Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A.C.T.S. - Adoration

This is bare-faced expressions of love and worship of God's deity, personhood, and attributes that go beyond mere acknowledgement. Believers exalt His beauty and glory in contrast to their own creatureliness. We adore Him.

Our Father,

Our relationship to God as Father comes before His position in our lives. The Father wants devotion borne out of the kind of rapturous love that one can only have for a God that is infintely beautiful and completes the human spirit. He wants our devotion before our worship, belief, or faith in Him. He desires to be "Abba, Father" before anything else.

which art in heaven,

God is our Sovereign. Though He reveals that He is closer than a brother, closer than a whisper into our ears, close enough to study every insecurity etched on our faces and our souls, He occupies that transcendent dimension not seen with human eyes...

Hallowed be Thy Name.

...He occupies that transcendent dimension that burns white hot with a holiness that is so distant from our inferior sinful natures as one end of the universe is from the other end. We cannot bear to look at Him this way, for we will perish in His purity, yet we will never be complete without falling prostrate at the mere thought of His grandeur. We lift up holy hands to exalt Him ever higher for our own sake, knowing that such acts are symbolic and powerless to add anything to Him.

For Thine is the kingdom...

One of Jesus' more famous directives is "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33); coupled with the equally famous, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news" (Mark 1:15) there is a powerful message of God's arrival in a "kingdom" way. Jesus tells us that God's kingdom should be sought after, yet there is not far to go to find it. He also tells us that waiting is no longer necessary, and that all that is necessary to enter the kingdom is to believe in the Gospel. Given the nature of scriptures about the kingdom of God, we should begin to see that God is His kingdom insofar as the God's gateway to Himself. As Jesus says in Mark 10:14, "Let the little children come to Me. Don't stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

...and the power..

Though incomprehensible, the power of God is not inconceivable. We see his workmanship in every waking moment and learn of His divine miracles in His Word. When necessary, He still performs miracles beyond the time of the Scriptures. Yet in all of these grand displays, there is none more grander than seeing all the divine creative power and ability to render cosmic justice in the universe bound up in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. When the Creator can come to exist as the most vulnerable and powerless human ever and grow up to provide redemption for humanity, that is the greatest display of power that can ever be rendered.

...and the glory forever.

It is one thing to compliment someone out of courtesy because he has a position of authority. It is quite another to glorify someone just for being who and what he is. Jesus is the only person who not only is glorious but also deserves glory for His acts on our behalf.

Igor Sikorsky observes that the sentence "For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory" is reminiscent of the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, mirroring the Devil's offerings to Jesus. As it says in Luke 4:5-7, "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine." (KJV) In what I can only say is defiance of the Devil's proposition, the prayer declares that Christ is the kingdom, the power, and the glory already from eternity past.


Defined as an affirmation "so be it" or "truly," we are directed to declare our approval of the Lord's will in all that we pray to Him. This declaration is what separates the children of God from all others. James 2:19 says, "You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder." Inasmuch as we affirm God's sovereign accomplishments, the demons oppose them and so will never utter "amen" to His will. Believers should understand how precious few our "amens" are; we are to see them multiplied in worship of God Almighty always.

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