Many times during the Christmas holidays we hear the sentimental proclamation, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” While there is immense truth in that statement, I believe that we are also the reason why God sent His Son to earth. WE are the reason for the season.
In light of the obvious and repetitive notion that Jesus is the reason for the season, many suggest that we owe God our worship and our service as if to say we still have a debt to pay. Friend, we will never be able to pay the debt that Jesus paid for us. He did not come in order that we might incur more debt but that He might set us free from the bondage and the curse of the Law that was never satisfied. Jesus met every obligation for our debt. In grace, we owe Him nothing (Romans 13:8).
Often our worship flows from an obligation to please God and “make Him smile” as it were. This is as if to say that God is waiting on us to get our worship right before He approves of our endeavors. Friend, Jesus did not come to be ministered to, but to minister TO US. True worship simply positions us to receive from Him. The story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10 vividly illustrates this.
Martha was busy, feverishly trying to please Jesus and at the end of the day was still worried and bothered about many things. But Mary had learned the powerful secret of quietly waiting and listening at Jesus’ feet (Isaiah 30:15). Having received this revelation, nothing would deter her from resting and receiving. Besides, if Jesus would have wanted anything from Mary, all He need do was ask and she would have joyfully bounded off to serve His request.
Even in our best we are still destitute and bankrupt. We really have nothing to give Him anyway. He is everything. Jesus is the bread of Life and He wants us to receive from Him. Religion always demands that we make much ado about worship; making a big shebang that it might be “well pleasing” to God. Friend, the only thing that truly pleases God is His Son Jesus. He is the only perfect, acceptable sacrifice.
When we realize Jesus wants to minister His love and life to us, and we freely receive from Him, it will cause us to extravagantly pour ourselves out back to Him; not out of obligation; but out of sincere willingness to lay our lives before Him and surrender all we are to His purposes (Matthew 26:7-13). That’s real worship: worship that is not birthed out of fear, compulsion or guilt, but rather out of sincere gratitude, pure love and abandoned devotion. That’s true worship! That's grace-based worship.
Jesus came for us... to live for us... to die for us... and now He lives in us. It is all about Him yet the amazing paradox is it was all for US! Oh the glorious gospel of grace. WE are the reason for the season!