Answer the King When He Calls

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Consider the purpose of the call to worship. The call to worship is a basic feature of most liturgies, in which the minister reads some portion of Scripture that features God inviting His people to come worship Him. Each week in our church the first thing you hear is a portion of God’s Word in which God speaks to you and invites you to come and assemble and praise Him.

Now if you think carefully about this, you will see that it is a good and necessary thing. You and I are shockingly wicked and corrupt, and thus our natural impulse is to turn away from a holy God. Even as Christians we sin and we dread God’s displeasure.

But what is God’s basic disposition toward us, His children? Is God a wrathful Judge for us? Is God an angry whirlwind of fury from which we must shrink because of our sin? Should we never dare to come before God when we have sinned?

The glorious truth of the gospel is that through Christ and the blood of His cross, God is no longer a wrathful Judge but is our loving Father, and we are His beloved Sons. Therefore we may (and we must) come before Him with joy and not with dread, with expectation of blessing and not cursing. So the call to worship is a summons from your Father to come and appear before Him, with a gospel promise of comfort and forgiveness underlying that summons.

And let’s not forget the basic movement of worship. The basic movement is not our coming and serving God. In worship God comes and meets with us to serve us. He welcomes us to confess our sins and in love He delights to forgive us. He summons us to give Him praise, and in love He delights to receive it. This is all because we are in Christ, and so we are precious sons to Him.

So when you hear the call to worship, know that the Holy God of the universe, the Lord of lords, is summoning you so that He can show you His kindness in Christ. The good news is that you are accepted in Christ. Because you are accepted and righteous in Him, God delights to receive you in worship. So answer the call. Let His call supersede your fears and your coldness and your dullness and your anxiety over your sin. God welcomes you and summons you.

He is the King. It is best to answer the King.

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