We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (Romans 3:22-24 NLT)
There is a reason that pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins. Pride destroys worship. When Satan comes to Jesus in the wilderness, he offers Jesus the kingdoms of the world if Jesus will just worship him. The arrogance of the temptation is almost beyond belief. How could a created being think that his creator would ever bow down and subject himself to a creature?
Before we criticize Satan too much Paul suggests we look at ourselves. He uses the Jews as an example, but it would be easy to apply the same principles to any religious group today. The Jews think they are superior to the Gentiles and deserve special treatment from God for their keeping of the law. How often does the thought enter your mind that God owes you something based on your good behavior? When we live with this kind of thinking in our hearts and minds it is almost impossible to worship. We approach God with a spirit of entitlement which leads to a constant feeling of discontentment.
Most of us have memorized Romans 3:23, but how often do we apply it directly to ourselves? To worship is to bow down and subject myself to God and to do this with a heart filled with gratitude. I am grateful that I can be included in God’s kingdom because of what God has done through Jesus to make this possible.
I talked a little about liturgy in my previous post. In some churches one of the first things included in the liturgy of their gatherings is a public confession of sin. The intention is to breakdown the pride which most of us bring to any gathering. As I look at God and His glorious perfection, I cannot help but be reminded of the sin that is so much a part of my life.
It is easy to let confession of sin become routine and then let it slip out of our daily routine. As I write this, I’m realizing that this has happened in my prayer life. I’ve gotten away from the ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) prayer pattern and the result is that most of my prayers are dominated by the S for supplication. I’m grateful for the reminder through writing this that my pattern in prayer needs to change.
Worship begins with a recognition of who God is and who I am. When I recognize that an unimaginably awesome and perfect God desires to have a relationship with a sinner like me, I cannot help but be filled with gratitude and a desire to serve Him.
For my grandchildren:
Make confession a part of your prayer every day.
Check out mygrandmatime for more Family Bible Activities on the book of Romans.