Theme of the Week: Heart, Mind, Strength
Bible Verse: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Revelation 7:12
Scripture Reading: Revelation 7:9-17
One of my most delightful memories is from the summer of 1984, when for five days I had the privilege of camping amongst the Swiss Alps. On one morning drive, as I was particularly exulting in the beauties around me, I looked over my shoulder at my two kids (ages eleven and eight at the time) in the back seat, their heads buried in comic books. In response to my energetic exclamations, they briefly looked around, said, “Oh,” then went right back to their comics. That really irritated me!
The question is, why? Why was my enjoyment of the beauty of the mountains not sufficient on its own without an equal response from everyone else in the car? The answer to that question relates directly to yet another aspect of what it means to love God with all our hearts.
To love Him with all our hearts means to worship Him for who He is. When John got a glimpse of heaven in the book of Revelation, he saw inside that open door a crowd worshiping God, saying, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11). The Bible may not fully explain why God created us, but it makes it very clear that the most appropriate response of the creature to the Creator is that of ascribing worth, or worship.
The Bible is the story of redemption, of God’s provision for human sin without compromising His holiness, and the restoration of His glory to the position of prime importance in the human heart, thus restoring us to our initial function as worshipers. From beginning to end, it is very clear that we were made to worship, that sin distorted this fundamental purpose and that the entire work of redemption was to restore our function as worshipers of God.
That is why failing to praise God is the first step toward idolatry. We have been made to worship, and when we encounter God, it should be our natural response. And now I can answer the question I posed earlier about my Swiss Alps experience – why did it bother me that my children did not appreciate the beauty around them? There is something in the nature of their grandeur and their majesty that tells me the only appropriate, sane response is contemplation, admiration and eventual exclamation. Worship is the only appropriate response to God.
You see, if my children decide to read comic books at the foot of the Alps, it doesn’t take away from the grandeur of the Alps; it is my children who are impoverished. That’s the way it is with God. The majesty and holiness of God (and all His attributes, for that matter) remain undiminished when we refuse to worship Him. It is we who become impoverished in the process. Worship is the only appropriate response to God.
Taken from Heart, Mind, Strength: Loving God With All You’ve Got by Sunder Krishnan, Copyright © 2003 by Sunder Krishnan. Used with permission.
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