Sunday, December 11, 2016
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; 29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.
The kingdom of God will never be overthrown by the things of this world. It is a kingdom which cannot be shaken and when we are transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we enter into kingdom citizenship. This is an eternal citizenship in the kingdom of God and therefore, we should offer thanks to God. It is our thanksgiving that becomes our worship to God but this thanksgiving must be all-consuming. Every part of our being must be subject to service in the kingdom, and therefore every act and thought becomes an acceptable form of worship. The consuming fire of God’s holiness leaves us in awe of the power and Majesty of God. As a result our worship is transformed beyond prayer and praise but infiltrates every cell of our being, all which respond by giving thanks in reverence and awe.
Today many of us will go to a church and we will say that we are there to worship God, and yet, there will be plenty who will come away with criticisms. For some, today will be a Children’s Christmas program and there are a few adults who will intentionally go somewhere else or go home because, they will argue, “it’s just not for them.” Well, isn’t that the truth! It’s not for them, and it’s not for you or me. The children’s program, or the advent musical is not for us, but it is a form of worship and gratitude before God. I’m guessing the children’s program may just be one of the most exciting forms of worship for God. Remember what Jesus said about letting little children come to him? They are important in God’s sight and their uncorrupted praise and worship may be the purist form that we will experience and from them we ought to learn more about worship.
When we begin to think that our “worship experience” is about us, then we have allowed the commercialism of the day to affect our thinking and our understanding of God. Going to church should not be an entertaining experience, but a place where we experience God because somehow heaven meets earth in that thin space of true worship. Awe-filled worship happens when we focus on God, the one who is the receiver of all of our thanksgiving. God is a consuming fire of holy love who purifies all of those who are near and in God’s presence. Therefore our worship experience can become one of cleansing and purification, and a readiness for the activities of the week, or for a face to face encounter with Jesus, the Messiah.
Enter into the sanctuary with hearts prepared for awe-filled worship of God. Worship does not begin or end with a group of songs, but is continuous and on-going, everyday in the life of a believer. Bring that attitude and spirit of worship with you into the sanctuary today.
Lord, words cannot express the gratitude in my heart for all that you have done. May everything that happens in churches across the world today bring glory to you and not to us. Amen.