Jesus people, loving people

Free to worship God, impelled to enjoy Him

We are made to give glory to God.

In His original creation God made us in His image, to display His likeness. And now in Christ God redeems us, He ‘buys us back’ from sin and death so we can glorify Him, so we can display His goodness, so we can worship Him with our lives.

This redemption for worship has a parallel in the Old Testament. Redemption speaks of the freeing of slaves. The people of God had become slaves in Egypt and 400 years had passed. God said, “I have heard the cries of my people.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: let my people go, so that they may worship me.’
(Exodus 8:1)

They could not serve or worship God because slaves were worked to death and had no capacity or freedom. All their activities were going to the wrong thing, and worship covers everything we do. This parallels those stuck in their old sinful nature who have no ability naturally to worship. They have to be redeemed.

The Israelites needed a land of their own to be freed from their slave-owners and to set up a pattern of life according to God’s design.

This is what Jesus our redeemer has done for us: though we were nowhere and nobodies, He heard our cry and bought our freedom. His redemption is an exchange: his life for our lives, his grief for ours, his freedom for ours. He took from us the heavy burden of sin that we were forced to carry as slaves.

So only when we are set free from our slavery to the world, the flesh and the devil (Ephesians 2:1-3) can we become true worshippers.

Now, God didn’t simply buy back Israel and leave them in the desert, He bought them back to be His own people, for a purpose. Jesus brings us into a new land and forms us into a new nation: the Church, and he leads us into a life of worship, restoring God’s original creational intentions for humanity.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
(Romans 12:1)

Lives lived out in service to God are worship: whether you’re peeling the potatoes or praying, delivering letters to people or demons out of people, resting or reading, laughing or listening, or doing jobs that others are too lazy to do. We are redeemed back into God’s original design for us as worshippers.

I pray we live our lives with this kind of God-glorifying intention. I pray we live fully aware of the great work of redemption He’s done for us. May we live our lives as a worshipful response of gratitude and honour to Him in every area.

Published 3rd August 2018
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