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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Worship is about knowing and loving God

Pam and I have been married more than forty-five years.  Though the first-time we met was sometime ago, I remember very well how my heart was captured when we first fell in love.  I wanted to spend time with her.  I wanted to hear about the things she liked.  When I learned that her favorite color was blue, I wanted to get her a gift that was that color.  We were in love.  And though there have been challenging times over the years, mostly due to my part - we are more in love today than ever.  
Relationship like this is what we can experience with another person.  In a similar way, relationship like this is what God desires with each of us.  The more we know Him, the more we love Him - and, the more we know and love God we desire to give him what he desires and deserves - our worship. 

How much is the worship of God and relationship with God connected for you?.

In the Relevant Ministry blog article last week, Jeff described worship this way - It’s an active response to God in which we declare His worth! 

How do you value God’s worth in your life?

The more we learn about God, we discover that He actually pursues a relationship with us!  His primary desire is that we would know Him and then seek a growing and loving relationship with Him.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

Do you know Him?  Are you moving forward in your knowledge of Him and growing in your relationship?

John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

God’s love for us is demonstrated in wanting us before we ever wanted Him. 

II Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God gives each of us the choice whether we want to love Him back or not.  And, that’s what makes worship genuine.  It’s the expression of voluntary love to God the Father for being loved so much by Him. 

This passage shows the difference in worship being a relationship above all our religious activities.  Matthew 15:7-9 “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”

When relationship with God goes down, we compensate with our religious activity going up.  Could it possibly be that religion, even though well intended, could be a major deterrent to truly worshiping God?  More than any religious activity that we could do, God’s desire is a love relationship with Him that is real and personal.  This relationship exists because we know Him and love Him.  And, that is why we worship Him.  Worship is relational!

If worship is about knowing and loving God what is going well for you and where are you challenged?

What will your next step be to growing in your worship?

Worship is one of the "7 Marks of Spiritual Health" in life and ministry.  The RM team will be writing about all seven.  This month, Nelson, Brad, and Jeff are writing on worship.  Please feel free to comment and join in on the conversation.

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RM’s vision - to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

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