The truest model of worship is love Himself — Jesus. It’s evident that Jesus loves through the eyes of His Father, yet the only way He knows the heart of His Father is by being in the secret place, deepening His knowledge of God.
As we read in the Scriptures, we see that our first act of worship is love. The way that Jesus walks stems from that understanding of love. Christ Himself says it in Matthew 22:37-38, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” God calls us to love, yet how can we love Him with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our mind if we don’t deepen our knowledge of Him? What would we be loving?
Jeremey Riddle quotes in his book, The Reset, “It’s quite possible you are only in love with the idea of Him, and not who He really is. To study Him and the truth of who He is, is the evidence of genuine love.” To love someone requires insight and attentiveness, which births real affection and longing to know the person more. The same goes for our love for God; there’s such an importance of deepening our knowledge of him through the studying of His word. From that place of genuine love comes a natural response, an outpouring of worship and adoration to Him. Let us never forget that we cannot worship Him in Spirit and in Truth without knowing who He really is.
The alabaster jar
In Luke 7:36-29 it says, “And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now the Pharisee who had invited him saw it. He said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him — that she is a sinner.”
In verse 44 it goes on to say, “Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love.’” This woman wasn’t wealthy, in fact, she was very poor, which meant it would have taken her an immense amount of work and time to even earn that alabaster jar of perfume, which was worth a year’s wage of work in the Roman province of the biblical times.
So, the woman, having absolutely nothing but this expensive jar of perfume, could have kept it for herself or given it to the poor, but she knew who Jesus was. This knowledge was embedded in her; therefore, she knew His worth. She wasn’t focused on her imperfections — what she didn’t have or the sins she had committed, but purely and humbly on what and Who she needed. She had offered to Jesus only what He deserved regardless of how much or how little she had; she knew she needed Him more than He needed her.
This life of worship stems from our love for God, which calls for a life of surrender. As Jesus said, this woman had shown great love, and that in itself shows a significant act of surrender. She’s shown that a life of devotion to Jesus isn’t pretty, but it’s real. We have confidence in the things we lack, knowing He provides every need. This story shows the heart of God towards us. He doesn’t just long for the best parts of us, but He wants everything, and He is well pleased with us when we come to Him with nothing but our wholehearted attention.
As we deepen our knowledge of God, we gain a better understanding of who we are as His children, and the confidence that we have through the power of His Sacrifice. In return, our response is adoration. My prayer for us as worshipers is that we would strive to become natural reflections of God’s love, and that our hearts would remain desperate for Him.
Rebekah Sward is a worship leader at Victory Church. If you’re a worship leader interested in getting involved with Village Hymns, please email [email protected] or visit our website at villagehymns.com.
Read last month’s Village Hymns article at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/which-voice-are-we-listening-to/