Let us examine and probe our ways,
and let us return to the Lord.
We lift up our heart and hands toward God in heaven.
~ Lamentations 3:40-41
As I was saying, in our worship liturgy we are assuming God’s unearned favor and peaceful friendship toward us is a true reality.
‘Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’
After conferring on you the grace and peace of God, I will then tell you to, ‘Lift up your hearts.’
Firstly, this is an imperative.
I am not asking. I am not suggesting. I am commanding you, and by faith you ought to obey.
Lifting up your heart is the demeanor you are required to have, in response to the grace and peace God has given you.
His good gifts to you always come with strings attached.
Great privilege always requires great responsibility.
Salvation brings with itself the demands of submission and enslavement.
The God who comes to you with mercy and favor, expects you to come to him in humility and relinquishment.
The God who died for you calls you to die for him.
Lifting up your heart is the language of sacrifice.
Lifting up your heart is no less than offering yourself up to God in smoke and flame.
Lifting up your heart is dying to self, so you may be transformed by the God of grace and peace.
Secondly, lifting up your heart is an act of cheerfulness.
Is this a solemn moment? Yes it is.
But the solemnity of this kind of worship should be accompanied with gladness of heart.
God loves a cheerful giver.
And as you give yourself to him, offer yourself happily.
Don’t conjure up feelings of grief and remorse.
Lift your heart up and out of the slough of despond.
Leave it behind, and come to God in joy.
So, it’s time to die...and it’s time to smile about it.
Let us therefore worship the Triune God.
Curt Bakker February 13, 2011