1/10/2023

God deserves Our Worship

Begin the new year with God

Let us come before him in humility as we trust that he will give us his best as we give him ours.

Introduction

God is worthy of our worship. But have you ever wondered why God needs our worship? In today’s devotional we’re going to explore why God deserves, and even requires, our worship. Let us come before him in humility as we trust that he will give us his best as we give him ours.

Scripture

“Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

James 4:10 ESV

Devotional

Have you ever wondered why God insists that we seek to glorify him?

His word is clear: “My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:11). He created us for his glory (Isaiah 43:7) and calls us to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, my emphasis). Even Paul commanded us in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

If anyone else made such a requirement, we would consider them to be extremely prideful, an attention seeker, and certainly the opposite of the humility we’re focusing on this week.

But there are two reasons why God seeks his own glory so emphatically.

The first reason is that to glorify anyone before God himself would be to commit idolatry.

Let me explain in this way: If God allowed us to worship and serve anyone before himself, he would be encouraging us to invest our hearts and lives into meaningless and powerless substitutes. Idols are neither worthy of worship nor beneficial to us or the world. God alone is worthy of that glory.

That’s why the first of the Ten Commandments is foundational to all the rest: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). It is only in worshiping the true God that we don’t waste our worship.

The second reason is that humility before God enables us to experience the fruit of his grace in our lives.

It helps us remember that we are the creation before our Creator, children before our Father, patients before our Great Physician, sheep before our Good Shepherd.

Pride, by contrast, turns us from this beautiful relationship with our provider and protector and instead focuses us on ourselves in all our fallen, broken sinfulness. And instead of living as his children, we attempt to be the parent, the boss. If you’ve ever seen this dynamic play out in real life, you know that this rarely works out well. God is the one in charge, and so this old saying still rings true today: “To get along with God, stay off his throne.”

Now this may sound stern or challenging, but our Lord calls us to humility because he loves us and wants only the best for us. And he knows that his best far exceeds our best. Our verse for today reminds us of this truth: “Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10). Our Father wants to “exalt” his children, but he cannot do so until we humble ourselves before him. Otherwise, as we have seen, he would be permitting things that can only harm us.

But when we humble ourselves before him, seeking to be made more like Jesus, we experience this amazing fact from Romans 8:30, “Those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

And Jesus’ prayer for his followers in John 17:22 becomes our experience: “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.”

So as counterintuitive as it may feel, our own joy, peace, hope, and, yes, glory don’t come from lifting ourselves up but instead by humbling ourselves before our worthy God.

Would you humble yourself today before your glorious Lord?

He deserves your worship, and you will experience his best in response.

today’s devotional is written by Jim Denison

Prayer

1. Meditate on the fruit that comes from a life of humility before God.

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).

2. Ask the Spirit to show you any idols in your life, any people or priorities which are taking precedence over the Lord.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

3. Choose to humble yourself before God today. Spend time reading a psalm of praise to him, such as Psalm 100. Sing a hymn or chorus of praise. The more we exalt God, the more humble we become.

“I will bless the Lᴏʀᴅ at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).

Worship

God deserves Our Worship

Go

The path to humility can be a challenging one. Just when you become certain you are a humble person, you may, in fact, be the opposite. Taking pride in our humility is a contradiction in terms.

Instead, each day we need to ask the Lord to reveal areas of pride in our lives, then repent and seek to glorify him once again. This is a continual process of humility that begins with our relationship toward God and then extends to our relationships with others as well.

Proverbs 15:33 puts it this way, “Humility comes before honor.” When we seek God’s honor before our own, we will be honored in return. But if we seek to honor God so that we’ll be honored, we’re not truly honoring God in the first place.

Rick Warren had it right when he said: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Let us walk in that humility in our relationships with God and others today.

Extended reading: Psalm 145

Let us walk in that humility in our relationships with God and others today.

Start Today

Step away from your day, and into a moment with God.