Summary: I worship God because He has the authority to forgive my sins and He shows me how much He loves me. Why do you worship?

How many times do we allow stuff to get in our way of loving others? Think about it. How many people have you loved that you don't talk to now? Are there family members you hate to be around? Do you struggle to love some folks? You see, we allow stuff to get in the way of our love. Fights, arguments, hate, judgmental attitudes, jealousy, envy, bitterness, greed, holding grudges and the list could go on. You get what I'm saying right? So how can we understand a God who says this, "nothing can ever separate us from God’s love." We allow stuff to separate us from loving people all the time. So how do we get a God who doesn't let that happen?

Here's the short answer. If you want to know how much God loves you, look at Jesus. If you want to wrap your mind around the depth of love that God has for you then take a good, long, hard look at the life of Jesus. We struggle to understand the love God has for us because we do the same stuff to God that we do with people. We relate to God through our human condition. We get angry with Him, so we'll stop talking to Him for awhile and we allow our anger to separate us. Or we doubt that he's for real so we'll ignore Him. There are times we might even feel that He doesn't care about us anymore and so we stop caring about Him. Some make deals with Him, if God does a certain thing, they'll do God stuff for awhile.

But God doesn't love like a human being. He doesn't respond to us the way we respond to Him and to others. This is what is so awesome about God becoming human. Jesus shows us how God loves on a human level. Isn't that awesome? Nothing can separate you from His love. Jesus proved it. This is what makes the cross scene so powerful. God is hanging on a cross in pain and agony and to the people who put Him there says, "Father, forgive them."

But this is why it's so difficult for me to understand God's love. And this is why I worship. I worship my God who loves me so deeply and so fully that I have difficulty wrapping my mind around it. He wants me. He values me. He loves me. The only response I can think of is to worship Him. To offer my life to Him. This is exactly what Paul says in Romans 12, "because of what Jesus did for you, give yourselves to Him, this is your worship."

This is why I worship. There's a day in the life of Jesus in Matthew 9 that helps to explain how much God loves us and why we worship Him. Jesus is approached by some folks who carry a paralyzed man and they beg Jesus to heal him. You would think that Jesus would respond with a hearty, "be healed" or something like that, but, the first thing Jesus says is, "your sins are forgiven." As usual in the crowd this day are some Saturday School teachers and they are quite disturbed that Jesus would forgive the sins of this man. Jesus knowing what they were thinking said, "Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins. Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!" Matthew 9:5-6 The man jumped up and went home! Whoah! What do you say to that? How can you be one of the Saturday School teachers or one of the friends who carried this guy and walk away not realizing how much God loves you? He cares enough to not only heal but to forgive my sins!

Later in the day Jesus sees a tax collector at his booth, he's no doubt cheating people, lying about what they owe and threatening them if they don't pay up. At least that's what most tax collectors did. Jesus walked up to Matthew and said, "follow me." I'm not sure what kind of voice Jesus used, or if he had some kind of mind control thing going, because that's all he said, and Matthew immediately quit his job and invited his friends and Jesus over for dinner. When the Saturday School teachers and the religious leaders saw that Jesus was having dinner with this crowd they continued to be upset with this rebellious rabbi and they asked some of his followers, "why does your rabbi eat with scum like this?"

Jesus loves them that's why. Jesus says, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13

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