Saturday, September 7, 2013
I love to read. Always have, always will.
I mostly like to read history, biographies and anything Jane Austen.
Over the past couple of years, I've deliberately chosen some books that look at life from a God window. And some of those books have challenged me deeply.
Lately, I've been reading and re-reading the Louie Giglio book "The Air I Breathe" and Chapter 7 (Worship as a Way of Life) really hit home yesterday.
God really confronted me with these words by the author:
"God has given us life and breath in all things. The only fitting response to all He has done is to give back to Him all that we are. Anything less is not enough. Anything less is not true worship. Anything less only proves that we haven't really seen Him at all."
Where our salvation in Jesus Christ is not dependent on what we do for Him, but what He did for us on the cross, our WORSHIP is our offering to Him in two parts. The offering of our praise and the offering of our service.
It's easy to offer our praise. We do it every time we sing a worship song, every time we pray, every time we speak His name and share how He has changed our lives in ways big and small.
What's not easy is to value the things of God more than the things of the world. It's not easy to give of our time and energy. It's not easy to take a bold stand for the truth of our convictions in this world.
We are so selfish.
I am so selfish.
We love our comfort and stuff and money and time.
We live our lives afraid that if we offer God our everything that He is going to take it.
And you know what? He might.
But in God's economy, offering God our everything - pitiful poor sacrifice that it is - is the greatest exchange.
He doesn't want to take from us, He wants to GIVE to us.
He doesn't need our "stuff". He created it all, owns it all.
God just wants us to love Him more than we love ourselves.
He wants us to have rich, full, beautiful lives that honor and glorify Him as we live with the view of seeing others through His eyes.
He wants to give us a heart of compassion for the hurting.
He wants to give us a heart of sharing for the lost who desperately need Him. He wants us to live out His perfect purpose for us and revel in the amazing life He has planned for us.
We can only experience that life when we are willing to turn our backs on all that we think makes us happy.
Because when we are willing to give Him our all, all that we've built for ourselves, He then can line up our hearts with His.
Then what we think we desire most, treasure the most, fades in comparison with the life He has for us instead. A life that worships Him completely.
That is a courageous step.
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." - Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)