Summary: And Jesus answered him, “It is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve” Luke 4:8.
Theme: Truthfulness in worship
Text: Deut. 26:1-11; Rom. 10:8-13; Lk. 4:1-13
Today is the first Sunday in Lent. We observe this holy season by meditating and reflecting on the Word of God and by prayer and fasting. Unfortunately during this period we often forget that it is time to enter into our inheritance as children of God if we are not already enjoying the provisions of the New Testament. The death of Christ made us partakers of the New Testament that is a better Testament than the Old as it involved the shedding of the eternal blood of the Son of God that was once and for all time. “Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive” (Hebrews 9:16-17). How can we ever doubt God’s love for us when all that belonged to Him has been given us in His will? Our only response is to be close to Christ through our truthfulness in worship.
“What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus. This question still continues to be relevant today. We need to know the truth about God, the truth about us and the truth about worship. The Word of God is truth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1. The Scriptures testify that Jesus Christ is God. At His baptism God the Father called Him “His beloved Son”. The devil’s attempt to make Christ doubt the truth was a complete failure. How can truth ever doubt the truth? The truth is not only that Jesus Christ is God; the truth is also that He paid the penalty for sin. We often underestimate what Christ did for us because our finite minds cannot even imagine the level or intensity of His suffering. How can we even begin to imagine Christ who knew no sin being made sin with our sinfulness, past, present and future, to make us God’s beloved children with the righteousness of God? We also need to know the truth that the sacrifice of Christ has not only made us the righteous beloved children of God but has also recreated our spirits so that the Holy Spirit can live in us. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us is a confirmation that we have been recreated spiritually perfect. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” Eph. 1:13.
As believers, the beloved of Christ, we are “saved through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” 2 Th. 2:13. We are spiritual beings who possess a soul and live in a body. Our spiritual nature is made perfect for the Holy Spirit to live in by faith in the sacrifice of Christ. The Holy Spirit then empowers us to believe the truth by bringing our way of thinking in accordance with the Word of God. Unfortunately many believers continue to be ruled by a way of thinking that is contrary to the word of God. The change does not come easy since before salvation our lives and habits were all controlled by a way of thinking that was contrary to the Word of God. As a believer, is your way of thinking in accordance with the Word of God or contrary to the Word of God? Paul exhorts us to renew our minds, have a spiritual walk with the Lord by believing and acting in accordance with the Word of God.
We need to know the truth about God and also the truth about man to understand God’s love and divine destiny concerning man. God created man and invited him to partner Him rule the earth when He gave him dominion or rule over the whole earth. God is the Creator and ruler of the whole universe but He has chosen man as a partner to rule the earth. The right to rule depended on our relationship with our Creator and this is obtained and maintained through worship. God created man to worship Him. The first daily response of every believer should be one of worship and thanksgiving to God for being their source of life. Of all God’s creation only man has the ability to look into the heavens and know that they too were the mighty work of God’s hands and that He deserves our worship. God created man to worship and depend on Him. This is the reason why He created everything that man would ever need before creating man. Man’s response to His abundant provisions can only be worship. When we understand God’s love and abundant provisions our response can only be that of worship.