Thursday, November 13, 2008

Start with worshipping God

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: John 4:23-24 (The Message) (Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well) “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship … in adoration.”

The woman at the well is grasping at straws. She’s looking for a way out. This man from Nazareth has trapped her. Suddenly, she’s antsy. She wants to run away, just as she has dozens of times before. He has alleviated all her inhibitions about worshipping God. She has no more excuses. Jesus simply tells her that God doesn’t care about who she was yesterday, he cares about who she is today. In one fell swoop, Jesus took away all her reasons for not worshipping his Father.

“That’s it? I don’t have to be Jewish? I don’t have to worship in the Temple in Jerusalem? I can worship God right here? In Sychar, this God-forsaken place?” Perhaps she was shaking her head or mumbling under her breath. “It can’t be this easy,” she thought. All those years, wasted. She starts to think, putting it all together in her head. “You mean, I don’t have to try to be someone I’m not?” she thought, in essence. Jesus responded: “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God.”

Suddenly, the woman at the well goes from being a nobody to being a somebody. Everyone who believes becomes a somebody just like that. It doesn’t matter what your past was. God forgives all sins, not just some. That’s why some people who come before God feel so cleansed. It’s a new experience for them. People spend their whole lives ashamed and guilt-ridden because of their actions. They think they aren’t worthy to come before God. And, in fact, none of us are worthy. God’s grace is a gift for everyone who wants it. That’s what makes grace so amazing. It’free.

But what happens after that initial contact? What then? Jesus said we must “engage our spirit in the pursuit of truth” as we seek God in worship. When we come to faith, the Holy Spirit fills us up with good things to make our lives whole and complete. This pursuit of truth isn’t like a catechism, in which we get all this information handed to us, we study for a while, and then we’re done. Pursuing Jesus is a 24/7 thing. The key is letting go of our old, unusable, unworkable ways and trying it God’s way. How we live before God is what counts. How we seek him is what matters. It starts with worshipping him, right where we are, whenever we feel the urge. It’s that simple.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, thank you for making worship easy. Thank you that I can worship you in my living room every morning, in my classroom mid-day, in my car in the afternoon, and in bed late at night. Amen

Doug Mead
Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Vol. 3, No. 154

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

No comments: