It is hard to believe Together for Adoption is less than two weeks away. We are looking forward to a missions team from the United States coming at the end of this week, then a trip to Lesotho to help build a church facility and bang, the conference is here! Please be praying that God will use this conference to encourage his people and to help fuel a movement. And oh yeah, if you haven’t registered yet, this is the week! To motivate you, we have been working our way through James 1:27, trying to understand why James brings up the way we care for orphans a test of the reality of our religion. Here’s yet another reason the church should be serious about orphan care.
This is one of the chief ways we worship God, sacrificially giving to the vulnerable.
Visiting orphans in their distress is about worship. Please hear me. This is about worship. It’s about worship.
This is not simply about being Oprah, worshiping yourself. It’s instead about worshiping God. If we don’t get that and we make this about worshiping self, we ruin it.
There are different ways we worship God. One way is internal…faith, love, that’s the most important. Then there’s another way we worship God, going to church and engaging in public acts of worship. Then there is still a third way we worship God, sacrificially giving to those who are in need, private acts of worship, obedient, serving others, because we love God.
Out of those three, obviously the first, faith, is most important. Of the other two, we tend to place a greater priority on public acts of worship, don’t we? But we must not forget that God also places a great emphasis on loving God through sacrificial obedient worship. God places such a great emphasis on this that when he compares the two (public worship versus sacrificial love) in importance, he often stresses worship through sacrificial love. I could give you proof after proof of that, but here’s just one Micah 6:6‑8. Mark it down. “With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come for him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with 10,000s of rivers of oil? He has told you, oh man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”
This has to do with worship. People who have been shown undeserved grace are compelled to respond, they want to make God look great and so they look for opportunities to show others undeserved grace as well. It makes sense for James to bring up the way we relate to orphans and widows and vulnerable people, as a test of the reality of our religion, because it’s connected to our attitude towards God. It has to do with worship. The God of love loves to be worshiped by people of love.