Daily Devotional #12
Daily Devotional with Pastor John
Sunday, February 27
Worship In the Centre
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory, honour and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
The I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honour and glory and power,
forever and ever!”
The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshipped.
Revelation 4:9-11; 5:13-14
The Apostle John’s first Lord’s Day vision revealed to him the complete reality of Christ (Revelation1:12-13). He saw this when he was “in the Spirit” (Revelation 1:10). Now on this second Lord’s Day vision he is “in the Spirit” again and he is transported through a door where he is shown the glorious significance of what believers do in their Sunday worship (Revelation 4:1-2). He is shown the entire reality of worship, our response to the revelation of Christ.
What follows should be very important to every one of us because there is no one reading this devotional who has not, in some way or another, had their worship disrupted and modified in the past two years of this COVID pandemic. Revelation 4 and 5 makes clear to us that worship actually gives us a centre and centres us.
Every creature and person in this vision worships the One who is seated at the centre of the throne. A throne centres authority. Worship is centering. In worship we are gathered by God to God as the centre. Worship is meeting at the centre so that our lives are centred in God and not lived eccentrically. We worship so that we live in response to and from this centre, the living God. Failure to worship consigns us to a life of spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction, every siren blaring in the daily news. People who do not worship are swept into a vast restlessness which is epidemic in the world. They have no steady direction and no sustaining purpose.
The people of Israel had been plagued for centuries by Baal worship - small portable centres for worship that had been set up on every hill and under every tree. But they were not true centres. They were arbitrary centres, very similar to the sites for Roman emperor worship in the first century (This is probably the reason why John was exiled to Patmos – he refused to worship the Caesar of Rome). In Israel, Jeremiah called for a return to the true centre. Some of the people listened and responded.
Behold, we come to you, for you are the LORD our God. Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel” (Jeremiah 3:22-23 ESV). The hills are a delusion, and so is every casual or so called important thing or event at which people seek easy and instant centering. People who do not worship live in large shopping malls where they go from store to store and expends enormous amounts of energy to meet this need and then that need, to satisfy the insatiable appetites for this whim and that fancy.
Over against these false places of worship, Jeremiah declares “ a glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, the place of our sanctuary” (Jeremiah 17:12). This is the throne that John saw “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” It is the throne that we need to see today as we worship with one another. And when we see this throne and “the Lamb standing in the centre of the throne” (Revelation 5:6) we will fall down with the twenty-four elders and lay our crowns before the Lamb. Life, abundant life, centre-grounded life, centre-flourishing life is the fruit of hearts committed to worship.
- Our church family will be centred with our focus on the throne as we worship together today
- In your heart you will fall down and lay down your crowns in full surrender to the Lamb and be willing to follow him wherever and however he leads you.
- March 6 and the following Sundays of the spring will be wonderful times of regathering and fellowship for our church family around the throne
- God’s people in the Ukraine to be strengthened in their faith and be centred in God