Matthew 4:10b – Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
Today is the last day of our 2015-16 School Year at Trinity. As we wrap up another grace filled year, I used this portion of scripture to give the kids encouragement in our closing chapel service. I want them and really all of us to remember the importance of worship in our lives. We need that time with Jesus so that we can be filled up with God’s grace. Then, after we have seen our sin and been comforted by our forgiveness in Christ, we are able to live in ways that worship God. After coming to worship our God, we go out to serve him.
Think about the ways that we worship. When we come to worship we participate in these kinds of activities: singing, praying, taking communion, listening to the sermon, giving offerings, and reading the Bible. Most of these activities are more about what God is doing for us than what we are doing for him. Think about our liturgical worship. At times we vary the form of that worship but it always has beneficial features. As we sing the hymns and liturgical songs, the Means of Grace are right there with us. The lyrics of those songs are filled with scripture. The same is true of our prayers. Many of the prayers and responses in worship are direct scripture quotes or paraphrases. God’s grace is being proclaimed through speech and song.
Think about the parts of the service that focus even more specifically on the Word of God. We have the scripture readings and the sermon. We meditate on specific portions of the Bible. We hear about ways that our sins have been offensive to God. We hear how he loved us in spite of that sin. We see Jesus as our one and only Savior. On top of that gracious message we also have the sacraments in worship. We see children and even adults baptized into the Christian faith. The Holy Spirit graciously works in their heart. Confirmed believers receive the Lord’s Supper. We have that wonderful connection to the body and blood of Christ. We are connected to the Lord Jesus who died for our sins and earned us eternal life.
After we have been filled up with God’s Grace, we then produce fruits of faith. I already mentioned one of the ways that we produce those fruits. We give financially to the work of the Lord. We see that the work of the Lord needs those financial gifts and we are happy to give them. There are many other actions that are part of our life of faith. Those fruits of faith include helping others, serving others, showing love, being content with what we have, being thankful toward God and others, forgiving the wrongs that others have committed against us, and even our firm trust in Christ for salvation is a fruit of our faith.
There are certainly many other examples of our deeds of faith. As we grow in God’s grace, we will serve others. If we are not being fed with the Word of God, then our works of faith will diminish as our faith also diminishes. Even though we are beginning summer break, there should never be a break from the worship of God. Worship is all about what God has done for us. He gives us the message that we need to hear. He strengthens us with his grace. As our heart is filled with forgiveness, we will then go out and serve others with our fruits of faith