KEEPING THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING Andy Hollifield 11-8-19
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (ALL SCRIPTURE USED IS KJV)
Isn’t it easy to get excited this time of year? Thanksgiving is right around the corner and then, less than four weeks later it is Christmas. I have mentioned before that when it comes to Christmas, I am still the little kid sitting at the top of the stairs before anyone else wakes up because I couldn’t sleep much anyway. I am decades older and don’t have the stairs but the little boy in me has never grown up. He still gets excited as ever albeit for different reasons than in my childhood.
I began to think about what these two holidays center around. Some would say time with family, some would say the food, others would say time off from work, and still, others would say all of the above. Those answers would all be incorrect. All of those are the things we enjoy during the holidays. But, worship is what both are centered around. Worshipping the Lord. That is the main thing. In order to be able to truly be thankful to the one who has given us all that we possess, we must humble ourselves in worship. On the first Christmas night, it wasn’t curiosity that brought the shepherds into town from the fields around Bethlehem. By the way, do you know what the name “Bethlehem” means? In Hebrew, it means “house of bread.” Jesus said in John 6:35 “…I am the bread of life…” Isn’t it interesting the very town he was born in bears the meaning of his name?
No, it wasn’t curiosity but worship that brought the shepherds to the manger that night. Sometime later, after Joseph had his family in a house, wise men came also to worship Christ. Herod may have been the one who sent them on a mission but they came to worship. For them, as well as the shepherds, they were keeping the main thing the main thing.
“Worship” means “reverent honor and homage paid to God.” I found that “worship” is only in scripture 108 times. That seems a little strange to me for a book that is all about worship. It is used 15 times in the book of Psalms and then 12 times in the book of Revelation. “Worshipped” is used only 70 times.
What I really found interesting was who worshipped the Lord and how. In Genesis 24:26 when the word is first used, it is when Abraham’s servant was seeking a wife for Isaac. It says that he “bowed down his head and worshipped the Lord.” Verse 27 is a prayer of thanksgiving to God for leading him right to Abraham’s people to find Isaac’s wife. In Exodus 33:10 all the people of Israel worshipped standing in their tent door when they saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle. In Judges 7:15 Gideon, upon hearing the telling of a dream of one of the enemy soldiers, worshipped right where he was before doing anything else. Why? Because he knew that worshipping and giving honor to the Lord was the only hope they had.
Even in 1 Samuel 1:19 Before leaving on their journey home, Elkanah got up early in the morning before heading back home after paying his taxes and worshipped the Lord. If I could just grasp the concept of starting my day in prayer before I do even the simplest of things, how much better off I would be.
In Matthew 2 when the wise men entered Joseph’s house, immediately upon seeing Mary and the baby, they fell down and worshipped the Lord. It is when we start reading about the miracles of Jesus that we see different activities taking place. In Matthew 8 a leper, knowing his life was essentially over and already banned from those he loved, upon seeing Jesus fell down and worshipped him. Truly if anyone had a good reason not to worship it would have been this leper. In Matthew 8:15 Peter’s mother in law rose and ministered after Jesus touched her and her fever left. In Matthew 14 after Peter walked on the water, when he and Jesus got back to the boat, those that were on the boat worshipped. In Matthew 25 the woman begging crumbs and crying after Jesus, worshipped before he had even done anything for her. In Mattew 28:9, the women in the garden upon seeing Jesus alive held him by his feet and worshipped him. Later that evening, the disciples worshipped him on sight when he met them in Galilee. Even the demonic of Gadara upon seeing Jesus step off of the boat ran and worshipped him. The desperate father of the demon-possessed son in John 9 worshipped Jesus before Jesus even helped his son. Hebrews 11:21 speaks about Joseph too weak to stand and leaning on his staff, still worshipped.
No matter what their need was, and they were all great needs, each person coming to Jesus realized the main thing was to worship him. I was impressed upon reading the references on “worshipped” If we ever want to see God move in our lives, we also will have to remember that worship is the main thing. It would be amazing what we would see God do if we worshipped him before he even did anything for us. Keep the main thing the main thing. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!