Point of Reference
by Fred Price
What does it mean to adore someone? Adoration is defined as worshipping or paying homage by expressing great love and devotion, usually in response to love and devotion expressed to us. Or as John said, “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 Explaining that, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 We commonly say we love a thing or person, but rarely do we express adoration. We use that phrase most in church, and probably mean it less there than anywhere else. Do you adore Christ, loving Him more than anyone or anything else? ( Matthew 10:37,38) Why should you? Has he given you all you ever asked for? Has everything worked out the way you expected? Have you ever faced difficulties or hardship? Then why should we adore Him? This is the crux of mankind’s problem with God. Understanding who we are, who he is and what he has done for us.
God is perfect – not even tempted by sin. (See James 1:13) And although Jesus was (see Mat. 4) so he could experience and empathize with our condition, he set the example of perfection achieved in the midst of temptation. (See Hebrews 2:17,18 & 4:15) David proclaiming of God, “…his way is perfect, the word of the Lord is flawless.” 2 Samuel 22:31; and declared that God’s word, depicting his “personality” to us, represents that perfection. (See Psalm 19:7-9) As a result he is said to be holy. ( Psalm 99:3,5, 9) But what does that mean? Again perfection – completion – flawlessness; being set apart or above all else.
Do you long to be holy? Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? ( Matthew 5:6) Our true condition is described by Isaiah. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;” Is. 53:6 Paul confirming that, “There is no one righteous, not even one;… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…” Romans 3:10 & 23In fact, compared to the absolute perfection of God, “…all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags.” Is. 64:6 What? My best isn’t good enough? What good I do possess is filth? Then why bother? Because this concept deals with what motivates us to be good . Often we do our good deeds because it is expected, we work hard because we have to, we are kind because we’re expecting some kind of payback. Not because it is the right – righteous – holy way to be. Love of God and others should motivate us, not fear of punishment, rejection or disappointment. We must realize that in spite of God’s perfect display of love, we still often turn away from him, making any separation from God our fault. Yet His intention all along was to restore and redeem us ( 1 Peter 2:24,25); as a result he calls us to be perfect – to be holy as he is. ( Matthew 5:48 & 1 Peter 1:15,16) But why would he ask us to be something he knows we can’t be? First of all, he doesn’t expect you to be perfect in the sense of never again making a mistake, the pursuit of holiness gaining for us the accolade of perfect. The New Testament injunction to holiness in I Pet. quotes Leviticus 19:2,20:7, which are literally surrounded by advice on how to be what God calls us to; the Gospels being a testimonial to the only person who achieved perfection as he set us the ultimate example.
God’s solution? Substitution! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 How did he do that? “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become…” righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He showed mercy and provided a way out before we realized we needed it. “…God demonstrated his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 As a result he has a right to make demands! Which are? To live a pro-active life motivated by love for Christ and our fellowman; to be obedient to his will as we grow in faith and knowledge and share that faith with others.
In a general sense we understand and express appreciation, commitment, devotion and obedience. But what about adoration? Why is that so hard? We’ve been lulled by society and our own wishful thinking into believing that we’re pretty good underneath it all; we no longer sin but merely make mistakes. What’s the difference? In making a mistake we do something incorrectly, sin is rebellion; intentionally doing something we know we shouldn’t or not doing what we know we should; a purposeful lack of understanding, interest and effort; sometimes ignorance as an outgrowth of laziness. Mistakes can be covered up or shrugged off, sin separates us from God. For God cannot look upon sin or tolerate evil. ( Hebrews 1:13) The consequence of sin, this separation from God, being death. ( Romans 6:23) In confusing the concepts of mistakes and sinfulness, we lose any sense of urgency for salvation; the whole concept of forgiveness. We lack a heart-felt appreciation for what was done on the cross, which was unnecessary if we don’t sin.
The reason acknowledging this is so important is that upon your understanding of sin and your potential for evil depends your response, your ability to adore. Jesus, in dealing with arrogant attitudes about sin and the need for forgiveness declared, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31,32 John pointing out what should have been obvious to all. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 While equally obvious is the fact that, “…he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47 (It being our perception that we have “little” to be forgiven.) All the while the solution is so readily available. “If we confess our sin he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 In our supposedly sophisticated culture, many have convinced themselves there is no need of a God, particularly a Savior. Or we believe he is an understanding, good-ole-boy who will wink at our “mistakes” and shortcomings and say, ‘Come on in! It don’t matter.’ The truth of the matter being that the closer we get to God and the deeper our understanding of who he is and what he has done – the more profound should be our sense of need – and thus express gratitude and love.
A key response of adoration is worship, defined as intense love and admiration expressed in praise, gratitude and obedience; which encompasses more than singing songs of praise at church on Sunday morning. Paul urging the Romans, “…in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (for) this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1 John encouraging all believers to, “…not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 Allowing our entire lives to express what we profess in church; Jesus, we love You, we praise You, we adore You, glorify Your name in all the earth.
"'Christ in You...'" from
Heart TroubleRead Article »
Fred Price - married (49 years), father of two grown children, grandfather of six.
Fred retired earlier this year after 42 years as a factory worker. He has always had a heart for young people and the challenges they face today. Over the years Fred has taught Discipleship Groups for High School and college students.
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "Point of Reference" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.