11/12/17 Psalm 96
Has your heart been captured by Jesus Christ?
This seems to be of utmost importance to God. You might say, ‘yes I believe in God’, but that was not the question. Putting aside all metaphors and other ways to describe how we might try and relate to God, Jesus made it clear one day, when correcting some who questioned Him on this matter. He said the foremost command is that we shall, “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind and all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
This Jesus is the One who has been revealed to be the Lord God of heaven and earth, the Creator, the One who is to have first place in everything as we recently saw in Colossians 1:13-20. He is the Lord who is greatly to be praised in Psalm 96 and who will be coming to judge the earth in righteousness . Embracing this is a heart issue. It’s a soul issue. It’s a mind issue and a strength or will issue. We are to be taken or captured in each of these aspects of our beings, i.e. in our whole being. The result is worship - bending our knees in awe and praise, type of worship.
There is only One Being who can understandably evoke such a willing and humble response.
Do you think there is any difference in how women are able to worship compared to men? Why do you think it seems more difficult for men to express themselves freely in worship?
Do you know Jesus well enough for your heart to have been captured or captivated by Him? Because if you know Him for who He really is, and believe He is who the Scriptures reveal Him to be, it’s very difficult NOT to have your heart captured by Him. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
A last very sobering thought about this - based on who Jesus is and what He has done on our behalf, one day, everyone who has not willingly allowed their heart to be captured by Jesus, will have that startling realization of just who Jesus REALLY is, and will inevitably fall to their knees in worship (Philippians 2:5-11). But by then, it will be too late to reap any of the benefits of a heart so submitted in this life.
One more related thought… What happens when we live chiefly to be satisfied by creature comforts rather than by the Creator’s comfort? (2 Corinthians 1:3,4) In other words, when our top priority is to assure our own comfort, how is the rationale for our decision making and influence on our to-do or not-to-do lists, most affected?
In what areas of our lives will we see compromises? In our work choices? In our generosity? In our sex life? In our debt accumulation? In our use of time?
** If you’re trying to recall the book P Ryan mentioned in yesterday’s sermon, it was “The Holiness of God” by R.C. Sproul.