Our  church  family  needs  to  continually  embrace  the  Big  Picture  of  understanding  our   need  for  redemption  from  our  sin  and  reconciliation  with  God,  as  found  in  the  unfolding   plan  and  person  of  Jesus  Christ  (Gen.  3:15  cf.  Is.  7:14;  Mt.  1:23;  Gal.  4:3-­‐5;  Heb.  2:14-­‐18;   Rev.  20:10).    When  we  look  at  life  through  these  lenses,  navigating  each  day  biblically   becomes  possible.    So  what  biblical  truths  do  we  need  to  actively  engage  our  minds  to   drive  our  habits  and  behaviors  in  2015?

God  created  mankind  to  be  worshipers.  If  you  trace  our  origins  and  history  from  Genesis   to  the  present,  we  all  from  out  of  our  hearts  worship  something.    Something  will  always   gravitate  to  the  throne  of  our  hearts.    There  are  no  passive  worshippers,  only  idolaters   and  God-­‐fearers.    This  means  we  need  to  take  intentional  steps  to  Reclaim  Genuine   Worship  in  2015.

Worship  can  be  defined  simply  as  honor  and  adoration  directed  towards  an  object.    John   MacArthur  has  noted,  “The  New  Testament  uses  several  words  for  worship…proskuneo,   a  commonly  used  term  that  literally  means  ‘to  kiss  the  hand,’  or  ‘to  bow  down’…used  to   signify  humble  adoration…latreuo,  which  suggest  rendering  honor,  or  paying  homage.”     Worship  of  God  is  a  biblical  truth  that  needs  to  engage  our  minds.

Life  will  be  one  big  worship  war.    In  Genesis  4:1-­‐16,  the  story  unfolds  of  two  brothers   seeking  to  worship.    The  narrative  reveals  the  real  hearts  of  each  man.  Able  teaches  us   to  honor  God  from  our  hearts  in  directing  adoration  on  God’s  terms.  God  had  “regard”   for  Abel’s  offering  of  worship  (4:4).    However,  Cain  teaches  us  how  deceptive  our  hearts   can  be  in  going  through  ritual  routines.    His  heart  was  aligned  to  honoring  a  god   manufactured  on  his  terms,  and  God  “had  no  regard”  for  his  offering.    God  even   reached  out  to  Cain  saying,  “If  you  do  well,  will  you  not  be  accepted?  And  if  you  do  not   do  well,  sin  is  crouching  at  the  door.  Its  desire  is  for  you…(4:7).”

We  all  need  to  pause  for  a  moment,  and  look  back  over  our  last  month  leading  up  to   Jesus  Christ’s  birth,  celebrated  as  Christmas.    Truly  reflect…

• What  was  dominating  your  mind  and  heart?

• Where  did  you  see  yourself  directing  honor  and  adoration  at  work,  home  and   church?

• How  could  others  describe  your  behavior,  during  the  festivities?

A  portrait  begins  to  be  painted  of  our  real  worship  style.    The  acts  of  our  worship  are   simply  the  overflow  of  our  ongoing  worshiping  lifestyle.    What  does  the  final  brush   stroke  reveal? Do  you  see  a  masterpiece  of  God’s  grace,  or  a  fraudulent  work  of   idolatry?

Idolatry  is  simply  our  actions  in  “exchanging  the  glory  of  the  immortal  God  for  images   (Romans  1:23)”  of  our  making.    Romans  1:18-­‐32  presents  the  biblical  process  of  idols   grabbing  our  hearts:

1. We  “suppress  the  truth”  that  God  reveals  in  His  Word  for  any  area  of  our  life.

2. We  do  “not  honor  him  as  God  or  give  thanks.”

3. We  become  futile  in  our  “thinking,  and…foolish  hearts  were  darkened.”

4. We  spout  off  our  claims  of  wisdom,  but  “became  fools.”

5. We  “exchange  the  glory  of  God  for  images”  of  our  making.

Paul  Tripp  has  well  said,  “Jesus  came  to  break  the  back  of  your  idolatry.  Jesus  came  to   free  you  from  your  addiction  to  the  shadow  glories  of  the  created  world.  Start  right   here,  right  now  by  crying  out  for  His  help.  Admit  that  you’re  magnetized  by  a  whole   catalog  of  god-­‐replacements,  and  ask  Jesus  to  intervene  on  your  behalf.”

Let  us  start  to  navigate  the  “manageable  moments”  of  2015  by  Reclaiming  Genuine   Worship  of  our  God.  Engage  the  deliverance  of  Jesus  Christ’s  redemptive  power  through   repentance  of  our  idols  (god-­‐replacements)  and  embrace  Him  in  a  worshipful  faith!  This   is  a  practical  step  in  experiencing  God  in  all  areas  of  your  life  this  New  Year.