Saturday, December 24, 2011

Devotion 21. Shepherds Worship Jesus

The shepherds had quite a night. First, angels appeared and announced the birth of Jesus the Messiah. Then they went and saw him first hand. As would fit his ministry, Jesus manifested himself first to the poorest of the poor.

And how did the shepherds respond to their encounter with Christ? They worshipped. Luke 2:20 (ESV) says “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”

Any encounter with Christ should produce worship. I am mindful of this when t here is a fair amount of drama happening at my church. There is so much concern over the schedule and the style of music, the dress and the order of the service. In the middle of these concerns, worship gets lost to our loss.

I am mindful of this at Christmas. In the midst of shopping, decorating, partying and the dreadful traffic, worship gets lost. The secular aspects of the holiday overshadow worship.

In fact, I am mindful of this in daily life. Commuting, working, errand running and exercising are all fillers of the day. When I concentrate on them, worship is lost.

If you do not worship wholeheartedly and continuously, your life will be dry and stressful. You will obsess over small things and ignore big things.

God wants you to worship him. In fact, he demands it. Isaiah 66:23 records the word of the Lord: “From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the Lord.” From new moon to new moon means all month long. From Sabbath to Sabbath means all week long, not just on the day set aside for worship. Believers are to be fully engaged in worship full time. That is pleasing to the Lord.

We often read the Lord’s words “you shall worship me” by going on to concentrate on the condemnation of idol worship. But the first command is to worship him. Hebrews 12:21 says “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe”. The response to salvation is gratitude and worship.

When all is made new and God dwells among us in the New Earth, what will we do? John’s vision of heaven gives us a clue. He wrote in Revelation 4:10:

the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

They worship in heaven. They worship in the presence of God.

We have God living in us and among us. We need to worship him as they did: continually.
Post a Comment