Christianity is about a relationship with God, and when it comes to connecting, the heart is always intrinsically involved. When we talk about the heart, one of the primary issues of interest is always authenticity. On the 24th of May 2015, Pastor Faith Kam from Radiant Life Assembly Cheras shared a relational message about the topic.
Radiant Life Assembly Cheras is a relatively small church but its community is strong and tightly-knitted. Opening her message, Pastor Faith shared a story. There was a couple who went on a cruise. Halfway along the journey, the cruise met a calamity and was in danger of sinking. By the time the couple got to the lifeboats, there was only one space for them. The husband got onto the lifeboat, the wife shouted to him to take good care of their young child and went down with the ship.
Now, what would we think of such a man, were we there? Yet, many years later, after the man and his daughter had both passed on, the granddaughter found his diary and read it. In it, he wrote of his loneliness and regret. Not one a day went by, he wrote, that he didn’t wish his wife was by his side and he often wished that he was the one who went down with the ship. The choice was made jointly by the couple for their child’s sake as the wife was in terminal illness and was not going to live long.
Living Beyond Mere Appearances
Pastor Faith shared that so often, we tend to judge others by surface appearance, but more importantly, we need to understand, love each other, and live beyond mere appearances. There are many complications behind the façade of good and evil of people we see around us, and we do not always judge a person rightly nor do we always live as authentically as the masks we put on.
Life can sometimes be uncertain and separation of relationships may come one day between us and others. When that time comes, a lessening of contact may arise. We would like people to be able to say about us then; “It was them that I had the best days of my life with”. We are all aboard on the same boat, she conveyed, in the same community, and there must be intentional building of relationships, founded on accountability and genuine and Godly principles.
The Lord Looks Beyond the Surface
In 1 Samuel 16:7, God had rejected Saul, telling Samuel that while Saul had an impressive bearing, the Lord does not look at men the way people do. This also serves as warning to His people, and because the Lord is unchanging, this applies even today. What are some of the elements of a genuine worshipper’s heart? An acronym was shared to help the church remember: Humility, taking control of our Emotions, Adoration, Repentance, and Thanksgiving. It is important for a worshipper of God to have an authentic heart before His presence.
The Characteristics of a Genuine Heart of Worship
Worshippers who possess genuine hearts of worship have certain characteristics:
- They worship from the inside out
Pastor Faith shared that whenever we come before the throne of God, we must come with intentionality, for God wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Worshippers of God who possess genuine hearts would exhibit the fruits of the Spirit through their character. Pastor Faith encouraged preparing our hearts when we come before God.
We should ready our hearts when we come together in corporate worship and to listen to the voice of God. It should be done through a relationship and love for God. Are we excited about our relationship with Him? Do we look forward to church every week and make it a point to go there early?
We can also look further. God has placed churches where they are for a purpose; Christians are called to be committed, and God has planted the harvest wherever churches are located. Our community work must come from the heart and be more than mere rituals. In Matthew 5:16, God affirms Christians as the light of the world.
In whatever circumstances or wherever we are, we are called to let our light shine so that people can see God through our lives and give honor to Him. Our light stands out when we abide in God and have the fruits of the Spirit in us.
- They are the same outside or inside the church
Worshippers with genuine hearts also possess consistency and integrity. God is with us wherever we are, and He sees even the things we think are hidden from others. Pastor Faith conveyed that real tests come when we face trials and challenges.
1 John 2:6 reminds us that whoever claims to be in Christ must live as He did. Our responses to challenges and circumstances must be founded upon the Lord. One of the toughest challenges faced by a Christian is to love our enemies. However, by tearing out the roots of bitterness we allow the wisdom of God to take control. We will grow to walk the talk when we purposefully learn and listen to the Word of God.
- Worshippers with Genuine Hearts Always Give God Their Best!
Every Christian is in the process of being molded by the Potter. Are we prepared when we ask God to change our hearts and mould us? The process may at times be long and difficult but the Potter is with us every step of the way. And when we emerge out of it, we would have grown to be more wise and refined under His hands.
Pastor Faith shared that each time we go though challenges, remember that it is only a phase and that we were chosen by God to grow in it for a purpose. It is ok to cry and call out to God, but we need to come back to God. Genuine worshippers of God have the capacity to be grateful to God in every circumstance, even the difficult ones. The challenge is, in all the blessings that He has given us, are we giving back our best to God?
Pastor Faith’s message provided 3 questions to ponder on:
Are we worshipping God from the inside out?
Are we the same person inside and outside the church?
Are we giving the best of our lives to God?
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– Jason Law