Love God (UP)
For the next few weeks, we'll be taking a closer look at our purpose as a church family, which is to lead all people to life and growth in Jesus Christ. Specifically, we seek to increasingly live this way as we love God (UP), love one another (IN), and share Jesus (OUT). Great! But what exactly does this mean, and what does it look like? As a church, we believe that these are three equally important rhythms in the life of a disciple of Jesus, meaning that they all matter. Just like a pizza isn't really a pizza unless it has dough, sauce and cheese, a healthy disciple of Jesus isn't really healthy unless they are increasingly growing in the areas of UP, IN, and OUT.
Loving God (UP)
Louie Giglio, a pastor and author, defines worship as: Our response to God, both personal and corporate, for who he is and what he has done, expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live. Worship is something that we all do, all the time, but not always in response to God. For example, I can worship my status at my place of employment. Or the achievements of my children. Or the success (or lack thereof) of the Philadelphia Eagles. Or what I want to look like on social media. These are all things that can completely rule my life! I might talk about them a ton or live my life based on how I can make the most out of these things. None of them are in and of themselves evil or wrong, but none of them are worthy of worship.
Jesus Christ demonstrated to us all what worship was supposed to be like. He loved God with his heart, soul, mind and strength (Mt. 22:34-38), and his words and actions reflected this. His desire to love God privately ((Mark 1:35) and publicly (Luke 10:21) lined up perfectly, and this love fueled everything he did. For the church, our love for God is certainly expressed on Sunday mornings with our prayers and our singing and our learning from God's word and our taking the Lord's Supper together and our celebration of baptisms...but that's just a few hours on Sunday mornings. What about the other 166 hours each week?!? What if our discipleship rhythm of loving God, which we call UP, was something we did 24/7 that affected everything we said and did? In the letter written to the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul said:
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship." (Rom. 12:1)
Next week we'll look at the discipleship rhythm of loving others (IN) and see how this is one of the direct results of our loving God.
If you have any thoughts or questions or feedback, you can contact Adam here.