The moment you were born into this world, God was there smiling at your birth. He wanted you alive. He did not need to create you, but he chose to create you to be the recipient of His love and affection, to know Him and to be part of His family.
Ephesians 1:5 says “Because of his love, God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children – and this brought Him great pleasure.”
You are that important to God that He thought of you, he planned you, he chose you, he perfectly and uniquely created you and wants you with him for all eternity. Yet there are certainly times when we question our identity, our purpose, just what on earth life is all about.
The bible gives us this direction when we are searching - “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” (Psalm 95:6-7)(NIV)
This is the discovery I want to share with you this weekend as we continue our journey to “Discover Me” . I was created to worship God.
Now, depending on your background, you may need to expand your understanding of worship. When you think of worship, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? You may think of church services with singing, praying, listening to a sermon. Or you may think of ceremonies, candles and communion. Silence, meditation, using your talents and gifts, offering. Worship can include these elements, but worship is far more. Worship is an expression of our very life.
When we worship God, we Acknowledge that there is a Creator who has authority over us, to whom we are accountable, who has shown us great mercy. When we worship God, we Humble ourselves in His presence and praise Him for His goodness. And when we worship God, we renew our commitment to obey His commands and bring glory to Him by the transformation that we allow to continue in our lives.
This weekend were are going to look at these three ideas through the lives of Peter and John whose story begins in Mathew chapter 4, verse 18 and Acts Chapter 3. And here is what we will discover about a life of worship:
My life is to be an acknowledgement of God’s authority and presence.
Their Devotion was daily, not weekly. Every day they spent time with God, praying and meeting with him. It’s how chapter 3 begins – they were on their way to the temple to do that very thing. And so when Peter and John were confronted by a man in need they saw it as a divine appointment, they saw it as their purpose for that moment.
They honored God with their Trust – taking Him at His Word. Can you imagine the doubt or fear that must have crossed Peter and Johns mind as they reached out their hand to this man who had never walked and said “Get up and walk?” Would God come through? Would he do what He promised? I said to you last week, there are some commands that must be obeyed before we can understand them. This is one of those times in life when we have to take God at his word. Are you doing that right now in your relationship with someone, in your financial giving to the church, in swallowing your pride and forgiving the unforgiveable…..
Their actions, (their life of worship) drew people to an encounter with Christ. Obviously the beggar was drawn to Christ. He used his first steps to walk inside the temple courts where verse 8 of chapter 3 says “he was walking and jumping and praising God”. And then his actions drew a crowd of people who were exposed to this powerful message that Peter would preach. Over 2000 more were added to the number of believers.
I humble myself daily in His presence and praise Him for his Goodness.
Their message was unchanged by threatening circumstances.
In chapter 4, verse 18. The leaders “called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:18-20)(NLT). We Can’t stop.
I daily renew my pledge to be obedient to His commands and seek to glorify Him. In this I Discover Me.
This was one of those moments – those mid-week moments, not Saturday night or Sunday morning moments, when Peter and John had to answer the question “Will we be obedient to God, will we bring glory to Him, will we allow God to continue the transformation he began in us through this challenge or will we fold?”
For Peter and John – the answer was clear “We can’t stop!
Jesus said “Follow me and I will make you into something” “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” “Follow me and you will discover purpose and meaning….You will discover life…” Jesus says to you and me today - “Follow Me”. What’s your answer?
I look forward to diving deeper with you this weekend. Remember though, that a life of worship begins with this very moment today. Engage it well.