Monday Morning Commentary
Continuing the series, “United by the Core,” Pastor Craig presented to us the anchor value of WORSHIP. As a community, we believe that worship is a spiritual act that joins our hearts together and gives God an avenue by which we can minister unto Him, to one another, and to those outside of our community. With that in mind, we must understand that worship brings to our attention the paradoxes of our Christian faith.
We can search throughout Scripture and see what looks like contradictions. Jesus taught us to love our neighbor. However, when seeking to practically live this out, we realize that it is difficult to love a neighbor who is “unlovable.” He speaks of losing our life in order to find life.
Oftentimes, we are tempted to try to simplify Jesus by holding on to one aspect of Him. So, we choose to follow the loving, powerful, miracle working Jesus but deny the Jesus who promises us that, “in this world you will have trouble.” Ultimately, we must accept all of Jesus, even the aspects of Jesus that seem to contradict the others. Therefore, we must resist any form of Christianity that divides the life of Jesus.
* Worship then begins with a PRE-DECISION.
Will you decide to worship God for who He is? Will you exercise Response – Ability? The ability to respond in worship despite opposing circumstances.
Let’s consider the story of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:16-25.
Here we have two men, beaten, tortured and imprisoned. Didn’t they serve the God who is a protector? If they would have focused only on that aspect of God’s nature they would’ve failed to praise Him and experience Him as the God who is a deliverer.
Even Jesus on His way to experience the worst moment of His life, began the journey by making a decision to praise God..., “after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:30
* Worship is a ReFocus - our perspective is vital to our ability to receive and experience the goodness of God even when His ways challenge our understanding.
If we focus on all of the wrong around us, we will loose sight of all that is right about God!
* Worship is a Witnesses - one of the most unique purposes of worship is that through our worship, we witness to the power and goodness of God to others. Our worship becomes a testimony! The Psalmist declared, “Praise the Lord - let the suffering listen and rejoice!”
When we worship God, no matter what the circumstance we find ourselves in, choosing to extol His name above it, the suffering can notice and it will lead them to rejoice!
As a church, we choose to embrace God and all of the paradoxes of Scripture. And therefore, we choose to demonstrate our ability to respond in worship in every season because He is Lord of all!