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What motivates your worship

“God is spirit, and those who worship him 
must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 ESV

What motivates your worship? Are you a passionate, full-body worshipper, or are you more of a silent soaker? Maybe you lean towards singing hymns, or maybe you let the worship leader do all the singing for you. What does worship look like for you?

I remember the first time I was in a service with extravagant, expressive worship. Being more of a quiet singer, my greatest expression was to clap, hopefully to the beat. As I watched people dance, jump and twirl with their hands raised in abandoned worship, I thought, “That’s fine for them, but I’m happy where I’m at.” God addressed the judgment in my heart with a simple question, “Do you have joy when you think of what I’ve done for you?” For a moment I reflected on Jesus, on who He is and the freedom and purpose He has brought to my life. Joy began to rise in my heart until it almost overwhelmed me. Then the Lord spoke again, “Worship from that place!”

“Good news of great joy” (Lk 2:10). This is how the angels described the arrival of God in human flesh. They announced the arrival of Jesus with praise and worship and chose to celebrate with outcast shepherds rather than the honored religious leaders. Truly this was good news for all the people, from the lowest to the highest, and it was and is a cause for rejoicing and worship.

It is easy to relegate our praise for the coming of Jesus to the holiday season, but such a profound act as God taking on human flesh should not be limited to a once-a-year celebration. When I pause and think about the pre-existent, eternal God stepping into a painful human existence, I cannot help but wonder in awe at His choice. He chose to humble Himself. Though He was the eternal God, He veiled His divinity in humanity. He became one of us: submitting to parents and governmental authorities; growing weary and hungry; and suffering the pain of rejection, the humiliation of his arrest, and the torture of the cross. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” It is His ability to relate to use that draws us “to the throne of grace.” Jesus coming in the flesh is a cause for worship.

He chose to humble Himself, leave the glories of heaven, and identify with humanity. He did that for us. Paul explains “the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich” (2 Cor 8:9, NLT). Wayne Grudem identifies the incarnation as “the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe.” Greater than the blind eyes seeing, greater than food being multiplied, greater than the dead being raised is the miracle of an infinite God taking on the limitations of humanity. Such an act inspires awe. And it inspires worship. Stop for just a moment. Think about what Jesus has done for you. Does it bring you joy? Let that joy inspire your worship of Jesus, the one who is truly God and truly man.

P.S. Are you longing for a fresh encounter with the one who came for you? If so, we want to extend an invitation to you to our “First Love Retreat” taking place in January 2024. It will be a time of rest and refreshing as we commit the new year to Him. We couldn’t imagine a better start to our year than to reconnect with our First Love and let Him pour His heart into us for what He has in 2024. We hope you’ll join us.


Bradenton, FL // Jan 5-8, 2024

First Love Retreat will provide simple teachings to enhance your devotional times. Together, we will meditate on the reality of who God is: His goodness, His sacrifice, His pre-eminence, His love. Enjoy His presence in times of quiet reflection and meaningful conversations. Encounter Him, and experience who He is.

Come. Rest. Renew the fire of your First Love.

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