One of the biggest blessings of our life on the road has been worshiping in a variety of churches and to be able to see firsthand how big and beautiful and diverse God’s Family is. We’ve been in churches of 25 and churches of 2500. We’ve worshipped at churches where the music was of professional quality, and we’ve been equally blessed when the piano was manned by an 8 year old. We’ve heard God’s Word preached by men of national acclaim and we’ve been equally challenged by the preaching of men who are known only in their county.
One of the hardest parts of our life on the road has been worshiping at a different church every couple of weeks. No guaranteed hugs, no continuity of preaching, no accountability of continuing relationships, no community. When you are a perpetual visitor, it’s very easy to leave a service while filling out a little check-list in your head –
So I have made this my prayer – that I get past going to Church, and instead set my mind and heart on going to Worship. It may be inside or outside of my “church comfort zone”. But the most important thing is that my heart will be open to the leading of His Spirit and that HE will be glorified by my response to it.
Today we worshiped with Sower friends at the First Evangelical Free Church of Colorado Springs. Friendly folks, good music, sound teaching, communion (my soul was hungry for that), and yes, coffee and donuts. Yet today God used the words of the following hymn by Stuart Townend to speak most deeply to my heart-
How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son ,to make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One, bring many sons to glory.
Behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life, I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart – His wounds have paid my ransom.
How deep the Father’s love for
us me, how vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son ,to make
a this wretch His treasure.