03 Jan O Come Let Us Adore Jesus
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Preacher Huijun - 24 December 2022
Weekend Devotion: O Come Let Us Adore Jesus
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Hi everyone! Here’s wishing all a blessed Christmas eve! Christmas is not just about knowing the birth story of Christ. But the question we must also ponder is: Do we really “adore Jesus”, or we sort of just come to Him because we “have no choice” but to believe in Him whether we like it or not, since He is the only one who can save us? So yes, do we adore Jesus? One familiar Christmas carol is “O come, all ye faithful”, and in the chorus there is this refrain, “O come, let us adore Him!” And “adore” by dictionary definition, means “to regard with the utmost esteem, love, and respect; to honor or worship; to like or admire very much”. So are we simply contented with singing about adoration rather than really adoring Christ in our hearts? Do we merely like to make use of Jesus to achieve our aims and meet our needs; do we only like to study and learn about Jesus; or do we really love and adore Him?
God does not want us to only worship Him superficially, as He once said, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Mt 15:8). But Jesus tells us to: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. (Mt 22:37-38). In fact, we should not just adore God, but we should love God “more than” anything else that is precious to us. For Jesus also said, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Mt 10:37-39)
To adore Jesus is to treasure Him more than anything else.
Some people think that loving Jesus means it is enough to obey Him and do what He says. Indeed, Jesus Himself taught that “if you love me, keep my commands” (Jn 14:15). Certainly, love involves obedience. No one who loves God will remain in deliberate defiance toward Him. However, love and adoration is more than actions. It also concerns the heart and affections. If we adore someone or something, we will treasure it, and that object will hold a special place in our hearts. If we adore Christ, it means that we treasure Him above all things. And because we value and cherish Him so much, our love for Him will prompt us to do what He says and avoid what displeases Him.
And what does it feel like to treasure something? How do we know we truly treasure Jesus in our hearts, instead of only paying lip service? Just imagine how it is when people treasure their children. They will sacrifice anything for their children, even willing to die for their children, because their children are so precious to them. Or someone who treasures money, he won’t allow others to take his treasured money away easily. He will guard it with his life and invest what he has to earn more money. In fact, from whom we serve, we will know what we consider as our treasure. Humans usually serve ourselves, because our selfish nature treasures ourselves more.
So how does it look like when a person treasures and adores Christ? He will delight in Christ more than the joy he derives from other things. He will seek God’s approval more than anyone else’s. And naturally, he will serve Christ and exalt Him above all. He will be more eager to tell others about how good Christ is, than being passionate about other good causes. He will want to know Christ more and desire more intimate fellowship with Christ. Actually, it is not that Christians who adore Christ cannot love other good things, such as our family members, but we should love Christ even more.
But how can we find the love and adoration for Christ?
The Bible tells us that “we love because he first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19), and that Christ’s love compels us (2 Co 5:14). So God’s love stirs our hearts to love Him. In fact, Christmas especially reminds us of many good reasons to adore Christ. For Jesus could just choose to do nothing for us sinners who rebelled against God. But no, in His grace Christ chose to take the form of human and came to this sinful world to redeem His undeserving people. Not only that, but He also chose the most humbling way to descend, not being born in a palace but in a manger. Most important of all, He willingly suffer on our behalf the fearsome punishment and death which we deserve to go through for our sins. His very life and blood thus became our most precious and needed gift, to turn away God’s wrath, enjoy God’s forgiveness as well as eternal life. Aren’t these good enough reasons for us to adore Him?
Find time to adore God in a world of competing temptations and idols.
We live in a world where it is often so easy for just anything to capture our attention and also our hearts. The world is full of noises and things that distract and tempt us. It makes it very difficult for us to remember God and focus on Him. However, this Christmas, let’s quiet our hearts to find back the adoration and first love for Jesus. While we are busy organising Christmas parties and preparing presents for others, let us not forget to reserve the best gift for Christ, which is our lives as living sacrifices and our hearts’ full devotion. In fact, let us take time not just on Christmas day but every day, to adore Christ, delight in Him, count His blessings, and fill our hearts with love and gratitude for Him. Often, people only adore Christ for what He has given them or done for them. However, we must learn to adore Christ for who He is, for His own glorious value and beauty, not just for things we can get out of Him, but for He Himself. Though our love for God may never be perfect, at least let it be real and let it keep growing year after year. Thus, I invite you to pray together with me that we would love Jesus more in the new year than we did this year. As we celebrate Christmas, let us come to adore Christ even more!