"God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." John 4:24...."Those cannot worship God aright who do not worship Him alone." Matthew Henry...."Every Christian has a moment- by moment- choice of which kingdom to stand in, which cup to drink from, which worship to embrace." Chris Tiegreen

I write this on an early Sunday morning. All over this nation, over the next several hours, people will be gathering for "worship" in fellowships across the land. How many will be gathering to worship Him in "spirit and in truth?" How many will be coming together as a group of "consumers" seeking good "bread and fish" from the Lord? How many will be there because it's what they've been doing for a very long time. "Going to church" is in their DNA, just like going to work, school, or tuning in to this weekends big game? How many will come with the sense of what can He do for them, as opposed to what can they offer Him?

I'm not seeking to remove the human element from any of this. We have needs, and it's not wrong to want the Father to minister to them. Jesus does invite all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him. The problem is that too many of us are like nine of the ten lepers that Christ cleansed; only one turned back to praise, honor, and worship Him. The nine were very happy with what they got, but they missed out on what they could truly have laid hold of; the fullness of Christ Himself. How like them are so many of us?

So much of our prayer life, our "worship life" is really all about us. We're looking for Him to do something to make our lives better, easier, happier. Erwin McManus once said that Christ is being lost in the religion that bears His name. Going deeper in that, I think Christ is being lost in much of what we call "worship" in the church today. He's there as our servant, our helper, our, as Mark Buchanan put it, "heavenly caterer." All the while we miss, even ignore the Almighty Sovereign God who is in our midst. It's a tragedy we repeat week after week. Isn't it well past time for it all to stop?

I'm both moved and convicted by Tiegreen's words. We do face moment by moment choices as to "which kingdom we stand in, which cup we drink from, which worship to embrace." We have a great deal of double-mindedness in this. Our other kingdoms, cups, and worship, constantly distract us from the only One worthy of worship. We are so distracted that when we come through the doors of our fellowships, that it can take 2/3 of the service before we even begin to feel like focusing some part of ourselves on Him. We bring our counterfeit kingdoms, cups and worship with us.....and we miss Him. Is there anything more tragic than that?

If you read this today, if you did find yourself in His house of worship yesterday, what was your "worship" really like? Can you say that you really did worship Him in "spirit and in truth?" Or, did your other kingdoms, cups, and idols steal away what belongs to Him alone? Giving ourselves away to counterfeits. I know that these are hard questions. Dare we come up with the hard answers?

Pastor O

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   July 2019   
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