"Unto the Pure"
"Unto the pure, all things are pure" (Titus 1:15).
How do we better experience and respond to the Lord's all encompassing presence, involvement, and activity? How does all life become the altar God purposes it to be?
"The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth: (John 4:19-24).
First, we must be confident in the truth that such worship is possible. The Lord Jesus, in His discourse with the woman at the well, plainly declared that devotion to God must not be viewed in the limited terms of mere religious place, practice, and observance. Born again believers live in the "whatsoever" of worship - "Whatsoever ye do… do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31). We need not and must not wait for prayer times, Bible reading, church services, or obvious acts of ministry to view life in terms of response to God. The grace of the Lord Jesus offers continual access into spiritual reality, making possible the sanctification of everyday life as no less an altar than overt acts of devotion. Do we believe this? About everything? We must, in order to more fully avail ourselves of the salvation that affects every aspect of our existence. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
Upon this basis of confidence, we them must build conviction, the conviction of faith, in our hearts. While emotional and sensory experience sometimes characterizes our walk with the Lord, most of life involves the calling to "walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). We seek to know God in His Word, as illuminated by His Holy Spirit, enhanced by fellowship with other believers, and the seizing of opportunities for faith in the everyday matters of life. Sometimes this involves the simple acknowledgement of God's presence and activity, even we do not feel or sense His reality. Actually, it frequently involves such conviction. We presently "see through a glass darkly" (I Corinthians 13:12). Seeing life as an altar therefore involves a great deal of not seeing, but of believing nevertheless. The more we avail ourselves of the opportunities life affords for such confidence of conviction rather than feeling or sensation, the more a greater and deeper experience of a God-persuaded heart governs our lives.
Finally, we consecrate ourselves to such worship in response to God's Truth. This day calls us to such devotion, that is, to viewing all of life as an altar whereupon we sacrifice ignorance of God for acknowledgement of God. He is present and accounted for in all things to those who realize and respond to the grace of our Lord's all encompassing salvation. Such devotion involves a process rather than perfection in our present existence. "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). We will sometimes find ourselves as did Jacob at Bethel: "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!" (Genesis 28:16). However, we can more and more realize the wonder of worship as known along the dusty, everyday paths of life as we find it. Or rather, life as we find God along those pathways, present in all things, and accounted for as we consecrate ourselves to the altar that lies before us always, and in this moment.
"I will look for Him."
Weekly Memory Verse
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.