“The law of the Lord is perfect,reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (
Lord, You are allowing two good friends to teach me an incredible lesson from two perspectives this week. Thank You.
My one friend, someone I consider a very capable and diligent studier of Your Word, is searching for evidence that you, Jesus, command us to worship You. He can’t find the words that to him instruct us to do any more than follow Your example of feeding the poor, caring for the orphans the widows and the sick. My friend’s suggestion is that ours is to operate in servant roles to the nations—performing acts of provision and mercy—and that by following You example, Your kingdom is ours to claim.
When he posed this to me, my inner being shook with fear. You’ve heard my prayers on this question:
1. Could it be a fact that You, Jesus, do not scripturally (in Your own words) require us to recognize you as Lord and Savior?
2. If not, then what is our purpose, and by whose authority do we go forth?
3. To obtain the kingdom of heaven, do we only need to perform noble works?
4. Do You command us to submit to You as our King? Am I biblically capable of defending that position using only Your words from Scripture?
5. How do I walk with my friend down the path of this exploration so we both can learn and grow as You, our God and Spiritual Counselor, would have us do?
Immediately, Adonai, You inspired me to go to Your sword, the Word, to cut through the confusion, identifying Scripture passages addressing Your kingship. That was the easy part—Old and New Testament alike abound with references to worship of the Messiah as the Son of the Most High.
There is Your personal statement at the end of the Gospel of Matthew where You inform us, “All authority on heaven and earth have been given to Me.” This proclamation is a little tricky because You don’t come right out and say, “obey Me.” I have to recognize Your authority, then it’s up to me to choose to bow to my Superior.
My friend seems to be asking You to make things more clear, to say to us, “I declare Myself your King. Worship Me.” That’s what any mere human would ask if we were given all authority…but not You. You want something more from us, and that’s where my other friend’s response to this puzzle is so amazing!
She is a new believer, fresh in her realization of Your love and sacrifice for her. Upon hearing my first friend’s query, this woman of God said, “Are you kidding? Now that I realize what Jesus has done for me and seeing Him work in my life, how can I not fall down on my knees and worship Him as my God?”
All my studies, all my clever arguments and scriptural references couldn’t match up to the power of this humble statement of faith. You spoke through her to me and to us all, Lord. You didn’t have to order me to do anything. I can’t purchase salvation or a place in Your kingdom by my good intentions. You’ve done the heavy lifting for me—for all of us. So I’m convicted by Your sacrifice, not by Your power. It’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship in which I have to choose to worship and serve, not due to fear or obligation, but desire; not as a requirement, but from hunger to be in relationship with You.
Once I am in a right relationship with You—vassal to Lord— then and not before comes a very specific command. I’m to go out and do. The fruit of my servant relationship with You will be the care of widows and orphans, clothing the poor, visiting prisoners, loving my neighbor and my enemy as I would have them love me. How much simpler can it get?
Some might say, Lord, that we can serve this way without worshiping You, or that other religions and cultures perform good deeds as well or better than we Christ followers do. Who am I to argue? All I know is what I see—a corrupt world, some of us doing little good and all of us doing a lot of not so good—selfishly based acts. We may look clean and pretty on the outside, but You know the truth of our hearts: Not one is righteous in Your sight.
I’m told by Your Word that my fruit is not a measurement of my nobility, but evidence of my faith…that’s all. I can’t do enough; my life can be only a witness to what has been done for me.
I know my friends to be strong believers, Master. They and I recognize You for who You are, regardless of whether You command obedience. I am concerned only that we, Your followers, share the total message You have given us to take to the world: How beautiful is Your love—all You long for is our completed love in You. Seeing that love in action—Your sacrifice for all of us, seeing You work in my life—how can we (how can I) not fall down and worship You as God?