Friday, July 8, 2011

July 9, 2011

"One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." Psalm 27:4

In his book "Good Morning Merry Sunshine" Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene chronicles his infant daughter’s first year of life. When little Amanda began crawling he records: “This is something I’m having trouble getting used to. I will be in bed reading a book or watching TV. And I will look down at the foot of the bed and there will be Amanda’s head staring back at me. "Apparently I’ve become one of the objects that fascinate her... It’s so strange. After months of having to go to her, now she is choosing to come to me. I don’t know quite how to react. All I can figure is that she likes the idea of coming in and looking at me. She doesn’t expect anything in return. I’ll return her gaze and in a few minutes she’ll decide she wants to be back in the living room and off she’ll crawl again.”

The simple pleasure of looking at the one you love--what Bob and his daughter enjoyed is what we enjoy each time we worship God and bask in his presence.

"...That I may dwell in the house of the Lord." David was not referring here to the tabernacle, the place where God dwelt in the times preceding Solomon, or the temple built during his son’s reign. These places were not dwellings to be lived in, and neither were they eternal (See Psalm 23:6). David was speaking here of an ongoing and intimate relationship with God where we live in His very presence. Worship is meant to bring us to the throne of God that we might grow in our understanding of Him. This is what Jesus referred to as "eternal life" in John 17:2-3. In providing for us life that would never end, God was giving Himself to us.

If worship doesn’t bring us into the presence of God through His Son, then one of two things has gone wrong: Either we are worshipping the wrong thing or we’re worshipping for the wrong reason.

1. The object of our worship.

The very first commandment given to Israel was to "have no other gods before me (See Exodus 20:3). He alone is to be the One we worship. God is clear on this. Whatever we do, it is to be done to His glory (See 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Application: He is so central to our existence that the most routine things can and should be done to His glory!

2. The motivation for worship.

People seek access to the throne of God for many reasons. Often it is because we want something from Him. There is, however, one motive that seems more right than others--because we want to know Him.

CAIN – Tried to worship with a selfish heart – RELIGION

ABEL – Worshipped in a way that pleased God – RELATIONSHIP

There once was an old woman who unfortunately was gradually losing her memory. Throughout her life, however, this woman had cherished and depended on the Word of God, committing many verses to memory. Her favorite was 2 Timothy 1:12 -- "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day." Confined to a bed in a nursing home, her family knew that she was would never leave it alive. As they  visited, she would quote verses, especially 2 Timothy 1:12. But with the passing of time, even parts of this well-loved verse began to fade. "I know in whom I have believed...he is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him..." Then it was..."what I have entrusted to Him..." A few short days before her death all she could remember was... "entrusted to Him." Finally in her last moments there was only one word left, Him." She whispered it again and again as she stood on the doorstep of heaven. "Him...Him...Him." It was all that was left and it was all that was needed.

He IS the focus of your worship! To seek His face until you enter into His presence AND to learn of Him in the temple (His Spirit).

Do you have a compelling desire to see His face each day?

Do you make it a priority to seek Him in His temple?