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Saginaw, Michigan, United States
A sinner who may come before God because of Christ

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Prime Response

The greatest purpose of God is His own Glorification because only He is worth worshiping. This is our prime response – worship.

What is worship? It is that thing which we see as greater and worth more than ourselves. It is that thing which causes us to peer into our souls and see we are not what we would like us to be or what we are in reality. It is that thing which leads us to see a point to a pointless existence.

What good is man? Animals exist, and doing what they do is neither good nor evil, just done. With man, we call something good or something evil and put a value and a morality on it. Subjectively we say this is good and that is bad – usually based on how it directly effects us but sometimes altruistically to meet our own philosophy.

Surely Hitler saw himself not as evil but doing as much good as Mother Teresa. Left on our own we see ourselves as good or having the potential for good. Even those who suffer from poor self-esteem truly see themselves as having good in their lack of goodness for they keep their eyes intent upon themselves.

So, since only God is good, we have elevated ourselves to Him and so we move our worship to ourselves – either thorough an object or an idea or a concept or a person.

A Christian is someone who has said "I am not good." Our eyes have been opened to our own depravity, not only our capability of evil but our desire for evil, and have been disgusted with our filthiness and hopeless in our knowledge that we are not worthy of praise but worthy of disdain.

Then comes Christ, God Himself who sacrifices His Holiness for the sin of each of us so that we will no longer worship ourselves but worship only Him Who is worth worship, and in doing so moves us from a purposeless existence – self direction – to a purposeful life – worship.

Our prime response to the world around us and all our circumstances and all our joy and all our trials and all our pain and all our pleasure and all our noise and all our quiet is to look upward and raise our arms and soar our heart to the Lord in worship.

This is not an easy thing to do. Our flesh tugs at our shirt like a young child who wants attention from a distracted adult. Our sin wants to rob God of His glory. Our perverseness holds hostage worship in hopes of getting something to feed its hunger for depravity.

In this we must train ourselves to capture our thoughts, make them obedient to Christ, ready to punish that thought by obliteration if it is not a thought that brings forth worship of God. We must fall to our real or virtual knees when we see sin in action around us and weep for the starving, dark, cold world that wallows in its own foolishness when the full, light, warm love of God is within thought’s reach.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

As a Christian, someone who professes Christ as Savior and Lord, I am called to respond to life’s circumstances and situations in a way different from how I would "naturally’ respond. I am called to always love others. I am called to be honorable and respectful. I am called to be gentle and thoughtful. I am called to be patient and kind. I am called to be righteous in my actions and humble in my attitudes.

The problem is I do those things with little consistency and much variability.

The Christian Response is about looking at what is going on in the world using our imperfect human eyes and seeing the world through Christ’s perfect eyes.

Fortunately, we have Scripture, which is God’s words written by human hands – an amazingly accurate and consistent compiled document of books written over thousands of years by a vast array of writers. Much maligned, but not discounted, the Bible tells the story of Christ and gives us how we should live.

There are a few rules about using Scripture to respond to the world that I follow:
  • I try to filter out my belief (or hope) that the Bible agrees with me and twist my thoughts to make them fit the Bible. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • I try to discern that of which is important to God versus that which is important to man (i.e. me). (Romans 14:1)
  • I try to look for the Biblical concept over the situational specific. For example, while there is no command – Thou Shalt Not Smoke Cigarettes there are a number of concepts in Scripture about how we should live and what actions we should (or should not) be doing. (Christ spells out this idea starting in Matthew 5:17 and forward when He tells the Old Testament Commandment and then gives an application to a circumstance).
  • I seek to be shown my own short-comings through the sins in the world. (one of Christ’s lessons about the woman caught in adultery in John 8).
Finally, and most importantly, I hope, through my response, to emit God’s honor and praise because that is the essence of A Christian Response – to God alone be the glory.

For His Glory,