Updated: Jun 24, 2018
We have a service at church called Breaking of the Bread. It is held in an intimate setting, more so than Family Hour in the Chapel. The room is small compared to the large almost ark shaped chapel. It is usually full of people with three rows of chairs going all around it. The Lord’s supper, a loaf of bread and wine/juice, are on a table in the center. Piano music indicates the start of service. We sing a song from one of the old hymnals; a sweet song of praise and worship. No one person leads, but many contribute little bits and the Holy Spirit moves among us, teaching, encouraging and edifying us. Then of course, we partake in the Lord’s Supper. We remember what Jesus did for us.
Something wonderful happens while I am sitting there. The surface below my feet that just a minute ago was a carpeted floor, becomes holy ground. The air seems to still as I hang onto each word that is spoken. My heart is moved to soaring heights as I hear God’s word in the readings and the songs we sing. When the bread and the wine come around, well that’s personal… I can’t see Jesus there physically, but I sense His presence. I feel His love and I know God is with me. I don’t know what heaven will be like. But sitting in those moments at Breaking of the Bread, I think I see a glimpse of it. This is the picture I keep tucked in my heart. This is what I long to be doing all my life, worshiping God in Spirit and truth. “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." John 4:24
So, the spirit part of worship, what I described for the most part above, is the “easy” part. The truth part, not so easy. It’s not easy to do inventory on yourself, in a truly honest way and remember what to do with it. I don’t mean we put ourselves under a microscope day in and day out. But we who call ourselves “followers of Christ” endeavor to live in a manner worthy of our calling, yes? The disciple Paul said, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Eph. 4:1 That is God’s word to us. That is the urge of our hearts, to be obedient to God, not because we have to, but because we want to. We want to please our Heavenly Father and be a light for Jesus. After all, it’s not just our reputation on the line anymore.
In Christ we stand for Someone. That Someone is not just anyone, it’s Almighty, Holy, God. The same God that made everything, knows everything and is everything. He is the same God that has called us into a relationship with Him. We are made in His image. We are proclaiming His message. We are His kids.
Yet because we live in these human tents, with human hearts, we still deal with sin in our lives. I remember as a young Christian, a very godly woman who was trying to disciple me asked, “As a Christian, will you ever sin?” I am embarrassed to admit my answer… “Nope, not if you love Jesus!” Boy was I wrong! In my ignorance, I thought, I have a new heart...a good heart. My heart is like Jesus’ heart. I hadn’t gotten to the part of the Bible that says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer. 17:9
I have been walking with God for over twenty years now, although I believe He has always had His hand upon me since childhood. And I can say this, I do not know my own heart most of the time. I do not know the depth of the sin that is in there. I am not always aware when my motives are awry. I am not always aware when I sin. But sometimes I am. Those are the times, the truthful part of worship, that I know I must go to my Father (in heaven) and confess. I share this to say, we are all in the same boat when it comes to this sin issue. The question here is, what do we do with it?
The ladies are studying The Sermon on the Mount on Thursday nights. One of the verses we looked at last week was Matt 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This verse was, I thought, was talking about Jesus comforting people who have lost loved ones. I learned that it is talking about us mourning over our sin. Why would we do that? I ask, why wouldn’t we? If we are trusting in the shed blood of Christ and His righteousness for the forgiveness of this sin, why wouldn’t we mourn? Whatever that sin is, only caused the Son of God His very life! The first thing we do is mourn. That is how we feel.
The next thing we do is repent. This is the part that gets sticky for some of us. Some people stay in the mourning phase and never move on to the repenting stage. They say, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but never do anything about it. (Some things are easier to get out of than others, mind you.) So, one of the meanings of the word repent is: “to change one’s mind.” We need to make up our minds about that sin and knock it off! Not easy, in our own strength, but with God’s help that is what we do!
The last thing we do is forget about it! Now I don’t know about you, but I am the type of person that likes to sit in my mud puddle long after I’ve been cleaned up from it. I’ll feel guilty for a long time about mistakes I’ve made and so on. That is totally NOT of God! May I site 1John 1:9…I need this one drilled on my forehead! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I’ve often heard it said that if God Himself has forgiven me, what right do I have not to forgive myself? It’s true. We are clean as followers of Christ! He has equipped us to do all sorts of things! We can’t stay stuck in the past and forge on to a fruitful future.
Today is Friday. That is the day Jesus was crucified on. Our Savior was nailed to that cross so we wouldn’t have to be. We are free! God’s word says, “For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Acts 17:28 . Then there's the scripture that says, "Finally, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Phil 13:3 God has a beautiful plan for our lives. He is molding us into vessels for His glory. We can safely leave the past in the past and look forward to whatever He has for us. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18-19 Sunday is coming and I can’t wait to be in that little saint filled room with my Great Big God, worshiping in Spirit and Truth!