us into all kinds of pain and destruction. When we are tired by our own condition or convinced that we need God, we turn to Him. Hence Jesus' invitation to all who are thirsty. When we do come to Him we are touched in body, mind and soul and our response should be worship. This is the response of millions of people thoughout the ages. Like the woman at the tomb, "They came to Him, clasped his feet and worshipped Him." (Matthew 28:9)
The Psalmist constantly encourages himself and the listener to praise, worship and glorify the Lord. Had it been a natural and easy activity for us this would not have been necessary. But much of the time we have cold, dry and even angry hearts.
Psalm 103 is one of the great expressions of worship founded on the love, forgiveness and character of God.
Vs. 1,2,20,21,22 have six calls to "Praise the Lord, O my soul".
The primary reason and motivation for worship is because of the Lord’s:
- Forgiveness & healing - v.3
- Redemption from death, love and compassion - v.4
- Gift of good things and renewal of strength - v.5
The dynamic of worship between God and man is described in v8 - 18. God’s goodness and our frailty is contrasted.
God is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, his anger abates, merciful, exceedingly loving, forgiving and compassionate.
We however are formed of dust, have minimal longevity and are forgotten.
We, however, do have some responsibility, of which a fear of the Lord is foremost (v.17). We are also called to "keep His covenant" and "obey His precepts".
The fundamentals of worship are here based upon God and not us. We respond to His love, mercy and forgiveness. We do not create or deserve these but they are freely offered. Like the woman at the tomb, we fall down on our knees because of what God has done thoughout history and especially in Christ Jesus.
ONLY ONE SACRIFICE FOR WORSHIP
In Hebrews 10, Paul presents the great sacrifice of Christ as the key to worship. He states that the repeated sacrifice of animals could not "make perfect those who draw near to worship." - v.1
The implication is that drawing near to the sacrifice of Christ in worship does "make perfect" - this perfection is objective & subjective.
The aim of the sacrifice was for Israel to be "cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilt for their sins." v.2
Only through the power of the cross are both possible.
"For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." v.4
"He set aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all." v.10
All attempts at self-righteousness are made useless, for we are made holy only through the body of Jesus.
"Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." v.14
Because of this great act of God we respond in worship. Not because we feel we have attained a level of self-righteousness that enables us to enter His presence.
"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us drawn near to God with sincere hearts in full assurance of faith ..." v19 - 22
- Because of the work of God in Christ - we have confidence.
Jesus is the key to unlock the door into God’s presence - We however, by our actions, can help free or block the swinging open of this door.
Date Added: 2009-10-06
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