HopeCC Blog

Giving As Worship 2/21/18

When giving becomes and act of worship for a Christian, it is meant to extend beyond people we love or like and go forth to those who hate us or do us wrong.

Romans 12:19-21 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Having a heart of worship that is surrendered to the wisdom and sovereignty of God in all things is the only way we will willing and able to both forgive those who are willfully malicious toward us and minister to them in return. Here's an understatement—that's really hard to do, even for people who have the Spirit of God at work in them.

No one consults their Bible to direct them on every single decision they make in their day.

This, to me, highlights yet again the importance of reading and knowing God's Word. Obeying this this command is supremely difficult even when you aren't ignorant of it. If you are reading this and you were ignorant of it, that is no longer the case, so how do we go about implementing this in our hearts and minds so that it bears the fruit of obedience?

Read it. Read it again. Read it again. Read it again until you memorize it, then keep reading it. I'm serious, and so is the writer of Psalm 119 when contemplated the transcendent goodness of the Scriptures and how it might have it's intended effect on his life and said "Your word I have hidden in my heart, [so that] I might not sin against You." God's word has the power to bring about worshipful obedience in our lives when we saturate our minds with it, when every thought and intent of our heart is derived from and filtered through our knowledge of the scriptures.

It has to be that way. No one consults their Bible to direct them on every single decision they make in their day. You can't. If you try, you will not accomplish very much in a day. We may pray and search the scriptures for direction on what we consider "big life decisions", but virtually no one grabs their Bible to decide how to turn on a light switch, open a door, what route to take to and from a destination, or how their heart will instantaneously react when they receive the praise of their boss, criticism from a coworker, or are made the victim of the words/actions of evil people.

Ive heard it said, and I believe it, that maybe 10-15% of the things we do and say through the course of a regular day are the result of a conscious, thoughtful decision making process. The other 85-90% are simply "out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" and the hands and feet do and so we live our lives. To which I conclude that we need God's word down in there deep informing not only the conscious, thoughtful decision making process, but the vast majority of the things we either do subconsciously or as a knee-jerk reaction.

Heavenly Father, give us, as Your people and the recipients of Your extravagant grace and steadfast love, a desire to worship You by diligently seeking You in Your Word, that You would plant that Word deep in us, and that it would inform every conscious and subconscious decision we make in every aspect of our lives—including a desire and ability to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us. In Jesus name, amen.

To the praise of His glorious grace,

Andy Tucker