Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Week in Review

A Time of Worship

As I was praying and worshipping God in the early hours one Saturday morning, I thought about something. How often do we stop to just remind ourselves of some of the characteristic and the attributes of God? Let me tell you about a few, that I thought about.

He is the Alpha and the Omega. - The beginning and the end of my life.

He is a lamp to my feet. He is a Light unto my path. - I don’t have to stumble in this life, because God has given His light.

He is Jehovah. – He is my provider.

He is the Word. - It will stand the test of time.

He is grace and mercy - but He is also judgment.

He is forgiveness - but He is also correction.

He is love - and through it, I find true sacrifice.

He is joy -  He is peace and in Him, I can stand.

He is holy -  and he wants a people to follow his exact purpose.

He has all power and He is all knowing, so I can trust and follow Him, even if I don’t know where it’s leading.

I think about just a few of the wonders of this great God, I ask the question? How can a great God like this want me? And then I am comforted with this from Luke 4:18-19:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

It is God who has called me, it is God’s anointing that is upon me helping me to do His will, it is God’s power that will send me whenever, wherever, and to whomever he pleases. And it is God’s power that will keep me, even when my path is unsure to me. And with this promise, I can lay down all that I have held close, and follow Him. I leave this question with you to think about, what do you love more, your life, your comfort’s, those things you hold dear or God’s will? So say yes to God’s will, even if it means walking away from what you love and hold dear.

The Week in Review

Celebration – Inspiration - Communion

The third point is they rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they have seen. Let our minds take in the faces of these unnamed disciples. Some have become disciples because they may have seen Lazarus raised from the dead. Some may have become disciples because they have seen the sick healed, demons cast out, the lame walking, the blind seeing. Some may have become disciples because they were healed of their own disease, sin or infliction and knew that it was only because of Christ. Whatever the reason, they came and rejoiced because of the miracles of Christ they had seen themselves. And they were not ashamed to cry out in a loud voice praises to God. They give him honor as the king, and rejoice at the glory of God. They offer a sacrifice of praise unto the king.

Luke uses his contrasting skills in this section of scripture as he contrasts these disciples with the Pharisees as they enter the picture in verse 39. The disciples had their eyes focused on Jesus and they were able to worship him for his mighty work. The Pharisees were not focused on Jesus, not for the right reasons anyway, but on what minor things that could use to trip up Jesus and stop what he was doing. To have true celebration, inspiration and communion we must not have the wrong focus on Jesus. We may not be looking to stop his move, but are we only looking to him for what we can get or what will benefit us only? The Pharisees were in the crowd, but they were not there to worship him, but to try and stop his work and progress. To have true celebration, inspiration and communion we must not simply come to the building or show up with the crowd. We cannot have true worship if everything we do, is a hindrance to the work and progress of the King. The Pharisees may have been professors of the Law, but they were not possessor of it. Otherwise they would not have done these great sins before God, by trying to stop his Son, for they would have hid the word in their heart so that they would not sin against God. To have true celebration, inspiration and communion we must hide the word in our hearts and allow it to keep the spirit of the Pharisee from rising up in us, to tell others what to do, but not willing to do it ourselves.

The disciples came to honor Jesus because they knew a king was among them and they wanted to worship him. The Pharisees wanted this man Jesus removed because he was hindering their movement, their advancement, their agenda, their position and their status quo. He was not fitting in with their plans and so they wanted to get rid of him. To have true celebration, inspiration and communion we must release our agendas, our advancement, our positions and our status quo because they all take the place that belongs to Jesus. We must be willing to become humble, and sacrifice our all, just as the people did when they placed their coats on the ground before Jesus as he entered. They humbled themselves to worship him and gave what they had.

The disciples came to celebrate and cry out praises to God. They cried out Hosannah, which means, God saves. They came to celebrate the God that saves. And even as they shouted about what they had seen, they were not even aware of what was yet to come. They had only seen part of the story, not the entire story.

How does this apply to us today? We praise God for sending Jesus and what we have seen, the miracles. We praise him for the mighty works he has done. For life brought back into those that were dead. We praise him for the sick that have been healed (those sick from sin and diseases), the blind that can now see (those that were in darkness didn’t realize they were in darkness because they had become accustomed to the darkness, their eyes had adjusted to the blackness and God had to come along and open up the spiritual eyes to the true light), and the lame that can now walk. We thank him for not only the miracles we see done in others, but maybe we came to rejoice because he stopped by on his descent down to man, and touched us in our infirmity and set us free. We can rejoice because he has healed the brokenness in our lives, the impossible things became possible, he has healed relationships, lives, hearts and emotions. Yet, even as we worship and praise him, we have not seen the entire story either. For there is coming another time when Jesus will descend from the Holy hill of God. This time he won’t enter on a donkey, a lowly animal, but on a charger, a white horse. He won’t be coming in lowly, but as a conquering king. That is when he will return not to draw men to him, but to separate the just from the unjust.

And it came to pass, that one day he changed us and set us free so that we could join in the multitude of disciples rejoicing and celebrating the king. Luke’s Gospel is interwoven with the contrast of right and wrong behavior. Let us not be found in the place of celebration, without true motives on our mind. Let us not be found among the worshipers, the multitude of disciples as a Pharisee, looking to stop Jesus’ movement. For we have much to rejoice about for God sent his son, who descended from his holy hill just to save us. Hosannah! Hosannah! God saves, God saves!