READ EARLY: Jesus asks, “What is in your heart? I know, but do you?” Times of worship reveal to us our own hearts.
26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
This verse is part of several (24-26) and usually has to do with wolves in sheep’s clothing. Today, we are using it to describe what happens in worship when the child of God gets into the presence of God.
Malice- “desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness.” We’ve all been here, whether we wanted to inflict actual physical pain upon someone or verbal pain. We have hoped for and taken pleasure in someone else’s misfortune (however small)–and we’ve done it at church! Our natures don’t change just because we entered a building.
Deception- “to mislead by a false appearance or statement.” We’ve all put on the “spiritual front” when going to church, acting as if all is well at home, at work, in our marriage, families, finances, school, the ball team, health, etc. when it really isn’t. We all have sung the songs and prayed the prayers appearing to mean every word when, in fact, we haven’t cracked a bible in weeks, nor have we spent any time with the LORD preparing our hearts.
As we go to church today and the Bible is read from the pulpit, the quarterly, or even displayed on a wall, may the Holy Spirit come upon us with power and conviction. May these words become real to us:
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13
Lest we get the idea that God means us harm or is looking for a reason to punish us, I make sure that the next verses are presented with the first two:
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
The kicker is that we ALWAYS are in “our time of need.” We sing, “Lord, I need You.” and, “I need Thee every hour,” and it’s true. Once we get it into our heads and our hearts that we are COMPLETELY dependent upon Him for EVERYTHING, we will worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Let’s start early today by ‘fessing up to God BEFORE we go to church. Let’s align ourselves with Him through His Word and through prayer. Begin with the above verses if you don’t have a special place to read. Allow Him to reveal your heart to you. Ask for His mercy and His grace. Allow Him to pour His love and compassion on you and receive His forgiveness. It’s all waiting for you at the throne.
Abba, I fall into this category many times when I get caught up in details rather than focusing on You and Your love, Your mercy and grace. I forget that You are waiting for me so that You can reveal Yourself to me. May I take the time today even as the youth lead the music to worship You in Spirit and in truth. Amen.