Study from God’s Word… Zechariah, Chapters 7 & 8; Ezra 6: 14 – 22 … Passage for Reflection: Zechariah 7: 5 – 6 … NIV Ask all the people of the land and the priests, “When you fasted can mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for Me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?”
My Journal for Today: Today’s highlight text, where God – through Zechariah – poses a pertinent/powerful question to God’s people, also poses an equally poignant question for all of us.
Why do worship our God?
Dr. Smith, in his devotional today, gets right to the essence of this challenge by asking me (and you who read here); and I paraphrase Dr. Smith, ”Over the span of our lives, many of us have been going to church one, two, or three times a week; … why do we do it?” And he asks us to think back to this past Sunday – if we attended one or more services, to ask ”Did we go out of habit, or to be seen, or …did we go because we had great anticipation that we were going to church to be with our fellow Christians, worshipping God Almighty, … worshipping with an anticipated opportunity to show God how much we praise Him and desire to be with Him in His honored House of worship?”
Okay, search deep with me, as God challenged the Jews of Zechariah’s day to see what was in their heart as they went through almost 70 year of worship rituals, RELIGIOUSLY, since they had been in the House of God (i.e., Solomon’s Temple). And have you thought about it, “What is our religious worship all about, anyway? … Is our “worship” only what we do to honor God on Sunday and Wednesday nights; or is WORSHIP more about how we do life, trying to praise and honor God by the way we live, … not just by how, religiously, we show up in the pews for Sunday’s corporate worship services?”
You’re going to have to answer that one for yourself; but as I pondered this one, … in this one instance, I think I’ve come to realize that “worship” is more about the way I live than about me showing up every Sunday and doing the “worship gig” on Sunday (e.g., see Romans 12: 1-2). But when I do come for religious recognition on Sundays, I’m coming to the place in life where I dress up for God. I come to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ so that we can raise our voices and hands, together, anticipating that our God will be smiling as He knows that there are those present who are truly trying to praise our Lord and to show Him how much we love Him. And in answer to some of Dr. Smith’s challenging questions today about worship, I do think that I come away from our church services on Sundays having just had a time with God in the place that was built to honor and glorify His Name. And I hope that I never lose that very real sense of worship.
BUT … even more, … I hope I never lose sight of the fact that how I live my life – 24/7 – is my real living definition of worship; and as I’ve sited God’s charge of worship in Romans 12: 1 – 2 above, I pray that I’m becoming a “living sacrifice” of worship for my Lord by the way I live my life … FOR HIM.
How about you?
My Prayer for Today: Lord, may my 24/7 life be my worship of/for You. Amen