The word for the morning (maybe for our year) is alignment. We use this word in many other areas of life. For instance, what if your car is out of alignment? You’ll find out should you let go of the wheel and find yourself in a ditch because of the car pulling! Or if a Congressman or -woman votes against the position of their political party? In music, to be misaligned means to be out of tune with the other instruments or to sing off-key. Even if we aren’t musicians, we know something is … off. I could pull out this little piece of cloth as another example of our lack of alignment as a culture. We could go on and on.
Alignment in our Christian walk and amongst each other as a body of believers is necessary as well. A body of believers needs alignment with Christ and with each other. The leaders in the church need to be on the same page as well as they partner to care for the body and to connect with the community in which they live.
We are in 2022, in case you hadn’t heard. Right on the heels of 2020 and 2021–both years left us frazzled, frayed, frustrated, fearful, and fatigued. We have hope of a better 2022 but there are no guarantees. So rather than work to align ourselves on what we think or hope will be in this culture, we must align ourselves with Christ and His Word.
Good morning! While this verse (Micah 6:8) is well-known, this verse comes at the end of this splendid paragraph:
“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
This paragraph serves as a concise instruction of worship. How easy it is for us as followers of Jesus to do Jesus’ work by relegating this to a mere list of tasks to perform. “I went to Sunday School! I attended Sunday morning worship! I gave an offering! I serve on a team!” How easy it is for us to “do church” without seeking or even considering Jesus and His Word.
Worship is not a list of tasks or a service one attends. Worship has an object to whom worth is given–for us, that is Jesus Christ alone! And as we worship Christ, that affects our love for those whom He made and those whom He came to rescue. Worship is a lifestyle given over to the treasure of all that Christ is and all that He aims to work in and through us.
He has told us what is good–will we pursue that which He calls good?
Good morning! How astonishing it is that the transcendent God of heaven is near to all who call on him in truth. What a reason for praise and thanksgiving! As we pursue Him in His Word and in prayer, we recognize more and more of His righteous ways (Psalm 145:17) and thus our prayers are tailored to His revealed ways.
When Jesus approached the Samaritan woman, He told her the nature of worship:
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.
Jesus in John 4:23-24
Too many in our culture invoke God’s name based upon, as Oprah Winfrey coined, “their truth.” “Well, I believe God is like….” Beware! You are not only violating the Third Commandment, you are replacing God’s truth with yours. And as Paul noted in Romans:
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”
The Apostle Paul in Romans 9:20
Approach God in the truth of His Word and you will find Him near!
Matthew Perry, Ph.D., is Lead Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church in Centennial, CO.