Wednesday, December 10, 2014

From Rancid To Worshipful

John MacArthur's Grace To You radio program has recently been highlighting various ways that Christians can, and should, bring glory to God. The Lord has used these lessons to challenge the self-focused attitudes that I've incorporated into my supposed worship of Him. As much as I hate to admit it, far too often I have the same rancid attitude that Victoria Osteen touted as a virtue not long ago:
I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we're not doing it for God-I mean, that's one way to look at it-we're doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we're happy.
Ahem! Mrs. Osteen and I  miss the entire point of serving God when we turn obedience into a means to self-fulfillment. Certainly, serving Him does lead to joy, but not the narcissistic happiness that she implies. If we obey Him for our own benefit, we betray a lack of concern for His glory. And that lack of concern misses the entire point of worship. Worship centers completely around Jesus Christ.

In the book of Revelation, the apostle John gives us a few glimpses of the pure worship that will happen in heaven. Let me give you one example:
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. ~~Revelation 5:11-14 (ESV)
None of the worshipers makes any mention of self, but rather total attention gravitates to the Lamb (Jesus Christ). He is the entire reason they loudly praise Him. They don't do it to whip up their emotions so that Christ can enjoy their happiness, although they undoubtedly feel tremendous joy. Instead, their joy is secondary to the glory that rightly belongs to Him.

The Lord has used MacArthur to rouse me out of my self-centered attitude to remind me that God created me to bring pleasure to Him. May I start living with that frame of mind, knowing that He deserves all the praise. And may the joy I take in serving Him glorify Him all the more by demonstrating His incredible love and generosity.

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