Today, while I was thinking about the joy that I experienced this weekend, as my husband and I cared for five of our grandchildren, while their Mommy and Daddy were in the hospital giving birth to their baby brother, Holy Spirit began to show me examples of what He desires when we approach Him and worship Him, and I want to share those examples with you…
23 “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Saturday, as soon as I received a picture of my newly born grandson, Ian, I called his five siblings to come and look at his image on my cell phone. You should have seen them as they came running to me, squealing in delight, loud, raucous, unfettered and unrestrained joy emanating from each child, as they laid eyes on their baby brother for the first time. “Aw, he’s so cute!” one shouted, “I wub him,” another shouted, wanting her voice to be heard. “I can’t wait to touch him,” my oldest grandson said so sweetly, “’cause him’s skin is so soft.”
Though they hadn’t yet seen him face to face, it was evident that every single one of the children loved him passionately. As each one gleefully touched his picture on the cell phone and declared his/her love for Ian, I realized that’s how the Lord wants us to respond to Him. Though we’ve never physically laid eyes on Him, we must love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and we too must jubilantly declare our love for Him…
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.'”
As I spent the weekend with my five adorable grandchildren, I was able to see their innate differences more clearly than ever before. J., my oldest grandchild, is an adorable little boy who is almost seven years old, and very shy around those he doesn’t know, but once he is comfortable around you, he opens up, sharing whatever thoughts happen to cross his mind at the time. He takes his role as big brother quite seriously, and is quite the worrier, caring that his brothers and sisters are properly cared for, and that they do what is right. He is the one who expressed his love for his baby brother by stating, “I can’t wait to touch him, ’cause him’s skin is so soft.”
What about you? Do you ever long to touch the Lord? Do you long to feel the warmth of His embrace… to feel His hand covering yours… to caress His face??? Do you care about doing the right thing? Do you take your role as a man or woman of God seriously, watching over your Christian brothers and sisters to make sure they are being properly cared for? These qualities are part of what it is to be a true worshiper…
31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
~ Mark 12:31 — NLT ~
M., my almost six year old granddaughter reminds me of myself. She can be quite bossy, as she takes charge, and tries to make her brothers and sisters do as she says. As my pastor says, M. isn’t bossy… she’s just demonstrating leadership at a young age. She was my little helper this weekend, ordering her brothers and sister around, when they didn’t respond to Nana as quickly as she thought they should. A couple of times, I had to let her know, “I’ve got this one or I don’t need your help this time,” but for the most part, she was quite the little helper. As she gazed at her baby brother’s picture, she informed me, “When Mommy brings Baby Ian home, she said I can hold him, but I have to sit down first.” She beamed at me radiantly as she said this.
Some of us, like my granddaughter M., are called to be leaders, and it is as we lead others in the spirit of love and truth to the Lord, we are also worshiping the Lord. Those of us who are called to lead must demonstrate a loving and nurturing spirit, just as M. displayed, when she joyfully told me that she was going to hold her baby brother. Everyone is called to lead someone to the Lord… If you are a parent, you must nurture your children… if anyone looks up to you, nurture them and lead them to Christ… This is truly an act of worship. There is one more thing that I need to share with those who are called to lead… A true act of worship for a good leader is to humbly submit under someone who has greater authority than you. When I told M. that I could handle things on my own, she immediately submitted to my authority. How quickly do you submit to authority?
13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”
My third grandchild, a four year old little boy, full of exuberance and life, I.R., keeps you running, from the time he gets up. He lives life to the fullest, and with him, there is no middle way. Everything with him is full throttle. When he is happy, his loud laughter rings throughout the house, and when he is unhappy, his discontent rings equally loud. “Aw, him’s so little!” I.R. shouted boisterously, as he laughed, jumping and dancing around, “I love him so much!”
When you worship the Lord, are you filled with joy at being in His presence? Do you love Him with everything within you? Do you love Him with your whole heart? Do you rejoice as you think about Him in all of His glory and splendor? Do you worship Him with your entire body — your hands, your feet, your thoughts, your eyes, your mouth? Are you, like my four year old grandson, I.R., and like King David, so passionate about the Lord, that you don’t care if anyone else thinks you look foolish? Or is your worship quenched, because you worry about what others may think about you?
21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!”
As my little two year old granddaughter, C. looked at the image of her baby brother, she looked back up into my eyes with her sweet shy little smile and said in her lovely little high-pitched voice, “That’s my baby brudder. I wub him!” Little C. is a beauty. She is the second of only two girls among her siblings, and while she appears tiny, petite and shy around strangers, she is quite different around her family, and in a household filled with little boys, this tiny little beauty is able to hold her own. As Little C. earnestly declared her love for her brother, there was a look of sweet adoration on her precious little face.
What do people see as they look into your face? Does your love of the Lord show in your countenance, just as Little C.’s love for her baby brother lit up her eyes? Or do your eyes light up for another? Do your eyes light up for fame? Do they light up for fortune? Do they light up when men speak highly of you? When things don’t go your way, or when someone crosses you, does your love of the Lord still shine through your eyes? Or does your countenance fall, revealing a bitter spirit?
4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Little M. is Little C.’s twin, and they are both as different as black and white, and big and little. Little M. is a free spirit and a wanderer. When watching the children, we quickly learned that we truly did need to keep our eyes on Little M. at all times, because he could very easily disappear — not because he was being rebellious, but simply because he was curious and at two, he gave no thought about disappearing. When an idea or a thought crosses his mind, he acts on it as it comes to him. Therefore, when he saw his baby brother’s picture on my cell phone, he quickly responded by kissing the image of his baby brother, then he looked up at me with his sweet little cherub face and smiled so sweetly, that my heart just melted.
And this causes me to think about the Lord. When we respond to His wooing, what do we do to His heart? How do you respond when you sense the Lord calling you? Do you run to Him? Or do you run away from Him? Do you respond by falling to your knees? Or do you willfully fight those feelings? Do you respond by joyfully coming closer? Or do you turn away from Him? Do you respond as my Little M., by kissing Him with your praise and adoration? Or do you respond by hardening your heart against Him?
12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. 15 Remember what it says:
“Today when you hear His voice,
don’t harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled.”
16 And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard His voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? 18 And to whom was God speaking when He took an oath that they would never enter His rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed Him? 19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter His rest.
I praise God for the newest addition to my family. I am truly a blessed woman, with a big and beautiful family. I am also grateful for my other grandchildren, and for the lessons that I learned from each of them this weekend. My beloved readers, do you love the Lord? Do you long to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth? If you do, then follow the examples of my five grandchildren…
- Just as J. longed to touch his baby brother because he loved him with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength… so we must long to touch the Lord because of our deep, deep love for Him.
- Just as M. wanted to hold Baby Ian and nurture him and her other siblings, so we must long to cling to the Lord, while nurturing our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
- Just as I.R. passionately declared his love for his baby brother, so we must passionately love and declare our love for Jesus!
- Just as Little C.’s love for her baby brother shined in her countenance, so our countenance must reflect our love for Jesus!
- Just as Little M. immediately responded to his baby brother’s image by kissing it, so we must also be quick to respond as our Lord draws us closer to Him…
I learned so much from my beautiful grandchildren this weekend, and I’ll share more with you next time. Until then, God bless each one of you and may He draw you closer to Him in Jesus’ name!
Cheryl A. Showers